As we seek to share the gospel with Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is vitally important to understand that it is the organisation, not the Bible, that governs the life and practice of every Jehovah’s Witness. That is why, if you ever get into Bible ping-pong with them, it very rarely gets anywhere. Allegedly, you cannot understand what the Bible teaches because you are not in the ‘organisation’.
The ‘united organization’ is the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. This is the organisation that they think is under the ‘protection of the Supreme Organizer’ (Jehovah). It is to this organisation that every Jehovah’s Witness pledges allegiance. Therefore, in the mind of the Jehovah’s Witness, to leave the organisation is to leave God, and to leave God is to forfeit any chance of surviving God’s impending judgment.
So where do we begin?
Asking Jehovah’s Witnesses questions, discussing Bible verses with them and sharing your testimony are all good ways of engaging with them. The Holy Spirit can work through all these means to help a Jehovah’s Witness to wake up spiritually. However, I have found we usually need to use CPR: Care, Prayer and Resolve.
…but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behaviour in Christ may be put to shame (1 Peter 3:15–16).
When they get you out of bed at a silly hour on a Saturday morning to answer their knock on your door, smile at them. Tell them it is good to see them and share with them how you love the Bible and invite them to meet you on neutral ground, such as at a coffee house, perhaps invite a mature Christian to join you.
They may suggest you go through one of their publications. It is okay to do that and to ask questions along the way. They like to be the teacher and you must appear to be the student. The first few meetings are all about making a friendship with them.
As you progress, you can then ask more difficult questions and even challenge them. They will be more likely to answer and engage with you once you have become friends by showing them love and care.
Sharing your testimony is powerful. Tell the Jehovah’s Witness how you came to have a relationship with God, how you know that your sins are forgiven because Jesus died for you and that your future is secure because Jesus rose back to life. You have what they are searching for, so do not keep it to yourself.
Prayer is the real key to their freedom. We are engaging in spiritual warfare when we enter into a discussion with a cult member: ‘For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places’ (Ephesians 6:12).
We must be aware that the people on our doorstep are not the issue, rather it is the enemy who has blinded them: ‘In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God’ (2 Corinthians 4:4). Rather like Saul before he was converted – and became Paul – cult members ‘have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge’ (Romans 10:2). They need to have the scales taken from their eyes, something which only the Spirit of God can do. So pray that God would open their eyes and their hearts. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to them who the Lord Jesus truly is. Once you know some of their names, set up a prayer group or ask your church to pray for them.
Friends, be encouraged that people are ‘waking up’ and leaving cults. After many encounters with Jehovah’s Witnesses, you may feel you have been banging your head against a brick wall and your efforts have been a waste of time. But don’t let the enemy plague you with such thoughts. We are to sow seeds and pray, leaving the results of our efforts in the hands of our merciful God. So, resolve to keep going, keep sharing, keep loving. Ask God to give you such a burden for the Jehovah’s Witnesses that you may be used to reach these lost people for Christ.
Lord, help us to bear fruit in this forgotten mission field.
Leaving a cult is incredibly costly. Those who leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses are told they are leaving God. They may well also be leaving behind family, friends, work and everything they have ever known. Many who decide to leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses can therefore quickly find themselves very lost and lonely in a confusing world – a world they had previously been separate from as they believed it was evil. They suddenly must think for themselves and can struggle with everyday living. While they have chosen to leave the cult, the cult doesn’t quickly leave them, such is the psychological hold that these groups have over their adherents. As a result, those who have left the Jehovah’s Witnesses will be anxious, wondering if they have made the correct decision in leaving. The church can also be a scary place to those who have been constantly told that churches are ‘pagan’ and ‘of the devil’.
They will need friendship as they will most likely have been shunned by their family and friends still in the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They will need practical support, as they may struggle to live outside of the organisation. They will need patience, as they will still believe some of the things they have been taught and be confused about Christian belief and practice. They will need love, as they have lost all that they once held dear
Without support from loving, compassionate Christian believers, the struggling Jehovah’s Witness may well head back to the organisation. Alternatively, they may drift into atheism, rejecting everything to do with religion.
May we with love and patience, point them to the one who can truly heal them and set them free.
This article has been taken from the book Sharing the gospel with a Jehovah’s Witness by Tony Brown and published by 10publishing. It is reprinted with permission.
If you want to purchase this book from www.10ofthose.com add voucher code EM50 to receive 50% discount.
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