A Biblical Response to Jehovah's Witnesses

by Matt Slick

 

  1. John 10:30-34 is a section of verses where the Pharisees say that Jesus is making Himself out to be God (v. 33).
    1. "I and the Father are one. Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, 'I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?'  'We are not stoning you for any of these,' replied the Jews, 'but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.'"
    2. You can say, "See, even the Jews knew He was claiming to be God. The Jehovah's Witness (if he's quick enough) will say something like, "Jesus wasn't God; the Jew's only thought that Jesus was claiming to be God." Then you can say, "Oh, I see. Then let me get this right. You agree with the Pharisees, Jesus wasn't God? Is that correct?" The Jehovah's Witness will not like it that he agrees with a Pharisee.
  2. Plurality in the Godhead
    1. The following group of scriptures strongly suggests a plurality within the Godhead. These verses are translated correctly in the Jehovah's Witness Bible, so you can encourage them to use it. The NIV is not as literal in its translation in the Amos verses, so I recommend using either the King James or the New American Standard Bible when doing your own.
      1. Gen. 1:26, "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness . . . '"
        1. They will say that angels are the ones who helped God make man. However, there is no scriptural evidence for that. God is the only creator.
        2. You can also take him to Col. 1:15-17 where it says that Jesus is the creator of all things--including man and Isaiah 44:24 where it says that God created the heavens and the earth all alone.
      2. Gen. 19:24, "Then the LORD [Jehovah] rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD [Jehovah] out of heaven."
        1. Is this saying there are two Lords, two Jehovah's?
      3. Amos 4:10-11, 'I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt; I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses, and I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils; yet you have not returned to Me,' declares the LORD. I overthrew you as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah . . . '"
        1. Jehovah is the one talking, and He says, "I overthrew you as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah..." Very interesting.
      4. Isaiah 44:6, "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides me . . . '" See also, Isaiah 48:16
      5. If you are reading these verses to a Jehovah's Witness, he might say something like, "Are you trying to show the Trinity from these verses?" You can then say, "You got the Trinity out of these?"
      6. These verses and others are more fully developed in The Plurality Study, which is a powerful tool for witnessing to the Witnesses.
  3. John 20:25 says, "The other disciples therefore were saying to him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them, 'Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe'" (NASB).
    1. The Jehovah's Witnesses deny that Jesus was crucified on a cross. They say it happened on a torture stake where His wrists were put together over His head, and a single nail was put through both. If that is true, then why does Thomas say "Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails . . . " In the Greek the word used here for "nails," helos, is in the plural. Therefore, there was more than one nail used in the hands of the crucifixion of Christ.
  4. First and Last
    1. How many firsts and lasts are there? In the Bible God is called the first and last and so is Jesus. Since God says there is no God apart from Him and Jesus and God are both addressed by the same title, then that poses a problem for the Jehovah's Witness.
      1. Isaiah 44:6, "This is what the LORD says---Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God."
      2. Revelation 1:8, "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."
      3. Revelation 1:17-18, "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."
        1. Obviously, Rev. 1:17-18 can only refer to Jesus.
      4. Revelation 22:12-13, "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."
        1. Here, both the "Alpha and the Omega" and the "First and the Last" are said to be one and the same.
        2. Also, at this point go to Titus 2:13 where it says that Jesus is the one who is coming soon; therefore, Jesus and Jehovah are the same.
  5. The Holy Spirit
    1. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that the Holy Spirit is an active force like radar. They deny that He is alive and that He is a person. This is, of course, because they deny the Trinity. Yet, if the Holy Spirit is simply a force then . . .
      1. Why is He called God (Acts 5:3-5)?
      2. How is it that He can teach (John 14:26)?
      3. How can He be blasphemed (Matt. 12:31,32)?
      4. How can He be the one who comforts (Acts 9:31)?
      5. How is it possible for Him to speak (Acts 28:25)?
      6. How then can He be resisted (Acts 7:51)?
      7. How can He be grieved (Eph. 4:30)?
      8. How can He help us in our weaknesses (Rom. 8:26)?
    2. If the Holy Spirit is a force, then how is it possible that the above-mentioned characteristics are attributed to Him? A force doesn't speak, teach, comfort, etc.
    3. Nor can you blaspheme against a force.
  6. The Resurrection of Jesus
    1. The Jehovah's Witnesses deny the physical resurrection of Jesus. They say that if the sacrifice of Jesus were real, then the body had to stay in the grave. They say that He rose in a spirit body. This body was a manifestation similar to the way angels manifested themselves in the Old Testament.
      1. The problem with their view is that the angels were not incarnated; that is, they are not born of women. Jesus became a man by birth; therefore, He had a real, physical body--a permanent body. In fact, right now, Jesus is in heaven in the form of a man though he is a glorified man.  Also, He still has two natures, God and man, and will eternally be in this state.
    2. Jesus rose from the dead in the same body he died in.  For scriptural proof of this, consider the following verses.
      1. In John 2:19-22 before the crucifixion Jesus said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up . . . He was speaking of the temple of His body." Since Jesus said He would raise the same body He died in, then it must be true.
        1. This last verse is worth focusing on. Remember, Jesus said He would be the one to raise His body. So, it must be true.
      2. John 20:27--Jesus said to Thomas, "reach your finger . . . and put it into My side . . . "
        1. If Jesus were not raised from the dead, then why did He have a physical body?
        2. The Jehovah's Witnesses will reply that it was a temporary body materialized so the apostles would believe that He was raised. Yet, this is not what Jesus said in John 2:19-22. He said He would raise His very body.
      3. Luke 24:39--"a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."
        1. Jesus said that He had "flesh and bones" not "flesh and blood." This is important because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 15:50).  The blood of Jesus was the sacrifice for sin (Rom. 5:9). It is the blood that cleanses us of our sin (Heb. 9:22).
        2. The blood of Jesus was shed on the cross; and so, most probably, Jesus doesn't have any functioning blood in His body.
  7. Similarities between the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Pharisees:
    1. The Pharisees denied the Trinity and the Deity of Christ--as do the JW's.
    2. The Pharisees denied  the physical resurrection of Christ and salvation by grace alone--as do the JW's.

 

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CARM ison