Jehovah`s Witness/Whom do you Worship?
QUESTION: Hi Richard,
The Shema in part states the following:
"Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad."
The Hebrew Scriptures states the following:
Deut 6:4 "Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah"
Mark 12:29 "Jesus answered: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah OUR God is one Jehovah".
The Ten Commandments states:
(Exodus 20:3) "You must not have any other gods against my face.”
(Exodus 20:5)“. . .I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion. . .”
(Luke 10:27) “In answer he said: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole strength and with your whole mind,’ and, ‘your neighbor as yourself.’””
(Matthew 4:10) “Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’””
Jesus called Jehovah his Father and his God.
(John 20:17) “Jesus said to her: “Stop clinging to me. For I have not yet ascended to the Father. But be on your way to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and YOUR Father and to my God and YOUR God.’”
(Revelation 3:12) ““‘The one that conquers—I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will by no means go out [from it] anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which descends out of heaven from my God, and that new name of mine.”
Jesus, the angels, the Jews, the first century Christians and Jehovah's Witnesses praise and worship Jehovah God.
So to whom do you offer praise and worship?
or the pagan Trinity godhead?
ANSWER: Thank you very much for your question. I really appreciate the fact that the background to your question consists mainly of scripture, so I trust that you will appreciate my answer being the same.
I worship the God who...
Is my Shepherd - Ps. 23:1/John 10:11,14/Heb. 13:20
Isaiah saw - Is. 6:5/John 12:41
Will deliver those who call on His name - Joel 2:32/Rom. 10:13
Every knee will bow and every tongue will swear allegiance to - Is. 45:23/Phil. 2:10-11
Is my Creator - Is. 43:1/Col. 1:16
Is my Savior - Is. 43:3/Phil. 3:21 <------Is. 43:11 is clear there is only one.
Is with me - Is. 43:5/Matt. 18:20
Brings out the blind and deaf - Is. 43:8/Luke 7:22
Is "I am He" - Is. 43:10/John 18:6 <------Note the reaction to these words
Is my Redeemer - Is. 43:14/2 Cor. 5:17
Is King of Israel- Is. 43:15/Zech. 9:9/John 1:49
Wiped out my transgressions - Is. 43:25/John 1:29
We are called to put in remembrance - Is. 43:26/Luke 22:19
Laid the foundation of the earth - Ps. 102:25/Heb. 1:10
Is the Lord of Lords - Deut. 10:17/Rev. 17:14
Why, you ask?
John 5:23 - "in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."
and because one day "every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them" will say "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." - Rev. 5:13
Not every [other] created thing.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks for your reply Richard.
So what is his name?
Is it Jehovah/ Yahweh
Or the mysterious nameless trinity godhead?
ANSWER: I appreciate your follow-up. His name is YHWH. For as we know, YHWH is salvation. Please prayerfully consider everything I put into the first response. The series of questions that you ask focus on the NAME of God rather than concentrating on WHO is God. Who was revealed to you as God in the verses I provided above?
There is only one God. There is only one Shepherd. There is only one "King of Israel". There is only one Redeemer. There is only one Savior and Creator. There is only one who wipes out my transgressions. There is only one to whom all will bow and pledge allegiance.
I must allow the Bible to reveal who God is rather than approach it with any bias. The Bible is clear to me that I worship the God that I described in my first answer.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks again for your response Richard.
Like you, I'm an avid Bible student so yes I've considered all the verses you've provided. But since I don't know where you're coming from or what version of Bible you're using or quoting from, I had to ask to make sure. I needed to know who is the God you're referring to because in my Bible, the God that I worship has clear name and its Jehovah. He is the same God that Jesus and the angels are worshipping.
And since you did not mention his name the first time, thus I had to ask again.
So am I correct to assume then that in your Bible God's name is spelled out as YHWH only?
Also, part of the reason why I ask again of God's name is the seeming contradiction in what you said.
Here's what I mean, let me just take the first two lines from your reply, you said:
"I worship the God who...
Is my Shepherd - Ps. 23:1/John 10:11,14/Heb. 13:20"
In my Bible Ps. 23:1 says:
A melody of David.
(Psalm 23:1) “23 Jehovah is my Shepherd. I shall lack nothing.”
while John 10:11, 14 says:
(John 10:11) “. . .I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his soul in behalf of the sheep.”
(John 10:14) “. . .I am the fine shepherd, and I know my sheep and my sheep know me,”
(Hebrews 13:20) “20 Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an everlasting covenant, our Lord Jesus,”
Are you implying that since Jehovah (YHWH) and Jesus are both "shepherds" thus they are the same person?
If this is the case, then it doesn't make sense just like if my father was a "mechanic" and I'm a "mechanic" and we're the same person. We can be the of the same purpose, that makes sense but not the same person. Do you see what I mean?
But if what you're saying is correct, then is it correct to conclude that you also worship Jesus the son of the the True God Jehovah (YHWH)?
If so, are you worshipping two persons or just one?
If only one, again which one?
Also, when David said:
(Psalm 23:1) “23 Jehovah is my Shepherd. I shall lack nothing.”
was referring to Jesus or Jehovah?
Please don't take my questions as a challenge or an insult to your faith. I'm merely asking because you've presented yourself here as a teacher presenting the "the ideas and doctrines on which (JWs) disagree with mainstream Christianity". So I ask.
And you are asking the right questions. Please keep asking questions along this line as you are getting closer and closer each time with understanding why I, and many like me, believe what we believe. Your last question, "Does Psalm 23:1 refer to Jesus or Jehovah?" is a fantastic question. I hope this discussion will lead to more understanding on that question.
Before I continue in this study, let me answer one of your other questions. YHWH is the original name in the Hebrew Scriptures. I used it because that's who it is. I recognize that translators offer other words, but I wanted to be clear in my response that I was speaking of YHWH. Since you are comfortable with "Jehovah", I will use the NWT in some references below for consistency on the use of "Jehovah".
Let's reiterate the point of the verses that you brought up in your first letter to me. There is one God. God's name is Jehovah. Jesus and the Father are separate persons. Go ahead and establish those things as truth so that everything else you pick up on relates back to these things.
You used the Shepherd comment. Let's look at the next one. Who did Isaiah see? Read Isaiah 6:5 and then John 12:41. You will have to put John 12:41 in context. So, Isaiah saw Jehovah in 6:5 and Isaiah saw the glory of Jesus in John 12:41. Since John was referring to Isaiah 6:5, who did Isaiah see?
In Is. 40:3, the NWT states, "Listen! Someone is calling out in the wilderness: Clear up the way of Jehovah, YOU people! Make the highway for our God through the desert plain straight."
Mark 1:3 and Luke 3:4 make very clear that the "Someone calling out in the wilderness" is John the Baptist and he is clearing up the way for Jesus.
Psalm 102:25 says to Jehovah, "Long ago, you laid the foundations of the earth itself and the heavens are the work of your hands." Hebrews 1:10 speaks of the Son, "Thou, Lord, in the Beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hands."
Let's look at one more. Isaiah 43:11 says in the NWT, "I-I am Jehovah, besides me there is no savior." Now look at Titus 1:3-4, "...according to the commandment of God our Savior, to Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior."
You said, "Also, part of the reason why I ask again of God's name is the seeming contradiction in what you said", and yet I said nothing but scripture verses. I think we would both agree that scriptures do not contradict each other, so the question isn't, "Why do they contradict?"; it's "How do they harmonize?"
I have spent a great deal of time in prayer asking for God to accept what the Bible tells me about WHO He is without entering my studies with preconceived ideas. The difference is exegesis (allowing the Bible to dictate my beliefs) and eisegesis (making the Bible conform to my beliefs). So, I would recommend approaching God in prayer over and over again to release your assumptions about Him and ask Him to reveal Himself through Scripture.
Remember the truths the verses established in your first letter? There is one God; God's name is Jehovah; and the Father and Son are separate persons. Now consider your question you asked at the end of your recent letter. Does Ps. 23:1 refer to Jesus or Jehovah? Ask the exact same question about these other verses I brought up. Ask who the angels are worshipping in Heb. 1:6. I am much more interested in knowing what God reveals to you through His Word than I am in trying to convince you of anything. The truth that God teaches you will be far superior to the teachings of any human.
I take no offense to your questions. They are the same questions that I asked myself many times over until I allowed myself to approach the Bible without any filter on and prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide me into knowledge of who God is. It was at this point that I realized that questions such as, "How many Gods do you worship?" and "If just one, which one?" demonstrated the filter that I had, and the assumptions that came with it. Once I came to understand the truth as revealed through Scripture, I began having a lot of "Aha" moments.
Please keep in touch with further questions. I am very interested to see what you learn. On a side note, I can't remember how many follow-ups I set-up in my profile, so if another follow-up doesn't work, please start a new question thread.