Tag Archives: foreign residents

Thank you, Jesus, for Jehovah’s Witnesses

Over the weekend I was thinking about my involvement with Jehovah’s Witnesses the last few years, and I found myself talking with God about it. Have you ever prayed something, then realized the import of what you just prayed, after praying it? That’s what happened to me. What I prayed was, “Thank you, Jesus, for Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

By the way, yes, I talk to Jesus, praying directly to him, because along with Thomas I can say to Jesus “My Lord and my God” (literally, “The Lord of me and The God of me”). The practice of addressing Jesus in prayer is second nature to me, and has been from the early days of my Christian journey.

So as I prayed that simple prayer to Jesus, I realized something. I realized that my attitude toward JW’s had changed over the years.

It used to be that I would reluctantly talk with my friend Mark. At times I even avoided him, if I didn’t feel like talking. At that time, I was not thankful for Jehovah’s Witnesses. More like, I just tolerated them, reluctantly. Now, I’m eager to meet with Mark and others, even going out of my way to connect with them. So what changed? The answer is: I did. Over the last few years, The Lord changed me. And He used at least two things to accomplish that change.

The first thing that changed my attitude was seeing God at work as I conversed with Mark and other JW’s. Seeing Mark open to what I had to share, and realizing that only God could cause that openness (see John 6:44), was highly encouraging. And seeing God protect my conversations with him and others from the intervention of JW elders and overseers was exciting, something like being a secret agent for Jesus.

Secondly, my study of scripture in preparation for my conversations with JW’s has been nothing less than transformational for me. When I researched the benefits of being a believer in Christ, which scripture says are available “to all who believe,” rather than only to the 144,000 as taught by Watchtower, the result has been a re-vitalization of my faith. Doctrines that in the past have been limited to rational understanding (head knowledge) are now felt by me emotionally, and experienced by me directly. Here are some, but not all, of those scriptural truths that have for me a new-found significance:

Adoption: When I put my trust in Jesus, Jehovah adopted me as his son. I’m his legally adopted child, and have a relationship with him where I can even call him “Dad.” (John 1:12, Romans 8:15, Galatians 3:26 and 4:6.)

Heirs: Because I am Jehovah’s legally adopted child, I’m also his heir. I inherit from him a heavenly home, as well as access to his authority now, and rewards in the life to come. (Romans 4:14 and 8:17, Galatians 3:29 and 4:7, Titus 3:7, Ephesians 3:6 and James 2:5.)

Mediator: Having Jesus as my mediator between me and Jehovah means that Jesus redeemed me by his ransom, and intercedes in prayer for me, giving weight and meaning to the concept of praying “in Jesus’ name.” (First Timothy 2:5-6, Hebrews 8:10-12.)

Kings and Priests: Jehovah makes all of his adopted children (even me) kings and priests, from the moment of faith (aka belief). (First Peter 2:7-9, Revelation 5:9-10.)

Rebirth: All who believe, that is, putting their trust in what Jesus did for them (including me) are born again, experiencing a new life in Christ. (First John 5:1. Note: this verse in the New World Translation app, published by the Watchtower, provides a cross-reference to John 3:3, about being born again.)

New Covenant: All who believe (not just 144,000), again including me, are grafted into the New Covenant, which is JEHOVAH’S ARRANGEMENT WITH HIS PEOPLE. (See what I did there with the all-caps and italics? That’s the emphasis we need to be using when we speak about it.) This New Covenant is the legal contract that Jehovah signed with Jesus’ blood, committing himself to many promises, some of which are listed here. (Hebrews 8:10-12, 9:15, and 12:24, Ephesians 2:12.)

Citizenship: We are made legalized, naturalized citizens of Jehovah’s kingdom, with all the responsibilities and benefits pertaining thereto. Just as the foreign residents in Old Testament times could become naturalized citizens of Israel, and could participate in all the festivals and feasts, including the Passover, we now are entitled to full participation in all the benefits of the New Covenant, including the Lord’s Evening Meal, among many others. (Ephesians 2:19, Philippians 3:20, Exodus 12, Numbers 15, Isaiah 56:6-8.)

This list is not exhaustive; there are others including, but not limited to, eternal security, immortality, being able to please Jehovah, being declared righteous, being Abraham’s seed, and receiving/having/being sealed with the Holy Spirit. Learning about all these benefits that are given to little ol’ me has injected my faith journey with a new-found power and joy. So I thank you, Jesus, for Jehovah’s Witnesses!

May Jehovah touch your life in the same way as you study in preparation for your conversations with JW’s and other pre-Christians.


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The Five Most Important Watchtower Articles to Download Now

I recommend downloading the following Watchtower articles, to use as talking points with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

July 2013 Study Edition

“Tell Us, When Will These Things Be?”

“Look, I Am with You All the Days”

“Feeding Many Through the Hands of a Few”

“Who Really Is the Faithful and Discreet Slave?”

These articles are the presentation of the “new light” of 2012 regarding the time of Jesus’ return (future rather than 1914) and the identity of the “faithful and discreet slave” (governing body rather than anointed class). Ask: In the past Matthew 24 was used to prove that Jesus’ “coming” or “arrival” had taken place in 1914, translating the word parousia as “presence.” Now it is being taught that Jesus’ arrival will be future. What scriptural support is now being given that Jesus came to earth in 1914?

October 2014: “When Did God’s Kingdom Begin Ruling? (Part 1)” and

November 2014: “When Did God’s Kingdom Begin ruling? (Part 2)”

These articles attempt to explain the “greater interpretation” of Daniel 4, as well as describing the “interruption of God’s rulership” between the death of the apostles and 1914. Ask: How could Jehovah’s rule be interrupted? When did Jehovah stop ruling?

May 2015 Study Edition

“Questions From Readers”: “Who is Gog of Magog mentioned in the book of Ezekiel?”

This article reveals the teaching that Michael who stands up in Daniel 12 is Jesus in Revelation 19, neglecting the fact that both are mentioned in Revelation 19. Michael is standing, while Jesus is seated on a white horse the whole time. Politely ask your JW friend to explain that detail in Revelation 19 to you.

October 2014, Simplified Edition

“Have Unshakable Faith in the Kingdom”

This article lists 5 covenants in scripture, including Abrahamic, Davidic, Melchizedek, New, and Kingdom Covenants. All are applied to the anointed class exclusively. (Some JW’s think that the Great Crowd is in the Abrahamic covenant.) Ask: If the anointed class (the 144000) is in the New Covenant, what covenant is the Great Crowd in?

November 2014, Simplified Edition

“The People Whose God Is Jehovah,” and

“Now You Are God’s People”

In these articles the Great Crowd is likened to the “foreign residents” (non-Israelites) of the Old Testament. The scriptures referenced in the second article (from Exodus 12, Leviticus24, Numbers 15, and Deuteronomy 10), when read in context, indicate that the foreign residents would be considered “the same as” the natural-born Israelites, living under the same laws and receiving the same benefits. The Watchtower article even says “Jehovah was happy to allow them to be a part of his chosen people.” See also Numbers 9:14, where the foreigners could fully participate in the Passover, the precursor to the Lord’s Evening Meal (Memorial). Ask: If the resident aliens could eat the Passover meal, why can’t the Great Crowd eat the Lord’s Evening Meal?

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Quick Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are at your door. You don’t have time to talk for long (or you just don’t want to). What can you do? Here are some quick questions to ask them, to get them thinking “off track” from their usual rehearsed conversations.

1. If the anointed class of 144,000 are in the New Covenant, what covenant are the great crowd in? (See WT, Simplified Version, 10/2014)

2. If the foreign residents in the Old Testament were allowed to eat the Passover, why aren’t the great crowd allowed to eat and drink at the Lord’s Evening Meal (Memorial)? (See WT, Simplified, 11/2014 and Exodus 12:48-49.)

3. If, since 2012, Jesus’ presence or arrival in Matthew 24 is no longer interpreted as a present reality, but rather a prophecy about the future, what passage now supports his invisible presence since 1914? (See WT 7/15/2013)

4. If Jehovah’s kingdom began ruling in 1914, how could Jehovah’s rulership been “interrupted” before that? Has Jehovah not always ruled? (See WT 10/2014.)

5. If recent teaching says that “a bible account represents something greater only when there is a clear scriptural reason to do so,” (WT simplified 3/2015), what is the “clear scriptural reason” for a secondary interpretation of Daniel 4?

6. What part of Michael the Archangel was transferred to Jesus, if Jesus was a human and nothing more? (See “What Does the Bible Really Teach?” “Who Is Jesus Christ?” Paragraph 14.)

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