Dec 17, 2014

Talking to the Cults - Jehovah Witnesses

Related: John Piper on JW's
Question: What is a cult?     
Answer:  "a significant deviation from orthodox (normal) Christianity."  

...or "a group of people gathered about a specific person or person's mis-interpretation of the Bible."

One of the constant characteristics of the cults is that they deny the deity of Jesus Christ.  Some
time ago, I had pre-marked my bible with the eventuality of defeating this weak point.

I was reminded of this again this week when I was speaking to a lady in my home about Jesus over a cup of coffee.  I had just discovered that his lady was a former Catholic who had "converted" to Jehovah Witness thought about 12 years ago. She began to excitedly speak to me about what she now believed, with probably a view to "sharing her faith" with me.

I listened to her for a few minutes and then simply asked her, "Is Jesus God?".

Her answer didn't really surprise me as much as it saddened me.  "Oh No, He is not God, He's just the Son of God.  How can He be God?   .....when he prayed on the cross, ...did he pray to himself?"

I mentioned to her that I could show her, using her own bible that Jesus was God, and that the bible says He is.  She assured me that this was impossible.  I told her that if I did show her using her own bible, that I would expect her to agree with me that Jesus Christ is God - especially if it was her own bible. She said she was up for the challenge.

Before I show you what I showed her, I'd like to add that one of the books that is authoritative on the subject of the cults is Walter Martin's "Kingdom of the Cults".  Here are a few of his pointers:

  • Strategy - Develop a personal relationship.  See them as a person, not a project.  Keep the conversation firm but friendly!

In talking to the cults he makes his strong case that before you go throwing around scripture, you make a keen effort to develop a personal relationship with this person and attempt to view them as Christ does.  Walter Martin adds "A discerning Christian who gives every indication of being unprejudiced, reasonably learned and having a genuine love for the welfare of the cultist himself (which is easily detectable in the Christian's concern for his soul and spiritual well-being generally) can have a devastating effect upon the conditioning apparatus of any cult system."

They indeed are brainwashed (psychologically conditioned) into wrong doctrinal interpretation of simple scripture passages. They talk about terms you've heard, but they twist the meaning of those terms.  You don't want a sparring partner, you want them to have the opportunity of experiencing Jesus in their heart!  So Be Winsome!

  • Strategy - Introduce and plant "seeds of doubt" into the conversation in the nicest way.

The following is what I showed her in Revelation, and what I have had marked in the margins for decades, and this wasn't the first time I had occasion to use it.  I had her turn in her bible and read the following three passages:

  • Revelation 1:8 - 8“I am the Alpha and the Omega (the First and the Last),” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was,  and who is to come, the Almighty.”   (We both agreed at this point that God is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last.  This is a JW teaching point.)
  • Revelation 22:12-16 - 12“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to         each person according to what they have done. 13I am the Alpha and  the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  
          (Again here, she shook her head affirmatively We both agreed at this point that God is the     
         Alpha and Omega, so I continued to the next passage.) 
  • Revelation 1:17 &18 -  “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18I am the Living One; I   was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. 
I pointed out "It says here that "I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever".  I then asked her, "Who died?"   and she quickly replied "Jesus died".  I said who is Alpha and Omega, and she looked at me baffled.  "Alpha and Omega is God".  I reinforced the point of these Revelation verses. Jesus is God! ...and he died and is alive forever and ever!   

I paused in silence for quite a while to let this truth permeate her pre-conditioning.  "Hmmm  Ahhhhh  Welllll" was about all she said for a moment as she almost became speechless.  "I will have to look at this a bit more".

My intention was to introduce and plant a "seed of doubt" that I am trusting the Holy Spirit to continue to water and germinate. This had, as I had expected completely proved that her Bible proclaims Jesus is God, in direct opposition to what her cult system had conditioned her.  Pray with me that God will continue to illuminate her heart and make it open to her!

This is not the only passage you can use in scripture to explain Christ's deity, but the JW's seem to be able to readily track and grasp these Revelation series.  Paul teaches us in Colossians 1 about who Jesus is! 

"15The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."  -Colossians 1

The bible says that when a soul comes to Christ, all heaven breaks loose into party mode!  Our job is to be faithful when the opportunity for witnessing is there.  The Holy Spirit's job is to convict of sin and point to Christ.  Have you given much thought to what you'd say to someone asking you if Jesus was God?  I offer this for you to consider and prepare in advance for a witnessing opportunity.  It is almost a forgone conclusion that you WILL be contacted by the cults.  How you respond is up to you.

That's When The Angels Rejoice
Larry Bryant

At the completion of the Golden-Gate
No the Angels did not celebrate
And When the Wright boys flew their bird
No angelic shouts were heard
There's only one thing that we're sure about
That can make those angels jump and shout
It's when a sinner makes the Lord his Choice
That's when the Angels rejoice
Now When the light bulb first lit up the town
No the Angels did not dance around
And when the first man stepped on the Moon
They didn't sing a victory tune
There's only one thing that we're sure about
That can make those Angels jump and shout
It's when a sinner heeds the Savior's Voice
That's when the Angels rejoice
Now Heaven doesn't strike up the band
For any old occasion at hand
It's got to be a special thing
To make those Angels sing
Now when the model T first hit the street
It didn't bring all Heaven to its feet
And when the first computer was born
They didn't blow old Gabriel's horn
There's only one thing that we're sure about
That can make those Angels jump and shout
It's when a sinner makes the Lord his Choice
That's when the Angels rejoice
Now when the United States became a nation
There was no Angelic Celebration
But one lost sinner comes back home
They dance for joy around God's throne.


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