In an earlier post, I encouraged you to have clear goals in mind whenever you try to get through to Jehovah’s Witnesses on any subject.
My book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses: Approaching Bible Discussions in Unexpected Ways, contains 3 approach chapters with specific recommendations for discussing the Nature of God with Witnesses.
- The objective of The Jesus Isn’t Michael Approach (Chapter 12) is to help Jehovah’s Witnesses see that, contrary to Watchtower doctrine, Jesus is not Michael the archangel.
- The objective of The Jesus is the God-Man Approach (Chapter 13) is to help Jehovah’s Witnesses see that Jesus is fully God and fully man.
- The objective of The Holy Spirit is God Approach (Chapter 14) is to show Jehovah’s Witnesses that the Holy Spirit is both a person and God himself, not an impersonal, “active force” that emanates from God.
You can see that these objectives vary considerably in their scope. The Jesus Isn’t Michael Approach has a narrow focus, and could be covered in one session with a Jehovah’s Witness. It also could be narrowed further into “seed planting” or “stone in the shoe” objectives I discussed in my last post. For example, you might cite to the Witnesses Jude 9, which reads (NWT), “But when Michael the archangel had a difference with the Devil and was disputing about Moses’ body, he did not dare to bring a judgment against him in abusive terms, but said: ‘May Jehovah rebuke you.’”
With regard to this verse, you can point out that in contrast to Michael’s deference and restraint, Jesus confronted Satan directly. On multiple occasions, he ordered demons to leave people. When Jesus was tempted by Satan, he did not hesitate to rebuke Satan to his face. Three times he countered Satan’s temptations with scripture. The final time he told him directly, “Away from me, Satan!” and Satan obeyed (Matthew 4:10).
When Peter tried to dissuade Jesus from going to his death, rather than address Peter, Jesus directly rebuked the devil, saying, “Get behind me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:23).
You can sum up by asking, “If Michael did not dare rebuke Satan directly but Jesus both rebuked Satan and issued commands to him, doesn’t that show that Jesus is greater than Michael?”
Your objective in doing this is to plant a seed (or stone in the shoe) that will keep coming back to them every time they encounter the Watchtower’s teaching that Jesus is Michael the archangel.
On the other hand, The Jesus is the God-Man Approach covers a much broader topic and would likely take several sessions to cover. But notice that it still has a particular focus. You are not going to try to cover the entire Trinity with this approach. You will need to be prepared to counter any attempt by the Witness to jump to another topic like whether the Holy Spirit is God. In fact, you may want to set the expectation at the beginning of your discussion that you will focus only on the nature of Jesus.
You can use these differences in objectives to help you decide which approaches to use when. You are not going to try to get into The Jesus is the God-Man Approach in your first session with a Witness or during an encounter where you have limited time. On the other hand, you might very well use the seed-planting objective from The Jesus Isn’t Michael Approach in a situation like witnessing at a Jehovah’s Witness street cart, where you have very limited time.