A Tactical Approach to Sharing with Jehovah Witnesses

(The following was written by Dylan Valenzuela, a member of the Biblical Worldview Academy.He created a strategy to use with Jehovah Witnesses. For additional information about their beliefs concerning the 144,000 read the archived 5 part series “Accurately Interpreting the Scriptures.”Steve)

I saw two Jehovah Witness ladies coming up my hill as I was leaving with my girlfriend to play tennis. If you know me, I could not pass up my opportunity to talk to these ladies and get them to think about their organization and the Truth of God's Word. I had to think fast, so I asked them if I could have one of their pamphlets they were handing out (I knew this was a good approach because they always have materials). When they handed me a pamphlet they asked if I had any questions; I said that I had one, “How do I get to heaven?” They said that was a good question and the Bible only a select group can go to heaven; all other believers go to a “Paradise Earth.” I then asked, “Well who gets to go to heaven?” They replied only the 144,000. I asked if they knew anyone who was one of the 144,000 and they said yes. I then told them Revelation 14 gives the criteria for who are the 144,000.I said the Bible says they are male, Jewish, and virgins. I then asked if the people they knew were male, Jewish, and virgins; they replied that our two religions think differently on this subject. I said just because we believe in two different Jesus' (which was a loaded statement) does not mean we cannot agree that the Bible is authoritative and that we can agree upon its contents. They reluctantly agreed. I then said that I had to go, but I gave them a challenge; I told them to read Revelation 14 again and if I was wrong, come back to my house and show me where I was mistaken. If I was right, come back anyway so that we can explore this topic. They agreed and as I was driving away I looked in my rear view mirror watching them frantically turning the pages of their Bible searching for answers. I was extremely excited I got to use this tactic. I have desired to ask this question to other Jehovah Witnesses ever since my last discussion with two very knowledgeable Jehovah Witness friends of mine (they were stumped as well). I think the issue of the 144,000 is a key to breaking down barriers in discussions with Jehovah Witnesses. Once they realize anyone can go to heaven through faith in Jesus Christ, it gives them hope they never believed possible.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • TJ August 13, 2009, 10:34 am

    I’m one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and this tactic is not really new at all. The insistence that the 144,000 literally be Jewish isn’t a great argument.

    For one thing, in Revelation 7:4-8, they are said to be not just from the tribe of Judah, but from all the tribes of Israel. But this isn’t fleshly Israel; it’s the spiritual Israel of God, those who are members of the new covenant. How do we know? The tribal listing in Revelation is different from the one that appears throughout the Old Testament. The tribe of Joseph has been added, as well as the priestly tribe of Levi, emphasizing how they will all be priests.

    And they do not have to be literal virgins or males, but they are referred to such in a spiritual sense. Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians, telling them that he wished to present them “as a chaste virgin to the Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2) Many of these people were married. Paul elsewhere wrote that among the anointed Christians “there is neither male nor female; for you are all one person in union with Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) Revelation speaks of the anointed in similar spiritual terms, not fleshly ones.

    Peter said plainly, “there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.” (2 Peter 3:13) Who is it that will live on that “new earth”?

    TJ

  • admin August 14, 2009, 6:06 pm

    TJ,
    I appreciate your thoughtful reply. Many of your issues I have already answered in a series of blogs called, “Accurately Interpreting the Scriptures.” Check out the 5 part series, as I deal indepth with the issues of the 144,000. You may want to begin your reading with the post “Lacking Biblical Knowledge” that was the motivation for my series.

    Steve

  • Truth September 8, 2012, 1:30 am

    When witnesses speak to me they all come across as not knowing how to rightly divide the word because they are given parts of the Bible to study and anything outside of their study areas is alien to them. Several years ago whilst speaking to a Jehovah’s witness I told them to read the entire chapter of revelation 7 rather than limited verses, the couple were unable to explain what verses 9 could mean in relation to the belief that only 144,000 will enter heaven. Similarly a mormon’s told me they would return to my house with the answer. I believe apart from being in grave error JH and mormon’s are all very zealous in what they believe but they demonstrate that they do not consider the Bible to be the inerrant word of God and therefore are not Christian

  • Steve September 8, 2012, 11:26 am

    Greetings [email protected],
    For the most part you are right when you said if you get a JW outside the Watchtower materials he gets lost. I’ve had some do better than others. Both Mormons and JWs are limited in their overall Biblical knowledge. Mormons believe the Bible can be trusted as far as it is translated correct. Therefore they don’t believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God. However, JWs would say they do believe in the inerrant word of God. They would then produce their version of the Bible, the New World Translation, as the most correct translation of the inerrant word of God. You can find my article on the problems with the New World Translation. http://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/1247/major-problems-with-the-new-world-translation/

    Believing or not believing in the inerrant word of God is not salvation issue. Someone can deny the inerrancy of the Bible and still be a Christian. Theses individuals could believe the Bible accurately explains all key doctrines and is historically reliable but not inerrant and still be a follower of Jesus Christ. Nowhere in the Bible do we see the doctrine of inerrancy as a test of a person’s salvation. I wrote a series on the essential doctrines. These are beliefs that cannot be denied if a person claims to be a Christian. The site is: http://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/403/understanding-essential-doctrines/

    I only listed 6 doctrines but more could be included. If you look at JW and Mormon beliefs they deny nearly all (I could argue all of them) of the doctrines. They worship a different God, a different Jesus, and a different gospel. These are beliefs that put them outside the Christian worldview.

    In my series all 6 essential doctrines I support all of them Biblically. I think a Christian can believe these 6 doctrines but not believe in inerrancy. Personally, I do believe the autographs (original documents) were inerrant but we don’t have those today. Textual critics say our Bible is 98% accurate and no doctrines are in doubt. The Bible is trustworthy and reliable.

    Thanks for writing…Steve Bruecker

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