DIANE – Christian Minister to Jehovah’s Witnesses
HOW I BECAME INTERESTED IN MINISTRY TO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
I became interested in the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witness religion when my sister-in-law shared with me that she had family members who were Witnesses. She also shared that if she were to ever ‘choose a religion’ in the future, it would be the Witnesses. I began researching the beliefs of the Watchtower system and quickly learned that they are a cult. (“…but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” 1 John 4:1).
I began sharing the truths I learned with her. She was not receptive to the truth and began meeting with a Witness to learn more about her family’s religion. She has since become a Witness and has raised her two children in that cult. They have both married Witnesses as well. There came a time when she asked me not to share any more information with her because she had embraced the Watchtower’s teachings. Besides my sister-in-law, I have spoken with many Jehovah’s Witnesses. I invite them into my home whenever they come by. I am a student at Moody Bible Institute. Through my studies, I have become educated on the teachings of the Watchtower. I have visited the Kingdom Hall in my town on two different occasions in order to meet Witnesses and stir up conversation. A friend and I have started a ministry at our church in order to create awareness of the JW cult. We attended one of the Jehovah Witness Conventions in order to hand out tracts. We have set up meetings with any Witnesses who are willing to look into God’s Word and open dialog about who Jesus is. We also held a workshop at our church in order to share ways in which Christians can respond to a JW when they come knocking on their doors. I use the 4jehovah.org website for reference as well.
MY RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND AND HOW I FOUND CHRIST:
I grew up as a Catholic. I always believed in God and knew some of the ‘facts’ about Jesus. My teenage years were spent experimenting with drugs, alcohol and unhealthy relationships. At the age of 18, I began wondering if there was more to life. I began feeling anxious at times and would pray for God to help me. One day a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to do a Bible study with him. This began my journey of finding what was missing in my life. Through reading God’s Word, I came to understand who Jesus was. I prayed the words of Romans 10: 9-10 “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”. I resolved to live my life out following Jesus. I could not get enough of the Bible; I did one study after another soaking in everything I read. I remained in the Catholic Church for several years after my conversion. Then, feeling dissatisfied, I began looking for a church that taught the Bible. I found an Evangelical Free church and began attending. That was 22 years ago. God has used this congregation to ‘grow me up’ in Him.
WHAT I BELIEVE A CHRISTIAN IS AND HOW TO BE SAVED:
A Christian is someone who has responded to God’s call, recognized their depravity, and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. The steps a Jehovah’s Witness needs to follow to become a Christian are just like any other lost soul. They need to hear the Truth and respond to it in order to be set free from the lies of the Watchtower.
CHRISTIAN TERMS – Differences between the Bible’s View and the Jehovah’s Witness view
Biblical View: The Word of God is authoritative and inerrant (original writings) it reveals God to mankind and is independent of any man-made religion. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that illumines the truth of scripture to those who read it.
Jehovah’s Witness View: They claim that they believe in the authority of scripture but in reality, the adherents of the cult follow the teachings of the governing body rather than those of the Bible.
GODHEAD / TRINITY
Biblical View: God exists as three persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. They are equal in being, performing different roles within the Godhead.
Jehovah’s Witness View: The Watchtower teaches that the Father is Jehovah God, that Jesus is a created angel (therefore called a son) and that the holy spirit is nothing more than God’s active force.
Biblical View: The Gospel is the Good News that God offers forgiveness of sins and life-everlasting with Him to all who would receive Jesus as their Savior!
Jehovah’s Witness View: The Watchtower’s message is that although there are only 144,000 to be saved to heaven, others can live on the earth forever and not be annihilated.
Biblical View: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” Acts 4:12 Salvation is God’s grace poured out to mankind. It cannot be earned. Once someone becomes a believer they have assurance of salvation.
Jehovah’s Witness View: The Watchtower teaches that working for a place on the new earth is the way to salvation. The more work they do, the better chance they have of securing a place on earth. They have no assurance of salvation.
Biblical View: Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” John 11:25 Eternal life is a gift available to all who believe in Jesus as their personal Savior.
Jehovah’s Witness View: The Watchtower teaches eternal life for 144,000 in heaven and for multitudes on the earth, And annihilation for any non-witness.
SCRIPTURE I WOULD SHARE WITH A STRUGGLING JEHOVAH’S WITNESS
For the Jehovah’s Witness who is struggling with the concept of the Trinity I would first tell them to pray earnestly for God to reveal the truth of his word to them. Then, I would point them to the letter to the Colossian believers. In the first chapter Paul lays out the evidence that Jesus is indeed Deity. I would also go to the book of Hebrews. The author of Hebrews makes it clear that no angel can save the world of their sin. Only God can save. I would also point out that Jesus is given titles of Deity all throughout scripture, Emmanuel, Alpha and Omega, Creator, I AM, Savior, the Resurrection and the Life; etc.,
MY PRAYER LIFE
I begin and end my day with prayer and Bible reading. Throughout the day, the Holy Spirit leads me in the paths of righteousness. I grieve when I sin in any area of my life. I am grateful for the gift of confession and forgiveness. I attend worship services each Sunday at my church.
MY SPIRITUAL GIFTS
I believe the Lord has gifted me with the gift of teaching. I have used this gift in several venues in my church. I love to learn new things about God and share them with others. Being a learner helps me dig deep into the Word, this desire helps me to minister to others on the same path of discovering the truths of the Bible. I believe that there are many sincere beautiful people who have been misled into following the Watchtower and its teachings. I consider it my obligation (“do not neglect the gift you have” 1 Tim 4:14). And my honor, to be able to share truth with any who are seeking.