Jehovah`s Witness/The Cross - Another JW Red Herring

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QUESTION: Eddie,

The issue of 'the cross' is just another example of how JW's draw attention away from WTBSociety doctrinal teachings when they are asked to explain or defend them.   

Will one's correct or incorrect belief/opinion about whether Jesus died on a cross or a stake decide one's eternal destiny?  I think not.  As stated below it is a moot point.

The obvious point is that Jesus died for the sins of the world.   It is WHY he died, not HOW he died (on an actual tree or some other form of one) that is of importance.

Jesus died a bloody death.  But I've noticed there is no blood involved in WatchTower illustrations of Jesus on 'the stake'
Is that a subtle implication that there was no blood shed?  The blood of Christ was not a necessity? Jesus blood is not all-sufficient?  Something is still lacking?  Works, perhaps?   

The Blood of Christ:

"If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

Leviticus 17:11 explains: "The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul."

"According to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22).

For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins' " (Matthew 26:26-28).

"If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13).

Jesus suffered "that He might sanctify the people with His own blood" (Hebrews 13:12).

"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Romans 5:8,9).

He "loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood" (Revelation 1:5).

We are "justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith" (Romans 3:24,25).

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Ephesians 1:7).

"He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:13,14)

'Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death' " (Revelation 12:10,11).

'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb' " (Revelation 7:13,14).

"And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation' " (Revelation 5:9).

"If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

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It's not the cross itself, but what it stands for & symbolizes that is important.

Jesus died according to God's plan & purpose and in the manner prophesied in order that we might be reconciled to Him.

~II Corin 5: 18 "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
~5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the wOrld unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
~5:20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
~5:21  For he hath Made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we migHt be made the righteousnss of God in him.  ~ KJV

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John 3:16  "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." ~ KJV  


"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me." ~ KJV

Jay


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"Historians and etymologists have debated whether the scaffold in early Scriptures meant Jesus was executed on a  simple upright post, or a post with a cross beam (either a ✞ shaped Latin Cross, a 'Y' shaped Forked Cross, an 'X' shaped St. Andrew's Cross or a 'T' shaped Tau Cross). The common belief is that it was not a simple upright post, but the distinction is nowhere nearly as important as the reason why Jesus was executed.

The Bible says that Jesus was hung on a tree1. Whether it was an actual rooted tree or an upright wooden post set into the ground (see Broken Cross), the common consensus is that a transverse beam (patibulum) was then added. A usual crucifixion method was to bind the condemned person's wrists to a beam and then attach that beam to a tree or stipe, thereby forming a cross (crux composita or crux acuta).

The Greeks apparently used the word 'stauros' to represent a wide range of wooden structures used for executions, but Jehovah's Witnesses and a few others interpret the word to mean Jesus was executed on a post without a patibulum.

This is a moot point. The fact remains that Jesus was crucified and died that our sins might be forgiven."  

http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/simplex.html

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ANSWER: Hi Jay,

Thanks for writing but you're wrong. It's not a moot point how Jesus died or how he was put to death. And contrary to what Mr. Holland said, it is a BIG DEAL how Jesus died or how he was put to death in so many levels.

One of it is TRUTH.

For instance if you really believe that the Lord Jesus died on a cross, how would you explain this prophecy?

From the KJV Bible:

The prophecy about Jesus' manner of death:

[Deu 21:22-23 KJV] 22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree  : 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance.

The fulfillment:

"Gal 3:13 KJV - Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree (xylon)."


Was the prophecy fulfilled if Jesus didn't die on a "tree/pole" but on a traditional cross?

If you say that the manner of the Lord Jesus Christ's death is moot, unimportant or to quote Mr. Holland "NOT A BIG DEAL", is the prophecy above then "NOT a BIG DEAL" or as you say "moot point"?

If so who gave you the right to make this prophecy moot?

Yourself or God?

If this prophecy is moot what other scriptures do you consider moot?


Remember this scripture?

“. . .The person faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and the person unrighteous in what is least is unrighteous also in much. . .” (Luke 16:10)





---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Shaking my head.

You are so used to seeing what you want to see that you missed my whole point.

How can you miscontrue what I said:  "Will one's correct or incorrect belief/opinion about whether Jesus died on a cross or a stake decide one's eternal destiny?  That, in a nutshell, was my question.
 
What is your answer to that, Eddie.  Do you think your eternal destiny will be decided on your answer to that question?  I'd truly like to know.  If your answer is "No" then why make an issue out it?  If your answer is "Yes" then show me what you base that belief on.   

I also said "Jesus died according to God's plan & purpose and in the manner prophesied in order that we might be reconciled to Him." I said I believe it happened just as God said it would.  

Don't put words in my mouth.  I did not say I believed Jesus died on a cross.  Now did I?  Nor did I say he was or was not hung on a tree.  Did I?  Again...  I said "Jesus died according to God's plan & purpose and in the manner prophesied in order that we might be reconciled to Him."  How much plainer could it be?

Is the forgiveness of our sins conditional on whether we know proof positive what object Jesus was hung on/nailed to when he was put to death?  Regardless of whether it was a torture stake, a pole, a stauros, or a Roman (pagan)) cross, I do know it was a horrible death... in my stead.

The point is: Jesus died, was buried, arose on the third day & ascended into heaven (as prophesied)  Oh, Hallelujah... what a Saviour!

Jay
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You say a number of things preceded by IF which you attribute to me.   

~~For instance if you really believe that the Lord Jesus died on a cross, how would you explain this prophecy?~~  Did I say Jesus died on a cross?

~~If so who gave you the right to make this prophecy moot?~~  Had you been paying attention you would have noticed those were not my words, but part of an explanation taken from an outside source concerning the different kinds of crosses and the controversies about them:  http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/simplex.html

~~If this prophecy is moot what other scriptures do you consider moot?~~  Again, see explanation immediately above.

That little word 'if' has so much meaning: depending on, on condition that.  Conditional:  not certain.
 
~~ If (on the condition) that I said what you say I said.  But I didn't say what you say I said. So don't make it appear that I did.

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I might ask you a question similar to your own, Eddie... who says you are right?


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Matt 23:24  Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.  


Luke 10:  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou are careful and TROUBLED ABOUT MANY THINGS: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

That good part:  communion with Jesus, not being busy/distracted by other things.

Answer
Jay, I'm shaking my head too. Why can't you answer such a simple question?

Actually, if you can give an answer to my question below, it will shed some light to your questions.

That is:

-- Was the prophecy fulfilled if Jesus didn't die on a "tree/pole" but on a traditional cross?

In any case, I do see your point about why the Lord Jesus Christ died. Why he shed his blood. It's exactly what you said:

>>"Jesus died according to God's plan & purpose and in the manner prophesied in order that we might be reconciled to Him.

~II Corin 5: 18 "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
~5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the wOrld unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
~5:20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
~5:21  For he hath Made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we migHt be made the righteousnss of God in him.  ~ KJV

##########################################################

John 3:16  "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." ~ KJV  


"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me." ~ KJV<"<

But these are "elementary things", these are pre-requisites for anyone becoming a Christian. That is, one must learn these BASIC things as they are the very FOUNDATION of the Christian Faith. Not having these BASIC knowledge one can't come to the Father. But once a Christian learns and accepts these important "elementary things", then what's next? He must go into deeper things and press on to maturity!

Just like what the apostle Paul said:

“For, indeed, although YOU ought to be teachers in view of the time, YOU again need someone to teach YOU from the beginning the elementary things of the sacred pronouncements of God; and YOU have become such as need milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone that partakes of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to mature people, to those who through use have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong.
6 For this reason, now that we have left the primary doctrine about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying a foundation again, namely, repentance from dead works, and faith toward God,” (Hebrews 5:12-6:1)

As such the pursuit of TRUTH revealed in God's Word the Bible must become the vehicle to press one to maturity. He must use God's Word to keep testing himself that he is in the faith. To purify himself and rid himself of any false and detestable teachings and doctrines.

As Jesus said:

“Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)


But to answer your question:

>>"Will one's correct or incorrect belief/opinion about whether Jesus died on a cross or a stake decide one's eternal destiny?  I think not.  As stated below it is a moot point."<<

As I stated above, of course it does!


And it's NOT a MOOT point because it shows what's really is in ones heart! That is whether he will obey God's commands or cling to traditions of men.


Here's what I mean:

If after someone pointed to you accurately that your map is leading you to the wrong direction and leading you in fact to a cliff, would you blindly and stubbornly ignore that person's advice?

Of course not.

In the same way, since we have facts and evidence that Jesus did not die on the cross but on a stake and that the cross is pagan, of pagan origin, a symbol sex, a symbol of a "sun-god" and an instrument of torture and death, a detestable object, would it still be proper to use it as part of a Christian's Way of Life?

Would you still accept the cross as truth after knowing the facts?

Or will you look for excuses to ignore the facts?

What do you think Jay?

>>"Will one's correct or incorrect belief/opinion about whether Jesus died on a cross or a stake decide one's eternal destiny?"<<

Of course!

In addition, how would one remain clean if one continues to disobey God's command?

Like the following?

[Isa 52:11 ASV] 11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; cleanse yourselves, ye that bear the vessels of Jehovah."

“YOU cannot be drinking the cup of Jehovah and the cup of demons; YOU cannot be partaking of “the table of Jehovah” and the table of demons.” (1 Corinthians 10:21)

Can anyone really remain clean in the sight of God and his Son while holding on to unscriptural teachings and doctrines?

The answer is obvious. No one can!

Even if that person already accepted Jesus as his Savior but continue to hang on to detestable things - like the cross. That person is just deceiving himself.

As Jesus said:

“Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU! Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:22, 23)


Am I right Jay?

So since you think that "one's correct or incorrect belief/opinion about whether Jesus died on a cross or a stake [doesn't] decide one's eternal destiny" and is "moot point", and I don't who then is blind between the two of us?



What say you, Jay?  

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