Archive for the ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ Category

エホバの証人

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

このブログではこのカルト的宗教ムーブメントの創始者である、チャールズ・ラッセルおよびジョセフ・ルザフォードに着目する。このリーダー二人組を一目見たとき、私の脳裏に浮んだのはジョセフ・スミスおよびブリンガム・ヤングというモルモン教の悪名高き二人のリーダーとの相似性である。迷いのない妄想家として彼らは組織を拡大させていった。双方共19世紀に創設され、その当時世の中を席巻していた話題を拾い上げながら、新しい宗教の創設(再興)を触れ回ったのです。ここで各々のグループに問いたい。あなたがたがキリスト教の主流を著しく逸脱しながら究極の真理を心得ているとするなら、果たしてどちらを絶対的な正統とみなすべきか?

とにかくいずれの宗教的ムーブメントにしてもその正当性は、その創設者の品性に掛かっていると言っても過言ではない。エホバの証人はその過去、とくに「パスター」と称されたラッセルに関わる草創期のことについては触れたがらない。しかしラッセルの尽力無しに今日この宗教的ムーブメントは存在し得なかったことを留意すべきである。

ラッセルが拒絶されたのは、その陰鬱な性格に加えて、ラザフォードがラッセルの教示の多くを非難した事実に起因していると思われる。

ラッセルのような緻密な人物を用いたことにも、真理を復元させようとする驚くべき神の偉大さを認めることができます。なぜ当初、ラザフォードだけを神の託宣の伝道者としなかったのか。組織がその形成に当たって堅いリーダーシップに欠けていることは、その組織の脆弱性と教理に対する不信感を裏付けている。

現代の宗教およびカルトについて、通信手段が発達し記録媒体も豊富にある現代において、人々が自分の発言に対して誠実にならざるを得ない中、カルトの訴える真理というものが容易く吟味と批判の的に晒される。

ラッセルの信用は法律に絡む失敗を起点として徐々に瓦解していく。彼は2、3回にわたり訴訟を起こすものの、いずれも敗訴または棄却に終わっている。

その一つが「奇跡の小麦」事件と呼ばれる詐欺行為に端を発したものである。ラッセルは5倍の収穫量を唱ってこの麦を法外な価格で販売。しかし政府の役人が調査した結果、その品質が劣悪であることが発覚しました。
また1912年にはラッセルが自分に関する小冊子を発行したレバレンド・JJロスを訴えるという別の訴訟も発生。ロスを文書による誹謗中傷のかどで法廷に呼び出すことで反撃を図ったのだ。勝訴するためにラッセルは、ロスの冊子に書かれた自分への言い掛かりがでたらめであることを反証しなければならなかった。

このようなラッセルに対する糾弾の声は、彼の教育的および神学的訓練やヘブル語ならびにギリシャ語などの死語の知識に欠けていたこと、そして彼は公認の団体から指導者となるための正式な按手を受けておらず、またその資格すら得ていなかったことに起因する。ラッセルがロスの訴えを前面否定したため、真実の究明と並行した仲裁が進められた。この裁判中において偽証を犯すことで、ラッセルはその信用性を決定的に失墜させてしまった。彼は自らの学歴について問われると、14歳で学校を中退したきりそれ以後の高等教育は修了していないと告白。

また覚えを主張する古代の死語についても、法廷でギリシャ語のアルファベットを問われると、最終的にはギリシャ語の知識がないことを認めざるを得なかった。彼の按手に至っては彼が自分の立場について、自己按手によるものと理解していることが判明。
そして最後にはラッセルが離婚を経験し元妻に扶養料を支払っている事実が発覚することで、彼の宣誓への裏切りが明らかになってしまったのだ。

1916年のラッセルの逝去後、ジョセフ・ラザフォードが彼の指導的立場を引き継ぐことになり、今日「エホバの証人」と知られている組織を立ち上げた。

ラザフォードはラッセルに改ざんされる前の聖書教理を部分的に支持する立場をとった。こうして旧態のラッセル教理による支配体制の変革および転覆をはかった。しかし大変驚くべきことに、たとえエホバの証人がラッセルの影響を逃れようとしても、彼らの信仰告白中にそのニュアンスが残り、しかも1973年までラッセルの教えはものみの塔の刊行物上で採用されていたのです。

ラッセルがまさにこの宗教的ムーブメントの土台であり、彼抜きに「王国会館」建設は語れないという事実を認める。

一方ラザフォードについては、彼の側近者たちから問題のある人格の持ち主であったという声があがっている。特に法律顧問のオリン・モイルは、ラザフォードの大酒飲みというエピソードに加え、卑俗で差別的な言葉や癇癪持ちの性格に不満を覚え、彼との確執を拭えなかったと証言。この他、彼は多数の邸宅を構えるといった贅沢極まりないライフスタイルを持ち主であったこと、そしてラッセルと同じくこの宗教団体の指導者に立った後に離婚に至っていることも周知の事実である。

誰もが首を傾げたくなるような彼の人間性はその異端的な教理から切り離すことはできず、まさに落ちた果実によって木を知るという真理を如実に反映する。

その教義の内容を以下に挙げる:

1925年に神の僕たちの復活とともに人間の回復が起こると主張し、それが1929年におけるベツサリム建立へと発端。ベツサリムは旧約中の預言者および敬虔な人物を歓迎する家とされている。後にラザフォードはその信仰的立場を改めています

グループの創始者ラッセルが提唱した1878年のキリスト再来説を否定し、その時期を1914年まで先延ばししました。

1927年に「眠れる聖徒たち」の復活が1978年から1918年にかけて起こったと主張。

1933年にはラザフォードは、1918年にパレスチナの地でイスラエルの復興が起こるとする説を改ざん。1948年にイスラエル国家が成立するが、もしラザフォードが発生時期をもう少し遅く見積もっていれば、彼の元の予想が正しかったことになる。

またラザフォードはフェミニズムの台頭に対する強い反感の持ち主であった。近づいてくる女性に会釈をする、あるいは席を譲ろうと立ち上がることは、私たちを神から引き離そうとする悪魔の策略であると教示。その傾向の極みが母の日に対しての嫌悪感であった。

また1938年、彼は自分の信者に対して結婚と出産をアルマゲドンの後まで先延ばしすることを迫りました。

このような人物たちの性格および教えを分析して得た結論は、全人類を圧倒する神の真理の代弁者または託宣者として、到底彼らの信憑性や誠実さを立証することはできないということである。反証となる人々の証言、法廷の結果、メディアの影響に加え、自らが制作した発行物が彼らの弁証を妨げる。
それらの証拠を鑑みながら、果たして誰が自分の永遠の魂を彼らの教えに託すことができるでしょう?

袂を分かった両グループの間に一貫性が無いこともマイナスの要因となっている。もし一方の正当性が疑われれば、両方に問題があると考えるのが妥当ではないか?この場合どちらが神の代理人なのか。創設者か?それとも継承者か?

私が是非皆様に自分たちの信仰告白をよく吟味しながら精査して欲しい。そして与えられた証拠によってこの宗教を弁護するか、あるいは真理に立ち返るかを判断してください。
より踏み込んだ学びに興味がおありなら、私も参考にしたWikipedia内の記事や、ウォルター・マーチンの著書、「カルトの王国」を情報収集に役立てていただければ幸いです。

最後にこの投稿が決して誹謗中傷のキャンペーンではないことを断っておきたいのです。老婆心ながらあなたの幸福と利益につながることを願いつつ、敢えて警告を放っていることを覚えていただきたく願います。

ペテロの手紙2の2章1〜3節の聖句を結びの言葉として紹介します。

かつて、民の中に偽預言者がいました。同じように、あなたがたの中にも偽教師が現れるにちがいありません。彼らは、滅びをもたらす異端をひそかに持ち込み、自分たちを購ってくださった主を拒否しました。自分の身に速やかに滅びを招いており、しかも多くの人が彼らのみだらな楽しみを見倣っています。彼らのために真理の道はそしられるのです。彼らは欲が深く、うそ偽りであなたがたを食い物にします。このような者たちに対する裁きは、昔から怠りなくなされていて、彼らの滅びも滞ることはありません。

 

 

神と関係を持つ方法

 

その他のリンク

エホバの証人の参考資料

Jehovah’s Witness

エホバの証人の参考資料

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

四つの霊的な法則

Four Spiritual Laws

 

イエスの映画

Jesus Film: view in Japanese

 

新約聖書/聖書

Japanese Living Bible

 

オーディオ聖書

Faith Comes By Hearing

What the Hell

Monday, October 31st, 2011

When dealing with the subject of Hell it is often taboo to discuss unless it is dealt with in a dissociative manner with the mindset of an unrealistic outcome such as the seasonal horror flicks or an unscientific documentary. Sometimes Hell is downplayed and seen as an invention of preachers and Hollywood to elicit a scaring or frightening response to move the emotions of people for conversion or merely for the effect of an adrenaline rush.

For some Hell is regarded as a make believe place and if it does exist then it is reserved for the worst of the worst or perhaps its just a temporary residence but for the most part  their viewpoint is that the average Joe has nothing to worry about.

I have actually wrote a blog about the biblical perspective of Hell combined with some explanations concerning near death events which includes a video testimony from a medical doctor of people who have experienced this reality

jesusandjews.com/wordpress/2009/10/29/is-hell-real/

Anyway in my first post I dealt more with the doctrinal and phenomenal experience of Hell and for the nature of this blog I am speaking more about the philosophical objections that people often use as a sedative to calm themselves in numbing their minds against the notion of such a place. Interestingly enough the fact that some people attempt to process their thoughts in a defensive matter regarding this subject is suggestive that our subconscious bears witness to a moral intellect which confirms a sense of judgment.

 

Romans 2:14-16

14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

 

Anyway some deal with this subject on the front end by just trying to repress or get rid of the God idea altogether while others just shrug their shoulders in response towards God in hopes that ignorance is bliss. However, according to the Barna Group 81% of Americans accept some form of afterlife and nearly two-thirds of them regard heaven as their final destination. Additionally, 71% affirm that there is a Hell but of this group only a half of one percent believe in a personal hellish outcome.

Many of us have no problem agreeing with the red letters of Christ when it comes to a heavenly abode but we don’t take seriously all His claims of Hell which apart from the popular sayings concerning “the kingdom of heaven”  Jesus refers more to Hell than to this heavenly realm. It’s not too hard for people to have a sense of expectation towards the narrow gate of the glorious afterlife but it is much more difficult to anticipate the broad way of its counterpart Matthew  7:13,14. After all if Hell is really irrelevant then this whole idea of suffering on the cross and the concept of salvation is meaningless. Recently while watching Dr. Frank Turek’s show on crossexamined.org he brought up some interesting points when contemplating the intellectual and  emotional objections to this matter which I would like to further disclose.

The first question is why is there a Hell to begin with and who goes there? Originally Hell was designed for the devil and his angels and it would also include all the rebellious creatures against their creator Matthew  25:41, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Revelation 21:8 and Romans 1:21-32. It is a place where beings are quarantined from God and eternally judged for committing acts of cosmic treason and for suppressing the truth of Him in unrighteousness Romans 1:18 including the grace of His pardon John 3:18, Romans 2:4,5 and Hebrews 2:3. Furthermore, God does not just randomly send anyone to Hell nor does He desire than any should perish but that all should have everlasting life 2 Peter 3:9. Gods wants all people to be saved but not all people want to be saved and what is logically possible may not actually be achievable with free creatures. Therefore people just don’t haphazardly end up in Hell and He would not let them “go to Hell” if there was a chance that they would be saved.

We choose our final destination as free creatures and outside of heaven there is no other alternative. Amazingly many people want heaven but then they forget who is there and who they have tried to avoid all their life and if they didn’t want the Lord in the here and now then why would they want to spend an eternity with God?

Also Hell from a biblical perspective isn’t portrayed as some temporal place of punishment whether through annihilation or a purgatorial existence but rather it is described as everlasting and eternal Matthew 25:41 and 2 Thessalonians 1:9.

Additionally as surely as death is final so are the consequences of an afterlife as there is no hope for a reincarnated state. As a man is appointed to die once and then face the judgment Hebrews 9:27. We see an example of this in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in which the rich man could not go back to save himself nor could Lazarus return to warn the rich man’s brothers, Luke 16:19-31.Hell is not a place for penance or repentance and if we could change our mind in Hell then what is the sense of this intermediary existence on earth as there must be some finality to life. Why have this life if choices can be made latter? There must be a point when there is a “final answer.”

Another matter we might question is regarding God’s justice on how He can eternally condemn sinners who have never heard about Jesus because the bible is explicit on the exclusivity of Christ.

As there is no other name given to men by which we must be saved Acts 4:12.  Jesus is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to God except through Him, Jn 14:6.

We wrongfully assume within our finitude that it would be impossible for God to communicate such knowledge of Jesus due to logistical problems but with God all things are possible and if they can be saved then God will use every means to ensure they have the ability to receive the necessary information such as what is reported among Muslims who are coming to Christ in these restricted nations where they have no or very little exposure to the biblical concept of Jesus and yet it is through this unique medium of dreams and visions by which Jesus is appearing to them.

www.morethandreams.org/

I have personally have met someone from Iran who had this experience and I don’t doubt his sincerity in breaking free of his cultural norms after all just to be a target or martyr for nothing is nonsensical.

Anyway God will give true seekers the truth about Jesus such as the biblical examples of Cornelius or the Ethiopian Eunuch as found in Acts. Also this is being accomplished exponentially today in this contemporary age of information and mass media in that it is becoming much more difficult to completely avoid this witness with the advent of TV, radio broadcasting, literature distribution, internet, video, or through the conventional methods of feet preaching.

So no one can claim total or complete ignorance to God’s truth of which there is no excuse Romans 1:18-20 and Romans 2:15,16.

 

Romans 1:18-20

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and    unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

 

If we don’t respond to the natural or general signs of creation and conscious then He is not obligated to give a fuller disclosure in regards to a special revelation so as to be saved.

Another reason why some may never hear of Jesus is because God so ordered the world so that those who never hear the gospel would have never believed it anyway, Acts 17:26-27

Therefore it seems that God prearranged the world both in time and space for those who would favorably respond to Him and for the majority who are reading this post this  isn’t the problem anyway.

Another objection to the concept of Hell and judgment is that an individual may think that it is unjust to be involuntarily cast in the play of this human drama in being subjected to sin under the influence of our common ancestry in Adam and yet Christ as the second Adam has become our regenerative representative therefore removing this curse by becoming a curse on our behalf, Galatians 3:13. According to the staging of life it is the heroic actions of God Himself who delivers us from the villainous plot of our own iniquitous nature  by making an entrance through the incarnation to rescue us through His salvific work.

Additionally we may also think it’s unfair for God to choose the methodology in which we are to be forgiven and yet by our reasoning we grossly underestimate the severity of sin and its “just” consequences which were placed on the sacrificial altar of the cross.

You may blow all this off and just say well I already have enough problems in this life to worry about the life thereafter and perhaps you have exaggerated your seemingly urgent  circumstances by declaring your protest as hell on earth which to a degree does speak of the curse nonetheless it is not an accurate or adequate depiction as being a proper frame of reference when relating to the biblical concept of Hell which uses such graphical imagery as unquenchable fire, outer darkness, fiery furnace where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth along with torment and everlasting destruction.

The little wild fires that you are trying to put out today are manageable compared to the fire of eternity which will be unquenchable, Mark 9:43,44. Therefore in this life God’s blessing can still be obtained of which in Hell there is no hope, 2 Thessalonians 1:9.

When it comes down to it generally it’s not too difficult for some to think of a hellish existence  because we realize that if God exists and if He is supremely sovereign and just then there must be a means of reckoning His justice especially on those who have committed heinous acts of crime without receiving their due punishment here  on earth.

However I think the real objection comes when we consider God’s judgment in allowing unregenerate people to suffer eternally for temporal sins. After all isn’t Hell overkill? This may also lead into the another question about God’s love and His goodness which I have also written about at

jesusandjews.com/wordpress/2011/08/21/is-god-all-loving/

Actually sin doesn’t necessarily stop at the grave as it continues perpetually. Thus sin and rebellion is just a continuum into the afterlife and likewise punishment continues for eternity as well. It isn’t about infinite punishment for finite sins as evil is perpetually resident in Hell.

We may wrongfully think that somehow we don’t meet the criteria for an eternal inferno as being in the camp of evildoers who deserve Gods wrath and yet all have sinned. Sin is simply classified as lawlessness in which all are counted worthy of eternal death, 1 John 3:4 and Romans 6:23. Also a person in their agnosticism cannot default on Hell in that Jesus states that if you are not for me then you are against me, Matthew 12:30. Also we can’t avoid it by thinking that somehow our good deeds cancel out our bad deeds with a payment towards our karmic debt. If we break the law we are guilty and likewise condemned, James 2:10.There is no middle ground or lukewarmness with God and either you are righteous and justified before Him or you are not. You are either alive to God or dead to Him.

Essentially all mankind is subject to moral failure as being under the federal headship of the progenitor of our race namely Adam who has imposed on humanity a nature of sin of which the bible supports in stating that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God Romans 3:23 and that there is none righteous not even one Romans 3:10. You may consider your self a good person and your morality compared to others may be noteworthy in the same way a fruit inspector scrutinizes rotten apples but you are no  comparison with a holy God who demands moral perfection. The bible supports this view with such verses as “be perfect as God is perfect”; “be holy because I am holy”, Matthew 5:48, 1 Peter 1:16 . I believe this is confirmed in the very hearts of all who at one time or another has been burdened with a sense of guilt which confirms our inability to achieve perfection.

Part of this matter in dealing with sin is that we have an obscured perspective in respect to our visual acuity which overlooks the diagnosis of sin in having a log in the eye problem which further advances to macular degeneration as we fail to fully recognize our own sinful corruption resulting from a depraved mind, Romans 1:28.

On the other hand the positive aspect of being sensitive to sin is not meant to just leave us in a state of condemnation like putting a dog’s nose in its own mess but it is a redemptive act of God to intervene in our lives to make us more acutely aware of our transgressions by whom the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, judgment and righteous to come, John 16:8. We more vividly see this overwhelming sense of sin as recorded in the biblical narrative in which people who were suddenly and unsuspectingly ushered into the awesome presence of God where there was an invasive awareness of guilt and fear. Isaiah bears witness to this in Is 6:5 with his words “woe to me for I am ruined for I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people with unclean lips.” Experientially we get a small foretaste of this when we come face to face with a pastor or even a cop at which point we become consciously aware of what we say and do as we recognize our human weaknesses which is susceptible to being exposed causing us discomfort as evidenced by the temporary change in our behaviors.

So how much more responsive would we be before a holy God who not only omnisciently knows our actions but also who can discern our hearts and thoughts in that  no flesh will be self justified in His sight, Romans 3:20 and Galatians 2:16.

Moreover we are not to be left in a paralytic state of fear when faced with the danger of judgment as we are summoned to respond to God’s saving provision. Our initial response may be like that of Peter who supernaturally wanted to run away from his guilt when he recognized the person of Jesus as Lord by which he awkwardly responded according to His spiritual state to “go away from me Lord for I am a sinful man. However we aren’t to distance ourselves from God when we come to discern our unregenerate condition but rather we are to posture ourselves like David who sought God’s mercy and grace, Psalm 51.

So when we come to the crossroads in life where we encounter God’s conviction along with a heightened sense of His drawing presence John 6:44 then we are called to respond to God in humility and submission so as to seek reconciliation with Him in accordance with His divine will and purpose, 2 Corinthians 5:19. Then as we become the benefactors of His grace and mercy we are then able to confidently and boldly approach His throne of grace Hebrews 4;16. This is because His perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment, 1John 4:18.

As a child I was often forewarned  by my parents to behave otherwise I would be on the receiving end of the belt of discipline and in retrospect to my parents threats I am not completely confident  that they always had my best interest at heart yet I am reassured that God’s forth telling is motivated by perfect love so much so that He sent Jesus in my stead to take my due punishment thus consequently averting His just wrath and without this compensation what hope would any of us have.

Furthermore as benevolently serious as He is towards pursuing the redemption of those who believe; He is likewise just as zealous to exact His full wrath against those who mock His gracious provision by spitting on the Son, Hebrew 2:3 and John 3:18.

In conclusion there are other objections which are not covered in this post and some matters aren’t fully disclosed or handled according to the biblical record and even though this answer may not satisfy the skeptic this tension of not knowing is perfectly eased based on the nature of God who alone is supremely just and loving.

Lastly when contemplating this matter we shouldn’t think of Jesus as only a means to the end in obtaining fire insurance but the fact that a fire is inevitable should get you to begin to consider the coverage under God’s plan. Ultimately fear will not be the driving motivator to our decision regarding Christ because it is the kindness of Christ which leads us to repentance resulting in a reciprocation of love by which we acknowledge Him as both Lord and Savior, Romans 2:4.

 

Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

How to know God

Atheist and Agnostic Resources

English Articles on Atheism and Agnosticism

 

 

 

 

Permission granted by Dr. Frank Turek at www.crossexamined.org

Permission granted by The Barna Group,  “Americans describe their views about life after death”, October 21,2003, www.barna.org

Born Again

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

You must be born again. These are the very words that were uttered by Jesus to Nicodemus in John 3 and it was a requirement for entrance into the kingdom of God. John 3:3 3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.a

My concern in this blog is in the confirmation of this spiritual transaction which is observable based on the empirical evidence of experiential knowledge.

The word “Born Again” is also translated “Born from Above” and in John 3:8 this concept is further defined as one who is born of the Spirit.  This Spirit birth would be visibly portrayed through the characteristics of God’s power which can be identified through the means of renewal and regeneration. This reality is the very “Touchstone” of the faith or the proof to an individuals spiritual identify which is represented by a new nature.

So from a practical viewpoint what might this represent or look like? How is it identifiable? We see glimpses of this from under the prophetic lens of the Old Testament prophets who foresaw these things. For God does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets, Amos 3:7.

The OT concept of this process can be seen through such passages as Ezekiel 11:19-21, 36: 25-27  which describes God putting the “Spirit” in men which in turn manifests itself  as an undivided heart by displacing the heart of stone with a heart of flesh which consequently results through the inhabitation of the “Spirit”  enabling the individual to uphold God’s law.

In Deuteronomy 30:6 God is the “Mohel” or the one who circumcises the heart not through the outward covenantal sign of marking the flesh which is done by human hands but rather He cuts deeper affecting the very immaterial part of a persons being.

The former covenant of circumcision served as a foreshadow to the reality of a circumcised heart. One is a precursor while the other is the main event which would find its fulfillment under the New Covenant promise.

This is explained by the prophet Jeremiah in 31:31-33 where God, as the initiator, will put His laws in their minds and write them on their hearts which is in contrast to that of the outward ritual of lawful observance.

The New Testament is a continuum to this redemptive theme finding its ultimate reality in those  who would be classified as authentic believers.

So what is the evidence that the “Spirit” is a living reality in a person’s life and that this “Spirit” birth has taken place?

This spiritual birth is much like a natural birth in that it is a traumatic event in which a person breaks through into a new dimension of gaining entry into eternal life apart from the natural life in which we were given through paternal birth.

The natural birth is a necessary occurrence but it is inferior to the surpassing greatness and superiority of this supernatural birth of being “Born from Above.”

Being “Born of God” as stated in the epistle of John depicts this new birth which designates and ordains us as children of the light which is a paradigm shift from that which is described or attributed to those who are classified as the children of darkness.

When new birth has taken place it is an understood event that is clearly noticeable and unavoidable.

We don’t need to depend upon others and their institutions or doctrinal formulas and traditions  to establish this reality which is self evident and can not be argued against.

When a new birth takes place the burden of the proof is clearly identifiable because the child of God bears the image or likeness of his progenitor, 2 Corinthians 3:18.

The scripture testifies in Romans 8:16 that 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

In other words we don’t have to rely upon the testimony of  a religious body  to confirm us regarding our status with God because the inner witness of the Holy Spirit is final and conclusive.

New birth isn’t a matter of guessing whether or not we have been impacted by it because it is such a noticeable occurrence that it beckons for the attention of all.

It is often compared to the luminary essence of revelatory light which cannot be hidden against the backdrop of darkness in an evil society, Matthew 5:14-16.

Also this new nature is indifferent and hostile to the nature that we were innately born with as a part of original sin.

The bibles describes those born of the “Spirit”  as being a “New Creation”  which stands opposed to that of the “Old Creation” as in 2 corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 6:15.

Romans 8:1-17 contrasts the Spirit controlled life to that of the sinful mind and nature. Each nature is combative towards the other because the sinful nature has a mindset that is loyal to itself which wages war against the will of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16-26 shows a comparison between these two natures depicting their fruitfulness or fruitlessness. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 we see the outcome of regeneration and sanctification that has taken place through the Spirit of God in bringing forth this new birth.

On a personal note I became “Born Again” over 20 years ago and as a result  I no longer thought, acted, or behaved exactly the same again. My heart was turned towards pleasing God rather than catering to the service of selfishness or self absorption. The course of my life was abruptly changed literally overnight and from that moment on I progressively walked with God.

Before I became born again I couldn’t resist sinful tendencies nor was their any desire to do so but now my attention is more toward an attitude of loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

I had been addicted to many things from nicotine to pornography and when the Spirit entered my life through this new birth he immediately begin to wash me on the inside and for the first time I felt clean. I received such refreshment from the Lord that I have never been the same sense.

This is my ongoing testimony and nobody can deny me the reality of this impact that was so vividly and graphically dynamic.

By stating all of this I am not taking this opportunity to boast over anything I have merited or accomplished through some type of works oriented program but rather I boast in the Lord who by the strength of His own divine initiative and intervention mercifully came to save my life Ephesians 2:1-10 .

Finally I would just like to leave you with one last thought regarding the words of Jesus who understood that a persons character or produce indicates the nature of the tree. Based on His analogy there are only two kinds of trees which are described as either good or bad.

In retrospect to this concept what fruit  is characteristic of your life? Remember don’t compare your apples to someone else’s but rather allow the bible to be your fruit inspector, Matthew 12:33, Hebrews 4:12,13.

My challenge to you is that you take the opportunity based on the leading of the scripture to examine your life and test yourself to see whether or not you are in the faith, 2 Corinthians 13:5.

Lastly I am giving you a link to a short and concise post on “How to have a relationship with God” which is simplistically foundational in scope regarding salvation and new birth.

Also the image that is portrayed on this link is a visual aid to what I have tried to describe to you verbally concerning being “Born Again”.

 

Four Spiritual Laws

How to know God

The Holy Spirit is a Person

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

I have previously blogged concerning the divinity of Jesus at jesusandjews.com/wordpress/2009/10/16/the-divinity-of-jesus/ as well as the concept of the triunity of the Godhead from an Old Testament perspective at jesusandjews.com/wordpress/2009/07/30/god-is-one/

You know that there are several religions and cults that recognize the nature of God as being “one” but mostly there concept of oneness portrays God as being “one” numerically versus a oneness as related to a unity of being which incorporates three persons which are of the same substance or essence as a compound unity .

When discussing theology I find that one of the many mystery’s about God are His definable points related to His incorporeal nature and being. Perhaps it is easier to describe His attributes rather than the very nature of His existence. Anyway I have already discussed these issues in these other blogs that I have previously posted.

So to begin with there are those who see the Holy Spirit as just an emanation of God’s power as being some type of indirect source. For them the Holy Spirit is just another synonymous term as related to God without any particular uniqueness.

Others may see Him as one of the several split personalities of God as one being.

While others view the Holy Spirit as one of many Gods which depicts tritheism or polytheism. As you can see there is a variance of different outlooks on the Holy Spirit and I’m not even for sure if I understand everyones opinion or position on this matter .

Anyway I will be discussing the Holy Spirit in this blog mainly from a New Testament perspective. Though the Old Testament may imply a separate identity for the Holy Spirit it is not as well defined or developed as the New Testament text.

My main objective in this post is to show that the Holy Spirit is a “person” rather than just a “thing.”

There are about 35 personal attributes to the Holy Spirit which are located in the scripture and these describe Him as a distinct person being unified in His role and purpose as a part of the triune Godhead.

The Holy Spirit has individual characteristics which are harmonious and yet unique as a personal being apart from the Father and the Son.

Some of the confusion comes because the Holy Spirit is so closely related as being unified as God that the scripture relates to His being as the Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of God, Spirit of Jesus, etc.

Yet there are personal references that clearly show his identity apart from the Father and the Son as in John 14:16.

It’s this possessive state that confuses others and yet this same possession is referred to of Jesus as related to the Father who is the Lord’s Messiah, Luke 2:26.

Also Jesus talks about the unity of God by stating that He and the Father are “one” in a special sense but in actuality they are two persons.

Jesus also states if you have seen Me than you have seen the Father John 14:9. There is such a unity that to speak of one is to refer to the other likewise.

In discussing the personhood of the Holy Spirit I will keep with referring to just a few choice scriptures and yet it may behoove you to do a fuller unbiased analysis to His person and work in relation to the content of this blog.

Anyway one of the main personal references to the Holy Spirit is by relating to Him through the use of various pronouns in using such words as “He” which is often associated with or used when referencing the Holy Spirit. John 15:26, 16:7, 8,13

In addition to this the Holy Spirit carries a title which indicates an individual who possesses personal qualities as a “Comforter” or “Counselor”

John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7

Another reason why the Spirit is not just a synonymous word for God is that  in John 16:13 its says that the Spirit of truth will not speak on His own but will speak only what He hears. Not only does it show that the Holy Spirit has a will but that He hears from another source and cannot speak on His own authority. If He is just an emanation of the numerically one absolute God then how is it that the Spirit of truth needs a directive on truth if He is the primary source of truth. The Holy Spirit isn’t just hearing voices but rather He is hearing from the Godhead.

In Matthew 28:19, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Peter 1:2 these scriptures relate to the divine triunity of God which show all three personalities present in a unified sense as God.

I realize the debate isn’t so much in seeing the Spirit as God but rather it is seeing the Spirit as being a separate person. I guess from a reverse angle it hard for us to even imagine this concept as it applies to us since we have both a material and a immaterial state of being but often when we view a person we often think of them as a whole being.

One thing we have to be mindful here is that the contributors of the New Testament text were raised in a Jewish culture and they were seen as fierce monotheists and as confessors of the one true and only God and for someone to misunderstand their position on that would be a critical misunderstanding.

Though these scriptures, that are under scrutiny, seem to show at times a separation of the Godhead these Jews were loyalists to the God of Abraham , Isaac and Jacob who confessed their God as being “One” as found in the Shema Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12:29. Again I discuss more fully the oneness concept of God as related in my other blogs.

There are many mystery’s contained within the bible for the modern reader and there were even great difficulties among the contemporaries of Jesus who were his personal disciples. They were continually  grappling with the truths that Jesus taught. It wasn’t until the Spirit of truth was deposited that they received a fuller revelation of understanding regarding the application of the word of God.

Even with the advent of the Holy Spirit the church struggled with difficult issues that needed clarification of which we see explained in many of the epistles.

Those who were the primary apostles of Jesus had debates such as the whole Gentile thing and how they were to to fit into God’s plan of redemption.

Even the angelic beings strain to gain insight into matters as related to God 1Peter 1:12.

Also Jesus in His humanity stated that there were only things of which the Father had knowledge of such as his returning in Matthew 24:36.

So I find it difficult for any believer to be overly dogmatic on understanding every little minute detail to this subject of God’s being and the bible states that on this side of eternity that we look through a glass darkly and that we know in part which shows that there is an obscurity or limitation to understanding everything with a perfected state of knowledge.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t strive to gain an understanding of the deep things of God through the spiritual intellect that he has gifted us with but perhaps there is a point where we need to simply accept the testimony of the scripture and avoid speculation.

I truly believe that God reserves the right to keep somethings a mystery and if one of these thing is His very being than I’m ok with that.

You know we can’t even understand the intimate dynamics of the Holy Spirit that indwells our being spatially let alone understand a God we have never seen Joel 2:28, Romans 8:11, Acts 2:4, 1 Corinthians 3:16, Galatians 4:6.

Perhaps where the scripture is silent than maybe thats a clue for us to remain silent. If  God wanted us to know everything related to His existence then He would of made it perfectly clear. If this matter was to be made known fully than it would have been God’s agenda and objective in establishing this kind of revelation truth to His earthly creatures. Yet it seems like other themes such as the redemption of mankind took a higher precedence versus discussing every theological inquiry.

There is no way to limit God through the publishing of 66 books because there could never be enough books in the universe written to contain exhaustively His glorious description. So to say that we know everything about God is both arrogant and ignorant.

You know what is scary in regards to all of this is not the fact that we don’t have all the answers for every question but rather its being deceived into thinking that we do have an answer when we don’t.

I prefer to allow God to be God to the degree that the bible describes and this also includes the person of the Holy Spirit.

Lastly this may not answer every question to the nature of the Holy Spirit but perhaps this may open up other possibilities on how you view His person.

 

How to know God

Jehovah’s Witness Resources

More articles on Jehovah’s Witness

Jehovah’s Witness Resources

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

This is a great website that is very informative.

carm.org/jehovahs-witnesses

 

This website contains testimonials of former Jehovah’s Witnesses

www.4jehovah.org/ex-jehovahs-witnesses/ex-jw-testimonies/

 

Four Spiritual Laws

 

Jesus Film

 

New Testament/Bible

 

Audio Bible

Is Hell Real?

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

It is easier for people to generally believe in the reality of heaven while avoiding the contemplation of the pitfalls of a hellish realm of existence for departed souls. The hell factor is a controversial subject which people try to avoid discussing and it is often treated with skepticism when taken seriously. The negative aspect of viewing hell by avoiding a non personal view usually comes as a response of indifference due to the possibilities of our individual accountability therefore this reaction is a defensive mechanism of self preservation.

Some people deal with hell by playing the game of ignorance like Schultz on Hogan’s Heroes who would emphatically state “I know nothing” when it was his job to secure knowledge and yet by his statement he attempted to rid himself of responsibility by this claim of ignoring the obvious. This wouldn’t get him off  the hook with the commandant nor will it bring us innocence before an all knowing God likewise.

The other group perhaps they know but by silencing the static of judgement in tuning off or turning down any resources that represents  biblical christianity is only a way for them to cope temporarily by escaping in dealing with the inevitable. Just watch a group of guys squirm and how fast they change the channel if a religious program comes on that has any preaching about sin. You might think they were watching a “quick draw” western based on their efficiency in handling the remote.

Anyway when dealing with sin and judgment there are warning signals that have a clear and distinct alarm system that is to awaken our conscious towards God in alerting us to the danger of eternal punishment Romans 2:14-16, 1John 4:18.

Whether we try avoiding the  alarm by ignoring its erratic modulation’s or by throwing it across the room out of irritation, it still does not remove the fact that it is time to get up .

The alarm clock like the internal noise of our conscious resonates attempting to wake us up to our moral condition and eternal destiny. We may try to counter respond to these impulses through ignorance or resistance in trying to remove the annoyance of this persistent bong yet this chime     will not be completely silenced until we no longer wake up to this life.

People have  a difficult time in believing the biblical descriptions of hell as something that would accurately be portrayed as a horrendous place of eternal torment and condemnation and it has caused people to formulate their own reality to hell.

Individuals  have removed the concept of hell altogether by declaring its non-existence or by stating if it does exist then it occupants are Satan and his entourage of demons along with the Hitler’s of our societies.

Others downplay its horrific scenes as something to be desired like a  “big party.”

Some take  a less serious view of its recourse by seeing it as only a temporal realm of intermediacy such as a purgatorial existence or maybe as a flash fire of flesh such as annihilation.

I recently watched a documentary on this concept of heaven and hell as related to near death experiences and based on the testimony of some of these secular and religious researchers they agreed that these subjects that they viewed and interviewed where having real experiences based on their perception and this death event could not be conclusively explained by preconceived expectations of death or by the hallucinatory agents of brain chemicals.

One of the secular researchers ruled out psychological interference as well because he thought it was counterproductive to fantasize about hell when you were dying.

Most of these near death experiences are becoming more frequent now due to the technological advances of reviving people and it is said that there are about 12-15 million Americans alone who have had these experiences.

One commentator says that most people undergo a religious transformation after these close encounters with death and hallucinations alone can not account for for these kind of changes.

Another researcher had done his work internationally interviewing over 300 cases and his research had indicated a consistency of testimony of  both the hellish and the heavenly descriptions as one would find in the biblical text.

As we approach the pagan festival of Halloween many people treat death/hell like they treat this holiday. Sometimes people don’t understand or care to understand about the reality of the spiritual realm behind this Satanic celebration. For them it is just a harmless game of fun  and yet like death there can be a reality and a hidden demonic element that masks itself from our plain view and “tricks” us into being deceived by thinking that the realm of Satan, demons, and hell are only the inventions of Hollywood and preachers.

Hell becomes trivialized and commercialized and before to long it no longer haunts our minds but rather it morbidly becomes desirous in establishing these new evil role models making “Harry Potter” out to be a hero or a desirable character.

In spite of this there are some who want to seriously consider the knowledge of the after life or  at least they are curious about it and this has led to the releasing of the popular books, 90 minutes in heaven and 23 minutes in hell.

I personally know a couple of close friends that had a NDE in which they experienced heaven and one lady was so awestruck by the experience that she didn’t want to come back and I remember her telling me how that her husband could not understand why she didn’t want to return to her earthly life with him and this same testimony coincides with the other people that were being interviewed on this program likewise.

The other person that I know was a pastors wife who had visited  heaven and had seen and talked to Jesus.

In many of these spiritual encounters people have claimed to have seen things that were associated with the apocalyptical literature of both the Old and New Testaments.

One other bit of evidence that substantiates these Near Death Experiences is that these people are quite in touch to the details of what is going on around them in the room while they are in a  comatose state. They can even describe details of what is going on outside of the room as their spirit is leaving their bodies. Also they were seeing and experiencing things even beyond their own mindset and exceptions which was unexplainable as well.

The secular researchers were not conclusive in their findings on this matter as they were not able to explain or pinpoint  how these people had experienced these things when it went beyond their  human capacity for experience or perception. I believe this then leaves the door open to discuss the realm of the supernatural.

So in venturing forward on this quest of life after death lets see what the bible says about hell. The word for “hell” is the Hebrew word “sheol” as found in the Old Testament. This word can be used broadly and can generally apply to the grave, pit, and the natural realm of physical degradation. It can also be used to describe the abode of the dead or a shadowy or obscure kind of  existence.

More specifically what I am interested in describing to you is not just the physical process of death which we pretty much understand  but the spiritual plane which based on these researchers is a reality that is just as real for those who have experienced these NDE’s.

The Old Testament does not give us many clues as compared to the New Testament record which makes it more definable and descriptive in the way of terms.

The prophet Daniel sets the stage for the concept of the after life in Daniel 12:2 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

So this speaks of not just the afterlife but of the concept of the “physical resurrection” which is beyond the scope of this blog but was believed by Jews and Christians as evidenced by the ossuary boxes that you find in ancient Israel which would contain the bones of the deceased. The resurrection is to be the final act of salvation of which Jesus himself has already participated in as a type of first fruits from the dead. Somehow mysteriously these resurrected bodies will be apart of our fixture of being at a final point in the consummation of human  history which for the Christian is one of the concluding acts of redemption.

Anyway back to Daniel what begins to emerge here is the concept of “eternal” life versus “everlasting” contempt. It may be easy to visualize an eternal home of bliss but the rules must equally apply bilaterally with the synonymous words of eternal and everlasting otherwise this scripture becomes a contradiction of terms.

Under the old covenant economy the view for sheol is seen as a habitation of both the righteous and the ungodly that are held in a state of being with a chasm drawn between these two existence’s. One is referred to as Abraham’s bosom where the righteous dwell and the other is a place of torment. This is best displayed with the description Jesus gives to us in the gospel narratives which describes  to a limited extent these eternal holding places which we will discuss more about later.

We get some secondary clues from the OT/NT that show some indication of the afterlife as quoted by Jesus in Matthew 22:32 concerning Exodus 3:6  where God says that I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Jesus concludes that He is the God of the living and not the dead which shows that there is a continued state of existence beyond the physical boundaries of this life.

Also in the Old Testament it refers to God gathering people to their fathers at the moment of death such as in 2kings 22:20.

We see the prophet Samuel as one who had come up from the ground to address Saul in 1Samuel 28:11-15

Also there are references to the “book of life” as those who will enter into eternal life and those who were not written or had been removed “blotted out”  which referred to eternal damnation. We see these references in both the Old and New Covenant passages such as found in Psalms 69:28, Exodus 32:33,  Phillipians 4:3, Revelation 3:5,13:8, 17:8, 20:12-15, 21:27.

Now the New Testament develops a fuller expression to the concept of hell and the righteous abode in which Jesus gives us a preview of these habitations as related to the story about the “Rich man and Lazarus” as found in Luke 16:19-31.

The rich man and Lazarus are dwelling in two conflicting environments with a gulf fixed between them as a barrier that could not be crossed. One location was contrasted with the other as it describes the rich man as being in torment, thirst, and in the agony of fire while Lazarus’ state of existence was a place of comfort.

Other descriptive words that Jesus and His apostles speak of when referring to hell, which according to the greek language of the New Testament would also include the use of the words hades or genna, are referred to in Matthew 3:12 as an unquenchable fire,  Mt 8:11 it describes outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, Matthew 13:42 it is a fiery furnace, Mt 18:8 eternal fire, 2 Thessalonians 1:9 as everlasting destruction, Rev 14:10-11 as the torment that rises for ever and ever, Revelation 19:20 depicts a fiery lake of burning sulfur and in Revelation 20:10 they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The concept of purgatory does not exist in any of the canonical books as recognized by Christians or Jews.

Nor does the bible speak of “reincarnation” as the scripture says that a man dies once and then he faces the  judgement Hebrews 9:27. Neither does the bible promote “soul sleep” which confuses the physical resurrection with the reality of a spiritual state at the moment of death 2 Corinthians 5:8 says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

These people in the NDE’s immediately went into a place or a presence as described as either heaven or hell rather than a state of nothingness and in addition to this they possessed a spirit type of body. Also these NDE’s say nothing about coming back in a reincarnated form either.

I think one of the main  problems we have in accepting the biblical references to Hell is that our God concept is mis-referenced. We reason that if there is a just God who is completely good then how can he allow people to suffer eternally which doesn’t seem logical or reasonable in making any kind of sense. Yet it is equally unbelievable to think of a person obtaining eternal life based on merely the mercy of God’s free gift of grace without merit in spite of our sinful but redeemed lives.

The original intent of this hellish habitation was to be an abode  for the Devil and his angels and it was never intended for human occupation but know it is given over to all of God’s avowed enemies in the afterlife Matthew 25:41. If God is unwilling to preserve the fallen angelic host, in which we are made a little lower than, then how will we fare if we rebel against God likewise.

If our personal goal to life is a Godless existence then shouldn’t we expect to get what we desire and shouldn’t this desire be consistent beyond the realm of  this life in experiencing the next.  Why should you want God to impose Himself on you in the sweet by and by when you don’t want his influence in the here and now.

One of the resounding themes off this semi-secular program on NDE’s is that you die like you live and I say that pretty much sums up the reality on the other side of the fence.

Satans domain is antithetical to  God’s rule. God is light and hell is darkness. Hell is sorrowful and in heaven sorrow is abolished. God is love while hell is full of hatred. In heaven there is peace while hell is filled with violence, suffering, and torment.

Its funny how we want the benefits of heaven without reciprocating thanks to Him as our creator Romans 1:21. Is God to be treated like a cosmic wh-re? Using Him for the benefit of our pleasure while avoiding the responsibility of a relationship or better yet maybe we feel God owes us one.

If a persons commitment here on planet earth is a Godless existence which is diametrically opposed  to God’s  heavenly rule and reign and presence then why should a person expect to have a heavenly outcome with a God that all of their lives they have purposely avoided. Why blame God for our own position and destination when we had a choice that was easily attainable.  In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

So what are these people like who will taste hell? Are they merely the dregs of society such as death row inmates, serial killers,rapists and pedophiles. Yes, but there is a much larger audience that  Jesus is addressing as  in Matthew 7:13,14 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it..

Rev 21:8 assigns hell to the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice the magic arts, the idolaters and all liars will have their place in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 gives an another list of hells inhabitants stating;Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

In spite of our transgressions this seemingly paradoxical situation involving sin and judgment has now evolved to the beautiful side of redemption which counteracts the effects of  these vile and wicked actions which ultimately would have earned them a spot  in the confines of hell but now these people have been gloriously translated by means of God’s forgiveness and a changed lifestyle apart from there previous way of life.

If you feel you haven’t crossed over the property line as trespassing on God’s righteousness then perhaps  we ought to look where we are standing as in Romans 6:23.

Sin is not categorized in this scripture and therefore sin is a common denominator in the equation of life as there are none who are righteous which seems to be pretty much an inclusive and universal statement.

We often trivialize our transgressions and therefore we underestimate the consequences of sin to be less than serious and critical and though everyone else’s mountain of sin may seem to dwarf our small pile of “mistakes”  your little stack may be insurmountable according to yet another person’s standard of trivial “accidents”.

Whether it is a little sin or a major sin it still carries the title of sin. Whether you steal a penny or a dollar it doesn’t matter because you are still a thief. Whether you tell one lie or million you are still a liar. We try to diminish our guilt by comparing ourselves to others.

Finally no matter what we do to showoff our “meritorious deeds” before a Holy God, He is the Judge of the universe as one who discerns mens hearts and thoughts. You can never earn justification through your acts alone and the bible compares our righteousness deeds to menstrual cloths as spoken of in Isaiah 64:6. Our works will never be good enough to keep from polluting God’s heavenly existence and dwelling. God has two realms for sin. One is the unregenerate earth and the other is hell and unless you are cleansed from sin you will in no way be allowed to hang your dirty laundry in heaven.

I don’t mean this disrespectfully but Jesus didn’t just die for the “H-ll” of it. His purpose for His incarnated state was to represent man by dieing on our behalf in taking the guilt and penalty of sin. If  we could of achieved it on our own merit by earning heaven then Christ died needlessly Galatians 2:21. A deeper look to the offense of condemnation is not only in our violation of God through sin but by shunning God’s redemptive work of salvation in the Messiah by rejecting His Son John 3:18.

One of the greatest crimes of all is to wave before God our works as a “morsel” offering versus the complete and efficacious offering of Jesus which fully satisfies God’s righteous requirements for a sacrificial offering and anything less is obscene in the eyes of a Holy God.

Remember it only took one “small” act of disobedience in the Garden to bring in a “great” flood of evil upon all of mankind thus bringing a curse to  all men. So how has your transgressions measured up to Adam’s “slip”. Are your transgressions “supersized” or “insignificant” in comparison. You be the judge.

Now getting back to the question of hell. Many people when they don’t agree or like the biblical text then they associate the content of scripture as being metaphoric thus trying to avoid its difficult application.

Yet Jesus speaks of hell in such a dramatic fashion that  He uses a hyperbole in trying to communicate to others its reality which should be avoided at all costs even if it would mean the extremes of dismemberment Matthew 5:27-30.

Based on the context of this scripture many would not take this literally nevertheless this shows a literal severity and seriousness towards the outcome of a spiritual state of existence that is more traumatic than the critical loss of even our physical components. Jesus would not say this flippantly as if there were not a hellish reality.

Finally I realize “Hell” should not be the motivation towards obedience or submission but rather “Love”.

There should be a sense of holy fear or respect for God with a balanced sense of  loving admiration.

One of the best analogies I can give you is that God is like a heavenly parent who sacrifices His  own life for the benefit of the child and even though the child is governed through the hand of correction it is for their well being and development that the “God” parent administers these actions.

Yet extending above these hands are the loving arms of God who embraces you to protect you and give you security. The hand and the arm work together to properly train the child and if done right the child should never see God’s hand as the enemy but as a means of bringing them salvation as a warning to stop.

A child who fully loves and trusts his parent understands this relationship and takes heed when the hand of God is raised knowing that it is done so only by the loving arms that are bearing its weight.

We would think it a crime for a parent to just nonchalantly just watch their child run out in the street in front of an oncoming car without saying or doing a thing. Yet would you despise a God who is trying to get your attention by yelling and pleading for your eternal soul . Would you see it as merely the fear factor or manipulation when he cries out to you “STOP” there is danger ahead.

A child would not question the urgency or the tone of a parental voice of concern and yet when God warns us about Hell then how do we take or respond to His entreaty for us to  repent.

God is calling and actually he is screaming to get our attention sometimes. Will you listen and learn to trust Him for He is a loving Father?

At the end of the blog I have a place on how to have a relationship with God and it will describe to you in fundamental terms on how to be saved and commit your life to God. It is simple process but is very profound in scope and application and it will be life changing .

Trust me I did this over 20 years ago and I will never go back to living a lie for the devil.

What life will you choose after death? Will you choice life after death or death after life?

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans 6:23.

A sobering video on “To Hell and Back”

 

 
How to know God

Atheist and Agnostic Resources

English Articles on Atheism and Agnosticism

The Divinity of Jesus

Friday, October 16th, 2009

In a previous blog I addressed the divinity of Jesus from strictly an Old Testament viewpoint at jesusandjews.com/wordpress/2009/07/04/the-divinity-of-the-messiah/ and now by adding the New Testament revelation it serves to enhance the  depth perception concerning the person and work of Christ.

The concept of the incarnation of Jesus as the embodiment of both divinity and humanity is a hard concept to wrap one’s mind around let alone trying to fully understand the very nature and existence of God as a complex figure which is beyond the mere reasoning power of simplified logic. We can formalize doctrines and church creeds but can we isolate God under a microscope and confine Him to our experience by defining Him in our limited vocabulary since His transcendent glory has been set above the heavens as in Psalms 8: 1.

When contemplating God the philosophy of “reason” can sometimes lead us to be unreasonably wrong. After all we have plenty of intellectuals who have rationalized God’s non-existence.

Anyway there are plenty of things in life including the scriptures that elude our ability to be able to fully deduce or comprehend. Actually God said in Isaiah 55: 8-9

8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the Lord.

9“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts

You may think that this scripture may apply to sinful humanity and yet this knowledge had even evaded the righteousness of Job as well.

Job 11: 7-9

7“Can you fathom the mysteries of God?

Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?

8They are higher than the heavens—what can you do?

They are deeper than the depths of the gravea—what can you know?

9Their measure is longer than the earth

and wider than the sea.

Even the New Testament concurs with the limitations of the Spirit led saints on this side  of eternity as stated in 1 Corinthian 13:12.

12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

As we probed the old covenant scriptures concerning the person of the Messiah there were elated and glorious words applied to this one who was to be born and bear the title as  “Mighty God” rather than a “god” Isaiah 9: 6-7.

We also see another glimpse of Him in Daniel 7:13-15 as one liken unto the “son of man” coming with the clouds of heaven who was given an everlasting dominion of glory and sovereign power receiving for Himself worship among all the peoples and nations. Jesus refers to this scripture when He  describes himself to the religious leaders of His day in Mark 14:62.

These Old Testament references go beyond describing merely an angelic being or a “god’ let alone a man because this figure was to receive worship and glory and this alone was the one attribute that God himself was only to receive Exodus 34:14.

Jesus does not openly proclaim Himself to be God or even the Messiah during His temporal and physical entrance as a man upon the earth and there are moments where He remains elusive and in a state of obscurity in which the religious leaders had to finally press Him to openly declare His identity as the Messiah which He finally confesses in Matthew 26: 63,64. Even when Peter with his famous confession of faith came to this understanding Jesus told him not to disclose it to anybody Matthew 16:16-20.

God just does not present Himself in a “show and tell” type of way.  Jesus method of revelation would come by the revealer of truth, the Holy Spirit, who would expose His identity. Jesus says continually throughout the course of the gospels that he who has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit of God is saying and He also speaks metaphorically of the eyes as well which are able to see or perceive by the Spirit, Matthew 13: 9-17.

His primary  purpose was to save His people from their sins and in finishing the course of doing the will of the Father rather than haphazardly throwing His pearls before the swine by openly declaring Himself according to His identity before His enemies.

So if the concept of the Messiah alone is hard to fully realize even among His contemporaries and disciples then how much more difficult is it to understand His divinity.

The Apostle Paul who was a educated Pharisaic Jew had even referred to the plan of God as a divine mystery which has now been revealed in Christ , Ephesians 3:1-13.

When looking at the mystique of Christ’s character there are certain descriptive words that upon first glance appear to be terms that apply to Jesus as a created being but upon closer observation they describe His unique person in the role of redemption .

For instance the term that John uses to describe Jesus is the word “only begotten” or “monogenes” which is a Greek word that can be applied in describing Jesus in a unique sense or as the only one of His kind. If a person wanted to communicate a procreative view the word “gennao” would have been used instead which would more specifically mean to beget, or to generate, or give birth.

Because we have the Septuagint which is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew scriptures we can correlate some of these terms to ancient Hebraic thought and usage. The Hebrew equivalent to this word “monogenes” is “Yachidh” which can mean an only child in the unique sense of the word. Also this word Yachidh was also used in conjunction with the Greek work “agapetos” which communicates the concept of intimacy in a unique relationship as “beloved” which reminds me of the speech where the Father speaks of Jesus in these words of endearment as found in Mathew 3:17, 17:5 as His beloved Son.

Another term that is used is “firstborn’ or “prototokos” which can refer to a literal firstborn  but it was also used to denote a sense of prominence as related to relationships such as the king of Israel in Psalm 89:27. This word is also used in the New Testament as found in Colossians 1:18 where it refers to Jesus being the firstborn from the dead which would have nothing to do with Him being created.

Another term is the word “Son” which speaks of His special relationship with God. I have already written a blog on this concept which gives more clearly an explanation to its usage.

jesusandjews.com/wordpress/2009/04/09/jesus-is-gods-son/

Again this term is not being used of Jesus as just a man or that the Father had sexual relations in consummating a physical union with Mary in order that the Messiah could be born in human flesh. This is the concept held by Muslims in reaction to their viewpoint of “reason” concerning the Sonship of Jesus.

The word son was applied to angels, israel, kings, etc. When associating this word it can also denote a title or a specific mission so therefore since Jesus fulfilled the unique role as the Messiah then He is to be regarded as the ultimate” Son of God”.

The usage of this term in the most supreme manner was understood even by the religious leaders of  Jesus day as a specific reference to God being His Father or “My Father” making Him equal to God John 5:16-27.

Even if we relate all these terms to Jesus’ temporal realm of earthly existence as occupying time and space as a man this does nothing to prove Him as a created being in His preexistent state in eternity past. He specifically had a unique role, title, and mission regarding His humanity as representing the “Last Adam” who would break the adamic curse by introducing a new covenant that would reconcile us to God as our human representative and high priest Hebrews 2:17.

Though Jesus was a man He was likewise divine otherwise He could not have conquered sin and perfectly fulfilled all righteousness, Hebrews 4:15.

After all the scriptures are consistent in this view concerning mans incapacity to obtain moral perfection as stated by David who was a man after Gods own heart as spoken of in Psalms 14:3 which says that there is no one who does good, not even one. Solomon the wisest man to have ever lived is believed to have written  Ecclesiastes which  states in chapter 7 verso 20 that there is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins which coincides with the witness of Romans 3:23 which states that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

It is reasonable to conclude from 2 Corinthians 5:21 that God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteous of God. Jesus in His divinity is the only one who could provide this perfect representation in His manhood.

This is kind of a long introduction but what I want to establish in this next part is that Jesus is not the archangel Michael which the Jehovah’s Witness claim that He is “Insight, volume 2, p.394.” There is not even one biblical reference in defining Him as this angelic being.

When doing my research on this matter I found some correlation between the “Angel of the Lord” and the divine presence but this  no where comes close to identifying Jesus as the archangel Michael.

The first chapter of Hebrews contrasts Jesus with angelic beings stating that He was superior to the angel’s in verse 4. In verse 6 it says that God’s angels even worship Him and until 1970 the New World Translation used this same reading but it has now been changed to obeisance in order to reflect their value system. God even reciprocates and shares the title of God with the Son in verse 8 and verse 3 indicating that Jesus is an exact representation of the Father’s being.

When exploring the nature and character of Christ there are several primary references which refer to Jesus as being divine as in Matthew 12:8 where Jesus refers to Himself as the “Lord of the Sabbath”. In John 20:28 Thomas refers to Jesus as my Lord and my God. John 10:33 Jesus referred to himself as being one with the Father in which the Jews understood this to mean that he was claiming to be God. John 1 declares Jesus the “Word” to be God. Jesus shows such a close identity with the Father that He states if you have seen Me then you have seen the Father John 14:8-11. In Titus 2:13 Jesus is portrayed as our great God and Savior, 2 Peter 1:1 God and Savior Jesus Christ, 1 John 5:20 Jesus Christ  is the true God and eternal life. Colossians 1:15 Jesus is the image of the invisible God and in Acts 10:36 Jesus is the Lord of all.

There are also secondary attributes to Jesus character that clearly define Him as God as well and one of these main features was the element of worship which He received freely without rebuke. In John 9:38 it was the blind man. In Matthew 2:1,2 the magi were coming to worship king Jesus. In Hebrews 1:6 it is the angels who are offering worship to Jesus. In Matthew 8:2 it is the leper and in Matthew 9:18 it was a certain ruler. In Matthew 14:33 the disciples worshipped Him when He calmed the storm and the women at the empty tomb  worshipped the resurrected Jesus in Matthew 28:9 and finally in Matthew 28:17 the disciples worship Him following the resurrection.

Jesus worship is contrasted to those who were to refuse worship such as men and angels.

We see this as Peter who is a mere man refuses worship in Acts 10:25, 26 and even the apostle Paul and Barnabas reject worship in Acts 14:11-15.

Also angels  were forbidden worship as we see when John attempted to worship his angelic guide in Revelation 22:8,9.

In Exodus 34:14 the Lord declares not to worship any other god, for the Lord whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Also in Isaiah 42:8 God declares that He will not give His glory to another and yet in Daniel 7:14 and in Hebrews 13:21 Jesus is given glory.

Another aspect of divinity is the ability to forgive sins which we see in Exodus 34:6 that God forgives rebellion and sin and in Matthew 9:2-6  Jesus had forgiven the sins of the paralytic in which the Jews understood this as blaspheming because they knew that only God could  forgive.

Now another element to Godhood is  preexistence and since He received worship and glory then how can we classify Him as anything else but God. Jesus on several occasions speaks of his preexistence in John 1:1,2; 3:13, 31,32; 8:58, 16:28, 17:5.

We also see throughout the course of the bible that prayers were offered to God and in Acts 7:59 the first martyr Stephen prays to Jesus to receive his spirit.

Lastly God is the only one who has the power to create and in Genesis 1:1 we see God creating and yet in John 1:10 we see that the world was made through Jesus. In Colossians 1:16 All things were created by Jesus and for Jesus.

Also there are titles that are ascribed to both God and Jesus equally as can be seen throughout the scriptures of which I will provide a short list.

Judge– In Genesis 18:25 God is the judge of all the earth and yet judgment has been entrusted to to Jesus in John 5:22. In  2 Corinthians 5:10 it  speaks of the judgment seat of Christ.

King–  Psalms 95:3 the Lord is a great King above all gods and Jesus is described as the King of kings and Lord of lords in Rev 17:14.

First and the Last– Refers to God in Isaiah 48:12 and in Revelation 1:17 it is Jesus.

Light– The Lord is my light and my salvation in Psalms 27:1  and yet in John 1: 9 Jesus is the true light that gives light to every man and again in John 8:12 Jesus confesses that He is light of the world.

Rock– 2 Samuel 22:32 says who is the rock except our God and in Romans 9:33 Christ is the rock that causes men to fall.

Redeemer– Psalms 130:7 The Lord Himself is the redeemer of Israel from all their sins and in Matthew 1:21 Jesus is portrayed as the one who saves Israel from their sins.

Savior– Isaiah 43:11 declares the Lord to be the only Saviour and in Luke 2:11 Jesus is the Savior.

Husband– Isaiah 54:5 says it is the Lord Almighty who is our husband but in 2 Corinthians 11:2 Jesus is our husband.

Shepherd–  Psalms 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd yet in John 10:11 Jesus says I am the good shepherd.

Giver of life–  In Deuteronomy 32:39 God brings life and yet  in John 1:4 Jesus is the life.

Eternal– God ways are portrayed as eternal as in Habakkuk 3:6 and yet in the  messianic prophecies Jesus is described from eternity as indicated in Isaiah 9:6 as the everlasting father and in Micah 5:2(Matthew 2:6) Jesus comes from ancient times or everlasting.

Immutable or unchangeable– Malachi 3:6 God does not change and in Hebrews 13:8 Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

These scriptures should show continuity and reciprocation rather than a competition between the Father and Jesus. According to the scripture they are “one” in the special sense of the word depicting their unity in John 10:30.

It’s not a matter of either/or but rather both/and when describing the nature of God.

I think of the relationship between the husband and wife in which the two become one (echad) flesh as spoken of in Genesis 2:24. This is comparable with God as spoken of in Deuteronomy 6:4 in which God’s existance is declared  as one (echad) which is a compound unity not an absolute unity (yachid) which holds to the numerical value of one.

The husband and wife are the same substance and share solidarity in their relationship of oneness but they have a different role and authority in their responsiveness towards one another and yet in the frailty of this example there is a faint hint of the Godhood which represents a perfect union that is inseparable.

In a previous blog I deal with the triunity or compound unity of God as being “one” based on an Old Testament viewpoint at:

jesusandjews.com/wordpress/2009/07/30/god-is-one/

This blog doesn’t answer every question to the deity of Christ but neither does the counterpart based on the internal evidence of the scriptures.

Just because something is difficult to comprehend does not make it unbelievable nor does it necessitate its non existence as being a mistruth

By claiming Jesus to be an angel or a merely a man or a created being is discrediting the biblical record of His person therefore leaving us with an unbiblical position.

In John 8:24 Jesus warns that if  you do not believe that He is the one that He  claims to be then you will indeed die in your sins.

To demote Christ and pull Him down from His heavenly throne by making Him out to be just  a man,angel, or a god is to discredit the glory due to His person and name.

You may argue to lift Christ up is to bring God down but the scripture says in John 5:23 that if you don’t honor the Son then you don’t honor the Father.

In my argument for the deity of Christ I haven’t just  given a few vague or remote verses in order to sway your viewpoint  but I have tried to show a balanced unity from the testimony of both covenants among various biblical authors.

In conclusion I think you can see from the evidence that making Jesus less than God only creates more problems in making His person even more mysterious than what we can “reason” Him to otherwise be.

 

How to know God

 



Copyright permission by Bridge-Logos “The School of Biblical Evangelism”


Copyright permission from Word Search Corporation “The Complete Biblical Library” Greek-English dictionary.

Jehovah

Monday, September 28th, 2009

The English word Jehovah was used by the translators of the King James Version in referring to the Hebrew name for God. However, this word form was an improper interpretation which resulted from a lack of understanding regarding the Jewish scribal rules as practiced by the Masoretes.

The Masoretes, in an attempt not to profane God’s name, used an alternative or hybrid form of the word in order to preserve the holiness and sacredness of God’s name when pronounced.

This word derivative evolved by using the tetragrammaton YHWH  which are the four consonants of God’s name and combined them with the vowel signs  for Lord (Adonai) which resulted in the word “Y’howah”.

The name of God was further altered by using the English transliteration of the word Jehovah which was not always consistent in every scriptural reference and therefore the usage of this name had alternative forms as recorded in the Masoretic text.

So today when a Jew vocally reads from the Tanakh and he comes across the Hebrew name for God ( יהוה )  he will not pronounce God’s name but instead he will substitute the word for Lord(אדני) in its place.

Religious Jews whenever they invoke God’s name in a personal conversation will only say God, Lord, or HaShem(The Name). They wouldn’t even think of trying to pronounce God’s actual name or its hybrid form.

Also when Jews write the name of God they use the words L-rd / G-d instead of Lord or God out of respect for His name.

All these conceptual ideas originated and were practiced by the Jews who were the original bearers of the ancient Hebrew text. On this point an individual can differ on whether or not they are right in keeping with these scribal laws but one thing is for certain and that is that God’s name was never Jehovah and therefore no ancient Israelite would have ever used or understood this name when referring to God. In addition to this, there aren’t any ancient Hebrew consonants that would reflect a sound for the letter “J”.

Dr. Michael Brown, who has his PhD in Semitic languages, along with other leading scholars interpret God’s name as being Yahweh and to pronounce it in English it would sound more like Jahveh.

If a person really wants to more accurately speak God’s real name you would need to pronounce it according to its original Hebraic context which is definably more accurate based on the biblical text. The reason for the proper usage of names in Hebrew is because the words being uttered have symbolic meaning which in this case was relevant to God’s character. The name of God was never understood to have some type of meaning based on a mystical experience of uttering or chanting  meaningless sounds nor was it a matter of formulating a  phonetically or rhythmic style of wording that only had a sense of aesthetic value but  rather a name served as a purposeful or defining feature to the individual.

The etymology of God’s name based on the Hebrew word interprets His name as the causative form of the root” to be” which depicts Him as the One who causes things to be or who makes things happen.

Another example to the significance of using biblical names is reflected in the name of Jesus or Yeshua(ישוע) which is the Hebrew-Aramaic form of His name. Yeshua is a shortened form of the English word Joshua (Yehoshua) which means Yahweh is salvation.

In conclusion, if the accuracy of using God’s name holds a specific value due to its proper pronouncement and usage and therefore becomes a critical element in properly identifying God or representing a movement then the English transliterated word Jehovah only becomes a distortion  and an inaccuracy when pronouncing His name.

In reality I am not even sure if we precisely know how to pronounce God’s name so therefore the most correct use or proper way of handling God’s literal name is by avoiding the pitfalls of vocalization by keeping to the simplicity of the written word in designating God’s name as יהוה and even this is not completely adequate since the Hebrew script has undergone various transitional changes down through the ages of time.

Finally in being a witness of God’s name, it is far less critical in adjusting the fine tuning of semantics with all of its rigors of speech and script than it is to accurately portray a biblical concept of the grandeur of His glorious person and work which should leave us with a sense of awe beyond the confines of speech.

 

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Jehovah’s Witness

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

In this blog I would like to address the founders of this movement or cult namely Charles Russell and Joseph Rutherford.

At first glance when I saw this duo of leadership I immediately thought of a correlation with Mormonism and its two infamous leaders Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

These people were literally visionaries to the success of their organizations. Both of these movements were established in the 19th century and they both singled out the controversies that were prevalent in their day which resulted in them obtaining a platform to herald their new founded(restored) religions.

My challenge to either group is that since they both deviate radically from mainline Christendom and they both claim they have the ultimate truth then which of these two are exclusively right?

Anyway I believe that a movement is only as valid as the integrity of its founder. The Jehovah Witnesses would like to dissociate their past or beginnings with the “Pastor” or Russell and yet there would not be a movement today had it not been for Russell’s efforts.

Perhaps some of the reasons why Russell had been rejected was based on the fact that  he was a  shady character and also because Rutherford denounced many of Russell’s teachings.

I find it amazing that in God’s sovereignty of restoring  truth that he would have even bothered to use such an infallible person like Russell. Why didn’t He just use Rutherford to broadcast His message to others to begin with. Just the fact that the movement can not establish a solid base of leadership in its formation shows its instability which upon observation should be viewed with skepticism.

One thing about contemporary religions or cults is that their truth claims can be weighed or critiqued more readily due to the modern era of communication and record keeping which helps in keeping people honest.

To begin with some of the things that hurt Russell’s credibility was his failure in regards to jurisprudence. He filed suit on a couple of occasions and every time the charges were either dropped or thrown out of court.

One of these cases was the fraudulent claims concerning the “Miracle Wheat” scandal of which he claimed would produce and yield as much as fives times the amount as ordinary wheat and therefore he sold this grain at an inflated price.

However when government officials tested it for its quality they claimed it was low in their testings.

Another court incident was in 1912 when Russell attempted to sue Reverend JJ Ross for publishing a pamphlet on Russell. Russell countered by taking Ross to court with a charge of defamatory libel. All Russell had to do to win his case was to substantiate or provide evidence concerning the allegations against him that had been made in the publication by Ross.

These claims, of which Russell was accused of, was due to an insufficiency in regards to his education, theological training, knowledge of the dead languages such as Hebrew and Greek, and the fact that he was not ordained or had the credentials to be ordained by a recognized body of leadership. All these claims made by Ross were denied by Russell  and now the court proceedings would have to arbitrate in deciphering the truth.

From this court case the thing that really destroyed the reliability of Russell’s character  was the fact that he perjured himself.

When questioned about his education he claimed he had left school at the age of 14 and therefore he had not attained to a higher level of education.

Also He claimed knowledge of the dead languages and when questioned about in court concerning the Greek alphabet he finally admitted that he did not know Greek.

Now as far as his ordination was concerned it was discovered that he considered himself to be self ordained.

Lastly he lied under oath that he was divorced and that he was paying alimony to his former wife.

After Russell’s death in 1916 he was succeeded by Joseph Rutherford who would take the mantle of leadership in establishing what is now known today as the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Rutherford though not rejecting every doctrinal teaching of Russell did change, challenge or overturn the rulings of former Russellite doctrine.

Amazingly enough even though the Jehovah Witnesses have made claims to be free from the influence of Russell’s teachings there are still overtones that are embodied within their statements of beliefs and Russell’s teachings were still used as late as 1973 in one of the Watchtower publications.

We must still remember that Russell was the very cornerstone of this movement and without him their would not be a foundation in which to build the Kingdom Hall.

Now concerning Rutherford he was said to be of questionable character by several people who were closely associated with him. One of these individuals was Olin Moyle who was the legal council and he had confronted Rutherford about his inebriated episodes as well as the use of vulgarity, discriminatory language, and outbursts of anger.

In addition to these claims came his luxurious lifestyle having obtained many residences and like Russell his wife divorced him after He took  the role of leadership in this movement.

It appears that the “Judge” had some questionable character traits as well which when combined with his heretical teachings shows that the fruit didn’t fall too far from the tree.

A list of the teachings would include:

A full restoration of mankind in 1925 along with the resurrection of some of the biblical patriarchs which later developed into him building Beth Sarim in 1929. Beth Sarim would know serve to house these prophets and the faithful men of old. Later Rutherford recanted his position on his belief.

Instead of Christ returning in 1878, which was the date set by original founder, Rutherford took the liberty to move it up to the year 1914.

In 1927 Rutherford moved the date of the resurrection of the “sleeping saints” which was said to have taken place between 1878-1918.

In 1933 Rutherford changed His 1918 assessment concerning the Jews being restored to what was then called Palestine. As you know Israel became a state in 1948 and if he would of just held out a little longer then his original prediction would have been right.

Also Rutherford took a stance against the rise of the women’s movement and said that the tipping of the hat or standing when a woman approaches was a scheme of the devil to turn men from God. Also included within his disfavor was the celebration of Mother’s Day.

In 1938 he urged followers to delay marriage and child bearing until after Armageddon.

In conclusion to analyzing the character and teachings of these men it would be hard to establish their authenticity and veracity as agents or receptacles of God’s revelatory truth. Based on the evidence would you really want to trust your eternal souls to their teachings which have failed to be substantiated through the evidential testimonies of the people, courts, media, and even their own publications.

Its bad enough that there is a lack of corroboration between these two parties and if  one character can be questioned then why not both ? Who is the agent of truth here ? Is it the originator or the successor?

All I ask is that you do the research in verifying these statements and then allow the evidence to speak for itself or to lead you into the direction of truth.

To do further studies on the subject you may refer to some of the references I used in Wikipedia or by utilizing Walter Martin’s book on “The Kingdom of the Cults” for further information.

Lastly this is not intended to be a smear campaign and I hope you see this as a generous effort to warn you for your own good and benefit.

Finally in 2 Peter 2:1-3 it says:

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

 

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