Jehovah`s Witness/Stephen praying to Jesus
QUESTION: In the book of Acts while Stephen was being stoned and about to die, he looked up as the heavens opened up and saw Jesus next to His Father. He then asked (prayed) to Jesus that He receive his spirit. My question is why did Stephen address Jesus while His Father was right next to Him?
ANSWER: This question was in the Question Pool,
I'm just replying since I kind of already spoke about this, your question asking why did Stephen address Jesus while his Father was right next to him...so from this question you do know that Jesus and his father are NOT one in the same, because you can't be one in the same if you are right next to someone else, isn't that so! At any rate,
Stephen's vision,(Acts 7:55, 56) was a future time when Jesus was reigning as King which began in 1914. The vision that Stephen was allowed to see was during the time when Stephen would be resurrected to heavenly life, during the time of the end, Jesus' presence.
1 Cor. 15:23 "But each one in his own rank: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who belong to the Christ during his presence."
Stephen did not see Jesus sitting at the right hand of God, as he was doing at the time of Stephen's death awaiting, no, he saw Jesus STANDING at the right hand of God, indicating Jesus' Kingly reign.
Stephen saw Jesus and Jehovah both there, Stephen appealed to the one who was going to resurrect him, to the one he belonged to, as 1 Cor. 15:23 brings out, the one who he would rule with as a King himself for a 1000 years, that would be Jesus Christ.
And since Jehovah GAVE Jesus the authority to resurrect those who stuck by him to heavenly life he made the statement to Jesus about receiving his spirit. That vision was during the time when Stephen would be resurrected by Jesus.
1 Cor. 15:27 "For [God] “subjected all things under his feet.” But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that it is with the exception of the one who subjected all things to him." (see the exception here, it's as plain as day!!)
Matt. 28:18-20 "And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, 20teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded YOU. And, look! I am with YOU all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” (Jesus himself said his authority was given to him, GIVEN, that means someone gave it to him which means he did not always have it, you don't have to be given something that you already possess now do you!! Whoever goes against that is calling Jesus a liar.)
John 11:25 "Jesus said to her: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life"
John 14:6 "Jesus said to him: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Eph. 1:20-23 "with which he has operated in the case of the Christ when he raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this system of things, but also in that to come. 22He also subjected all things under his feet, and made him head over all things to the congregation,23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills up all things in all."
Phil 3:20, 21 "As for us, our citizenship exists in the heavens, from which place also we are eagerly waiting for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will refashion our humiliated body to be conformed to his glorious body according to the operation of the power that he has, even to subject all things to himself.
1 Thes. 4:16 because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first.
2 Thes. 2:1 "However, brothers, respecting the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him...."
Rev. 20:4 "And I saw thrones, and there were those who sat down on them, and power of judging was given them. Yes, I saw the souls of those executed with the ax for the witness they bore to Jesus and for speaking about God, and those who had worshiped neither the wild beast nor its image and who had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand. And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for a thousand years."
So Stephen already knowing the Prophecy at Ps. 110:1 was allowed to see in vision the fulfillment of that prophecy, Jesus STANDING as King and that's why he appealed to Jesus!
If you can't understand that then read Daniel 12:10.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: So do you truly understand what the Trinity is? It doesn't seem so by your assumption.
I happened to ask two JW's I work with when they thought the vision occurred, past present or in the future. They both seemed to think it was present. I also asked why Stephen was addressing Jesus and got two different answers, both different from yours.
Then I remembered in the watchtower booklet"what the bible really teaches" that the spirit belongs to God and is returned to God when it dies. So why would Stephen ask something that was already going to happen anyways and why ask Jesus to receive his spirit if it belonged to God, unless he considered Jesus to be his God of course.
When I told my fellow co-workers of your answer they had doubts that you are even a JW. I believe that you are even though you don't list any credentials as to being any kind of expert other than quoting verses.
Another question I asked was in John when Jesus said 'I' will rebuild my temple. So far I have two different answers and one refusal. What is your opinion of what Jesus meant by "I"?
ANSWER: Hello Kevin,
***********So do you truly understand what the Trinity is? It doesn't seem so by your assumption.***************
Yeah, I do, it's a lie, that's what it is. Actually the fact is that the Trinity is a false teaching and not Biblical, just because you refuse to believe it, doesn't make it true. You do realize that this is a forum for asking questions to Jehovah's Witnesses and we DO NOT believe in the lie called the Mystery of the Holy Trinity, so I really don't see your point! You believe Jesus is God, we don't because the Bible doesn't teach that he is. If you want to believe in that mystery, then you are free to do so. Why waste your time here, go on a forum that supports your false belief and become an expert about it, then you can teach everyone who wants to know about the Trinity there. Or become an expert on the critics page of our beliefs.
*********They both seemed to think it was present. I also asked why Stephen was addressing Jesus and got two different answers, both different from yours**********
Even if I believed you if you told them that I said the vision hadn't happened yet then no wonder they thought I wasn't a witness. Or maybe you just misunderstood when I said "Stephen's vision, (Acts 7:55, 56) was a future time when Jesus was reigning as King which began in 1914." That obviously must have went right over your head.
It's pretty obvious that the vision happened in the past Acts is a book of history not a book of prophecy or something that hasn't even happened yet!!
Maybe this is more easier for you to understand, what I meant was Stephen saw a vision of Jesus reigning as King in the heavens, because he was standing instead of sitting, now that doesn't make the actual vision a future vision does it?
********I also asked why Stephen was addressing Jesus and got two different answers, both different from yours********
Again even if I believed you my answer is correct I got it from the pages of the Watchtower written by Jehovah's appointed men. The faithful and discreet slave.
Matt 24:45 “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time?
So my suggestion would be to go and tell your work colleagues to go and research the subject themselves after all we can't remember everything and if they need the literature page number etc they can write to me and I will provide it for them. Then seeing as we're all united as the Bible commands us to be.
1 Cor 1:10 "Now I exhort YOU, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that YOU should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among YOU, but that YOU may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought"
Then you will get the same answer from them as I have given you.
**********Then I remembered in the watchtower booklet"what the bible really teaches" that the spirit belongs to God and is returned to God when it dies. So why would Stephen ask something that was already going to happen anyways**********
So what are you trying to tell me here? That the Bible is wrong and Stephen never said those words to Jesus or what is your point here?
*********and why ask Jesus to receive his spirit if it belonged to God, unless he considered Jesus to be his God of course.************
Because Stephen didn't have time to pray to God through Jesus as you have to do and he understood this scripture here.
John 11:25 "Jesus said to her: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life"
I gave you scriptures showing you where Jesus was GIVEN the authority to resurrect by God. So Stephen knowing that he could address Jesus directly who had the job of resurrecting him asked Jesus to do that very thing. in his vision of them both he spoke to them both. What's so hard about understanding that. You do realize that they didn't stop pelting him with stones so that he could properly pray to Jehovah through Jesus, you do realize he was dying at that time and spoke to the two person's he saw in vision....
******When I told my fellow co-workers of your answer they had doubts that you are even a JW. I believe that you are even though you don't list any credentials as to being any kind of expert other than quoting verses*******
Again even if I believed you. I'm not surprised they would doubt seeing as you're giving them misleading information. That's obvious isn't it? Plus, I do say in my profile that I am a baptized JW....so what are you talking about credentials?
**********Another question I asked was in John when Jesus said 'I' will rebuild my temple. So far I have two different answers and one refusal. What is your opinion of what Jesus meant by "I"**********
Even if I believed you I would tell them to research the subject.
Jesus used the expression "I" in two senses here.
1) In the fact that his conduct while alive allowed him to be raised from the dead.
2)In the fact that he personally raised his fathers spiritual house after his resurrection.
Are you obsessed, it's been explained a few times, go find it in the archives, if you don't agree, then keep stepping, it's a difference between someone who wants to learn and someone who just wants to make trouble, I'm not going to keep dealing with insolence.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello again Sister T.
I don't think when God wrote the bible he would include things that went against what he wanted us to do. So when you say that Stephen painstakingly 'prayed' to both of them I have a hard time with that logic. Why would Jehovah show it's okay to pray to Jesus if it's not acceptable. Also why would Jehovah say it's okay to worship Jesus if only prayer and worship are to be towards God only. I think you remember when Thomas knelt down#a form of worship# and exclaimed to Jesus,"the Lord of me and the God of me." In the literal Greek. Why would Jehovah put that in the bible if it wasn't important. Also let the angels worship him. Are you saying Jehovah didn't want His word to be known until 1950? Again hard to understand the logic,especially since Jews' have supposedly been around since the days of Jesus.
Another question I have is about Jehovah's love for His creation. My JW co-worker in a fit of frustration said that I have no hope for resurrection and that Jehovah doesn't love me because I believe in the doctrine of the trinity. Is that true? Why do your answers seem antagonistic? Do you not understand the doctrine of love your neighbor? My understanding is Jehovah's love is unconditional and there is nothing we can do to earn his undeserving kindness,but my JW co-worker says that's not true. That I must earn his love and he said I don't deserve to know about "the truth." So why would you only preach to those who deserve to know and how do you determine who is worthy?
Hello again Kevin,
I never said Stephen painstakingly prayed to both of them. I said he saw them both and spoke, there is a difference. You will have a hard time with what you said, but if you go by what the Bible says then it won't be so difficult, the problem comes in when you try to make the Bible be what you want it to be, you want the Trinity to be true, and you want Jesus to be Almighty God so bad that you lose all logic. I've explained it and if you don't get it or understand then I'm sorry I could not help you.
What are you talking about 1950? I think you are getting me mixed up with some other question you asked someone else.....
Some times people out of frustration do say things, it's a part of being imperfect. When a person after being told over and over again and then they come back with the same question and refuses to accept what the Bible clearly says, then what's the point in continuing? You are free to believe as you feel, be happy in your belief.
It's not for me to say who will be resurrected that die before Armageddon comes, but if you keep on believing a lie then your fate at Armageddon won't be a good one, because that is God's war, and those who die at Armageddon will not be resurrected.
The trinity is part of Babylon the Great, which is false religion and if you do not get out from it, you will suffer the fate that she will. (Rev. 18:4)
I will quote from one of our publications:
"What position should true worshippers take regarding Babylon the Great? In no uncertain terms, the Bible commands: “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4) Those who want to be spared must get out of false religion before it is too late. When on earth, Jesus Christ foretold that in the last days, many would merely claim to follow him. (Matthew 24:3-5) To such ones, he says: “I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:23) The now enthroned King, Jesus Christ, has nothing to do with false religion."
I don't know you and I have no hostility for you as a person, it's your constant trying to prove something that is not true, if you want to believe in the Trinity Kevin, you are free to do so, but you can't make true JW's agree with something they vehemently know is a lie. It's just not going to happen, EVER.
This is what you may not understand, the free gift that God gave us through his son Jesus' ransom is a free gift and it's there for everybody, because Jehovah loved people enough to send his son to die for us. We didn't do anything to deserve that gift because for one, it was given before we were even born, so what could we possibly do to deserve that? It's there, but if you want to BENEFIT from that gift then you have to exercise faith in the ransom sacrifice and that is according to God's requirements not our own.
Example: You will inherit a mansion if you marry by a certain age says a relative in a will. The mansion is there, it's right there, but you won't benefit from having it if you do not obey the requirements. The ransom is right here, but if a person doesn't obey Jehovah's requirements, they will not be able to benefit from that ransom.
We can see from the example of the Israelites that if they obeyed, they'd be his special property or people, they had to do something, it was conditions.
Adam had conditions, you can eat from all the fruit, but not this one tree....we are living the consequences from his not living up to those conditions. (Gen.2:16,17)
So to say there are no conditions goes against what the Bible clearly says.
If what you thought were true, then we wouldn't have these scriptures here:
1 Chronicles 15:1,2 "Now for Az‧a‧ri′ah the son of O′ded, the spirit of God came to be upon him.2Consequently he went out before A′sa and said to him: “Hear me, O A′sa and all Judah and Benjamin! Jehovah is with YOU as long as YOU prove to be with him; and if YOU search for him, he will let himself be found by YOU, but if YOU leave him he will leave YOU."
Ex. 19:5 "And now if YOU will strictly obey my voice and will indeed keep my covenant, then YOU will certainly become my special property out of all [other] peoples, because the whole earth belongs to me"
John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only‐begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life." (Read verses 17-21 too)
Deut. 30:15-18 "See, I do put before you today life and good, and death and bad.16[If you will listen to the commandments of Jehovah your God,] which I am commanding you today, so as to love Jehovah your God, to walk in his ways and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judicial decisions, then you will be bound to keep alive and to multiply, and Jehovah your God must bless you in the land to which you are going to take possession of it.
17“But if your heart turns away and you do not listen, and you are actually seduced and bow down to other gods and serve them,18I do tell YOU today that YOU will positively perish. YOU will not lengthen YOUR days on the ground to which you are crossing the Jordan to go to take possession of it."
2 Peter 2:20,21 "Certainly if, after having escaped from the defilements of the world by an accurate knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they get involved again with these very things and are overcome, the final conditions have become worse for them than the first.21For it would have been better for them not to have accurately known the path of righteousness than after knowing it accurately to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them"
Acts 10:34,35 "At this Peter opened his mouth and said: “For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial,35but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him"
Clearly Jehovah has HIS OWN requirements or conditions that must be met or followed to be acceptable to him. You need to find out what fearing God means, what righteousness is to HIM, not to you.
After we have explained things to you and you refuse to accept the truth from the Bible then we do as Jesus said to do, we didn't make this up, Jesus said it...
Matt 10:11-14 "“Into whatever city or village YOU enter, search out who in it is deserving, and stay there until YOU leave.12 When YOU are entering into the house, greet the household;13 and if the house is deserving, let the peace YOU wish it come upon it; but if it is not deserving, let the peace from YOU return upon YOU.14 Wherever anyone does not take YOU in or listen to YOUR words, on going out of that house or that city shake the dust off YOUR feet" Also read Acts 18:6.
Jehovah determines who is worthy, if you don't want to listen, and you never can understand, then maybe you need to pray to Jehovah to know the truth, because right now you have no truth...all you have is a lie. Why stake your life on a lie?
We're not playing games, we aren't just trying to make converts, this is about peoples lives at stake here, your life, Jehovah is not playing, he's warning you now, right now. Heed the warning he's giving you, please, for your own sake. If you aren't serious, there's always someone else who is and want to learn and want to live....if you don't sir, then go your way in peace!