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Jehovah`s Witness/A question in regard to something I read by Rev Darryl Murphy in a message he sent to Derrick Holland

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Brenton,  I have a couple of questions to do with a post I was reading by a Rev. Darryl Murphy to Derrick at  http://en.allexperts.com/q/Jehovah-s-Witness-1617/2013/10/attacks-against-rando-  and   Rev. Darryl Murphy  poses several questions to all JWs.  The first is   in relation to John 8:56 “ Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. “  His question was “what day did Abraham see? “    After that he quotes some other texts Acts 4: 10  John 1:12  John 14:6  1 Timothy 2:5, 6  and asks the following questions

1. Who does the scriptures say should be received?

2. According to scripture, who's name should we exercise faith in?

3. How is it that we become children of God?

4. What is is that should be witnessed to in due time?

All this seems to me that he is leading up to the following “the argument is actually...Is Jesus the Jehovah of the Bible. Now for those that dont know, the meaning of "Jehovah" which was first spoken as a "title" means "EXISTING ONE". “

So my questions is Jesus the Jehovah of the Old Testament?  Is Jehovah just a title?  Does it mean the
"EXISTING ONE"

Answer
Hi Henry  

Thank you for writing. Those are interesting questions.  I have had a look at the Question and Answer and to be honest with you I found what Mr Murphy had to say very confusing.  For me, he seemed to have a lot to say by never really explained himself.  That is no real reflection on him.  It is that I need to have things very clearly stated. Others might get the full understanding of what he was saying, unfortunately, I had difficulties understanding exactly what it was he was trying to convey, but that’s my problem. He refers to other conversations that have happened that I have not had the time to look for, so I suppose that is part of the reason why I do not follow what he is on about.

To the first question in regard to John 8:56 “what day did Abraham see? “  I do not see what connection he is trying to make with that and the rest of his comments so I can not give an answer in line with his context.  However I will give a reply as to what that means to me when Jesus said as per verse 56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.”  so... ““what day did Abraham see? “

Abraham with  figurative eyes of faith had looked forward to the fulfilment of the promise God gave him  of the time when his offspring (seed) would be a cause for blessing to all mankind.  Before he had any children God had promised him  “And I will make you very, very fruitful and will make you become nations, and kings will come out of you. (Genesis 17:6) .  In his  old age he had a son by a slave girl, but he was not to be his heir later he had a son by hid wife (a free woman).  He had so much confidence in the promise of a nation that he was willing to sacrifice his free born son because he had faith that even if he did so his son would live again (Hebrews 11:17-19 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, as good as offered up Isaac, and the man that had gladly received the promises attempted to offer up [his] only-begotten [son], 18   although it had been said to him: “What will be called ‘your seed’ will be through Isaac.” 19   But he reckoned that God was able to raise him up even from the dead; and from there he did receive him also in an illustrative way. )   Because he had so much faith in God and was willing to obey all that he was told God made this promise to him   “And by means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves due to the fact that you have listened to my voice. (Genesis 22:18)  Jesus was the “seed” or offspring by which all nations would be blessed Quoting the words of the Apostle Paul again in his letter to the Hebrews we see this is what Abraham looked forward to “8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed in going out into a place he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, although not knowing where he was going. 9   By faith he resided as an alien in the land of the promise as in a foreign land, and dwelt in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the very same promise. 10   For he was awaiting the city having real foundations, the builder and maker of which [city] is God. (Hebrews 11:8-10)

That is how I understand what Jesus meant as recorded at John 8:56

Before he asks those questions he quotes Acts 4:10 let it be known to all of YOU and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene′, whom YOU impaled but whom God raised up from the dead, by this one does this man [The “this man” is the apostle Peter] stand here sound in front of YOU. ”  He then quotes the cross-references to that text as found in the 1984 NWT.  Again I do not understand what point he is trying to make but I will respond to those questions.

1. Who does the scriptures say should be received? The answer to that it Jesus. An important question arises for me and that is  Who are the ones that receive Jesus?   It is those who responded to Jesus’ message about Gods Kingdom and exercised faith in that good news were highly blessed by being in a position to be adopted as children of God

2. According to scripture, who's name should we exercise faith in?   Again the answer is Jesus.  I find it interesting that Mr Murphy uses the NWT wording of “exercising faith”.  In other place on that information he quotes from the KJV.  In the KJV John 1:12 reads “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:,”  There is seems to the general reader that all one has to do is believe in Jesus.  The Greek word here rendered as “believe” in the KJV or “exercising faith” as per the NWT is “pisteuousin”  This is the a form of the Greek word “pisteuo” which means faith.  But in this situation “pisteuo” as represented by ““pisteuousin” is in the present tense in the active mood meaning it is something that is happening now and is active  [as in “the boy is “throwing” the ball]

So what we are being told is that it is more than just believing or having faith it is doing something with that faith – acting upon it.  It is as demonstrated by Abraham. He not only had faith he acted upon it by leaving the city where he lived and wondering around in foreign lands in tents, and being willing to sacrifice his son.  Our faith must move us to be active.  Faith in what? I that Jesus is the promised messiah  sent from God through whom all mankind can be blessed. Having confidence that is ransom sacrifice was the legal means by which we can be reconciled back to our heavenly Father.

3. How is it that we become children of God?  Paul in writing to the Romans expands on this Romans 8:20-22 For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will but through him that subjected it, on the basis of hope 21   that the creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22   For we know that all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now. ”   All mankind are slaves, slaves to sin and death (Romans 5:12 That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned. Romans 6:6 .   .   .that we should no longer go on being slaves to sin. )

Because Jesus died faithful to God (Philippians 2:8, 9 8.   .   ., he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake. 9   For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position.   .   . ) Jesus will rule as Gods appointed king bringing the earth back to the way God wanted it when he created Adam – with one people worshipping one God – all living in perfect harmony- with no one dying (1 Corinthians 15:25, 26 25   For he must rule as king until [God] has put all enemies under his feet. 26   As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing. Revelation 21:3, 4 3   With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. 4   And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.  )

All mankind [those who responded to Jesus’ message about Gods Kingdom and exercised faith in that good news ]   will again be children of God Just as he intended when the earth was established

4. What is is that should be witnessed to in due time?  I will quote a little more form 1 Timothy
4 whose will is that all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth. 5   For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, 6   who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all—[this is] what is to be witnessed to at its own particular times. 7   For the purpose of this witness I was appointed a preacher and an apostle — I am telling the truth, I am not lying—a teacher of nations in the matter of faith and truth. 1 Timothy 2:4-7

So what are we to be witness to then –  A) that there is one God, the God of the Hebrews who they knew by the name YHWH (In English Jehovah). This was the God of the Hebrews at the time Of Jesus and the God that bore witness to and worshipped.

B) That the only begotten  Son of  God  (Jesus) has become the  mediator  between God and mankind

C) That Jesus was the only one capable of being a corresponding ransom for the us.  Adam sold us into sin and death by disobeying Jehovah. How was Jesus a corresponding ransom”  Adam was the first human son of God – Jesus was the first spirit son of God.  Adam had the opportunity to produce a perfect human race by sinned before he had any children – Jesus had the opportunity to produce a perfect human race but instead forfeited that and died.  By Jesus remaining faithful under trial, and dying as a perfect man, he perfectly corresponded to the life of Adam thus being the corresponding person to act as our ransom price.  

D) We are saved by  coming “ to an accurate knowledge of truth” about the previous 3 points.  That is supported by what Jesus said as recorded at John 17:3 “.This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”    We need to take in  accurate knowledge of both Jehovah and his son Jesus.  That means recognising the roll that Jesus plays – not as part of a trinity – but as Gods appointed messiah, someone who is insubordinate to the Father – and the roll he play as the appointed  king of Gods Kingdom.  Recognising that Jesus was SENT by the God of the Hebrews to DO THE WILL of God (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38,39;12:49 )  

So we witness to the fact that Jesus is Gods Messiah and that by exercising faith in what he did under, the direction of his father, we can have life

I hope that answers those questions for you

Now the last one that you specifically asked ” is Jesus the Jehovah of the Old Testament?  Is Jehovah just a title?  Does it mean the "EXISTING ONE"

First  “ is Jesus the Jehovah of the Old Testament? ”  The simple answer is no.  The God of the Old Testament is the same God that Jesus worshipped. These are from the King James Bible  Capitals mine for emphasis

John 20:17 “Jexulted to a superior positionesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto MY FATHER, and YOUR FATHER; and to MY GOD, and YOUR GOD.”

I Corinthians 11:3 “ But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and THE HEAD OF CHRIST IS GOD.”

Ephesians 1:17 “ That THE GOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him”

Colossians 1:3  “We give thanks to GOD AND THE FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, praying always for you,”

These texts show Jesus was created

Colossians 1:15 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the FIRSTBORN OF EVERY CREATURE:
Revelation 3:14 “....the BEGINNING OF THE CREATION of God;

Jesus before coming to earth was the agency by which God accomplished a lot of his works (John 1:3  “3   All things came into existence through him...John 1:10 .   .   .and the world came into existence through him.   .   .”) The KJV uses the word "by him" where the NWT says through . The Greek word rendered as through  is “dia”  and has the meaning of  “ a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through”  So Jesus can be said to have done many of the things God is said to have done becose Jesus is the agency by which they were carried out.

For example, I used to be a Tax Consultant.  At tax time people had to submit their tax returns You might have heard some one ask another person 'have you lodged your tax return yet?  Who did you use?'  It is the responsibility of the individual to lodge their returns, Some people chose to use an agency [me] to prepare and lodge their returns.   Now the individual who used me as their agency could rightly say that they had lodged their return. Why? Because they instigated the action – chose the agency they wanted to use – and had that agency do the work.  However I could also say that I had lodged their return. Both parties are correct.  

Jehovah is the instigator of many wonderful acts. Sometime he preformed them (saving acts) other times he used agencies such as men to do the saving work.  Both Jehovah, and the men he used, are rightly said to have been the saviours.  The same with Jesus. When he is said to have preformed something that belongs to God, it is because Jesus was the agency God used .

Because Jesus remained faithful until death all he was exulted to a superior position (see  Philippians 2:8, 9 quoted above)  After his resurrection Jesus said “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth” .(Matthew 28:18)  So, now Jesus has more authority than he had before to do the will of his God – the same God that the Hebrews worshipped – the same God he instructed his disciples to worship.  

That is just a brief over view to show Jesus is not Jehovah of the Old Testament.  It is all a part of gaining “an accurate knowledge of truth” - understanding that relationship.

OK, now what does the name Jehovah mean.  Mr Murphy suggest it means the  "EXISTING ONE".  It actually means more than that.  The meaning that Mr Murphy has given is not of the Divine name [YHWH] but of a very closely related verb that is used constantly throughout the Old testament.  What he gives is the meaning of is a Hebrew verb [HWH] used at Exodus 3:14 “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM : and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”  (KJV)

The verb [HWH pronounced hayah] is rendered in many different ways in the Old Testament. Here are the first few times that word is used in the Bible,  as well as from Exodus 3:14 – The number refers to Strongs Hebrew Lexicon number.  This is a cut and past from an electronic KJV linked to Strongs Lexicon

Ge 1:2  And the earth was <1961> without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Ge 1:3  And God said, Let there be <1961> light: and there was light.
Ge 1:29  And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be <1961> for meat.
Ge 2:18  And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be <1961> alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Ge 3:1  Now the serpent was <1961> more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Exodus 3:14  And God  said unto Moses, I AM <1961>  THAT I AM <1961> : and he said, Thus shalt thou say  unto the children  of Israel, I AM <01961> hath sent me unto you.

Now the Hebrew word for the Divine name is based on that verb  [HWH] but , is different.  You will find it in Strongs Hebrew Lexicon,  word number 3068.  Unlike the verb HWH  which has several applications, the  Divine name YHWH, through the whole of the Old Testament,  only ever means the Divine name of God.  Most Bible fail to render it as such.  Many Bibles such as the JKV  will render it as LORD  [ as opposed to Lord or lord]

To simply say that the Divine name  [YHWH] means “existing one” [ or as Strongs Hebrew Lexicon does - “self-Existent or Eternal”] is giving a simplistic English rendering to the word.  Scholars hold varying views as to the meaning so we should not be dogmatic about it. The four Hebrew letters that make up Gods name is YHWH is thought by most scholars to be in the causative case and means “HE WHO CAUSES TO BECOME”   for more information  see  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Hedoricto   http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14346-tetragrammaton

The meaning “HE WHO CAUSES TO BECOME” fits in well by referring to all his activities.  He not only caused the physical universe and intelligent life to exist but he continues to do what ever is necessary to accomplish his purposes i.e.  he caused the 10 plagues on Egypt - the waters to part – The walls of Jericho to crumble – men to become kings, prophets and saviours  – the birth of his son and  to open the way for mankind to be reconciled back to him and many other examples.

You also ask Is Jehovah just a title?  The answer is No.  In the example that Mr Murphy produced of Isa 44:6, he is asserting, I believe,  that the words “Jehovah of armies” is a title.  That expression appears over 250 times in the Old Testament and is used to designate something special about Jehovah.  It no different than if I was referred to as “Brenton of Australia”.  That tells people name, an an important fact, where I am from.  “Jehovah of armies” tells us Gods name and an important fact, that he has at his disposal “armies”.  These include the stars of heaven (Isaiah 40:25,26 ) the army of spirit heavenly creatures (2 Kings 6:17;  Matthew 26:53 ) and being the “leader” [at times] of the armies of  the Israelites (Joshua 5:13 )

So No Jehovah is a proper noun - a name - one that the Bible tells us Jehovah wants us to use and for it to be known

I hope I have covered all that you asked.  Please feel free to ask any follow up questions  

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I AM one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I am always learning. I am NOT an expert in the full sense of the word but I can answer questions on the reliability of the NWT - the so called mind control problems-so called prophecies - how being a JW affects the individual and relatives and general practices and history of Jehovah’s Witnesses. >>WARNING<< Please be aware that there are people here who ARE NOT practicing JWs. By all means ask these ones questions. Depending on the question you will get an honest answer, but, generally the answer you get, will mislead you as to what we believe, often because, they do not give ALL the relevant details. These ones will, have an agenda against JWs., and will at times give answers that are not correct in regard to JW teachings and practices. If you are after a answer from one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, please read some of the answers that the various experts have published before choosing someone. If you want to ask one of the NON JWs a question, that is fine, BUT if you want a balancing view after asking one of the NON JWs, ask a JW the same question. PLEASE ALSO NOTE: There(have been)and are, some "experts" here who are NOT always the most courteous and polite, at times are actually quite rude, that applies to both JW's and non JW's and their answers may offend, especially when they get personal and attack the character of the person and not the message. Unfortunately some here that have done that. So it IS IMPORTANT to chose an "expert" that YOU feel will best suit YOU by reading some of their past answers . . . . .

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I have been a publisher since 1964. When I first went on the internet I found a lot of negative information dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses covering prophecy, mind control and what many said was a very bad translation of the Bible known as the NWT. It shook my faith. After may hours researching these topics I could see why some felt that way, but, I was also able to explain why there were these misleading views. I can now set matters straight for anyone that has negative information about Jehovah’s Witness to show them that such information is at best misleading and at worst dangerous lies.

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I have been a student of the Bible for many years, am trying to teach myself Biblical Greek. Was a public tax accountant for many years untill SEP 2009 when I gave it up due to health problems.

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