Sunday, July 31, 2011

Question #1

The WTS claims it uses the Bible as its "supreme authority". Where in the Bible does anyone count their time in preaching on a slip of paper and are assigned record cards of activity, determining this as a "gauge to their spirituality"? Where in the Bible are Pioneers, Auxiliary Pioneers, District Overseers, Circuit Overseers, Bethelites, and Kingdom Halls?

Source of 65 questions


Considering that all Christian denominations today practice things that would have been foreign to the 1st Century Christians, this question is a case of nit-picking and fault-finding in the way Jehovah's Witnesses operate on an organizational level rather than a search for truth.


To illustrate the point, 1st Century Christians didn't even possess personal copies of the Scriptures, which at that time were contained in dozens of unwieldy individual scrolls and letters that were copied and circulated among the congregations.  Also, the early Christians met in private homes and in public places. There were no churches, no cathedrals, and no kingdom halls. As proof of that, consider Paul's greeting at Colossians 4:15 to a woman named "Nympha and to the congregation at her house.


Incidentally, besides meeting at kingdom halls, Jehovah's Witnesses also used to regularly meet in small groups in private homes—like the early Christians.


As for the organizational structure of the early Christian church, at Ephesians 4:11 Paul wrote that God provided the congregations with various gifts in the form of men; "some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds and teachers." While all Christians are called upon to make a public declaration of their faith, some early Christians were outstanding preachers. Phillip, for example, was called "the evangelizer." The so-called pioneers among Jehovah's Witnesses are also referred to as full-time evangelizers because they spend a significant amount of time in their ministry.


Circuit overseers and district overseers today are following the pattern of the apostle Paul and Barnabas, in that the apostle and his companions traveled in a circuit, visiting and revisiting brothers and congregations and writing letters of encouragement and instruction. For that matter, Mark 6:6 reports that Jesus also "went round about to the villages in a circuit, teaching." One function of our modern CO (Circuit Overseer) is when he makes his semi-annual visit to each congregation; he not only teaches, but discusses the spiritual qualifications of any prospective elders in consideration of appointing them to an office. At Titus 1:5, Paul instructed Titus to do that very thing on the Island of Crete. It reads: "For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might correct the things that were defective and might make appointments of older men in city after city, as I gave you orders."


Jehovah's Witnesses have in many respects copied the model and methods of the original Christians. The actual organizationally-assigned names of various positions of responsibility may not be found in the record preserved in the Greek Scriptures, but the positions of responsibility can be found therein. The naming is merely a convention, exercised by all denominations.



Question #2

To what was Jesus referring to by the term "this temple" in John 2:18-19? In John 2:21 John clearly states that when Jesus used the term "this temple", he was referring to his body. If what the WTS teaches about Jesus' body after his death is correct, then how do you explain these verses?


The problem is, those who tend to think in fleshly, physical terms cannot comprehend true spiritual things. It is apparent with this question and the many to follow that the questioner thinks as a non-spiritual person.


But suffice to say, Jesus was speaking in spiritual terms, that the Jews and even his own apostles could not at first understand. Most people think of a temple in terms of a physical structure where some type of formal worship or sacrifice is carried out. In Jesus' day, the temple of God was the stone-and-mortar edifice located in Jerusalem. Jesus originally spoke those words to the Jews to give them pause to reconsider how God expected to be worshipped from that point on. Jesus foretold that the Jewish temple was going to be razed to the ground, with not a stone left upon a stone. The Christian congregation was going to replace the Jewish nation as God's organization. But, instead of having a physical temple, Christ and his anointed followers constitute a spiritual temple for God to inhabit by spirit, and Jesus, as the head of that organization, is called the chief cornerstone of the "building."


Furthermore, Jesus' fleshly body was going to be sacrificed to God, as if on a temple altar. And after his resurrection, Jesus became the high priest, ministering on the basis of his own sacrifice. That is why Jesus referred to the temple of his body.


Here are a few relevant verses that indicate the spiritual nature of God's temple.


1 Corinthians 3:16-17: "Do you not know that you people are God's temple, and that the spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you people are."


1 Corinthians 6:19: "What! Do you not know that the body of you people is the temple of the holy spirit within you, which you have from God?"


2 Corinthians 6:16: "For we are a temple of a living God; just as God said: "I shall reside among them and walk among them, and I shall be their God, and they will be my people."


Ephesians 2:20-22: "While Christ Jesus himself is the foundation cornerstone. In union with him the whole building, being harmoniously joined together, is growing into a holy temple for Jehovah. In union with him you, too, are being built up together into a place for God to inhabit by spirit."



Saturday, July 30, 2011

Question #3

If the Holy Spirit is God's impersonal "active force", why does he speak directly and refer to himself as "I" and "me" in Acts 13:2?


The verse in question reads: As they were publicly ministering to Jehovah and fasting, the holy spirit said: "Of all persons set Barnabas and Saul apart for me for the work to which I have called them."

The holy spirit, while not an individual person, is not really impersonal either. Seeing that it comes from God and speaks for him, it is appropriate to personify the spirit of God, which the Bible writers did at times. We should remember that the original Christian congregation was endowed with many gifts of the spirit that we do not possess today. One of the gifts of the spirit was that individuals would speak in tongues. When that phenomenon occurred, it was the spirit speaking to them for God. So, apparently the verse is intended to show that the holy spirit made some sort of obvious manifestation when it spoke to them on that occasion. Under those conditions, it is understandable why they would simply say, "the holy spirit said." 

However, it would be unwise to then make the leap to a conclusion that the holy spirit is an actual heavenly person like God and Christ. In the context of blaspheming the holy spirit, Jesus once referred to it as "God's finger." If the holy spirit were an equal part of God in the mysterious Trinity, it would not be appropriate to refer to him as God's finger, would it?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Question #4

Col 1:16, in talking about Jesus, says that"... All [other] things have been created through him and FOR HIM". If Jesus were Michael the Archangel at the time of creation, would an angel have created all things for himself? Isaiah 43:7 says God created "everyone ... for my OWN glory ..."


If we want to dissect and analyze prepositional phrases, we ought to also consider what it means that "all things were created through him." The dictionary definition of through in that context indicates that Christ was not the originator of the creative process, but that the Creator merely used the pre-human Jesus as the agency by which he accomplished his good purpose. Because Jehovah used his firstborn son in such a marvelous way, apparently saying to him: "Let us make man in our image," the creatively-empowered Word of God was the intended beneficiary of the joy of sharing in the very Creation. That God extended such an honor to his son does not mean that the Son has somehow robbed the Father of any glory. On the contrary, the fact that the Supreme Being of the universe shared the joy of creation with his son only brings more Glory to God because of his large-heartedness. 

The simple truth is that Jehovah could have easily created all things without employing his heavenly son, but the Son could not have undertaken creation without the help of the Father. That's why Jesus never referred to himself as the Creator. Even when quoting the Genesis account of Creation, at Matthew 19:4, Jesus did not take any credit for creating Adam and Eve; even though he was no doubt the one to whom Jehovah was speaking to when he said, "Let us make man in our image." Instead of using that opportunity to reveal his part in Creation, Jesus humbly referred to God as the one who yoked Adam and Eve together. 

Again, as confirmed by God's Word, Jehovah's Witnesses teach the truth about Jesus Christ.



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Question #5

The WTS claims that Ezekiel's prophecy of the Jews returning to their land is fulfilled in their organization. Ezek 36:24, 28 says "and I will take you out of the nations and collect you together out of all the lands and bring you in upon your own soil" and "You will certainly dwell in the land that I gave to your forefathers, and you must become my people and I myself shall become your God." If this is fulfilled in the Watchtower organization, then how are they returning to the land of CANAAN as promised to the forefathers? Ps 105:8-11


The human mind works in such a way, that it can best grasp complex and abstract ideas if it has a pattern to relate to. Without going into the intricacies of the prophecies themselves, it can be said that the prophecies directed towards ancient Israel establish examples and patterns for the Christian organization of spiritual Israel during the time of God's final judgment. Paul referred to that principle when he wrote to Christians saying: "Now these things went on befalling them as examples, and they were written for a warning to us upon whom the ends of the systems of things have arrived." 


Paul was also inspired to explain how all the features of the primitive tabernacle worship and temple arrangement were merely "a typical representation and shadow of the heavenly things." 


The 36th chapter of Ezekiel is one of many prophecies dealing with the regathering and restoration of the Jewish nation. Israel was in a covenant relationship with Jehovah and that relationship was nearly severed because of the Jews' idolatry and immorality. Jehovah punished them by throwing them out of the land he had given them; but later, he reclaimed them as his people.


Actually though, according to Paul, the real seed of Abraham is the anointed Christian congregation. And following the pattern of the prophecies pertaining to its ancient counterpart, the modern Israel of God is similarly disciplined by God; scattered during a time of tribulation. But as Jesus said, eventually God's chosen ones will be gathered from the four corners of the earth.


Even so, instead of inheriting a literal land of Canaan, Isaiah used the expression "new heavens" and "new earth" to describe the restored Jewish homeland. Bible students, of course, recognize that the apostles Peter and John also specifically referred to a new heavens and new earth, which faithful Christians are to inherit at the end of this present old heavens and old earthly system of things.

Question #6

Consider also what is said concerning those who fulfill this prophecy. Ezek 36:22 says, "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, this is what the sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: 'not for your sakes I am doing it, 0 house of Israel, but for my holy name, which you have PROFANED among the nations where you have come in." 

Since the WTS claims that it is spiritual Israel and fulfils these prophecies in Ezekiel, how do Jehovah's Witnesses believe they have profaned God's name among the nations?

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The Watchtower can hardly be expected to announce Jehovah's condemnatory judgment upon itself. In the original setting of prophecy Ezekiel was appointed by God as a watchman to the house of Israel. In modern times I have assumed the role of a watchman in announcing Jehovah's judgments upon the only organization that can profane the name of God among the nations.  

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Question #7

Since the WTS prohibits the use of blood transfusions, why does it permit the infusion of albumin, clotting factors, and gamma globulins, all of which are derived from human blood? Since Acts 15:29 clearly refers to the old Jewish law of not EATING blood (Gen 9:4, Lev 3:17, Deut 12:16), and since the WTS has changed its teachings so many times on major issues like organ transplantation, the definition of "generation", the year of Armageddon, etc, etc, and simply calls these changes "New Light", how can you be sure they won't some day change their teachings on blood transfusions and refer to the change as "New Light" also?

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When blood transfusions came in to use after WWII it was a pretty straightforward procedure. However, over the years numerous therapies and medicines have been developed that use blood fractions. So, it is not that the Watchtower has changed its policy, but rather, Jehovah's Witnesses are continually confronted with new situations and challenges. And because Jehovah's Witnesses look to the Governing Body of the Watchtower Society for guidance on these matters the leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses has issued its guidelines, basically ruling that using blood derivatives ought to be left up to the individual to decide. In other words, it is a personal matter. I doubt that will ever change.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Question #8

Does Prov 4:18 really justify an organization replacing doctrines and failed prophecies with new doctrines and prophecies, or does it simply contrast the benefit to the "righteous" of obeying a wise father (Prov 4:10-19)? False teachings can be called "false words" and Prov 13:5 says, "A false word is what the righteous hates..." When the WTS changes a teaching to something that is totally different, is it like a light that is getting brighter and brighter or more like having one false light (word) completely turned off and a totally different light turned on? Do you think the WTS would be critical of any other organization that changed its teachings as many times on as many different issues over the last 100 years as the WTS has?

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The Watchtower has not changed any doctrines since its inception. Jehovah's Witnesses basically believe and teach the same things as did the original Bible Students. Prophecy, however, is another matter. The topic of "new light" is considered in this article - Is the Light Brighter for Jehovah's Witnesses? 


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Question #9

Regarding Jesus' return to earth, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that it occurred in l914 as an invisible return. That event is described in Zechariah 14:4, which states, "... and his feet will actually stand in that day upon the mountain of the olive trees which is in front of Jerusalem on the east." If Jesus has no body and if his return was invisible, how do you explain this verse?

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The context concerns the war of Armageddon. Besides, Bible prophecy is not meant to be taken literally. The Jerusalem that is destined to be attacked is not the literal city. The Christian writers make it plain that "Jerusalem" symbolizes the heavenly kingdom. So, those who are due to come under attack are the anointed sons of the kingdom - not the nuclear armed Zionists that happen to reside in the same place as the original Jews.

Furthermore, we may be certain that those who do not understand the most basic and elemental doctrines cannot possibly hope to understand the deep and hidden things of prophecy.



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Question #10

Paul said, "... for as often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives." (1Cor 11:26). If Christ arrived in 1914, why do Jehovah's Witnesses continue to partake of the bread and wine? Shouldn't they have stopped in 1914?

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This is one of the few intelligent questions of the 65. The issues related to Jehovah's Witnesses attachment to 1914 are the subjects taken up by e-watchman

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Question #11

Since the WTS claims "apostolic succession", can it trace its roots all the way back to Christ (Mt 16:18)? If so, who was it that "passed the torch of God's spirit" to C. T. Russell when he founded the organization? What was the name of this individual or individuals?

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The Watchtower does not claim any such "apostolic succession." That is a Catholic doctrine. The truth is, after the apostles died off Christianity lapsed into apostasy and what passed for Christianity was hijacked by Constantine and further infused with the leaven of paganism. The early Bible Students associated with the Watchtower was a movement to restore the original teachings of the apostles. 

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Question #12

The NWT translates Jn 1:1 as "... and the Word was WITH God, and the word was a god." How can the Word (Jesus) be "a god' if God says in Deut 32:39, "See now that I -- I am he, and there are NO gods together with me..."?

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Jehovah is called the God of gods, so obviously there are other gods. Jehovah, though, is called the only true God; and those words came straight from the mouth of Jesus. Jesus ought to know. 

As regards the statement that there are no gods with him, the Word was with him. Jehovah was stating that the gods of the nations were not with him. The coming of Christ was a sacred secret and the identity of the Messiah was not revealed until after Jesus was baptized. Then it was revealed that Jesus was the son of Jehovah and was the firstborn of all creation, the one to whom Jehovah spoke to during creation, saying: "Let us make man in our image." Obviously, someone was with God.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Question #13

The WTS teaches that the 144,000 of Rev 7:4 is to be taken literally. If chapter 7 of Revelation is to be taken literally, where then does the Bible say that the 144,000 will come from? See Rev 7: 5-8.

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Revelation 5:9-10 states: "And they sing a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.”

So, those who are to become rulers in the kingdom of God are taken from all nations and peoples. Revelation 7:5-8, however, presents the rulers of the kingdom as coming from the 12 tribes of Israel. This, though, is not to be understood as physical Israel. Those who are literate in the Scriptures know that Christianity long ago replaced Israel as God's nation. In fact, Jesus pointedly told the Jews that the kingdom of God was being taken from them and given to a nation producing its fruit.  That "nation" is what Paul called "the Israel of God" - the Christian congregation. It is from that congregation that 144,000 are taken. 

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Question #14

Since the WTS currently rejects most of the teachings of its founder, Charles Taze Russell (who was president of the organization from 1879-1916), and since they also reject "judge" Joseph Franklin Rutherford, who succeeded Russell as president from 1916-1942, how can you be sure that in 25 more years, the WTS won't reject the current president, Milton Henschel (1992-present), as they did Russell and Rutherford? What kind of confidence can you have in an organization that rejected its founder and first two presidents for the first 63 years of its existence - over 50% of the time they have existed?!

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Jehovah's Witnesses have not rejected "most of the teachings of its Founder";quite the contrary. The basic doctrinal teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses are for the most part unchanged since 1879. 
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Monday, July 4, 2011

Question #15

If there is no conscious awareness after death, how could the "spirits in prison", who lived during the time of Noah, be preached to by Christ after His death (I Pet 3:18-20) and how could the good news be "declared even unto the dead" (I Pet 4:5-6)?

________________
A comparison of I Peter 3:18-20 with Jude 6 indicates that the spirits in prison are the demons. Jude describes them this way: "And the angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place he has reserved with eternal bonds under dense darkness for the judgment of the great day."

Whereas Peter describes them as spirits in prison Jude says they are angels under eternal bonds.  Clearly, they are not disembodied souls of humans, as the uninformed questioner imagines. The wicked angels are under restraint from re-materializing as men, as they had done before the Flood. Jesus preached to the incarcerated spirits after his resurrection, in that, Jesus triumphed over the Devil and the demons in their attempt to cause him to sin against God or deviate from his sacrificial course. Jesus' very presence in the heavens as a spirit served notice upon them that Satan's boast that he could turn all men away from God had failed and their doom was sealed. 

As for 1 Peter 4:5-6, the questioner does not understand the basic spiritual language of the Scriptures. A home Bible study with Jehovah's Witnesses clarifies many of this passages for those who are rightly disposed to accept the truth. 

For example, Jesus once told a man who hesitated to become his follower so he could wait for his aged father to die, to "let the dead bury their dead." How could the dead bury the dead? Likely the questioner would explain it in terms of shovel-wielding zombies, or something equally absurd; but the simple truth is, that, Jesus was saying that if a person was not born spiritually they were dead, at least in God's eyes. 

And that is also how 1 Peter 4:4-6 is to be understood. The context concerns those who are engaging in worldly pursuits, also called dead works. The good news was preached to those who are practicing dead works and who are themselves considered as good as dead, that they might abandon a deathly state and come alive in Christ.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Question #16

Since the WTS has received "new light" regarding the 1914 generation, and completely changed their views on this, does this mean that all the former Witnesses who were disfellowshipped years ago for the same view the organization is now teaching will automatically be accepted back into fellowship again? Were these ex-Witnesses in fact disfellowshipped for what is now taught as "the Truth"?

_________________
Up until 1995 the Watchtower taught that the generation that was alive in 1914 was the generation Jesus spoke of that would not pass away before the kingdom took over the world. The lifespan of a generation was considered to be 70-80 years. Obviously, 1995 was the 81st year. It was really new light, but the fact that the Watchtower was forced to redefine what Jesus meant by "this generation." 

But no one was disfellowshipped because of not believing what the Watchtower originally stated. 

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Question # 17

If there are 144,000 spirit anointed people who have a heavenly hope, and a great crowd of people who have another hope of everlasting life on paradise earth, why does Paul say that there is only ONE hope (Eph 4:4), instead of two?

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As I have pointed out already, those with an agenda to deceive others frequently cite only a part of a verse and avoid the context. In this case the context states: "One body there is, and one spirit, even as you were called in the one hope to which you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all persons, who is over all and through all and in all."
Paul is addressing those who have been called to become part of the kingdom. For them there is but one hope, one faith, one baptism, etc. 

Besides, God intends to resurrect the vast majority of mankind back to life on earth regardless of whether or not a person had faith. So, the earthly resurrection is not a hope in the same way. It requires nothing of the person except that they die. However, in the 21st chapter of Acts Paul did mention that he had hope that there would be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. Obviously, that is in reference to the earthly resurrection since God would not resurrect an unrighteous person into his presence. In the broader sense, then, there are two hopes. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Question #18

On pgs. 66, 69, 211, 423, 560, 648, and 719 of Jehovah's Witnesses--Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, reference is made to The Finished Mystery, which was the 7th of the Studies in the Scriptures series published by the WTS in 1917 (pg 66, 719), and was the major publication of the WTS at that time. On pgs. 88, 648, and 651, a picture of this book appears, complete with the winged disk symbol of the Egyptian sun god Ra on its front cover. Is it true that The Finished Mystery taught that Christ was the Almighty of Rev 1:8 (pg 15), that Christ established a "Church" (pg 17), that Christ returned invisibly in 1874 (pg 54, 60, 68). that the Holy Spirit has a personality (pg 57), that the great pyramid of Giza was God's stone witness and was used to predict the year of Armageddon (pg 60), that Armageddon would definitely occur in the spring of 1918 (pg 62), that Christ was crucified (pg 68), that Leviathan of the Bible refers to the steam locomotive (pg 85), and that Michael is the Pope of Rome and the angels are his bishops (pg 188)? According to "current" WTS teachings, Christ returned invisibly in 1914 and in 1918 chose the WTS as his earthly organization because they were the only ones teaching "the Truth". If this was so, then Jesus would have known the teachings of the WTS as put forth in The Finished Mystery, published in 1917. Do you really think that Jesus would have chosen an organization which taught so many things that were not correct according to "current" WTS teachings and are no longer taught as "the truth"?
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When Jehovah's Witnesses are confronted with this type of question from a Catholic who is obviously familiar with the early writings of the Watchtower it might be wise to reverse the question and have them consider some of the idiotic teachings and practices of Catholicism that demonstrably come straight from Babylon. Perhaps ask them to account for the millions of people who have been murdered by the Vatican through incessant wars, like the Crusades and religious wars against Protestants; the torturing and flailing of "heretics" and those who dared to translate and publish or even read the Bible. Could God possibly have anything to do with an organization that makes deals with dictators and tyrants and shares the loot with plunderers? Get real!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Question # 19

In Jn 20:28, John refers to Jesus in Greek as "Ho kyrios moy kai ho theos moy". This translates literally as "the Lord of me and THE God of me". Why does Jesus, in Jn 20:29, affirm Thomas for having come to this realization? If Jesus really wasn't the Lord and THE God of Thomas, why didn't Jesus correct him for making either a false assumption or a blasphemous statement?

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First, Jesus did not affirm that he was God. He merely said, 'because you have seen me you believe?' If persons declare themselves to be worshippers of Jesus based upon the declaration of Thomas, who prior to his seeing Jesus had declared himself to be an unbeliever, then basically such persons betray themselves as not worshipping Jesus' God. 

And really that is the whole point. Satan does not want persons to worship the One whom Jesus addressed as "the only true God." 

Immediately after Jesus was resurrected he told Mary to stop clinging to him because he had not yet ascended to "my God and your God." So, the question Jehovah's Witnesses ought to pose to those who claim that Jesus is God is: Who is Jesus' God? 

It is a simple question, but no trinitarian can supply a sensible answer. 

Question #20

If Christ will not have a visible return to earth, then how will he be seen by "ALL the tribes of the earth" (Mt 24:30), and by "EVERY eye" (Rev 1:7) when he returns? How can Christ "APPEAR" a second time (Heb 9:28) if he will not have a visible return to earth?
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Right before Jesus ascended back to heaven he told his disciples that the world would behold him no longer. But then Jesus assured his disciples that they would see him. How is that to be harmonized with the verses cited as proof texts that the nations will see Jesus?

First, it must be recognized that Jesus is now in God’s form, meaning no human may see him full-on and survive the encounter. Paul is the only human to have had a glimpse of Christ after he ascended and Paul was blinded for three days from the event. Paul later said that his seeing Christ was as if he had been born premature - meaning that all of Christ’s chosen ones will eventually see the glorified Christ when he returns. We may be certain that seeing Christ is a privilege reserved for the chosen ones.

How, then, are we to understand the verses that say every eye will see him? Again, since Jesus said the world would no longer behold him it must not be in a literal sense that “every eye” will see him. The way it ought to be understood is that every person on earth will be forced to realize that they are fighting against Christ. That is important since the majority of people presently living on earth do not accept Christ as having any authority over them. So, during the great tribulation Muslims, atheists, Catholics and Protestants, and everyone on earth, will know that Christ has come to sanctify the name of Jehovah. 


The Revelation of Christ and the Two Witnesses 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Question #21

HOME OF 65 QUESTIONS FOR JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

In Rev 19:1, where does it say that the great crowd will be?

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It has apparently never occurred to the questioner that Revelation might refer to more than one great crowd. Revelation 19:1 does indeed refer to a great crowd in heaven, obviously composed of angels. However, is it not possible that there is also a great crowd of loyal worshippers on earth? Certainly reasonable people would agree.



Monday, June 20, 2011

Question #22

If the Holy Spirit is God's impersonal active force, how could he: Be referred to as "he" and "him" in Jn 16:7- 8 and Jn 16:13-14; Bear witness (Jn 15:26); Feel hurt (Isa 63:10); Be blasphemed against (Mk 3:29); Say things (Ezek 3:24, Acts 8:29, 10:19, 11:12, and Heb 10:15-17): Desire (Gal 5:17); Be outraged (Heb 10:29); Search (I Cor 2:10); Comfort (Acts 9:31); Be loved (Rom 15:30); Be lied to and be God (Acts 5:3-4)?

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The Watchtower has an article online that satisfactorily answers this question. The short of it, the Bible at times personifies the spirit, as it does other things. For example, Paul referred to sin as a king.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Question #23

What is the correct spelling of God's proper name, "Yahweh" or "Jehovah"? If Jehovah's Witnesses maintain that "Yahweh" is more proper, why do they misspell it "Jehovah"? If the name of God is so important, then should you not only pronounce it correctly, but spell it correctly too?

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The correct spelling of God's name depends upon the language into which it is being translated. There are literally thousands of different languages and dialects spoken by mankind around the globe. 

The language of the Bible was originally Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. God's personal appeared in the ancient text thousands of times as YHWH. Due to the fact that Hebrew was written without vowels the exact spelling of the YHWH is uncertain. But because so many proper Hebrew names were derived from variations of YHWH, we can be fairly certain YHWH was pronounced with three syllables, not two as in Yah-weh. Most likely it was pronounced Ye-ho-wah. 

But Yeh-ho-wah is a foreign word in English.When Hebrew names are translated into English the "Y" is dropped in favor of "J." Also, the "W" is translated using the letter "V." So, the construction of the name Jehovah follows the same rules as is applied to all other Hebrew names that are translated into English. 


Question #24

Jn 1:3 says that Jesus created "all things", but in Isa 44:24, God says that he "by myself created the heavens and the earth" and asks the question "Who was with me?" when the heavens and the earth were created. How can this be since if Jesus had been created by God, then he would have been with God when everything else was created?
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First, it is necessary to correct the questioner. Point out to them that John 1:3 does not say that the Word was the creator, as is implied by the question. John 1:3 and other passages make plain that creation came about through the Word, or by means of him. The wording of those passages indicate that the Word was an agent of the Creator, but not the Creator himself. 


Next Jehovah’s Witnesses ought to direct the questioner to the first  chapter of  Genesis, where God spoke to someone in the invisible realm, saying: “Let us make man in our image.”

Obviously someone was with God. So, having established that fact try to reason with the person and explain to them that Jehovah was speaking to his only-begotten son, also known as the Word. John explained that the Word was with God in the beginning because he is the firstborn of all creation and that all things came into existence through him.


Then try to reason with the person on the context of Isaiah, how Jehovah was revealing that there were no gods that he recognized. That is because there were numerous gods back then that were competing for Jehovah’s worship. 

However, even though Jesus is rightly called a god, he is not a god that came into existence apart from being a direct creation of Jehovah God. As the exact representation of God the Word is rightly called a god, just not in the same sense as the demonic gods of the nations. 

So, Isaiah is not in conflict with what is revealed as regards the Word, it is simply a matter of trinity believers failing to understand the Scriptures. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Question #25

If the soul is the body, why does Jesus make a distinction between the body and the soul in Mt 10:28?

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Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that the soul is merely the body. The soul encompasses the whole of the creature, mind, body, their life as a person. Here is a Watchtower article that explains the various ways the word "soul" is used in the Bible. 

As for Mathew 10:28, which reads: "And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna", Jesus here is using the word "soul" to represent the person's future life prospects. 

Jesus was saying that men may indeed kill us but they cannot determine if we will live again. God, on the other hand, can also kill, but he may also take away any prospect of a resurrection of the dead. Obviously, too, the verse is not saying the soul is immortal, as deluded religionists have been induced to believe. Just the opposite, in fact. Jesus indicated that God could destroy the soul. Basically, Jesus is contrasting two sorts of death. Temporary death and permanent death. Gehenna represents permanent death. Permanent death comes about if God judges a person to be unworthy of a resurrection.

Question #26

In Col 1:15-17, the NWT inserts the word "other" 4 times even though it is not in the original Greek (See Gr- Engl Interlinear). Why is the word "other" inserted? How would these verses read if the word "other" had not been inserted? What does scripture say about adding words to the Bible? See Prov 30:5-6.
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The span of verses in question read as follows: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. 17 Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist, 18 and he is the head of the body, the congregation. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that he might become the one who is first in all things; 19 because [God] saw good for all fullness to dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile again to himself all [other] things by making peace through the blood [he shed] on the torture stake, no matter whether they are the things upon the earth or the things in the heavens.”

As regards the use of the bracketed “other” it is perfectly justified considering the context. (See question #27) The questioner is apparently ignorant of the fact that all translations insert words into the text in order to add clarity. For example, let the reader take note of the fact that the word “God” in verse 19 also appears within brackets. That is because theos does not appear in the Greek text in that verse, so in keeping with their device to inform the reader that the word has been inserted at the descretion of the translator it appears in brackets. The NIV  also inserts “God” and other translations insert “Father,” however, they do not use brackets. So, for the questioner to imply that the NIV is practicing some dark, sinister art of translation simply reflects their ignorance.

Those who wish to believe and perpetrate the lie that Jesus is God, and other similar hoaxes, typically practice their deception upon the unwary by trying to focus attention on letters, words and fragments of verses taken out of context. So, it is always a good idea for Jehovah's Witnesses to get the questioner to read the context. 

So, according to the context cited above Jesus is the image of the Father. Hebrews 1:3 is even more specific, saying that Jesus is the exact representation of his very being.

Most rational and reasonable people will admit that an image and a representation cannot be the same as that which is represented. For instance, a duplicate or a representation of a Picasso is not the same thing as the original painting. It may be an exact copy, but it is still not the original. 

Jesus is an exact representation of Jehovah, but he is not Jehovah, nor is he God’s equal. Furthermore, the scripture plainly states that Jesus is the firstborn of all creation. To speak of God as having a beginning or being born is nonsensical. But, again, rational and honest reasoning people readily admit that sons do not come to life before their Fathers. The trinity hoax, of course, states that the son had no beginning. Why God would relate himself as a son of a father if there is not a true father/son relationship defies all reason.

The key to understanding why it is appropriate to insert “other” in the context above is better understood by a comparison of 1 Corinthians 15:27-29, which states: “For [God] “subjected all things under his feet.” But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that it is with the exception of the one who subjected all things to him. But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.”

In saying “it is evident that it is with the exception” Paul as stating the obvious fact that God is not subject to Jesus. Likewise, it is evident that Jesus did not create himself. Hence, Jesus, though the firstborn of God, created all other things - with the exception of himself.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Question #27

In Phil 2:9, the NWT inserts the word "other" even though it doesn't appear in the original Greek (See Gr-Engl Interlinear). What is the reason for inserting this word? Is the word "Jehovah" a name? See Exo 6:3, Ps 83:18, and Isa 42:8. How would the verse read if the word "other" had not been inserted? What does scripture say about adding words to the Bible? See Prov 30:5-6. If Christians are persecuted for the sake of Jehovah's name, why did Christ tell the first Christians that they would be persecuted for the sake of his (Jesus') name, instead of Jehovah's (Mt 24:9, Mk 13:13, Lk 21:12,17, Jn 15:21, and Acts 9:16)? If the name "Jehovah" is so important, then why does Acts 4:12 say, "There is salvation in no one else; for there is not another name [vs 10 Jesus Christ] under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must get saved"? If the teachings of the WTS are correct, would this not have been the logical place for God to have used the name "YHWH" or "Jehovah"? Since the word "Jehovah" didn't appear until at least the 12th century, and since the term "Jehovah's Witnesses" wasn't used by the WTS until the early 1930's, doesn't this mean that the first century Christians were not known as "Jehovah's Witnesses"?
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Again, the questioner betrays their ignorance of basic Bible truths, as well as principles of translation. The verse in question states: “For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every [other] name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

First, every translation of the Bible uses words that do not appear in the original text. After all, the obligation of the translator is to convey the intended message of the original, not merely words. That being the case, it is the prerogative of the translator to use the best possible phrasing that makes clear what the original actually meant. 


When the NWT inserts a word that was not in the original they use the device of enclosing the word in brackets. Other translations do not do that. Which translator is being more straightforward?

As for the context of Philippians 2:9, anyone reading the surrounding verses, who does not have an agenda, can clearly see that God gave Jesus the honors bestowed upon him. Jesus did not give himself a name that is above all others. God gave it to him. 

So, it is surely obvious to all put the most perverse deceivers, that, Jesus is not above the One who elevated him to the superior position and decreed that all creation must bow before the Son. That being the case, the NWT is perfectly justified in adding clarity to that passage to make it clear that the name of Jesus is not above the name of God. 

No doubt the reason the NWT committee felt compelled to do that is because the waters have been so muddied up by those who wish to confuse Jehovah with Jesus.

As for the name of Jehovah appearing in English in the 12th century, that is almost as old as the English language itself. In fact, moderns who try to read olde English will realize that it is almost a different language. 


So, the name Jehovah is not a new and strange thing to English. The divine name was introduced into English before modern English even developed and it appeared in the first English translations of the Bible. And the construction of the name JEHOVAH follows exactly the fundamentals of the way all other Hebrew names have been rendered into English.

As for the first century Christians, they were known as the people for God's name. But since English didn't exist then, and the original Christians spoke a variety of languages, we may be sure they did not use the name Jehovah. But they obviously did use his name in their own dialect. And they surely knew that YHWH and Jesus were not the same entity.


The hoax the Devil and his dupes have long sought to foist upon the unlearned is that Jesus has replaced Jehovah, or that they are one and the same. The fact is, the world will soon be forced to know that God is Jehovah, and the beauty of it is that Jesus is going to be the enforcer.


Question #28

The WTS makes the claim, "Like the Primitive Christian Community - the religious publication 'Interpretation' stated in July 1956: 'In their organization and witnessing work, they [Jehovah's Witnesses] come as close as any group to approximating the primitive Christian community..."- Jehovah's Witnesses- Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, pg 234, and on pg 677 of the same book, a caption appears titled "Like the early Christians". Do Jehovah's Witnesses pray the "Our Father" (Mt 6:9-13), break bread together (celebrate the Eucharist) frequently (1Cor 10:16-17, 1Cor 11:26-27), come together on Sunday to break bread (Acts 20:7), confirm the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:15-17, 19:5-6, Heb 6:2, 2Tim 1:6), ordain (appoint) priests (elders) through the laying on of hands (Acts 6:5-6, 13:2-3), pray to Jesus (Mt 11:28, Acts 7:59-60, 1Cor 16:22-23, Rev 22:20), anoint the sick with oil (Mk 6:12-13, Jas 5:14), often kneel down to pray (Acts 9:40, 20:36, 21:5, Lk 22:41), consider themselves to be witnesses of Christ (Acts 1:8, 10:39, 13:31), have deacons (1Tim 3:8, 10, 12), fast from than Jesus Christ (Acts 4:10-12), celebrate Pentecost (Acts 2:1, 20:16, 1Cor 16:8), have special people that look after widows and orphans (Acts 6:1-4, Jas 1:27), occaisionally drink wine (1Tim 5:23)? If not, then how can Jehovah's Witnesses consider themselves to be like the primitive Christian community?

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Many of the practices cited by the questioner were customs associated with the MiddleEastern culture of antiquity, as well as Judaism, such as anointing the sick with oil. Not only that, but certain practices were phased out, so to speak. For example, all of the original Christians were Jewish, but when Gentiles began to be anointed with holy spirit then it gradually dawned upon the Jewish Christians that they were no longer under the Law, so customs associated with the Sabbath and other festivals, like Pentecost, were no longer observed. Not only that, but the miraculous gifts of the spirit would eventually cease as well.

Jehovah’s Witnesses may consider themselves similar to the primitive Christian community in that they are an evangelical organization. Like the original Christians Jehovah’s Witnesses have gone out into the world preaching the messages of God’s kingdom, in obedience to Christ’s command. Like the first century Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses are a true brotherhood. Also, Jehovah’s Witnesses are distinguished by the fact that they are no part of the world. Mainstream Catholics and Protestants are no only part of the world, they are the world. 

As for eating the Lord's evening meal, that was an annual affair to commemorate the death of Jesus.  Jehovah's Witnesses have deacons too, they are called ministerial servants. 


As for praying the so-called "Our Father," in the very same breath Jesus instructed his followers not to be like the people of the nations who pray the same thing over and over. So, Jesus did not intend for his followers to simply recite the the Lord's prayer. It is an outline or a model prayer, not something to be repeated by rote. By their doing so Catholics betray themselves as being the people of the nations who do not know God.

But certain things listed by the questioner are merely personal matters. For example, some Christians may prefer to knell when praying in private. Also, some of Jehovah's Witnesses drink wine. And for certain, Jehovah's Witnesses witness for Christ and are exhorted to be mindful of widows in the congregations. 


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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Question #29

In Rev 14:13, how can the dead be "happy" and find "rest", if there is no conscious awareness after death?
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There is conscious awareness after death. It comes about by means of the resurrection from the dead.

This question really reflects an appalling ignorance of a very basic truth. When Jesus was on earth he plainly taught that the dead are asleep. Anyone who has ever read the Gospel knows that to be true. When his friend Lazarus died Jesus said that he had gone to sleep. Jesus woke him from the dead. Jesus taught that everyone in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and return to life again. Until that day, though, the dead are dead - as if asleep in the ground.

Paul also referred to those sleeping in death. The reason death is likened to sleep is because when we sleep we are unconscious. The Bible says the dead are unconscious.  People who study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses understand these basic Bible truths in the first few sessions.

Because the churches were long ago infused with mysticism and paganism, people who today imagine themselves to be Christians actually have more in common with Hindus, Muslims and New Age pantheists, who all believe in a mystical soul that survives death and flits off into the world beyond, or wherever. However, while the Bible clearly teaches that the dead are unconscious and will remain in that state until the resurrection, at 1 Corinthians 15:51 Paul revealed a sacred secret. “Look! I tell you a sacred secret: We shall not all fall asleep in death, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, during the last trumpet.”

So, according to Paul not all anointed Christians will sleep in death. How is that? Paul explains at 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, saying: “For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord shall in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

So, Paul reveals that all Christians who are in union with Christ who die before his return, or presence, do indeed sleep in death. And they will be resurrected first. However, the chosen ones living during the presence do not have to sleep in death. But they do have to die in the flesh, because as Paul explained flesh and blood cannot inherit the heavenly kingdom. But the difference is, those chosen ones who will die during the presence of Christ do not sleep in death. They will be instantaneously transformed into immortal spirits.

Understanding the sacred secrets revealed by Paul allows us to understand Revelation 14:13, which states in full: “And I heard a voice out of heaven say: 'Write: Happy are the dead who die in union with the Lord from this time onward. Yes, says the spirit, let them rest from their labors, for the things they did go right with them.”

This verse, the context of which is in relation to the 144,000 holy ones, is in complete harmony with the writings of the apostle, showing that there is a specific point at which those who die in union with Christ do not sleep in death. But contrary to the fictions associated with rapture spun by ignorant evangelicals, those in union with Christ must all die eventually. 

To re-state the point: The only difference is those who die during the conclusion will not sleep in death as their predecessors.

Least someone conjure up Hollywood images of happy zombies, the verse in question only refers to them being dead from a human standpoint. They find "rest," not in death, but they rest from the works of faith performed on earth, struggling to get into the kingdom through the narrow door of salvation, trying to serve God and Christ. They rest, in that, “The things they did go right with them” - to heaven.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Question #30


Is it true that the WTS's prophecy that Armageddon will come before "the end of the generation of 1914" (You Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth, pg 154), is no longer taught as "the Truth"? If so, then does this mean that this teaching of the WTS, which they have taught as "the Truth" for decades, was really a false teaching? Since the WTS claims that they are the "one channel that the Lord is using during the last days of this system of things" (Jehovah's Witnesses-Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, pg 626) and that the governing body is "the mouthpiece of Jehovah God", does this mean that God changed His mind about this teaching and the definition of "generation"? Is it possible that God could change His mind? Has the WTS ever changed their mind before about a teaching that they once taught as "the Truth"?
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In the first century the apostles were selected to be the mouthpiece for Christ and to determine correct doctrine, etc. However, all during Christ’s ministry the apostles and other disciples were laboring under the delusion that Jesus was going to restore the kingdom of David on earth at that time. When Jesus told them he was going to suffer and be killed the apostles could not understand what he was talking about. But after Jesus was resurrected Jesus opened up their minds to understand the prophecies, at least up to a point. 
Right before Jesus ascended back to heaven Peter asked Jesus what would become of John. Jesus responded: “If it is my will for him to remain until I come, of what concern is that to you? You continue following me.”
The account in the 21st chapter of John goes on to say: “In consequence, this saying went out among the brothers, that that disciple would not die. However, Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but: ‘If it is my will for him to remain until I come, of what concern is that to you?’”
So, the apostles, the mouthpiece of Christ, the governing body of the Christian congregation back then, misunderstood Jesus, and as a consequence they started a rumor that “went out among the brothers” that John would not die before Christ returned. When John wrote his gospel version he was quite aged, perhaps as much as 60 years had passed and apparently it was only as he neared his own death that the misunderstanding was set straight. The question is: Were the apostles false prophets? 
To be sure, though, there is more to the Watchtower’s 1914 doctrine than a mere misunderstanding. Bible prophecy reveals that God allows for an operation of error to be put in place that will test the love of the truth of his chosen ones and company as an immediate prelude to the actual return of Christ and day of Jehovah. 
For additional reading see the following articles: 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Question #31

If the name Jehovah is so important, then why is it never used in the entire Greek New Testament? If men edited out the proper name of God, "YHWH", when they copied the New Testament, as only the WTS claims, thereby altering God's word, then how can we have confidence in ANY of the New Testament? Should we discard the New Testament or the WTS as unreliable?

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Satan has long sought to remove God’s name, not just merely from the Bible, but more especially, from the minds and tongues of men.

It is a known fact that the Hebrew letters representing God’s name, YHWH, appeared nearly 7,000 times in the original Hebrew. That Tetragrammaton was also used in the first Greek translations, called the Septuagint. However, eventually the pious Jews came up with a scheme to stop pronouncing the YHWH on the pretext it was too holy to be uttered. That tendency was exposed by Jehovah himself in the 23rd chapter of Jeremiah, where God stated: “They are thinking of making my people forget my name by means of their dreams that they keep relating each one to the other, just as their fathers forgot my name by means of Baal.”

Modern religionists have gone one step further, they have removed any semblance of YHWH from their translations of the Bible altogether. Even the four places where it appeared in the original King James Version have since been expunged in the latest revision. So, clearly the tendency is there on the part of religious authorities and translators to get rid of God’s name. The intent is to make people believe Jesus is God and shove Jehovah out of the picture.

Now when it comes to why the Greek copies do not have the divine name, consider the fact that Jesus and the apostles often quoted from the Hebrew text or possibly the Greek Septuagint, and it was often the case that the quoted text contained the YHWH. 


For example, when Jesus introduced himself as the Messiah in the synagogue in Nazareth he read directly from the first two verses of the 61st chapter of Isaiah, a passage where the divine name appeared in two places in both the Hebrew and Greek then extant. 

It is merely a matter of common sense then to ask, would Jesus have followed a Jewish custom of not pronouncing God’s name, a name Jesus himself said he had made known to men? Obviously, the answer is no. Jesus would have pronounced the name. The question then becomes, why doesn’t it appear in the Greek copies in existence today? 

Since there are no original Greek Scriptures in existence that were produced by the apostles and other Gospel writers, the only sensible answer is that in later centuries Satan the Devil over-reached copyists and induced them to remove God's name from their copies. Given the undeniable hatred of the name that has been manifested from ancient times to the present, there is no doubt that is what occurred. 

Why not discard the rest of the Bible, the questioner asks? Multitudes of Christians in Christendom have, in effect, done just that. It does them little good anyway. Like Jesus said, ‘Why do you call me Lord and yet do not do the things I say?’

During the day of Jehovah, now about to break upon the world, the nations will be forced to know that he is Jehovah and only those who call upon the name of Jehovah in faith will be saved. It is the perfect judgment from Jehovah and a fitting end for those who love the lie. 



Question #32

If Jesus was executed on a torture stake, with both hands together over his head, as only the WTS teaches, why does Jn 20:25 say "... unless I see in his hands the print of the nailS...", indicating that there was more than one nail used for his hands? Two nails would have been used if he was crucified on a cross.

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The original Greek words that are translated as cross in popular versions are xylon and starous, which mean tree and stake, respectively. So, that is a pretty good indication that Jesus was not put to death on a cross. It turns out that the cross was in use as a religious symbol long before Jesus came to earth. When original Christianity became corrupted and hijacked by the Roman empire eventually the cross was instituted as the very symbol of Christianity - thus Satan inserted his pagan symbol in that which claimed to belong to Christ. As far as two nails, that could be understood to mean the two nail prints, one in each hand. Given the foregoing, it certainly should not be the determining factor. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Question #33

Can Jehovah's Witnesses hold and discuss openly with other Witnesses opinions that differ from orthodox WTS teachings? If no, why not?

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No. The Watchtower strongly discourages Jehovah's Witnesses from private discussions of ideas not sanctioned by the Governing Body. The reason being is the tendency to form sects. As most are aware, the mainstream denominations of Christendom have splintered into hundreds of sects and sub-sects and cults. For the most part the Watchtower has been able to prevent that from happening among Jehovah's Witnesses. 

It ought to be recognized that the apostles acted similarly. For example, Paul instructed Titus to be on guard against those men whom he described as "unruly men, profitless talkers, and deceivers of the mind, especially those men who adhere to the circumcision. It is necessary to shut the mouths of these, as these very men keep on subverting entire households by teaching things they ought not for the sake of dishonest gain. "

So,  it is the responsibility of those in leadership positions within Christ's congregation to protect people from profitless talkers and deceivers who pose the danger of overturning our faith. Ultimately, though, the men in positions of leadership will be judged as to whether they have been faithful to their master.