DONNA – A HEART FOR JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
I was born and raised Catholic but did not know or understand God. I had a desire to read the Bible but didn’t own one and didn’t even know a person could actually go and buy one. I expressed my desire to my husband (who was not saved at the time) about wanting to read the Bible and one day he bought me one. As I began reading, I sensed that Jesus was very important but I didn’t know why. I kept reading and praying that God would show me the truth. It was then that Jehovah Witnesses came knocking at my door. They told me that they could help me understand the Bible so I began a weekly Bible study with them. This went on for nine months. I bought all the literature they told me I needed to buy as well. I never read through any of the books I bought from them. I just collected them and kept reading my Bible every day.
At every Bible study, it seemed they would say something to me that didn’t line up with what I was reading in the Bible. I mentioned this to them and they told me not to take the Bible literally. Red flags went up and I prayed that God would somehow show me the truth. Up until this point, I didn’t know any Christians at that time so I was very vulnerable. It was near the end of the nine months of studying with them that I found out my friend in Florida knew the Bible. I wrote him a letter and asked him questions about what the Jehovah Witnesses were telling me and he said not to listen to them. I stopped the Bible studies with them and just kept on reading my Bible every day. Mormons began calling my house during this time and I became more and more confused. I prayed everyday and asked God to show me which one was right: Catholicism, Mormonism or the Jehovah Witness’ Society. If I wrote to my friend in Florida, it took weeks for him to write back to me, so I kept praying that God would show me the truth, no matter what that truth was.
At this crossroad, my basement caught on fire and there was a lot of smoke damage. The company that came to clean the damage couldn’t finish the job and told me they would send someone to come back and clean the four windows in the garage. About a month later, a man came to my door and said he was here to finish cleaning the smoke damage in the garage. It was a very, very cold day.
A few moments later, the man who came to clean, knocked on the basement door. He opened it and asked if he could stand in the foyer to warm his hands. I asked him if he wanted to come up for some soup and he said yes. As he ate the soup, he saw my Bible on the table and asked if I was a Christian. I said,
“I have no idea what I am or what is right. I have been reading the Bible now for about a year, but I don’t understand anything except I think that Jesus is important.”
He then directed me to a Christian church not far from where I lived and told me they would help me understand the Bible. I went the following Sunday. I was terrified and thought the people there were going to kidnap my kids, so I kept them on my lap.
I was shocked that the pastor did not have on a priest’s robe and therefore I couldn’t concentrate on his message. There that day at church, I also saw the man that had come to clean the garage, and I went up to him to say hello. I couldn’t get up close to him because there were a lot of people standing around him. He saw me coming and waved to me from a distance and said, “So you made it.” I said, “Yes, I did.” He waived to me again and then went out the door.
I felt very compelled to go back again so I did. My husband, at that time was an over the road truck driver, so I went by myself with my two boys. After going there for several weeks, I finally felt comfortable enough to let my children attend Children’s Church.
I finally understood why Jesus was so important and I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I believe He is God incarnate and through belief in His sacrifice for my sins, I am a child of God forever. I got baptized and began attending a Christian Bible study every Friday. This happened in the winter of 1980 and I have been involved in the things of God ever since. Praise be to God!
I never saw the man that came to clean my garage ever again after the first day of attending the church. The friends I made at the church that had been members for several years did not know this man, which is amazing to me. Here I felt I was alone in this, but God was there all the time guiding me.
An interesting note to this story is that the Christian Book Store from which my husband bought me the Bible, had just opened in the small town where we lived. My husband was driving home one day and when he saw the sign announcing that they sold Bibles, he pulled into the parking lot. Shortly after he bought me the Bible, he told me where the store was located and I drove there to see if I could find something to direct me in my Bible reading. I got there, and there was a sign on the door that said CLOSED. It seems to me that God got a Bible in my hands just at the right time so that I would be able to stand against the Jehovah Witness doctrine.
I am constantly reminded of what the Word of God says, “If you seek me you shall find me.” I was truly seeking God and He made Himself known to me.
Thank you for reading this testimony of God’s faithfulness to me and His love and guidance.
HOW I BECAME INTERESTED IN MINISTRY TO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
After being saved, I realize how close I had come to being involved in a cult. It made me want to learn all I could to help others in the web of “spiritual” deceit. I am now a Bible Doctrine Teacher and have been involved in this type of ministry for several years. Because I did a lot of public speaking back on the East Coast of the USA, I became well known for teaching to those involved in cults. I was asked to do commercials, especially geared toward the Watch Tower Society. I was also asked to do a conference along side of David Reed (a Christian Ex-Jehovah’s Witness Elder) that was geared toward reaching those who left the Watch Tower Society and those thinking about leaving. I have also witnessed one-on-one with them many times. I don’t have a lot of experience with Mormons, but I have witnessed to them in the past as well.
MY EXPERIENCES IN MINISTRY
A few years after my husband got saved, he became a pastor of a church in our hometown and together we ministered there for over 15 years. I graduated from Charis Bible College in 2006, worked on the prayer line there for many years, and have spoken at several churches and women’s conferences. I also have experience in Children’s Church ministry where I was involved for several years when I was a new believer. I have done Bible studies in Colorado with teenagers and Bible College Students. I have written articles for AllAboutGod.com and am in the process of writing a book about why living by the Ten Commandments cannot save a person.
Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons and all unbelievers alike all need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Here is an excerpt from my book that explains salvation:
Justice and Mercy Come Together
The fall of Adam and Eve left mankind unrighteous. To be specific, their sin (rebellion and disobedience) made them unrighteous, which in turn caused the Spirit of God to leave them. God is righteous, and He cannot and will not dwell in a vessel of sin. In His righteousness, He is also perfectly just, and His justice demands that He judge sin for what it is—an eternal crime against Himself. God will therefore judge the sinner by pronouncing a sentence of complete separation from Him forever, otherwise known as eternal death or hell.
Because God is righteous and just, He cannot simply say, “Oh, well, let’s just forget about all your evil acts of rebellion against Me; I pardon you.” How would you feel if every murderer who stood before an earthly judge was set free? What if the words of the judge were, “This is no big deal, let’s just forget about all your evil acts of rebellion against society; I pardon you?” We’d be up in arms and shout, “Guilty, guilty, guilty! How can you pardon these criminals?” We would label him an unjust judge who is just as unrighteous as the murderers he has set free. The same holds true with God.
God’s Nature Demands that His Wrath Be Poured Out on Mankind
God’s righteous nature justifies that His full vent of wrath be poured out upon sinful man.
God’s justice demands that mankind receive the punishment he deserves for his sin, which entails God’s eternal wrath in hell without any mercy whatsoever.
God is righteous! God wouldn’t be God if He weren’t totally and completely righteous. Therefore He must execute His justice—the punishment of eternal separation from God—on every soul who is void of His Spirit, because every soul void of His Spirit is dead to Him due to sin. This judgment is a righteous judgment because we all deserve it. To stand before the Holy God of all creation in an unrighteous state will be terrifying, to say the least. There will be no excuses and no compromises. The eternal sentence of hell is engraved upon every unrighteous heart, and no man can change it. Every person within himself is unrighteous, and the magnitude of that unrighteousness will be felt on the Day of Judgment when each and every sinner stands before the Holy God of the universe.
God is righteous, and righteousness must and will call things as they are. God is also just, and justice must and will administer punishment when punishment is due. But God possesses another quality called mercy, which flows from His attribute of love. As we have learned, God is love, and that love encompasses His righteousness, His perfect justice, and His mercy as well. Mercy means to withhold deserved or due punishment. God desires to show us mercy because He loves us. But if God acted in complete mercy toward the sinner by just sweeping his sin under the carpet or turning His head and ignoring it, He would forfeit His righteous justice, which is something He cannot do. God cannot be untrue to Himself and to His character because He doesn’t merely act righteous and just; He is both righteousness and justice personified. So it would be utterly impossible for God to forfeit His perfect, righteous justice to act in mercy toward the sinner.
God’s Dilemma: God Hates Sin but Loves the Sinner
Because God loves mankind, He doesn’t want people to suffer His wrath and be separated from Him forever. But at the same time, He cannot let the crimes (sins) that man has committed against Him go unpunished just because He loves him. He cannot and will not exercise His love at the expense of His holy attribute of righteousness. This leaves us without any hope, unless God can come up with a solution for His righteous judgment to be satisfied without compromising His righteousness. This brings us to another word: propitiation. That may seem an unusual word if you’ve never heard it before now, but once you understand its meaning, you will love it.
*Propitiation—the act of turning away wrath; making reconciliation for; atoning for sin or wrongdoing; appeasing the anger of God; an atoning sacrifice.
Simply put, propitiation means satisfying God’s justice and wrath by paying the penalty due for sin (death). The one who pays the penalty is called the wrath-bearer or propitiator.
So what does this all mean? Well, if someone could become the propitiator for sin, then God could show mercy toward the sinner by executing His righteous judgment on the propitiator. In other words, God’s wrath would be turned away from the sinner and poured out on the propitiator.
God’s Plan to Rescue Man
Notice how the subhead reads, “God’s Plan.” This is important because only God can rescue man from the devastating consequences of sin. Without God’s plan, there is no alternative, leaving man without any hope. Yet God did make a plan, and there is hope. Consider what 1 John says:
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14) This verse reveals that the person God sent was His own Son, Jesus. And as John further explains in his second book:
Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (2 John 1:3)
In this scripture, we discover that God sent His Son to be the Savior of the world, which shows us that neither you nor I are that savior. This makes it quite obvious that we cannot save ourselves from this death sentence. Since this is God’s plan, only God can supply the perfect Savior.
Thirdly, we can see from the word world (which means just that—the whole world) that there is no savior for anyone in the world except the one whom God sent for the specific purpose of saving mankind from sin: Jesus. Not only can we not save ourselves, but no priest, guru, pastor, or saint possesses the power to save man from eternal death either. The only one who has that power is the One whom God Himself has sent.
This verse plainly shows us that Jesus is the Savior of the world. But how does the word propitiator apply to Him?
Since the entire human race is steeped in sin, the world needed someone on the outside, someonewho was never born into sin, to come and deliver them from the eternal sentence of death. The only person who fits that description is Jesus. He was not conceived through the sperm of a man, which is how the sin nature is passed down; He was conceived through the Holy Spirit. Through His divine conception and virgin birth, Jesus entered into the world without being tainted by polluted sinful blood. In Adam all have sinned, but Jesus was not born from Adam. The only One who truly qualifies as being on the outside of sin is God; therefore, this sinless blood had to come from God Himself. Thus, in a tremendous act of love, God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ and died in the place of sinful man, thereby making it possible for sinners to escape the eternal death sentence hanging over their heads. The only way someone can pay the debt for someone else’s sin is to be free from sin debt themselves (otherwise they’re “bankrupt” too). Since Jesus is the only person free from sin, He makes a perfect propitiator. He came to take the place of the sinner by taking our sin upon Himself and then suffering under its penalty for us.
Listen closely, because this is truly, truly incredible. When Jesus was hanging on the cross, God placed all of our sins upon Him. He then poured His full judgment and wrath upon Jesus for all the sins of mankind. At that point Jesus was separated from His father because of sin, and then He died. Jesus paid the sin debt in full. God’s wrath has now been satisfied in the substitutionary death of His Son. God sent His Son to suffer and die for the guilty, so that the guilty who trust in His sacrifice alone would be free from the wrath to come. That’s the good news! God sent Jesus to be the propitiator for our sins because He wanted to show mercy to the sinner. In Jesus’ sacrifice, God judged my sins, your sins, and the sins of the whole world. He didn’t just sweep them under a carpet and call it all good. He dealt with every sin (every crime against Him) righteously in the person of Jesus Christ. His wrath and the debt (consequences) for sin were satisfied in Jesus, the propitiator. By not leaving sin unpunished, God was able to dispense mercy while keeping His righteousness and justice intact. We see this beautifully expressed in the following scriptures:
- 1 Thessalonians 1:10: “Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come….”
- Romans 3:23-25: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as propitiation [guilt-, wrath- and debt-bearer] in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness.” (Notice that God’s righteousness was demonstrated, not compromised.)
- 1 John 2:2: “And He Himself [Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for those of the whole world.
- 1 John 4:10: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
- Romans 3:26: “I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Notice that God’s justice was not compromised, but rather executed on Jesus for our sins. This is why the resurrection is so important:
- It proves that Jesus was indeed sinless; if He wasn’t, then He would not have been raised from the dead.
- It proves to all mankind that His sacrifice was sufficient payment for our sins. If it wasn’t, then He would not have been raised from the dead.
- It gives hope to the believers because “in Christ” they too will be resurrected to newness of life, never to die again. First Peter 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Because His wrath has been turned away, God is now free to beckon the sinner to come to Him to receive eternal life. And the fact that God’s wrath has been turned away means that God is not mad at you right now.
Anyone and everyone in the world, no matter who they are or what they’ve done, can run to God, free of fear, and experience His love, mercy, and grace.
Jesus: the Eternal Sacrifice for Our Sins
As mentioned before, sin is an eternal offense against an eternal God; therefore, it carries with it an eternal punishment—hell. Jesus did what man can never do because Jesus is eternal, God in the flesh. Therefore Jesus’ sacrifice carries an eternal freedom from sin. God’s wrath against man has been legally satisfied, according to the requirements of the Law, and the debt of eternal death has been forever paid. Justice and mercy have come together in the person of Jesus Christ. First Thessalonians makes this clear:
For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
Jesus is the Savior of the entire world, and there is no other, which means that every human is in a hopeless and eternal state of death without Him. Paul wrote:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel [good news] of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16 kjv)
Paul says that this good news is Christ Himself —not the Ten Commandments and not good works, going to church, prayer, or apologizing to God for our sins. If the good news is Christ, then life and righteousness must come to us through Christ and not by any other means.
As Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
A life must be given. Man suffers from a fatal disease that only the blood of Jesus can cure. In order to receive this gift of eternal life all mankind must believer in the message of the cross. The work has been done, all we need to do is to believe it and rest in what the Savior has accomplished for us.