In a nutshell, here are the conflicting views of Christianity and of the Watchtower regarding the identity of the Holy Spirit.
Christianity (pp. 144-145)
Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is a person, not an impersonal force. In fact, he is Jehovah God himself, the third person of the Trinity. He gives both physical life and spiritual life, reveals spiritual truth, teaches and illumines, empowers Christians for service, unifies the church, and gives genuine Christians assurance of salvation.
Jehovah’s Witnesses (p. 145)
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that “holy spirit” is not God and is not even a person. Rather, “holy spirit” is an impersonal “active force” that emanates from and is used by Jehovah God to accomplish various purposes.
Focus your discussion on the Bible (p. 145)
If Witnesses present you with arguments about pagan “trinities,” Constantine, or the Council of Nicea, say, “All I really care about is what the Bible actually teaches because only the Bible is inspired by God. Can we just look together at the Scriptures?” They should agree to that procedure.
The next three chapters in the book you specific approaches you can use in discussing the identity of Jesus and the identity of the Holy Spirit with Jehovah’s Witnesses:
- Chapter 12: The Jesus Isn’t Michael Approach
- Chapter 13: The Jesus Is the God-Man Approach
- Chapter 14: The Holy Spirit Is God Approach
I strongly recommend that you discuss these identity of Jesus Christ and the identity of the Holy Spirit separately.
I have found that when Jehovah’s Witnesses get in trouble regarding who Jesus is, they often try to switch the conversation to the Holy Spirit. When they run into difficulty regarding the identity of the Holy Spirit, they often want to confront you with one of their proof texts about Jesus. Be polite, but insist on staying focused on the topic at hand.
Remember throughout your discussions that your purpose is not to win an argument but to open the minds of the Witnesses to the possibility that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are much more than the Watchtower claims they are. You want to plant the seeds that may eventually make it possible for them to come to Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, for salvation.
- How would you respond to a Jehovah’s Witness who claims, “The Trinity teaching is a pagan, God-dishonoring doctrine that was forced onto Christendom by Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.”? (p. 145)
- Why is it helpful to discuss the identity of Jesus and the identity of the Holy Spirit separately when discussing the nature of God with Jehovah’s Witnesses? (p. 145)
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