How can I reason with my wife, who has been indoctrinated into the Jehovah's Witness organization?
Your writings are particularly inspiring and consoling, showing me that much of what I have concluded is indeed likely to be true and also showing me "new truths" from a very old and blessed book. Thank you. I have a problem that perhaps you can help me with.
About a year and a half ago, I became involved with the Jehovah's Witness organization. At first I was trying to learn enough to disprove their paradigm because my wife had gotten involved with them. I fancied myself as being knowledgeable of the scriptures, so I began studying with the JWs, thinking I could quickly disprove what they say.
Sadly, they present much that is seemingly truthful, at first, and then proceed in a slow gnostic manner of hands-on indoctrination of the initiate. If one ceases to think critically during this process, then the initiate is sucked ever deeper into the twisted eschatology of the Witness Governing Body.
Unfortunately, my wife is now convinced that I am demoniacally influenced (as "affirmed" by her Witness mentors), and she becomes quite angry with me no matter what scriptural track I take to try and bring her back to the light. Her ears are sealed and the scales are firmly in place over her eyes.
She is a good woman, as most rank and file Witnesses are indeed very good people, and I will not abandon her. But, given the twisted Witness eschatology, I fear that they will follow the Antichrist when he appears, believing that he is Jesus. Beyond prayer, I have no idea what to do to save her...I need help.
That is unfortunate. Although JWs do tend to be upright and decent people in society, I believe that many of their doctrines are erroneous and misguided. They do tend to become very upset when any members "defect" from their fold.
A few years ago, a friend of mine (Julie) had a friend (Jill) who had become entangled in the JW web in San Diego. Jill was trying to bring Julie into it. Fortunately, Julie had a good foundation and did not get hooked. However, she and I did attend a Passover service at Jill's Jehovah's Witness church. Before the service started, people were socializing, so I took the opportunity to ask a couple (husband/wife) some questions in front of Julie and Jill.
Beforehand, I had pointed out Revelation 7:4-8 to Jill, showing her how it clearly states that the 144,000 are from the tribes of Israel and even lists specific names of the tribes, which I showed her in Genesis 49:3-28 and Exodus 1:1-5. So I asked the couple if they believed that they were among the 144,000 in Revelation (since JWs believe that all of the 144,000 are JWs), and they said they weren't sure. I pointed out that the 144,000 were from the tribes of Israel, and they said they felt that was "figurative." Then I asked if they knew anyone whom they thought would be in the 144,000; they said they thought the two leaders of their church probably were, but they did not know if they themselves were.
After that, I was looking through a book that was on the back of every row of seats. It may have been their "bible"; I don't recall. I found a picture of Jesus on a "torture stake" (an upright beam) on which JWs believe He was crucified rather than on a cross. Julie was utterly revolted at that, and Jill seemed kind of shocked.
I told them that, as far as I knew, JW is the only denomination that believes Jesus was crucified on a "torture stake." I also pointed out that they, along with Mormons, have their own "bible" that differs in many ways from standard translations of the Bible.
During the service, the ushers passed trays of unleavened bread down the rows. However, nobody was allowed to eat any of it, even though everyone touched a tray when passing it to the next person. Julie and I were appalled, and Jill seemed perplexed, especially when the leader and his sidekick ate some of the bread and drank from a golden goblet.
After the service, I pointed out that JWs are the only ones who do that and questioned what right the "elite" had to exclude other believers from partaking of the body and blood of Christ. I said that the reason they do that is because they have an idealistic delusion that they are part of the 144,000, which is not possible unless they are genetic descendants of the tribes of Jacob/Israel.
Later, I showed Jill the Pesach or Passover section of my Good Thursday commentary. I pointed out how, at the first Passover, the configuration of the blood on the doorframes of each house (Exodus 12:7,22) outlined a cross (which is demonstrated by the graphic images I have included in that section). I explained how Jesus, the ultimate Passover Lamb for humanity (1 Corinthians 5:7), had to have been crucified on a two-dimensional cross, not on a one-dimensional "torture stake," as JWs claim.
I also showed her my Was Jesus God? commentary. I said that JWs adamantly deny the Trinity of God and completely reject that Jesus was/is God. A few days later, Julie told me that Jill had read everything I had showed her and had acknowledged that Jesus was/is God (which is what she was brought up believing as a Catholic). She stopped attending the JW services and later was met with great resistance by them for doing so. They called and visited her repeatedly, telling her that whoever had "brainwashed" her was deceived and deluded. Fortunately, she did not waver from rejecting them, and eventually they stopped bugging her.
Now, Islam is the biggest anti-Trinitarian religion on earth. I believe it is the greatest threat to stability and peace in the world today, and I feel that it is likely to spread throughout the USA near the end of the age. Islam advocates that people who believe that God had a son are guilty of blasphemy and need to be beheaded. Being anti-Trinitarians themselves, I feel that many JWs may fall for the Islamic deception when it becomes very widespread and might be more likely to submit to Islam so that they will not be tortured or killed. The Real Mark of the Beast, by Kimberly Rogers, shows how the "mark of the beast" very well may be Islamic.
JWs believe that before His life on earth, Jesus was the archangel Michael and, also, that He was resurrected not bodily but "spiritually" again as Michael. Yet, when Jesus appeared among His disciples and they thought they were seeing a ghost, He told them to touch His physical body, noting that a ghost does not have flesh and bones and showing them the holes in His physical hands and feet (Luke 24:36-40). Also, soon after Jesus' resurrection, the women clasped His physical feet (Matthew 28:9).
Paul stated that the two requisites for salvation were confessing that Jesus is Lord and believing that He was raised (bodily) from the dead (Romans 10:9,10). JWs do not believe that Jesus can be Lord if He is merely the archangel Michael; in their minds, only Jehovah can be Lord and God. Furthermore, they do not believe that Jesus was raised physically from the dead. Thus, due to Paul's declaration, this would seem to place the eternal salvation of JWs in question. In my Who Is God? commentary, I explain God's singular and multiple nature.
I have written an email response (How can you believe that Jesus was God or that God is a Trinity, when these are deceptive and misleading doctrines?) to someone who adamantly rejects the Trinity of God (I think he may have been a JW at one time). A few paragraphs down, I listed people to whom the Angel of the Lord revealed Himself. I don't know what JWs think about the Angel of the Lord, but I am absolutely convinced that He was a physical manifestation of God and the pre-incarnate Jesus/Yeshua.
Another email response I wrote that possibly might be helpful is this one: If God has revealed Himself through the Trinity, why were the Jews surprised and shocked when Jesus told them that He was the second manifestation of the triune God, God the Son?
Maybe some of what I have said in this email would be helpful to tell your wife, if she will listen, although she may refuse to do so. Probably the best thing to do is to pray earnestly that the Holy Spirit will open her ears and eyes and reveal the truth to her, showing her that she is being manipulated by a JW deception. I now have prayed for that and will send up more prayers for her release from bondage.
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