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Inside Kingdom Hall

May 22nd, 2011 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in Abnormal Evangelism Ideas

My friend and fellow Hope Chapel evangelist Tony Yu has a special burden for the Jehovah’s Witnesses who are lost in this works-oriented cult. As a result, he makes a special effort to witness outside their meeting places called Kingdom Halls by preaching, sharing one-to-one and using special Gospel tracts. Here’s a report of what went down at  Easter when he actually attended a JW “church” service.

Jehovah’s Witnesses passed out fliers all over my neighborhood inviting people to attend ["Easter"] service today at their Kingdom Hall.  Steve Pivovaroff, Carlos Ramos and I went inside the service thinking that it was primarily intended to attract new members.  We thought we would be presented with their beliefs and given a chance to ask questions.  We wanted to use the question phase to ask some questions and share the True Gospel.  To our surprise, it was a full-on service to commemorate Jesus’ death.  Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus so they do not call it Easter or Resurrection Day.

There was no appropriate time in the service to ask questions or to challenge their beliefs.  It would have been extremely disrespectful and would have done more harm than good.  So, we waited until the end of the service, we went outside to a public sidewalk and passed out Gospel tracts made specifically for sharing the Gospel to Jehovah’s Witnesses.  At this point Luz joined us to pass out tracts too.

At first people gladly received the tracts because they were designed to look like Watchtower and Awake literature (Jehovah’s Witness material).  A few minutes passed and a few people gave some tracts back.  A few more minutes passed and the Kingdom Hall officials caught on and started to warn people not to take our tracts.  On several occasions, they said something to the effect “Don’t take it.  It’s apostate garbage.”  I even heard one person tell another something to the effect “Get rid of that or you might be dis-fellowshipped.”!

Nonetheless, we passed out all of our tracts (we had a limited number of quickie prints because the printer didn’t finish the print job in time).  The reception ranged from friendly curiosity to someone ripping up the tract in front of me.  At one point, Steve went to the street corner adjacent to their parking lot and started open-air preaching.  It was so encouraging to see Steve preach when we saw so many reject the tracts out of fear (more about that in a moment).  They were still able to hear the truth.  One gentleman in a suit came out and yelled “shut up” at Steve just as he was quoting Acts 17:30-31 (it’s NOT about happiness but it’s about righteousness).  Steve was completely unfazed by it.  He kept right on preaching.

After I ran out of tracts I engaged as many people in one-on-one conversations as possible.  Most tried to resist what I was telling them but I have a gut feeling that many of them looked up the passages I referenced later – when other Jehovah’s Witnesses weren’t watching.  It was clear that some were much more able to defend their doctrine than others.  However, I am confident that given enough time none of them would ever be able to withstand a close look at their beliefs.

As we were walking to our cars after it was all over, an SUV pulled up, rolled down a window and the driver asked us what we were doing.  The two occupants were a couple from Ethiopia who apparently went to the service because of the Jehovah’s Witness flyer they received.  They didn’t know what Jehovah’s witnesses were all about.  They were looking for a  Christian church because they were Christians and they didn’t know that Jehovah’s Witnesses were NOT Christian.  We warned them about the false doctrine and explained where the Jehovah’s Witnesses departed from the Truth.  We then pointed them to Hope Chapel and gave them a tract with the Churches website on it.  Perhaps they were the main reason God sent us there tonight.  This really made my day.

Here are a few impressions that I took away from this experience.

PEOPLE

When we went inside their church and I saw the people, my heart broke.  They were (as you’d expect) very normal people.  They were kids, elderly, middle-aged, families, all races, all walks of life.  I sense that they sincerely wanted to worship God and they really thought they were doing the right thing.  But, they were deceived into worshipping a lie.  I wished I could talk to them all and plead with them and tell them about the True Jesus.

DOCTRINE

Their doctrine is VERY close to true doctrine.  Anyone who is only superficially familiar with true doctrine (like a casual believer) will get sucked in.  A firm grasp of sound doctrine is so important.  It’s spiritually dangerous out there.  The enemy does go around like a lion looking for whom he may devour.

COMMUNION

To my surprise they served communion.  The three of us looked at each other and shook our heads meaning “There’s no way we’re taking communion HERE!”.  The next surprise was what they did with the bread and the wine.  They passed the plate and the cup but they NEVER ate nor drank.  The symbolism was immense to me.  Because of their false doctrine, they never really fellowshipped with the real Jesus and His sacrifice was of no affect for them.  As such they really shouldn’t eat nor drink and they didn’t.  It was almost as if God prevented them from sharing in this sacred ritual because they were not in fellowship with Jesus (Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.)!

MIND CONTROL

When I overheard one member warning another of the possibility of being dis-fellowshipped for simply accepting a Gospel Tract, I was reminded that they were not allowed to read or even receive Christian literature.  This is total mind control.  The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society knows that light always overcomes darkness and they don’t stand a chance.  They know that they must intimidate their members into shutting their eyes, ears and minds or they will utterly fail.  This is where we Christians come in.  We need to proclaim the truth.  We need to find ingenious ways of getting the message out to them.  This may include open-air preaching, signs and one-on-one conversations.  But, as always, we must do it in love. http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/jw-2.html

TRACTS

It is my desire to get custom tracts for Jehovah’s Witnesses into the hands of as many Christians as possible so they can have something to give the Jehovah’s Witnesses when they come to the door.  I wanted to give the even most unprepared believer a powerful way of sharing the Gospel to the most well-trained Jehovah’s Witness who knocks.  My idea was for anyone to be able to simply hand a tract to them.  However, because of the mind control issue (above), I believe there is a good chance they will not accept it or they will throw it away without reading it.  As such I feel we must be ready to read at least one point from the tract to them before  giving it to them.  They’ll probably stick around long enough to hear one point if they think they can talk to you about Jehovah’s Witness doctrine.

CONCLUSION

I am very encouraged by this event.  I know there is much ground to be covered here (Jehovah’s Witnesses).  God willing, I intend to make sure every Kingdom Hall in the Los Angeles area is visited at least once by Christians who will share the True Gospel with them.  I sensed that many seeds were planted and we may be very surprised later by how much fruit will come from this labor.  I sensed that we were in pursuit and they were in flight.  I sense they (the Kingdom Hall officials) were panicked.

The wicked flee when no one pursues,  But the righteous are bold as a lion. — Proverbs 28:1

NOW CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED WHEN WE INVADED A JW CONVENTION SEVERAL YEARS AGO.

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65 Responses

  • Tony Y says:

    Willful ignorance will not help you.

    There are none so blind as those who WILL NOT see. — Gregory Y. Titelman

    Jeremiah 5:21
    Hear this now, O foolish people,
    Without understanding,
    Who have eyes and see not,
    And who have ears and hear not

    Isaiah 6:9-10
    And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear you indeed, but understand not; and see indeed, but perceive not.
    Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

    Matthew 13:13
    Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

  • Nohm says:

    Dennis wrote:

    They say: jumping jacks, push ups, run 50 miles (backwards), somersault, flip, somersault, flip…. TADA !

    Dennis, why not deal with what people actually write, instead of making stuff up?

    It’s easy to win arguments against imaginary people when you get to put words in their mouths, but how about dealing with what we actually write?

  • Vagon says:

    Tony please calm down and think before you post.

    1. Tony you missed the point again. Its about what makes the JWs failure to analyse their religion any different from your own. It’s also about what makes your brand of “love” somehow different from their “mind control”.
    2. The tu quoque fallacy applies because instead of addressing 1. you just posted a bunch of quotes, some of which were fake.
    3. Quoting people and misconstruing the context is quote mining at best or simply downright lying (whoops 10 commandments). For example I don’t say you like to get your father drunk and rape him because of Deut. 22.

    So then, please address 1. or show that yet again you have missed the point. The choice is yours.

  • Dennis says:

    Hi Davy

    Cool to see your still hanging around Steve’s blog.
    Couple of things.

    “people like you are the cause of wars over all the centuries” ?
    Are you serious? Care to name a few of these wars? I think you will quickly realize that this is NOT the case. Unless you are referring to Muslims and Jihad, Catholics and crusades, or am I missing something here? As a matter of fact it is people like YOU (Atheists) that have killed far more people than any other “holy” wars have. (Stalin, etc)
    China, North Korea, etc is killing Christians and locking them up.
    So you couldn’t be anymore wrong.

    There is no teaching from Jesus that says to kill unbelievers.
    In fact it says to LOVE those that HATE you. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Suggest you read the Gospel of John and you’ll probably want to retract your silly statement.
    OR maybe read the book from Richard Wurmbrand – Tortured for Christ – and tell me what you think. I can lend you a copy if you like. It will give you an idea of how they treated Christians in Russia.

    Also we are all sinners no matter what set of beliefs you follow.
    Your conscience already tells you so. Lied? Stolen? Why do you think you feel bad afterwards? Because of evolution? I don’t think so – that conscience is God given and is your warning bell.

    That’s what this blog is all about – that’s what evangelism is all about.
    Waking people up that have been hardening their conscience to the things of God before it’s too late!

    I can tell you that NO Christian has any fear of death.
    The unbeliever on the other hand is taking a huge leap of faith trusting that science is correct that after death there is ….. nothing.

    Fear of death has NEVER been a motivation to become or stay a Christian. As a matter of fact before I believed in Jesus Christ – I believed that when you die the lights go out and that’s the end.

    No the chain of events that lead me to Christ is realizing I was a sinner and that there was accountability for my life. Realizing there is a God.
    Reading the Bible and realizing it to be the truth. Where I read the Bible before it was gibberish but when I trusted in God – the Bible actually made sense. That was a huge indication that something changed in me.
    I stopped cussing (never asked for that or even considered that one)
    Ask anyone who is born again and they will all tell you the same thing – that after they repented and put their faith and trust in Christ it changed them. It changes your thinking about sin and how to live your life.

    But here is the kicker. God does the saving. And He does it in His time.
    So in the meantime – I keep praying for you and for others that God would lead you to that place of repentance and faith and trust.

  • Nohm says:

    Tony wrote: “Willful ignorance will not help you.

    Why not take that advice yourself? Why not just admit that you grabbed the fake Huxley quote from a site, did no research on it, and posted it because you liked it? Why avoid acknowledging your error?

  • Davy says:

    @ Dennis

    I’m not going to sit here and argue over who knows history better. You know exactly what wars and historical facts im talking about…you learned them in school too. My only point was at how Tony was reacting to what others were saying. And he sounded a bit aggresive to be honest. Hence the coments i made.
    You mention Stalin, Muslims, and North Korea….If it were up to you guys you would not be far off from their ways of living. You would have everyone only be able to watch one channel on Television which you see fit. Not allow anybody freedom of religion only the religion you see fit. You sound just as extreme as the groups you listed.
    And to be honest….lets say everybody just decided to join your group, or religion….that still wouldn’t be good enough for you because you would just find something else wrong with what mankind is doing because you guys are addicts. It’s in your blood. You were addicted to Sex once, You were addicted to alchohol once, you have a addictive personality and having a normal religion just isn’t good enough for you. You need something more extreme because the norm just doesn’t suit you.
    I’ve never said anything bad about Jesus nor will i ever. Guess what…i went to two comunnions(however you spell it) a couple weekends ago and it was fine…watching the tradition. I respect the people and i showed them my support. Strange how i can do that for them and not for you Dennis.

  • BathTub says:

    Tony, I’m thinking of putting a billboard, something like….

    “Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock! – Psalms 137:9

    ‘Smashing babies head glorifies Christ’s Love’ – Tony Yu”

    You wouldn’t have any problem with that would you?

  • Dennis,

    Are you serious? Care to name a few of these wars? I think you will quickly realize that this is NOT the case. Unless you are referring to Muslims and Jihad, Catholics and crusades, or am I missing something here? As a matter of fact it is people like YOU (Atheists) that have killed far more people than any other “holy” wars have. (Stalin, etc)

    Wow, is that trite. Have you ever actually thought about that concept? We unbelievers keep hearing “Now, see, all the great mass-murdering dictators and tyrants through history were athiests! Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, all of them!” (Incidentally, next time you make that argument – and you will – you probably ought to leave Hitler off of it. He was a good Catholic, had a special relationship with the Pope, and the SS all had Gott mit uns – “God is with us – on their belts. Just so you know.)

    Now, here’s the thing. Did any of these people actually commit crimes “in the name of athiesm”? Or because they were power-mad lunatics? It’s a subtle difference, after all, but it’s a fairly important one.

    However, let’s deal with the first part of your concept there. “Care to name a few of these wars?” And just for giggles, let’s stick with just the Christian ones, OK? And I’m not even going to count the Inquisition, which wasn’t a “war” so much as a church-supported terrorist organization.

    1. Crusades – yeah, you mentioned those. But are you aware that there were a series of them (9 numbered ones, plus several lesser Crusades) over a 300 year period. You shouldn’t just dismiss them like they were a fad or something.

    2. Henry the VIII wanted a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, but the Catholic Church wouldn’t do that for him. So in 1534, he declared himself supreme head of the church in England, eventually leading to the Reformation and uncounted numbers of the dead.

    3. In 16th Century France there was a series of wars between Roman Catholics and Protestants (look up the term “Hugenots”). These were collectively known as the “Wars of Religion” (seems pretty straightforward to me). They are generally agreed to start with the Massacre of Vassy in 1562, and kind of ended with the The Edict of Nantes (1598), although the Hugenots and Catholics kept fighting for the next two centuries.

    4. In 1850, a rebel in Qing Dynasty China named Hong Xiuquan, a Christian convert (and you know how those born-agains are, amirite?) decided that the first 3 of the Ten Commandments (he used the Protestant translation) were directly in conflict with having a ruling class that claimed the “Mandate of Heaven.” So Hong established the “Taiping Heavenly Kingdom” (also known as the “Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace”) with its capital at Nanjing. They were eventually crushed by the Qing forces, but not before an estimated 20 million people were killed. The Guinness Book of World Records rates this as the “bloodiest civil war.” Mao used the Taiping rebels as examples of early heroic revolutionaries against a corrupt feudal system.

    5. Admittedly, the Indonesian occupation of East Timor was kind of brutal, but only 40 percent of East Timorese were Roman Catholic prior to the 1975 Indonesian invasion, with the rest belonging to one or another indigenous religion. Today the number is over 90 percent. The East Timorese separatists used on Roman Catholicism as an expression of national identity to make them distinct from Muslim Indonesia.

    6. In 1987, Slobodan Milošević, backed by the Serbian Orthodox Church, committed genocide against the Catholic Croats and the Muslim Bosnians, based strictly on their religious views (and the fact that he wanted to set up his own tyrannical rule – there’s always a political component in these things).

    7. Although “the Troubles” really date back to the Reformation, the Catholic nationalists and the Protestant unionists didn’t actually settle things until the “Good Friday Agreement” of 1998.

    Are you starting to feel a little silly yet? Because, frankly, you should.

  • vintango2k says:

    @Nameless

    You’re forgetting the 30 Years War in the 1600′s which decreased the population of Germany (than the Holy roman Empire) by 15 to 30 percent. This was fought by Catholics v. Protestants and is considered the worst civil war in European History.

    You can continue to list examples, (we Americans aren’t always history buffs and tend to overlook things like these) but honestly I don’t really see religion as being the reason for these conflicts. Its political, and often times religion is simply an excuse for those with power to acquire more lands and resources for themselves and their allies.

    The reasons why these conflicts in recent history are ‘bloodier’ than they have been in the past are:

    – Reporting on causalities and atrocities has been improved greatly.
    – We tend to include deaths from secondary factors like lose of infrastructure or disease as part of our record keeping in conflicts whereas they didn’t have the capability to do that in past conflicts
    – Modern innovations in warfare has allowed us to kill people on a level undreamed of in the past. Don’t forget it was America, a predominantly Christian populated country that developed, used, and mass produced the atomic bomb.

    I’ve found that its easier to make simple arguments to justify points rather than examining things closer in detail =)

  • @vin,

    You’re right on all counts.

    But he did ask…

  • Nohm says:

    So… I guess that was the one, the only, Tony Yu.

    Thanks for joining us, Tony.

    Be well.

  • Lisa says:

    You know…you can’t force the gospel on anyone. They have to be open to it first. That’s why God gave man free will. He doesn’t want us by force, but through our own volition.

    Stop forcing people to listen to your ideas by interrupting their daily activities, kinda like Steve did with that marching band. Totally uncalled for what he did, and completely deserved how he was treated by those women.

  • Banana says:

    Steve, I’d love to see the special tract you and Tony made up for JW’s. I’ve got a sad heart burden for these zealous people. I’ve actually written two things that I offer freely online for them: http://www.mediafire.com/?b2sj8j2pan8mn#8ipqa4ju8ri7y,1 Could you send me a pdf of the tract?



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