IMPASS!!!! {Dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses and the John 1:1 Question}

Image    Hi!  Thanks for coming by!  It’s a shame I didn’t ask for your email address the last time we talked. We could have just chatted on line and you could have stayed nice and warm at home, instead of your having to come out in this weather.  Anyway, I’ve got the coffee on and even bought Oreos for the occasion. You aren’t diabetic, are you? Thank goodness.  I’d hate for you to end up in a coma in the middle of our Bible study. ….

I’ve done a lot of studying since our chance encounter, but since we have so much ground to cover, on various issues, can we just do one topic at a time?  I’m not great with multi-tasking, and it would save you a lot of bother, too. I’m sure. You don’t have to remember a hodge-podge of verses, for a dozen topics, and you can organize your studies by what we talk about, at each study.  And I’m a notebook collector, so if you need a spare, let me know….

Anyway, as I was saying, there are a LOT of topics to cover, so I’d feel  more comfortable dealing with one issue, or possibly two, but no more than two.   Thanks for your presentation, by the way.  You’re a LOT better organized than some people I’ve come across who are more like….magazine salespeople than Kingdom proclaimers. Still, there is ONE question I want to ask about, but it’s a biggie. Actually, it’s the biggest!  It has to do with the person of Jesus Christ. See, the entire New Testament is about Him, and so it puzzled me when another Watchtower believer said that Jesus was ‘a god’.  Is that what the Watchtower teaches?  That Jesus is only a small g god?   Well then, is he a true god or a false god?

Just as I thought, We’re at an impass. See, Jesus can’t be ‘a’ true god, because, according to 1 Corinthians 8:4 and 5, there is only ONE TRUE GOD. There may be those that are CALLED gods, (small g) but that puts those gods in the  category of IDOLS, as you can see from 1 Chronicles 16:26, where it says, “For all the gods (small g)  of the people are IDOLS, but JEHOVAH GOD made the heavens.”   And, then, if he’s a false god….well, there’s really no IF about it. Jesus is a FALSE god if he is not the TRUE GOD and so the Pharisees were well within their rights to have Jesus of Nazareth executed as a HERETIC. And if he’s executed as a false prophet and a blasphemer, what difference does it make if he was executed by the ‘pagan’ symbol of the cross?  It shouldn’t make any difference to anyone whether he was crucified, impaled, hanged or shot at dawn!  The Watchtower doesn’t make an issue of those other two thieves being crucified, so why should it be a big deal for a HERETIC to be crucified?

Okay, okay….you insist Jesus wasn’t a heretic, but he wasn’t Jehovah, then who was he? —  An ANGEL? Hmmmm…Could you go to Hebrews chapter 1 with me, because there are a few things the Watchtower may have overlooked, in their teaching.  See where it says that Jesus was BETTER than the angels, even though, according to verse 9, in His HUMANITY, he was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death. Still, the word BETTER denotes NATURE, not simply rank. If you have a boss, he or she has certain privileges of rank or office, that you might not have, but he or she, by NATURE is NOT better than you are, just in a GREATER position.  Barak Obama may be in a greater position than we are, as the President of the United States, but as for his nature, he is FAR from being BETTER than either of us!  Especially where his tract record is concerned, but never mind that!

If you go to Philipians Chapter 2 and read ALL OF IT, from verse 5-11, then you will have your answer to John 14:28, which I’ve had some experience with, the hard way. It explains not only WHO HE IS, but what HE DID. AND, in verse 10, it says that at the NAME OF JESUS every knee would bow….

‘OTHER name’?  I don’t have that in my Bible.  I’m reading a New King James Bible from Nelson House. They’re very reputable. But see what’s happening?  We’re back to the question of WHO JESUS IS (or isn’t) and we’re stuck in gridlock again. Unless you can solve that problem, you’ll never have any peace on the issue, no matter how many other issues you might have right.  The Person, Nature and work of JESUS of NAZARETH is THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION of the ages. How you answer it, will decide your etern….

Okay, okay. Sorry about that. One topic at a time. Either way, though, do you want to have to endure what the book of Revelation talks about?  Locusts with stings like scorpions?  All the seas turning to blood and the stench of dead fish and sea life all over the place? Boils?  Count me out!  Anyway, to get back to THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION…. When Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do YOU say that I am?”  Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!”

An interesting contrast is, that when the Jewish leaders heard this, they were FURIOUS and wanted to kill Jesus!  In chapter 5 of John, they heard about the healing of the sick man, by Jesus, (on the SABBATH, no less) and when they wanted to know why He would break the sabbath law by healing someone, Jesus said that He was doing the works of His Father. At that point (vs 18) they wanted to kill Him that much worse, because Jesus had not only broken their sabbath law, but called God His Father; making Himself EQUAL WITH GOD.

First off, Jesus KNEW the Sabbath Law and was NOT breaking it. He was  simply breaking THEIR hard-nosed interpretation of the law. Second though, and on this, they were right, Jesus calling Himself the SON of God makes Jesus of the same FAMILY and NATURE of His FATHER. Doesn’t that apply to any of us?  For better or worse, we share our parents’ nature. I have some personality features that I get from my mom.. I’m not crazy about it, but, whatever…And NONE of us is INFERIOR to our parents. In Luke chapter 2, it said that Jesus was SUBJECT (or submitted to) Joseph and Mary, but that was in loving obedience, NOT that they were superior to Him. The same way, Jesus, in His Humanity, (Phil 2:6 &7~read WHOLE VERSE) set aside the right to INDEPENDENTLY EXERCISE HIS ATTRIBUTES of DEITY. He was in Submission to His Father, the whole time.

In Hebrews, Jesus is called our HIGH PRIEST, but it says that He was tested in all ways, like we are, yet, WITHOUT SIN. (Hebrews 4:15)

On the matter of angels, though…there is another contradiction that needs clearing up;  Did Jesus accept Thomas’ worship, (John 20:25-28)   But he was an angel, right?  According to Hebrews 1;5-8  there is a clear distinction between the angels and Jesus. As well, in Revelation 19:10 and 22:8&9  John got rebuked TWICE by the same angel, for worshipping him.  Should Jesus not have said the same thing to Thomas?

Make Sure of All Things….(1 Thess 5:21)?

The

Lamp

Unto My

Feet

(Bible Study Notes

For J.W. Ministry )

The True Shepherd

The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

 

April 2nd, 2012

Studies in the Scriptures

With

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Dear WatchTower friends;

When I first began committing my Bible notes to a document page, I was trying to write it as a book, from a third person perspective and it just didn’t feel right. Thankfully, I didn’t get too far into the project…not even a page, and so I was able to start from scratch. This way, it reads more like the opening of a conversation than someone who’s trying to sound KNOWLEDGEABLE when I’m pretty much learning as I go.  As this study progresses, please feel free to let me know (politely, constructively) as I hope I will be, as I go along.  One great thing about a written ‘conversation’ is that we both have time to think before answering and so there’s no stress or post-conversational remorse, “Gee, I wish I’d said….” I don’t know about you, but I do that quite a bit. Especially if I’m in a debate with someone. This way, we can add stuff that a face to face discussion might leave out. That said, let’s get started.

First Things First;  Before we go any further, I need to ask, What do you, personally, believe to be THE FIRST authority in religious matters?  The Watchtower or the Bible? Over the years, I’ve heard this one scripture quoted quite a few times, so when I needed it, I was able to check out the reference in a good concordance.  2 Timothy 3:16 and 17.

16) All scripture is given by Inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17) That the man (or woman~italics, mine.)  may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Now, before you get into a panic about the word ‘perfect’, it simply means COMPLETE. There is a verse that says, “We are Complete (perfected,) in Him (Christ), who is the head of all principality and power.”~Colossians 2:10.  I’m reading from the King James Bible (Standard, 2012, Color Coded) with a Nelson House Three in One Bible Reference Companion. It’s a concordance, Dictionary and Topical index in one book. Trust me, when you live in an apartment, and have an over-sized desk, these compact jobs come in handy!

Anywho, back to the subject. 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 says, simply that the BIBLE can and should be our source for all religious instruction, and any other religious book and/or teaching that claims to get its inspiration FROM the Bible needs to be tested BY the Bible. (1 Thess 5:21/2 Tim 4:1-4) because, if the Watchtower is teaching the truth, then it should not be worried about your testing their teaching by THE first authority; (i.e. The Bible).  Remember, too, that the BIBLE precedes the WATCHTOWER by roughly two thousand years, give or take.

So, Doesn’t it make sense that, if the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society was needed to interpret the Bible, God would have made this organization available to people as soon as Old Testament Scrolls were accessible? All I’m saying is that God gave YOU the same brain He gave the Watchtower elders, and He expects you to use what He gave you. You can’t be responsible for their actions but you ARE responsible, both personally, and before God, one day, for what you believe. Problem is, how can you ‘Make Sure of All Things’   unless you are able to TEST IT.  If you are wondering about something you were taught by the Society, then, for your own peace of mind, you should be able to check something out, on your own.  I won’t tell the elders if you don’t. 🙂