My Experience with the “Jehovah’s Witness” Visitors

My Experience with the “Jehovah’s Witness” Visitors

(with the problem of the closed and blinded mind)

Richard Hollerman

Two weeks ago, my wife and I had an interesting experience, one that illustrated once again the power of Satan to close the minds of the unbelieving. I want to make clear as I begin that, although I use the name “Jehovah’s Witness” in the title, I am not under the mistaken impression that these people are really Jehovah God’s witnesses.  Scripture says, “A trustworthy witness will not lie, but a false witness utters lies” (Proverbs 14:5).  Members of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society are not true witnesses of Jehovah (whose name is more accurately rendered, Yahweh), but are actually false witnesses who speak against many truths of Scripture.

About two months ago, a young man and a woman came to my door and began to go through their planned “Witness” presentation.  I indicated that I was willing to speak to them further if we could set up a time, and they readily agreed on the following Saturday morning. Before the young man departed, he gave me his literature and I agreed to take it provided that he would take my literature. Surprisingly, he took it—perhaps to the dismay of his more knowledgeable partner.

In the meanwhile, I prepared study sheets to show that their “Organization” (they enjoy using this term for what they deem to be God’s “Organization”) has frequently been wrong in the date setting for Armageddon and the Judgment.  Saturday morning came and went and there was no Witness knocking at my door. The following Saturday also failed to bring the Witnesses back. I suspected that this was an unreliable commitment. Could it be that Witnesses sometimes do this if they later reflect on their appointments and believe that there is no hope in a certain case?

Three weeks ago, another young man came with his partner and engaged us in conversation. I brought out the fact that Witnesses have been known to lie if it is considered for the benefit of the Watchtower Organization. The young man strongly denied that a Witness would lie.  I surmised that he either honestly thought that a Witness would not lie or that he was lying in the process of denying lying—I didn’t know.  He did want to return the following week so I took his literature and I gave him mine and he agreed to take it.

A week later, the same man returned along with an older man who claimed to be a seasoned Witness of twenty years.  We invited them to come to our table and the older visitor did most of the talking.  I again was prepared to go over the false prophecies of the “Organization” (beginning with Charles Taze Russell, their founder). 

To begin with, I brought up the matter of lying for unless there is some degree of honesty it would seem that our visit would be less than profitable.  The older man denied that they would lie and said that they teach against lying.  I brought out the passage that says, “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal faithfully are His delight” (Proverbs 12:22).  I also pointed out that “all liars” will have their part in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). Monica, my wife, raised the issue of whether he would lie to protect his fellow-Witness in the midst of persecution from house to house, and he did say that he would lie in such a case in order to save his fellow member. 

The older, more seasoned Witness said that he wanted to set up a series of visits in order to go over one of their propaganda pieces, but I wanted to discover how honest this man would be.  I wanted to be plain and wanted him to be plain.  I asked something like, “If you were to discover something in Scripture that contradicted what you believe, would you be willing to accept God’s Word over the words of man?”  He said that this would never happen since their teachings are absolutely true to the Bible.  But I pressed the issue.  “Sir, if you were to find something in the Bible that differs from what your ten leaders in Brooklyn teach, would you be willing to accept God’s Word and reject the word of man?” 

I thought that the questions were not only direct but also plain and honest. There was no trick question; it was an effort to discover whether he would be willing to take God’s Word above their Organization or whether he was so deeply involved in the Organization and so blinded by false teaching that he would be willing to reject Holy Scripture. 

I plainly pressed the issue for we were dealing with fundamental issues of authority and the will of God.  The older Witness stood his ground and indicated that he was willing to accept the interpretations of their Brooklyn leaders over a truth that he might learn from Scripture.  I asked the younger Witness if he also was willing to accept the words of men over Scripture and he too said that he would rather take the Witness teaching as the final authority.  With this, they walked out.

As I return to this incident in my thinking, I can see the power of Satanic deception on the human heart.  Paul speaks of those who “believe what is false” and do “not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11).  We are liable to spiritual deception unless we have a genuine, passionate “love of the truth.”  Remember that Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). We must love the truth and know the truth or we cannot be free from sin.

I have to also think of Paul’s statement that Satan is “the god of this world” and he has “blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).  When we find someone like the Witnesses who refuse to accept Scripture if it is in conflict with official Witness teaching, we can conclude that Satan is blinding their mind so that they might not see the person and saving work of Jesus Christ. Those who have studied Witness doctrine know that they do have a defective and seriously flawed view of Jesus Christ and this alone would be sufficient to keep them from being saved.

To be honest, we must admit that the Witness cult is not alone with this attitude of rejecting the truth and embracing error if it is in conflict with their theology or with their church’s doctrinal standards.  Ask a devoted Catholic and he will say, “I know what the priest teaches us and I’m quite satisfied with what ‘Father’ Jones says about that subject!” Where is the love of the truth so as to be saved? In Catholic theology, the Pope and the Magisterium offer the last word when it comes to doctrinal disputes. This often conflicts with the plain teaching of Scripture. Therefore, we must always ask a Catholic if he is willing to take the truth of God found in the Word of God as his authority even if it conflicts with official Catholic pronouncements.

Ask a confessional Lutheran, and generally you will hear a similar reply.  He will say that he believes what Martin Luther wrote in his Small and Large Catechism or what the Lutheran Church teaches in the Book of Concord. Ask a devoted confessional Presbyterian what he believes and he will consult what John Calvin taught, or what the Westminster Confession of Faith teaches, or what the Synod of Dort propounded. That is the standard and no deviation can be tolerated.

I have appreciated some of what conservative Mennonites stand for and how they live.  However, too often I have found a closed attitude that claims the answers are found in past centuries and they are unwilling to deviate from that earlier teaching and practice. I once asked a dear devoted Mennonite friend, “John, if you were to study the Bible and come to see that God taught a truth that your Mennonite Church did not teach or practice, would you be willing to set aside the Mennonite teaching and accept what the Bible teaches—or would you insist on following Mennonite teaching on the subject?” He thought a moment and then cautiously but deliberately answered, “Richard, I would confer with my fellow Mennonite brethren and if they couldn’t see what I had found in Scripture, I would be willing to accept their judgment in the matter.”

I could hardly imagine that I was hearing what I had heard. Yet he affirmed that this was so. He would be willing to accept the views of his fellow Mennonite brothers even though God had revealed His truth in His written Word, the Scriptures.

What about you? Do you search the Scriptures and are you willing to accept them as the final judge of right and wrong?  You will remember that the Bereans “were more noble minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).  They knew that the Word of God was the final standard of what is right and wrong, thus they examined everything that Paul taught with what God had already revealed.  They discovered that Paul’s teachings were actually God’s teachings, thus they were willing to accept them (1 Thessalonians 2:14).

Would you have been like the Witnesses who came to my house?  Would you have said that you would rather accept official Watchtower teachings and the pronouncements of their Brooklyn leaders—or would you have claimed allegiance to God’s truth found in His Word? Would you have been willing to turn away from your previous beliefs and practices?  Would you have chosen to follow God and Him alone?

Jesus said, “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day” (John 12:48). These are sober words that should terrify the hearts of those who insist on holding the words of men of greater value than the words of God. We will face the words of Christ, the words of God, on the great Day of Judgment! Will you be willing to accept them today—regardless of how many false ways you must renounce and false idols you must smash?  This is the only way to be saved!

 

 

   

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