I taught a study on the Jehovah's Witnesses a few nights ago at a church in Escondido, California. A lady came up to me afterwards (I'll call her Elizabeth) and said that she had been a Jehovah's Witness for twenty three years and that her parents had been full time "Pioneer" missionaries in Africa for twenty two years. Elizabeth explained that when they moved back to the United States they were treated like celebrities within Jehovah's Witness circles for their long faithful service in a foreign country.
Elizabeth said that one day back in the States she was flipping around on the radio looking for a station when she accidentally stumbled upon a Christian radio station. She said that the man who was reading from the Bible sounded so in love with the Word of God that it provoked her to jealousy! Here was a man, she thought, who wasn't even saved (you must be a Jehovah's Witness in order to be saved according to Watchtower theology) sounding more in love with the Word of God than she ever had been. She said she determined that she would not be outdone by this man. So she decided to, for the first time ever, read through an entire book of the Bible.
Elizabeth mentioned something that I have known to be true and that is that Jehovah's Witnesses don't do much Bible reading. The Watchtower gives them so much homework to do every week in their Watchtower and Awake magazines, it leaves little time to just sit down and enjoy reading the Bible on their own.
So, this woman decided to read through the Book of Revelation. Well, the simple reading of that book brought up some shocking realizations and questions for her. She said that Jesus appeared to be the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last (Rev. 22:12-13, 20 and 1:17), the very same titles ascribed to Almighty God the Father (Rev. 1:8). "But how could this be?" she thought. "Jesus is not God!" In a bit of a panic, she decided to write down her questions and meet with her mom. She insisted that her mom meet with her to answer her questions. When she got together with her mom, her mom broke down in tears and admitted that she had mentally left the Watchtower organization a few years earlier, over the same kind of discoveries. Her mom said that she did not want to rock the family boat by announcing that she no longer believed what the Watchtower organization had taught them.
Elizabeth's elderly mom was standing there next to her nodding her head and wiping away some tears as Elizabeth was telling me all of this. I almost had to wipe a few tears away myself!
They are now Bible loving, Bible-believing, born again Christians attending a Bible-teaching fellowship. What a joy and what a testimony to the power of the Word of God. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Jn. 8:32). Indeed it does!
Do you have a friend or coworker ensnared in the Jehovah Witness cult? You might share this story with him and encourage him (even challenge him!) to try reading the Bible on his own for a couple of months apart from the Watchtower literature and see what God might show him.
For a list of twenty reasons why Christians believe that Jesus is equal in nature with God the Father, click here.