I am not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but …

by on July 22nd, 2010

I received a phone call last week which began, “I am not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but …” This is nearly always a tip off that the caller is a Jehovah’s Witness who is currently disfellowshipped, or for some other reason not meeting with the Jehovah’s Witnesses at the local Kingdom Hall, but still believes the teachings of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. He called after seeing the YouTube video Young Jehovah’s Witness Dies Over the Weekend. When these calls come in, I have to make assessments. Is the caller asking real questions or just taking up time? I wrote on this last year in Only Real Questions Deserve Real Answers – Pt.1,Part 2 and Part 3.

Being a missionary, like being an evangelist, pastor or teacher, requires that we are good stewards with our time as well as our finances and talents. One of the more frequently asked questions I receive is, “How much time or energy should I put in to someone who seems to be unreachable?” The answer is not simple or clean. Different settings dictate different responses on a case by case basis.

Years ago, when Joy and I regularly posted on AOL boards, we debated JWs who would never leave the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. We did so with full knowledge this was the case because there was a larger group we called the “lurkers.” They were JWs who had questions and were regularly reading and thinking about what we wrote, our responses to the JWs who posted trying to defend their positions or challenge our positions. The “lurkers” had the luxury of reading and thinking about what both sides wrote because they were not on the “hot seat” to respond. This afforded us the opportunity to proclaim the gospel, layout essential Christianity and demonstrate the bankruptcy of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society’s history and theology. It was a worthwhile endeavor and we saw and have since met those who have become Christians due to that effort. Bill Cwik and Brian have been in the midst of the next generation of Internet evangelism by creating and posting YouTube videos which generate debate in a similar way that we were able to do on AOL 15-20 years ago which reach a broader audience.

Phone calls, like the one I had last week, only include the caller and myself. This is not a long term relationship, like a family member, work mate or neighbor so the answer is a bit easier. There is no one else listening or observing. Long term relationships move slower with information, usually questions are better than assertions and giving time for them to process is helpful. For these settings I would recommend David A Reed’s How to Rescue Your Loved One From the Watchtower in paperback or How to Rescue Your Loved One From the Watchtower ebook. Although this is written about the JWs, the principles translate to most every group and worldview.

If individuals are asking real questions in an attempt to understand the issues, we take as much time as necessary to answer. Figuring this out takes a few minutes. This call may be instructive for our readers who have found themselves in similar situations.

As I mentioned, the phone call began with assurances from the caller that they were not “one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” The reason I said this was a tipoff is that this is not a phrase that non-Jehovah’s Witnesses use. The two words, “one of” is very much an insider phrase. The caller went on to say they had just seen the YouTube on blood and could I talk about that. They asked what “authoritative study” we had which would prove that the JW position on blood medically wrong. The caller insisted they have spent time talking with physicians they came to believe that having transfusions are more dangerous than not having them and bloodless surgery has been developed which is superior to surgery requiring blood. This is nearly verbatim from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. I let them know that works like David Reed’s Worse That Waco have done a good job of addressing these questions but that our concerns are primarily biblical and not medical. This is important. In the process of deciding how far to go, stay focused on the actual issues and the areas you are prepared to defend. Although I can generally address the medical issues, medicine is not the be all end all. Modern medicine is mostly good but there are side effects and dangers to any and all medical procedures. I pointed out that the Watchtower’s position is very odd in the sense that they allow blood fractions (components of blood) but not whole blood. It is like saying, “You can eat ham and you can eat cheese and you can eat rye bread but you can’t have a ham and cheese sandwich on rye bread.” You can take nearly all of the parts of blood except water but you cannot take whole blood.

As interesting as that might be, what is most important is, what does the Bible teach and does the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society misuse the Bible in order to validate their teaching? In this case they do. When the Bible talks about not eating or drinking blood, that is what it means. It has nothing to do with blood transfusions. What it is addressing was part of pagan worship which included eating or drinking blood. In fact, before going to battle some soldiers would cut the throat of an animal and drink its blood with the belief that they would be getting its spirit and strength. As we began to look at this the caller let me know that he is currently disfellowshipped due to sin he is presently involved with (which I will not make public). So, although he is disfellowshipped, he still believes the Watchtower teaching and wants to defend it. Considering that they may be wrong was not an option for him. This is not unusual. In some ways, a disfellowhipped JW is more difficult to debate the issues with because there is a sense that if they work hard enough at holding on to their beliefs they will be reinstated and rewarded with a place in the kingdom.

As we address the blood issue I pointed out that each of the practices in Acts 15 which the Jerusalem council agreed that Gentiles refrain from were all related to pagan worship. Before we finalized that he asked if I believed in the Trinity. This is a fairly common tact. When losing ground in one area they will deflect into another topic which they believe will be stronger. I said that I did and asked if they had a JW Bible. Of course, he did. In order to be on the same page I asked, when we read a phrase such as, “Jehovah of Armies has said,” whose words will follow? He was befuddled and so I asked, if we read an article that says, “President Obama said,” whose words would follow. We agreed that the next words would be President Obama’s words. In the same way, the words following a phrase like “Jehovah of Armies has said,” those would be God words. We then began reading Zechariah 2:7 and following. We find out within a couple of verses that Jehovah of armies was sent and that Jehovah of Armies sent him (for a fuller treatment of this see our article Questions and Reflections from Cyberspace which begins on page 2). We spent about 20 minutes on this and in the end he said, neither he nor I can read Hebrew and therefore we can’t really know what the passage means. This lead to the big question. “If I can show you that the Watchtower is not a trustworthy teacher of the Bible and that they have been regularly dishonest, would you repudiate them and consider evidence that Jesus Christ, Lord (YHWH), God and Savior?” The response was, “No, the Watchtower is God’s organization.” It was then time to thank them for their call and move on to the next thing. This isn’t to say we won’t talk again or that I don’t care if they come to the faith, I do. It does mean they are not really asking honest or real questions and being a limited human being I need to make choices about where I invest my time. This is not unlike the words of our Lord to the disciples when He sent them out to preach to Israel in Mark 6:11:

Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.

God is not dependant on our abilities to reach someone and we can’t argue anyone into the kingdom. The Holy Spirit does the convicting and convincing, we are simply Ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) to a lost and condemned world.

11 responses to “I am not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but … ”

  1. danielt says:

    I am not a JW but I would comment that much of the stuff you read about C.T. Russell on the internet is a lie. He was NOT a Free Mason, he did NOT have a pyramid marker placed at his grave, his wife testified under oath that he had not been guilty of adultery, he did not scam people with “Miracle wheat.”

    The claim that the man was a “child molester” is downright hatefull and unChristian. The famous “Jellyfish” claims of his wife in court were never confirmed by even one other person. Not even the women in question, one Rose Ball. Two newspapers including the Washington Post ran with the story after the divorce trial. Russell ended up sueing them for libel. He won 15,000 dollars, which was like 300,000 dollars today.

    http://www.angelfire.com/journal2/adrianbiblestudents/whyiamabiblestudent.html

  2. Don Veinot says:

    Thank you for your response Daniel. It should that in all of our writings abot JWs and C.T. Russell, we have never addressed whether he was a Free Mason or not, nor have we raised the issue of child molestation. In both cases the evidence seems weak and perhaps contrived. However, the issue of a pyramid at his gravesite is true. We have been there and taken photos which we included in our article “An Enduring Monument to Pagan Origins.” A couple points of clarification seem to be in order here. He did not have it placed there. He was dead. Judege Joseph Rutherford had it placed there with a time capsule of their material. When he did so it was with the notion that what they were teacahing was true then would remain true in the future. This has not proven to be the case. At the time they tauight that Russell was the Faithful and Discreet Slave and was running the organization from heaven. .Today they teach that the annointed class is the faithful and discfreet slave. When the pyramid went up they were teaching that Michael the Archangel was NOT Jesus Christ but was the Pope of Rome (see The Finished Mystery published in 1917) among many other things.Time is clearly the enemy of a false prophet, particularly once which puts their teaching into print.

  3. baassiecool says:

    I’m study with the Jehovah Witnessses and discuss a lot on youtube with a guy named the snarkyapologist.
    He blocked me all the time because he cant’t handle me. And offcourse the JWs had it wrong on several occasions. But if you look at their fruits… This fits completely the biblical teachins. What’s wrong with that? Why always jump to what happened decades ago? They are so young and yet they are so close to the truth. Closer then any other religion i investigate.. Maybe we can discuss ”Jehovah of armies”. I personally believe Jesus is not the Almighty God.

    Thanx in advance

  4. baassiecool says:

    Maybe we can also discuss Michael because according Gen 3:15 Jesus is the one who shall crush the snake in the head. And when you read revelations about this final crushing the one who take this on him is Michael. So my question is. If Jesus is not Michael, the archangel, why God did this prophecie If He was Jesus himself? Why talking about an ”he” when Jesus is Jehovah? Was Jehovah bruise in the heel?

  5. Don Veinot says:

    I am on the road and so may not be able to respond at length until Monday or Tuesday but since you raised the question perhaps you could provide the Scripture which states that Michael crushes Satan’s head or that Jesus is Michael. That would be a good place to start I think.

  6. baassiecool says:

    Thnx… Mr. Veinot.

    But why i believe Jesus is Michael i’ll shall try explain it to you..

    When you read Gen. 3:15.. This verse is a prophecy that marks a begin, bruise in the heel, and a final crushing..
    And as you know, in the OT the existance of Jesus was unknown to the isrealites. The thought of a created Son was totally unknown to them.
    But when you read the book of revelations, Michael is the one who took de final crushing on him.. as a fullfillment of Gen 3:15… And as we know, God is many times called in the bible ”Jehovah of Armies. When you read this, if Jehovah is Jesus, then Jehovah/Jesus could be Michael the archangel too.. Offcourse i don’t believe Michael is God, but Jesus/Michael fits perfectly as the one who was bruised in the heel.
    Maybe this is enough for a start..
    And forgive me my poor english. I’m from the Netherlands-Amsterdam..

  7. Don Veinot says:

    Greetings bassiecool,
    I noticed you started your response with, “But why i believe Jesus is Michael i’ll shall try explain it to you”. I had asked for “the Scripture which states that Michael crushes Satan’s head or that Jesus is Michael.” You have provided neither. There is actually good reason for that, there are no passages which either state or imply that Jesus is Michael. There are only five passages in Scripture which mention Michael and we find that Michael is no unique (as in ‘Only Begotten) but is one among many. According to Daniel 10:13 he is “one of the chief princes.”

    As far as fulfillment of Gen. 3:15, there were 2 aspects. The serpent would bruise the heal of the seed of the woman while the seed of the woman would crush the head of Satan. There is nothing in Revelation about Michael being wounded. The prophecy was an early prediction of the crucifixion where the power of Satan would be defeated; sin paid for as the Messiah sacrificed and then raise Himself. The crucifixion was a temporary defeat by Satan; the resurrection overcame the temporary defeat and dealt a crushing blow or “crushed” Satan’s head.

    I am glad though that you brought up “Jehovah of Armies” for there are at least 2 that are called by that name and I have written on that in Who Sent Jehovah? I tend to like to keep these responses short but the question of who Jesus is, bears on our eternal destiny so I will recommend two articles we have done, in Should You Believe in the Watchtower or Is Jesus Christ Almighty God? and the follow up, Part 2 Answering Objections to the Deity of Christ which begins on page 1 of the Winter 2004 Journal beginning on page 1. This one is a pdf file.)

  8. baassiecool says:

    Thnx for your reply Mr. Veinot.

    As we both believe the scriptures were inspired. When we read the first verse of revelations it said that Jesus was get revelations. Rev. 1: 1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him,….
    It’s clearly Jesus was not the Almighty God at that moment as the verse shows. The verse stated Jesus was inspired. And rev. 3:14 still declares Jesus the first of all creation ”the beginning of the creation of God”.
    If trinity is true, this is very confusing, like a God playin games, acting He was not God, but the Son of God, a Son who is like God.
    Now the meaning of the name Michael is..”Who is like God”. The only one who can say he is ”Like God” can only be Jesus. Jesus share many characteristics, attributes etc. with the Father. That’s what makes him unique.
    And offcourse the bible nowhere says Michael is doin the final crushing. But it also not sayin Jesus.
    Thus, the questions remains. Who is the ”He” who shall crush the snake/satan in the head?

    Joshua 5:13-15 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

    Two things happens here you only can relate to God or the Son. … Joshua ”WORSHIP” this Captain of the LORD’S host, and this Captain ”RECEIVED” his worship without a problem. In fact he even told Joshua to remove his shoes because the ground he was standing on was holy. And Joshua did just that!

    Further, there are more indications you can assume Jesus in his pre-human existance was actually an angel, later identified as the archangel Michael..

    From the WT-
    Jude verse 9 calls Michael “the archangel.” The prefix “arch” means “principal” or “chief,” and the word “archangel” is never used in the plural form in the Bible. The only other verse in which an archangel is mentioned is at 1 Thessalonians 4:16, where Paul describes the resurrected Jesus, saying: “The Lord [Jesus] himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet.” So Jesus Christ himself is here identified as the archangel, or chief angel.
    In view of the foregoing, what can we conclude? Jesus Christ is Michael the archangel. Both names—Michael (meaning “Who Is Like God?”) and Jesus (meaning “Jehovah Is Salvation”)—focus attention on his role as the leading advocate of God’s sovereignty. Philippians 2:9 states: “God exalted him [the glorified Jesus] to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name.”
    It is important to note that the human birth of Jesus was not the beginning of his life. Before Jesus was born, Mary was visited by an angel who told her that she would conceive a child by means of holy spirit and that she should name the child Jesus. (Luke 1:31) During his ministry, Jesus often spoke of his prehuman existence.—John 3:13; 8:23, 58.
    So Michael the archangel is Jesus in his prehuman existence. After his resurrection and return to heaven, Jesus resumed his service as Michael, the chief angel, “to the glory of God the Father.”—Philippians 2:11.

    This i found very strong arguments to identify Jesus as the archangel Michael.

    Btw. Are you a pentecostal? Just curious..

    Thnx

  9. baassiecool says:

    Correction on reply above.

    The bible says Michael is doin the final crushing. It don’t mention the name of Michael in the books before the book of revelation.

  10. Don Veinot says:

    That is clearly a false or uninformed statement. I quoted from Daniel where Michael is mentioned, he is also mentioned in Jude. He is in fact, mentioned by name 5 times in Scripture and in Daniel he is just one among equals, “one of the chief princes. You still need to show even in Revelation where it says that Michael’s heal is brusied and that Michael crushes Satan’s head. Remeber, honest question deserve honest answers. Dishonest questions to not deserve any answers.

  11. baassiecool says:

    In your opinion it may be a false statement. Fact is, Michael is no only one of the princes. Michael is also the only called ”archangel”. When we read 1 Thessalonians 4:16, the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is described as being that of an archangel, suggesting that he is, in fact, himself the archangel.
    This text depicts him as descending from heaven with “a commanding call.” It is only logical, therefore, that the voice expressing this commanding call be described by a word that would not diminish or detract from the great authority that Christ Jesus now has as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Mt 28:18; Re 17:14) If the designation “archangel” applied, not to Jesus Christ, but to other angels, then the reference to “an archangel’s voice” would not be appropriate. In that case it would be describing a voice of lesser authority than that of the Son of God.

    But JWs are not the only who believes Jesus is Michael, for instance..

    Page 883 of the 1599 Geneva Bible footnotes about Daniel: ”Though God could by one Angle destroy all the world, yet to assure his children of his love, he sendeth forth double power, even Michael, that is, Christ Jesus the head of Angels”.

    Here’s the link: http://www.remnantofgod.org/images/Geneva1599.jpg

    And so are many more.. such as..

    The 1599 Geneva Study Bible: Revelation

    “12:7 And there was war in heaven: 14 Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

    “(14) Christ is the Prince of angels and head of the Church, who bears that iron rod….”
    ———————————
    John Gill, A Body of Doctrinal Divinity, Book 7 Chapter 5:

    “1b2. Another prophecy in Daniel 12:1-3 respects the second and personal coming of Christ; for he is meant by Michael, who is “as God”, as his name signifies, equal to him; the ‘great prince,’ the prince of the kings of the earth, and the head of all principalities and powers.”

    John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

    Daniel 12:1

    “Ver. 1.

    And at that time shall Michael stand up,…. The Archangel, who has all the angels of heaven under him, and at his command, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ;”

    And even trinitarian Bible scholar W. E. Vine (“recognized as one of the world’s foremost [Bible] Greek scholars”) tells us that this “voice of the archangel” (1 Thess. 4:16) is apparently “the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ”! – p. 64, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.

    So, Mr. Veinot, the evidence Jesus is the same as Michael is undeniable…

    And i don’t agree with your explanation of Gen 3:15 satan’s head is already crushed because he’s still active. Crushed in the head is the opposite of bruise in the heel. It means a total crushing, an event that’s gonna happen in the future.
    But as a trinitarian i understand why you must reject this. The roman catholic church faces the same problem. They try to solved this with the explanation Mary, mother of Jesus was the one who crushed satan in the head. Admit Jesus is the same as Michael is the same as turn down trinity…

    And i’m a honest seeker of the truth…
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