Jehovah`s Witness/God's Name
In a recent response to Rando, I could not recall a scripture I came across quite some time ago about God's name being secret. Rando may not like this secret.
It is: Judges 13: 17-18
KJV ~ And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honor? And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is a secret?
NWT ~ Then Manoah said to Jehovah's angel: What is your name, that when your word comes true we shall certainly do you honor? However, Jehovah's angel said to him: "Just why should you ask about my name, when it is a wonderful one?"
NIV ~ ...it is beyond understanding.
NLT ~ ...it is too wonderful to understand
ISV ~ ...it's 'Wonderful".
NET ~ ... you should not ask me my name, because you cannot comprehend it.
Who is called "Wonderful"? Jesus.
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
In the Bible, names had meanings & were descriptive of one's character, nature, etc. Our human understanding is so limited we cannot fathom the height & depth of God's nature, description, attributes & majesty. He is indescrible, beyond all we could ever imagine. No words or names could ever begin to describe him. He will not be limited to one name or description. In my opinion, JW's see & use the name Jehovah as a talisman.
Additionally, this is God speaking here in Judges 13. Another Theophany/Christophay. Who but God could say (v. 5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive & bear a son: and no razor shall come on his head; for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. An ordinary (created) angel cannot make promises and fulfill them. An ordinary angel would have said 'thus says the Lord'.
Just as the angel of the Lord spoke to Hagar in Genesis 16:10 saying that he would multiply Hagar's descendents and in Genesis 22 where God promised to multiply Abrahams' seed as the stars of heaven and the sand of the seashore.
Only God, appearing as the Angel of the LORD, could have made those promises.
Did the Angel of the LORD ever appear again after the birth of Jesus? I don't think so, but I'm doing research on that. If not, was it because God was made manifest in the flesh? 1 Tim 3:16 ~ And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh... (Jesus) And John 17:6 says: I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world... (...he that hath seen me hath seen the Father... ~ John 14:9
Sorry this is so long. Am I off track with my thinking about God's name? And who the Angel of the LORD was in the Old Testament. And it being God himself (not a created angel) who said his name was I AM THAT I AM... forever.
P.S. Google 'commentary on Judges 13: 18'. I found some amazing things but it will take a lot of time to do a thorough study of them.
ANSWER: Good evening, Jay. Hope you are doing well.
You are correct that names in the Scriptures have meaning, and often described one's character. In fact, the name "Jesus" means "Jehovah saves", or, "Jehovah the Savior". His name "Emmanuel", means "God with us". Not only does His name describe what He does, but also Who He is.
I read the passage in Judges 13, and it is very interesting. Although I haven't personally asked any JWs about it, my guess is that they would say that Manoah was asking the name of someone he THOUGHT was a mere man, based on v. 16. Of course, that still does not explain why the Angel of the Lord refused to GIVE the name.
Also, its an interesting study to research the difference between an angel (a created being), and THE Angel of the Lord, which seems to be the times when God Himself appeared in a form that man could look upon. We do see some instances in the Scriptures, where it clearly says they SAW God FACE TO FACE...a fact denied by JWs.
Gen. 32:30- "And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
Exodus 33:9,11- "and the LORD talked with Moses....
"And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend."
Numbers 14:14- "And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night."
Deuteronomy 5:4- "The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,"
I'm sure they have some fascinating explanation as to why these verses don't really mean what they say. Perhaps Ed can tell us how all the Bibles before the NWT, contained lies, or something. Who knows what they will say next?
You said..."Our human understanding is so limited we cannot fathom the height & depth of God's nature, description, attributes & majesty. He is indescrible, beyond all we could ever imagine. No words or names could ever begin to describe him. He will not be limited to one name or description. In my opinion, JW's see & use the name Jehovah as a talisman."
Jay, I agree fully. The biggest difference between JWs and Christians, is that we are content to worship and love a God that we can't fully comprehend, while a JW limits God to his own finite reasoning. I believe that if I could understand God fully, then He wouldn't be God. I am quite happy to worship Him as He reveals Himself, and not as I want Him to be. Instead of understanding that God made us in HIS image, we have too many people trying to make God in THEIR image.
To answer your question, No, I do not believe you are off track at all. You are correct about the Angel of the Lord not appearing again after the incarnation of Christ. I fully agree with you, that THE Angel of the LORD, was an appearance of God in a form that man could look upon. This is in contrast to "angels" who were simply created beings, as opposed to a direct manifestation by God, to deliver a message to His people.
Consider Genesis 48:15-16-"And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,
The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."
The teaching that Jesus Christ is a created angel is completely ludicrous, and is completely refuted in the first 2 chapters of the Book of Hebrews. It is also apparent from the Scripture, that THE Angel of the Lord, is not a created angel, but rather an example of a theophany.
Also interesting, is what the WT once said about Michael the Archangel, in the November of 1879 edition....
"“Hence it is said, ‘Let all the angels of God worship him’: (that must include Michael, the chief angel, hence Michael is not the Son of God)....”
Now, they have done a complete about-face. In the WT book "THE FINISHED MYSTERY"
, there is a reference to Michael the Archangel, being the POPE OF ROME!! Now, Michael is said to be Jesus.
Interesting...the group that is the ONLY mouthpiece for Jehovah God, has gone from teaching that Michael is NOT Jesus, is the Pope, and now IS Jesus.
I think I would just as soon stick to the Scriptures, to tell me Who Jesus is, and not a group of people who confused Jesus Christ with the Pope.
Jay, I realize that you did not ask about Michael, per se. But I just came across this quote which I had actually forgotten about, when I was doing some studying on the Angel of the Lord, and thought it was interesting.
Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to write, and God bless.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I agree with you on the v. 16 scripture. Need some more insight on that.
Our thoughts are so in sync. I have always thought the only way we could figure out/understand God is if we were His equal. What we know about Him is just a drop in the bucket compared to all He is. I think God laughs when we try to wrap him up & put Him in a box.
I had a JW Bible Study in my home years & years ago. I wasn't brought up in a Christian home, but when the study started delving into Jesus being Michael, I knew enough to see the error in that. End of Bible Study.
About a year ago, at my suggestion, I attended a Sunday morning Kingdom Hall meeting with a JW relative of mine. We sat thru the 'talk' (more like a business meeting). Then when it was time for the 'Bible Study' to begin, my companion hustled me out of the building as fast as possible. In retrospect, I believe that was so I wouldn't see that they study the WatchTower, not the Bible.
This relative has 40 years invested in the Society, and I know relatives are the least likely to have success in raising any doubt about the Society in a JW's mind. So while I have a great burden on my heart concerning her, I feel I can only pray the Holy Spirit will send someone into her life who will be able to reach her.
Continuing along those lines, it seems highly unlikely anyone could change the closed minds of the 'experts' on this forum. You might say it would be a miracle... but I believe in miracles! And hopefully others looking for answers on this forum will be influenced by something they've read here & search the scriptures & their hearts for the truth.
Keep spreading the Gospel.
Good evening, Jay. Wow...what a day! By the way, did you happen to see Eddie's rants to Rando, concerning the conversation that you and I had yesterday?
I never cease to be amazed how they can lie, twist, and completely miss the point. I guess that is what being motivated by hate, causes them to do.
At any rate, did not notice that once again, Eddie G did nothing to refute anything that was said, but only told us over and over how "evil" I am? And as usual, his accusation of my being "evil", was based on his own lack of comprehension of what was said.
Since we are talking about the name "Jehovah", and His appearing as The Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament, I really wonder how Eddie got things so twisted. He tries to imply that I am a hater of the name "Jehovah", when I clearly said that I post it MYSELF in many of my answers, that I have taught on it at my church, that I have no problem at all with people using it in prayer, and that I have never once criticized anyone for using it.
And Eddie completely ignored all of that, to lie to the readers and claim that I am in opposition" to that name. Simply amazing.
Also, I was hoping he would actually give us just ONE Scripture, showing where we are supposed to be required to use that name in prayer, especially when he makes this statement....
"One MUST know God's name first in order to have an intimate relationship with Jesus' Father. Thus knowing Jehovah and addressing ALL prayers to OUR Father Jehovah, we become known to him!"
Jay, did you see anyone say that we should not KNOW God's name? I believe the point was about using it as a good luck charm, or superstitiously REPEATING it over and over, as if this is required for our prayer to be heard.
I don't think Eddie ever actually comprehends anything he reads.
I will say this, however....Eddie's NWT does him a great disservice, by telling him that he is to "take in knowledge" of God, rather than "KNOW" God. You can know someone's name, and "take in" a wealth of knowledge ABOUT them, but that doesn't mean that you KNOW them personally.
This is where JWs miss out. They think that by merely KNOWING and SAYING it all the time, that this earns them favor with Him. But they fail to KNOW Him, through the means that He has provided.
Eddie said..."But correct me if I'm wrong Brother Rando, but didn't the Slave, the WTBTS, the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, the body of Elders, each publisher is instructed to get to know Jehovah more intimately?
Not only KNOWING him by his name but what the name Jehovah means and what it entails?"
Interesting point. Most JWs I have asked, do NOT know the MEANING of the name "Jehovah". I remember as plain as day, after having this discussion with my aunt one time, and being told that Jehovah doesn't hear a prayer unless it is addressed that way, I just looked at her and asked..."Do you even know what the name means??"
After a moment of silence and a completely clueless stare, she admitted she "needed to study on that a little more"
. I sure hope the JWs on this board could do better. Of course they could...they could just look it up, before replying.
At any rate, I wonder how JWs think we get to KNOW Him better? Through the pages of the Watchtower, or some other publication? Through the attendance at the KH? Or by the blood of Jesus Christ, and the access to Him that the blood provides?
Well, enough about that. I apologize. I have just always been intrigued, how some people ALWAYS feel the need to twist what you say, and never grasp the real point, and feel free to leave out statements that actually prove wrong, what they're accusing you of.
You are correct....We never understand all there is to God. I don't know why they cannot grasp that. Again, I am quite happy to worship a God that is beyond my comprehension. I would worry if I COULD comprehend Him, because He wouldn't be the God of the Bible.
Psalm 145:3- "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable."
Isaiah 55:8-9- "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Romans 11:33- "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!"
You mention the topic of Jesus being Michael, in JW theology. That is another one I have always found intriguing. The JWs will demand Scriptural proof for Jesus being God, and then turn right around and swallow the notion of Him being Michael, without even ONE Scripture that teaches this. In other words...They reject what the Scriptures DO say about Him, and believe what the Scriptures do NOT say about Him.
I hear what you are saying about the experts on here being "closed minded". I think that is true with most of them, but maybe not all. At any rate, I also realize that for every close-minded expert here, there are hundreds of readers. I hear from one of them every once in awhile, and I realize that God has used my being here. No wonder the devil is so angry about it.
You mentioned about your companion ushering you out of the KH. I had a situation this past week.
On Sunday afternoon of this past week, I got a call from a lady whom I didn't know. She is a baptized JW, in a congregation about 40 miles from here. She had called my pastor, whom she had known from years ago, and was having questions about the JW religion. He gave her my number, and told her to call me. So, we talked for about 20-30 minutes, initially. She asked several questions, and I asked her some, as well. It went well. We agreed that I would come to her town and meet with her this coming Thursday, since I'm off work.
Well, about 11:00 p.m. Sunday night (when I was already in bed), she called back, and sounded like she had been crying. She wanted to know if we could meet sooner, like Monday (yesterday) evening. She said she REALLY needed to ask me some things. I agreed to meet with her Monday evening, and told her that I would call her when I got off of work at 3:00.
When I called her, she told me that she had been talking with an elder that morning and had mentioned to him that she was going to talk to someone who knew about JWs, and that he had told her NOT to talk to me. She was afraid to go against him, and told me she had already been disfellowshipped one time, and was afraid they would do it again, if she didn't listen to him. So, she backed out of the meeting with me.
Anyway, I spent about another hour on the phone with her yesterday evening, Trying to persuade her to reconsider, and asking her if she enjoyed the control of having someone tell her what to do, and who she could talk to about the Bible? This woman was scared...she said she wanted to meet with me, but was "afraid of getting caught". She did say she would keep my number, and think about it, and call me if she still had questions. I believe I will hear from her again.
I said all that to say this....God is able to do anything. This woman is under their mind control, and their manipulation. Obviously, He is dealing with her, and she is torn right now. Like you, I believe in miracles. I learned long ago to never limit God. I have seen people whom I thought would be receptive to the Gospel, harden their hearts and reject it. I have also seen people whom I thought would NEVER come to Christ, humble themselves before Him, and be born again.
Anyway, thanks for writing and discussing the Scriptures....So much in God's Word for us to learn. Take care, and God bless.