Jehova Witness/the Kingdom of God

I’m being visited about 4 times now by a well-informed JW who seems to enjoy my Catholic response to her points. Her next visit will be about what the kingdom of God really means to an individual. From her handout: “Many believe that Jesus died for them. Yet, how can one man’s death almost 2,000 yrs ago mean life for others today?” I gather the Holy Spirit has no place in their faith. How do I respond to her? Scripture to quote?
Thanks,
Yolene

Questioning “how can one man’s death almost 2,000 yrs ago mean life for others today?” points to the fact that they don’t believe in the Divinity of Christ. When they quote scripture, it’s there version which has been changed in so many places. Beware of this. Verses you use to prove Christ’s Divinity doesn’t read correctly in thier version.
Maybe their question is just asking in general but, remember, they don’t believe that Christ is God.

You’re in deep doo-doo with them already I’m afraid. You’ve opened the door a crack and they’re going to try to barge their way in. It’s a lose-lose situation, you’re dealing with someone quite literally brainwashed that is using an incoherent personal translation of the Bible.

I would cut the discussion off. At best, you’ll end up at loggerheads, at worst, they’ll wear you down and maybe put your own soul at risk.

As I get older, I find that in life one needs to learn to pick one’s battles. This is one where you cannot possibly win, but can quite possibly lose, with eternal consequences. The best you can possibly hope for is that you emerge with your faith intact while the JW continues on their merry way spreading their mistruths. That seems like an awful lot of energy expended for a result of no value.

Take that same energy and pour it into good Catholic activities like the Liturgy of the Hours, the Rosary, Eucharistic adoration, charitable acts for the poor, pro-life activities, whatever works for you. And while you’re at it, while you pray, pray for the JW that’s been visiting you. It’s the best you could do for her.

JWs that “revert” don’t do so because of Catholic apologetics, for the most part. They do so when they realize that their friends and family have been ostracized; when they’re told they can’t go to a favourite nephew’s birthday party, that they can’t celebrate Christmas, that they can’t play golf on a beautiful Saturday morning because they have to go door-to-door instead, and when they start having trouble measuring up to the relentless push to score “visits” and converts every Saturday, and when during a bad week at work they have to go to the Wednesday night meeting instead of unwinding at home. And a whole host of similar reasons. Your prayers might help her see the light eventually.

Their cult is poison. Stay away from it.

Careful about ever letting a JW into your home. They use various psychological tactics to gain advantage over you. They specifically prey upon Catholics. They are relentless in their approaches. If you know the tactics that some aggressive salesmen use, you can almost predict how a JW will behave. Through their incessant approaches, they week to “wear you down.” If they know that you are suffering a recent loss, they will be merciless, preying upon what they perceive as weakness or vulnerability.

When they attack (and they are attacking your faith), I hammer on the lack of foundation for their faith: None of their founders had any authority whatsoever to interpret scripture, and the JW corporation is founded on a grossly distorted private interpretation of scripture.

Grab a copy of The Essential Catholic Survival Guide which has a lot of very useful information on deconstructing the JW house of cards.

The Jehovah Witnesses are a cult, as they do not believe in the Divinity of Jesus.

They are well trained to try and sound reasonable to someone who is not aware of their beliefs. Words have been changed in the Bible, and the Watchtower, their magazine, has a lot of anti-Catholic twistings in it.

Another thing they believe that is way out is that they believe that Jesus was Michael the Archangel before he became Jesus.

It is best to not discuss with them, unless you fully understand what they believe and know how to refute it with the help of the Holy Spirit.

For your own information, there are Catholic sites that explain what they believe and how preposterous it is.

They need our prayers, and, unfortunately they have drawn some poorly catechized Catholics into their cult.

The JWs ask that question, but it is purely rhetorical. They believe Jesus’ death counts towards forgiveness for everyone. They ask the question to get interest from you so you will want to read their stuff.

If you want to pull the rug out from under her, simply look up the various times the Bible uses the term “Kingdom of Heaven” (or “Kingdom of God”). The JWs are trained to think this Kingdom IS ONLY FUTURE. And the JW is FORBIDDEN to read the Bible on her own, so she cannot do a basic search. But look at Scripture:Matthew 4:17
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 10:7
And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

Matthew 11:12
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

Matthew 12:28
But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Matthew 13:44
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure ] “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Matthew 16:19
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
What is the Kingdom of Heaven? THE CHURCH. JWs are totally stunned to hear this, and it contradicts their ENTIRE LIFE. They say "Why did Jesus tell us to pray “Thy kingdom COME” if it is already here? ANSWER: The Kingdom arrived first with Christ (Jesus said it “is at hand”), he gave Peter the keys to it, and told parables about it applying right here and now. It gradually unfolds over time, until the very end when it is fully manifest (see Matthew 13:31-33)

THEN you mention Daniel 2:44 (a super imporant favorite JW passage): 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever
Tell the JW this is a prophecy of the Church and the JW will FAINT. It makes so much sense yet only fits Catholicism!

Read THIS ARTICLE on Matthew 13 and the Kingdom of Heaven

Do not engage them unless you know what you are doing. Be careful. To do apologetics with JWs YOU have know how THEY think because they are trained to shut down when your arguments get too powerful.

JWs proselytize by “the book” (actually, several books - they are hardcover but small - easily able to fit in a regular shirt pocket). The main one is “Reasoning from the Scriptures.” The books are arranged in a fashion: If he says [this], you say [this]. They memorize these books and are quizzed on them. You can buy these books yourself - they will sell them to anyone.

It has been my experience that JWs don’t really listen to what you have to say - they are only trying to figure out how your response fits into their challenge/response framework.

JWs are the only folks that I categorically decline to discuss religion with.

Hi, James,

Thank you for this information. I have seen that their “bible” is different than the Catholic bible and I’ve learned what their methods and practices are about. Her next visit will be her last with me after I politely hand her some quotes of ours and explain that I will not waste her valuable time.
God bless you,
Yolene

Thank you—very useful information.
Yolene

Thank you, Dorothy—I did not know about their belief about Archangel Michael/Jesus. I now know what her motives are and her next visit will be her last, with my blessings and Christ’s blessings most of all.
Yolene

Wrong wrong wrong.

JW’s believe the kingdom is already at hand. According to them, it was founded in heaven in 1914 (thru some twisted numerology-esque bible interpretation). There was then a war in heaven that resulted in Satan’s being cast down to Earth, causing WWI in his anger. According to them, it is only a matter of time before Jesus will set up his Kingdom on Earth and rule for 1000 years.

And they are NOT forbidden to read the bible. They just put too much trust in their translation.

They believe the Holy Spirit is not a Who, but a What; it is God’s ‘active force’.

And yes, it is possible to convert a JW.

Simply put, Christianity gets to define what being a Christian is. By this definition, the JWs are not Christian. Oh, they use His Name, but they deny His divinity.

Neither Charles Taze Russell, nor those that followed him, had any authority to interpret scripture. Zero. Thus, they allowed themselves to be lead by a passing spirit into a rejection of the Sovereign Lord - just as prophesied in scripture by Peter:

2 Peter 2:1
Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be among you lying teachers, who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

The JWs cannot explain their litany of 100% failed prophecies. Their leaders have not prophesied a single thing that has come true. Epic fail. They are to be pitied and prayed for.

God bless you! And may our Lord help all Jehovah’s Witnesses to see Him as He truly is.

How was I “wrong, wrong, wrong” when you agreed “it is only a matter of time before” the Kingdom will be set up on earth? That’s my point. Jesus said 2,000 years ago the Kingdom was “at hand” and even arrived. The JWs say it still hasn’t arrived.

And they are NOT forbidden to read the bible. They just put too much trust in their translation.

They are forbidden from doing independent Bible study, including doing word searches and examining the Greek words.

And yes, it is possible to convert a JW.

True.

Because you said they are forced to believe the “Kingdom” is for the future. No: They believe the Kingdom already is… in heaven. They have to do this because they prophesied it would come about in 1914, but it didn’t. Therefore, they reason it simply didn’t come about visibly on earth at that time, but only in heaven.

And NO they are NOT forbidden to do independent Bible study.

Edit: I suppose we had different ideas when we used the word “kingdom”.

And I guess I should cite my sources…

Me.

I was a JW since birth essentially until finding out through “independent Bible study” why they are wrong. It wasn’t against the religion to do bible study. In the back of every one of their bibles is a Concordance. They have the “Kingdom Interlinear Translation” which contains Greek-English translations. (Although apparently it has fallen out of favor with the religion, though last I knew it was still found in their libraries.)

From what I have been told, the Interlinear is out of print for about 15 years. They stopped printing it when “independent study” was causing JWs to ask questions.

I have relatives who are JW and they want nothing to do with even simple concordance ‘independent’ study.

As for the Kingdom arriving in Heaven in 1914 but not on earth. I will go with what you say since you seem to know the details better. But we can agree that even arriving in 1914 doesn’t fit the “at hand” and “has arrived” language Jesus used 2000 years ago.

Okay :slight_smile:

And I apologize for sounding a bit rude in my response.

But yeah, I agree that most JWs are very trusting in their religion, though. Even when faced with obvious falsehoods in their religion, they still trust the religion.

I suppose the most we can do is pray for them and let the Holy Spirit act through us.

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