Jehovah`s Witness/Can we deny what God plainly states in His Word?
QUESTION: I appreciate that you give emphasis to Jesus being the salvation(and not being a member of a church).
But I also see that you state there is no room for interpretations in most things that we read in the Bible. You say we must accept it as it is, without making our own wishes and ideas, otherwise were in a dangerous path. Agreed!
You believe God is not a liar. I wanna see if you will accept some things God says.
1)You believe in Hell, Life After Death and division of man to flesh, spirit, soul. Do you know that God told Adam "youre dust and to dust youll return?" He's talking to the person Adam, He's not talking to a part of Adam. HES TALKING TO ADAM. CAN YOU NOTICE THIS?
And God doesnt say Adam is going to be punished in hellfire, He states that Adam is gonna return to the ground from where he came. No divisions, doesnt state "your body will return to the ground while your soul will be in hellfire".
I have my doubts for the parts that constitute man, but its clear what God says here. At least theres no mention of hell after death.
Do you also know that Jesus said Lazarus was SLEEPING? To be sleeping means to be unconscious. No consciousness of paradise or hell, of this world or another, simply nothing. A deep sleep without any conciousness.
2)You say you are already born again.
Have you gone to the Heavens? Jesus states in John 3, that man must be reborn UP in the heavens. To be reborn means to be born for a second time, BUT as a spirit not flesh. If you were already a spirit, its no sense to claim you must be born again as a spirit, cause youre already. Do you see the Kingdom of God?
Are you going to spiritualize this verse, saying that Jesus doesnt speak literally here? Then why he mentions THE HEAVENS UP?
I hope you will be polite and not burst because of this disagreement. I feel that you are angry if someone disagrees with you. By the way neither me neither you are God's Word. So relax.
Remember I followed your advice and read whats in the Bible. I told you not to be so sure about your views in the Bible. But.. you insisted there are no explanations and interpretations for whats clear. This was too fierce and dogmatic. So go ahead now and prove what I clearly see there is not God's words but a view with Watchtower's glasses.
ANSWER: Hello, Christaras. Okay, I am going to break down your questions, and give you some in depth answers. I will be spending a great deal of time on this reply. I am also going to address the issue you raised, about why you think I am being impatient with you. You want the truth, so that is what I am going to give you. In fact, let me just deal with that part first. I hope you will not be offended, but here goes….
YOU: “I hope you will be polite and not burst because of this disagreement. I feel that you are angry if someone disagrees with you. By the way neither me neither you are God's Word. So relax.”
Okay, let’s just address this one first. I want you to know that my intention was not to address this with you publicly, as I felt it would be kinder and more polite to merely send you a private note about what I am going to say. I was already going to do that, even before receiving this question. Unfortunately, this question and this statement, has changed that…and made it necessary to address it in my reply, which is public.
So let me just be clear and polite, but straightforward and honest….I have no problem at all with someone disagreeing with me. I have had hundreds of people write me here and disagree, and gotten along just fine with them. Others who cannot tolerate disagreement, well, you have seen how that goes. But I assure you “disagreement” isn’t the problem here. Neither am I “angry”. Probably a better way to say it, is that you do try my patience with your incessant questioning. Maybe you just don’t realize it, Christaras. But here are some facts…..
In the past month, you have sent me 11 questions. Do the math…that is just over 1 question, every 3 days. And I have no doubt that I would have received even MORE than 11 questions from you, had I not often waited several days before answering your question. Your normal course of action is to almost IMMEDIATELY write me another series of questions, upon receiving my reply to your previous series of questions. In fact, it has gotten to the point that after I have sent my reply, I will soon after get a notification on my phone that I have an Allexperts question, and I don’t even have to look at it to know its from you. And yes, I will be truthful with you….Part of the reason I often do not answer your question immediately, is because I know the day you get my answer, you will send something else almost immediately. So, I wait to answer it, hoping you will wait to send another one.
And lately, you do not even wait for my reply, before sending yet another one. There are times I have more than one question from you simultaneously, needing an answer.
In fact, I’ll just be honest with you. If I am behind in my questions and have others waiting, I normally put yours on “hold” for several days, to give myself time to address the topics that actually have to do with this category, from people who are really WANTING answers, and not just wanting to discuss philosophy. You’re a Greek, okay…I get it. Its in you to want to discuss things like this. But I also work a job, have a family, and am here to take questions SPECIFICALLY about JW doctrine, and how it compares with Christian doctrine. If you were someone genuinely wanting help and seeking answers, it would be different. I would do whatever necessary to help you, no matter how much time it took. But I have enough experience with you in the past several years, to know that is not the case with you….You simply love to discuss, debate, and wear out a topic, and then move on to something else. So, to be completely honest with you, I was not trying to be rude. I apologize if it sounded that way, but I was being short and to the point, and simply trying to “cut to the chase”, so to speak….Hoping you would get the hint and understand that you are consuming most of my allotted questions here, which should be for people really wanting answers, and that you would just take a break for awhile.
But again….11 questions this month. In fact, 8 out of my last 9 questions, have been from you. Don’t you see how that might stretch a person quite thin?
If I went back all the way to the beginning of this year, the number is significantly higher. And your questions normally contain, not just one question, but MANY questions. In other words, they are impossible to sit down and answer in 15 minutes…they sometimes take hours. And then, practically the minute you read my answer, here comes yet another series of questions.
And again, Sir…I really wanted to say this to you in private, but your mentioning it in a public question, necessitated my addressing it here.
I have no problem answering your questions, nor do I mind if you send me legitimate questions, on topics that pertain to this category. This particular question of yours, does pertain to it. Many of yours do not. I am not saying that you can’t send me questions…I just wish you would understand I am only one person, and my days are only 24 hours long, just as yours.
Okay, let me address your comments here….
YOU: “I appreciate that you give emphasis to Jesus being the salvation(and not being a member of a church).
But I also see that you state there is no room for interpretations in most things that we read in the Bible. You say we must accept it as it is, without making our own wishes and ideas, otherwise were in a dangerous path. Agreed!”
Glad you agree. I will be much happier when you start doing it, instead of just agreeing with it. Christaras, you asked me the other day, for Scriptures that show that Heaven is the hope of a Christian. I gave you some. You have said nothing about them, but instead, write to Mr. Hepburn with other Scriptures, which you somehow think contradict the Scriptures I gave you. Let’s get this straight from the outset…This is not a game of “Biblical Pick-and-Choose”. Its not a game at all. When you have to try and use one Scripture to contradict another, well, you are already approaching it in the incorrect manner.
Yes, you are correct…I believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation, and that the WT Organization, Catholicism, or the Baptist belief, has nothing whatsoever to do with it.
I believe there is no room for interpretations, on matters where the Bible speaks plainly. Why interpret? Why not just READ? Who are you, or who am I, to somehow think OUR “interpretations” carry any weight with God? Is He not able to state clearly, what it is He wants us to believe?
You made an intriguing statement the other day, when you said that “The reading of the Bible has revealed to me that its not a book that tell us about the nature of man, God, what happens after death etc.”
The fact is, the Bible is about ALL of those things. So, let me just probe a little bit here, as to why you would make such a statement. I think your latest comments reveal the answer….You know what the Bible SAYS about these matters, but it isn’t what Christaras can wrap his mind around, and not what Christaras wants to believe. So, instead of changing your view to conform to what you cannot “logically” understand, you have simply brushed it off and said its “open to interpretation”.
How accurate am I here? I think that is what is at the very heart of this issue. Its about who or what, your final authority is.
YOU: “You believe God is not a liar. I wanna see if you will accept some things God says.”
That is correct…I believe God is not a liar. In fact, I’ll go a step further….I believe that ANY man who says ANYTHING, that contradicts what God says in the Bible, is a liar himelf….
Romans 3:4- “…yea, let God be true, but every man a liar…”
And then, you say you “wanna see”
if I will “accept some things God says”
At first, I was sort of looking forward to the challenge, because I already know what the outcome of that would be…I will accept what God says, and then challenge you to show where God said something different, and then you would not be able to do that. I’ve been down this road before.
But I was disappointed, because you said you were going to give me some things that “God said”, but instead, you did no such thing…You gave Christaras’s opinion of what YOU think God was really MEANING to say, but didn’t.
Example….“Do you also know that Jesus said Lazarus was SLEEPING? To be sleeping means to be unconscious. No consciousness of paradise or hell, of this world or another, simply nothing. A deep sleep without any conciousness.”
What you did here, was classic. You proceed to quote Jesus, but then to ADD your own interpretation to what you think Jesus meant. You quote where He said Lazarus was sleeping, but then you presume to define “sleeping” for us, in the way that you want the word to be understood. Sorry, but that isn’t how it works. You need to give a quote where GOD SAID, that “sleeping means to be unconscious of paradise, hell, or of another world…a deep sleep without any consciousness”.
But here is where I must reject your “interpretation” of what “sleep” actually is. First of all, its not true to fact. Let me see if I can help….
WIKIPEDIA: “Loss of consciousness must not be confused with altered states of consciousness, such as delirium (when the person is confused and only partially responsive to the environment), NORMAL SLEEP, hypnosis, and other altered states in which the person responds to stimuli."
From that link, we read…“Sleep is just one of many types of consciousness we experience, and sleep itself comprises several states of consciousness. Even when we’re sleeping, our brains and bodies continue to work.”
So, your definition of “sleep”, is somewhat askew….That is, unless you want to acknowledge that Lazarus still had thought processes, could dream, sleep walk, talk in his sleep, etc. And I don’t think you do.
But you know what? That is all a moot point, because again, this is not what we believe. Nobody denies that Lazarus’ BODY was unconscious. It was. That never has been the question, nor the debate. We are fully aware that Lazarus’ body was completely dead, was placed in a tomb, and would have rotted down to nothing, had Jesus not raised it from the grave. In fact, a PHYSICAL resurrection is the ONLY kind we ever see in Scripture. We never see any example of a person dying with a fleshly body, but being raised without one, and it being said they were “resurrected”.
But Christaras, what is on you, is to show where “God said” that Lazarus’s spirit was nowhere. And you didn’t. If you can give us a simple statement from God that says this, then it would need to be looked at. But you didn’t, and you can’t. What you are making reference to is his body, which nobody disputes.
Now Christaras, I am not going to continue going in circles with you, where you get to ask question after question, but completely ignore verses I give you. So, I’m asking you again about the previous verses which you ignored…
Does Paul, or does Paul NOT, teach in the following verses, that once his BODY dies and becomes “unconscious”, that he would “depart and be with Christ”? Yes, or no….
Philippians 1:23-24- “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”
Now, I want to pose a few questions to you, since you are hung up on this issue. And let’s try to “make our ideas FROM the text” (as you say), instead of adding them TO the text, shall we?
In the above passage, does Paul, or does Paul not….
1. Say that he is torn between remaining in the flesh (living on earth), and “departing” (dying in the flesh)?
2. Say that “to depart and be with Christ, is FAR BETTER”?
(Sub-question: If Paul is referring to physical death here (ie…”sleep”), then exactly WHAT part of him is left to “depart and be with Christ”? Especially if, as you believe, there is nothing to man BESIDES flesh? Please explain exactly what it is, that “departs to be with Christ”, if man is nothing more than flesh, and the flesh goes into an unconscious state?)
(Sub-sub-question: If Paul were merely going to an unconscious state of “sleep” where he had no thoughts, emotions, desires, etc, then HOW could that be “FAR BETTER” than remaining alive, and in what SENSE, would he be “with Christ”?)
3. In verse 24, does Paul or does Paul not, make a clear distinction between “departing”, and “abiding in the flesh”? If there is nothing in man that leaves the body after the body dies, then please explain exactly what part of Paul would not be “abiding (remaining) in the flesh” upon his “departure“?
Now Christaras, these are serious questions that you are going to have to deal with, if you want to continue to use Scripture against Scripture, in an attempt to prove yourself right. That doesn’t work with me. The questions I asked you are “logical”…just the way you like it. Also, the “ideas” are right there IN the passages. It really isn’t that hard to see, either.
Let’s look at another passage I listed, but that you ignored….
2 Corinthians 5:8- “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
Now in context, Paul is writing this to the CHRISTIANS in Corinth, right there in your own back yard. He wrote to them, and said “We are confident”
, obviously meaning that they shared the SAME hope that he did. And what was that hope?
Well, I’ll let you answer that. Read the passage, and please answer the following:
1. Does Paul, or does Paul not, say that being “absent from the body” for the Christians in Corinth, meant to “be present with the Lord”
I am not asking you what I think, what you think, what Rando thinks, or what the WT Society says…I am asking you what the verse right in front of you teaches. Real simple…
2. If man is merely and only flesh, as you believe, then again…WHAT part of Paul or the Corinthian Christians, was going to LEAVE the body, and become PRESENT with Christ?
3. Do the terms “absent” and “present”, not indicate a LOCATION, in respect to the PHYSICAL fleshly body, and in relation to Christ Jesus?
And you seriously thought coming to me about Lazarus was going to cause me to renounce the obvious teaching in the plain passages of Scripture above, especially when you never even showed one statement where “God says” anything about Lazarus’ location in the spirit?
In fact, what in all of the account of Lazarus, even comes close to contradicting what we read in Paul’s writings?
Here’s another one for you…..
2 Corinthians 12:2-4- “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
Now in this passage, Paul describes someone (many say it was Paul himself) who was caught up to the third heaven. Paul states that he did not know if the person was “in the body, or out of the body”
This is a huge problem for you, and your idea that man is NOTHING BUT a body. If what you say is true, then would you please explain why Paul would say something so foolish as not knowing if the person was “in the body” or “out of the body”, if ALL the person was IS a body? And since Paul was at least considering the possibility that the person was “out of the body”, then does this not indicate that there has to be more to man, than JUST a body? Otherwise, WHAT was Paul talking about, exactly?
Christaras, if you are going to insist on the regular questions day in and day out, then please at least make it worth our time, and actually GIVE a statement from the mouth of God, that would contradict Paul. So far, you haven’t. And please explain the above problems that these verses create for the doctrine you have chosen to believe.
I’m not trying to be impolite to you here, but you wrote this with the intent of trying to put me into a corner, rather than simply seeking an honest answer. That simply is not going to happen, Sir. You were trying to make it appear that I refuse to believe “what God said”, yet I believe these Scriptural examples show that it is not me, but you, who refuses to believe “what God said”.
Also, I want to say that I have been reading your questions to Mr. Hepburn, and sadly, you seem to think the Bible contradicts itself. I assure you that such is not the case. You indicated that there are verses that back up my position, which I assume means you DO acknowledge the above verses do contradict yours, and the JW, position. You also said there are verses which teach the exact opposite. No Sir, there are not. When taken IN CONTEXT, there are no verses that show God “saying” that there is no part of man besides the body, that remains conscious after physical death. Whenever a finite human thinks the Bible “contradicts itself”, the problem is not with the Bible, but with the human. It is the human understanding that is faulty…not the Word of God.
And THAT is the very problem with this notion that you, and that I have seen some other Witnesses on here talking about in the past week or two…namely, that we are supposed to somehow use “human logic” to figure out Bible doctrine. This is the very problem that this type of thinking creates. It has nothing to do with using “logic” in our everyday lives, to make smart decisions. It has to do with thinking our capacity of “logical thinking”, somehow trumps God’s inspired Word, and that if we read something in the Word that we cannot understand “logically”, then we are free to question it, and tear it down.
Might I just remind you, and these JWs, of some verses that are worth considering?
2 Corinthians 1:12- “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.”
1 Corinthians 1:20-25- “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
1 Corinthians 2:6-7- “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:”
Isn’t that an odd statement? “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom”
, for all of those who scoff at the Bible doctrines of the Trinity, because they think it is “illogical” and a “mystery“, and not according to wisdom?
The Bible is WAY ahead of these people…it gets them every time.
Christaras, here is what God thinks of our “wisdom“, when we try to use it to contradict Bible doctrine….
1 Corinthians 3:18-19-“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.”
Perhaps you can now understand why I made the comment several times, that our “logic” or our “wisdom” from a human understanding, should never be used to question or try to argue against revealed Bible doctrine. And anybody who would argue otherwise, had better consider the above Scripture, and see if that is a road they really want to go down.
Now, about the other issue/issues you raised….
YOU: “1)You believe in Hell, Life After Death and division of man to flesh, spirit, soul. Do you know that God told Adam "youre dust and to dust youll return?" He's talking to the person Adam, He's not talking to a part of Adam. HES TALKING TO ADAM. CAN YOU NOTICE THIS?
And God doesnt say Adam is going to be punished in hellfire, He states that Adam is gonna return to the ground from where he came. No divisions, doesnt state "your body will return to the ground while your soul will be in hellfire".
Christaras, this is a classic example of taking one passage of Scripture and trying to disprove many other passages of Scripture. Again, you are mishandling the Word of God.
First off, you have never heard me say that Adam ultimately went to Hell. So, you start off with a false assumption….that Adam’s sin meant that he could never, under any circumstances, be forgiven for his transgression. The Bible does not tell us anywhere that Adam was unable to ever find forgiveness and was ultimately cut off from God’s mercy. I realize many claim this, but that is nothing more than opinion and speculation. It DOES teach that Adam forfeited his physical existence, and was banished from the Garden, and the life that he was given on a perfect earth. Adam’s spiritual condition after physical death, is never spoken of.
Every other human being born after Adam, experiences physical death because of Adam’s passing down a sinful nature to us. However, we can still have everlasting life and find forgiveness and redemption. To assume that Adam could not, is merely an opinion. The Bible simply does not say what ultimately happened to Adam spiritually. It only deals with what happened to him physically….He disobeyed, and therefore, his body would return to the dust….just as ours does.
And again, you add your own OPINION to what God was saying, instead of actually showing where “God said” that there was no future punishment after the death of the body, when the Bible is quite clear that there is.
You disappoint me…You said you were going to give examples of something that “God said”, and that I do not believe. So far, you have failed to do this, and I believe everything that God told Adam. You want me to comment on what is NOT recorded, in regards to Adam. That is ridiculous. I believe that Adam sinned, and paid the price by dying physically….just like God said.
But your biggest error here, is that of most cults….Taking one or two passages of Scripture, and using those passages to contradict the whole of the Bible’s teaching. The Bible, throughout its pages, shows that man has a part of him that will be judged by God, and will spend eternity either with Him, or apart from Him.
Many, many places….And I will be very happy to show you those, and ask you to explain them, but first, I want you to explain the answers to the Scriptures and questions that I asked you above. Don’t want to over load you, and since I am quite certain that you are going to continue to constantly write, there will be plenty of time.
Just like Witnesses like to misuse Genesis 2:7, to “prove” that man does not HAVE a soul. Aside from the fact that there is nothing in that verse that even hints that man doesn’t have a soul, the problem is that this is simply not the only passage in the Bible on the subject. The RESPONSIBLE way to arrive at a doctrine, is not to just read one passage on the subject and say “Okay, that’s it! We have the entire teaching of the Bible in this one verse”
, but instead, it is to read ALL the passages on the subject, put them all together like the pieces of a puzzle, and then you have the entire picture.
Unfortunately for you and the JW position, there are simply numerous proofs that there is more to man than just flesh.
YOU: “I have my doubts for the parts that constitute man, but its clear what God says here. At least theres no mention of hell after death.”
Maybe not in this particular passage, but what about the other passages where it IS mentioned? You just ignore those? And you think that is how you arrive at Bible “truth”, Christaras?
That is a really interesting, and irresponsible approach…That is about like my taking the 18th chapter of Leviticus, where all sorts of sexual sins are forbidden, and saying “Well, this entire chapter makes no mention of it being wrong to commit fornication with a woman that you are not married to, as long as she is not a relative or someone’s wife, so therefore, it must be ok to commit fornication.”
Are you out of your mind? Just because this particular chapter that mentions other sexual sins, doesn’t mention pre-marital sex, has no bearing on the fact that many OTHER passages do condemn it. What are you thinking, coming with an argument like that?
Moving on, you wrote….
YOU: “2)You say you are already born again.
Have you gone to the Heavens? Jesus states in John 3, that man must be reborn UP in the heavens. To be reborn means to be born for a second time, BUT as a spirit not flesh. If you were already a spirit, its no sense to claim you must be born again as a spirit, cause youre already. Do you see the Kingdom of God?”
Do tell! It says we “must be reborn UP in the heavens”? Is that REALLY what it says, Christaras? Again, what Bible are you reading? My Bible doesn’t say anything even close to that.
Actually, what it says, is that a man cannot see the kingdom of God, unless he IS born again….Meaning, the new birth has to come first, not the entering into the heavens. Again, how you so badly twisted that passage into that garbled mess, is a “mystery”…Pardon the term.
Sorry, but your statement here is completely false, and a twisting of the passage. First of all, there is nothing that states you have to “go to the Heavens”, before being born again. Secondly, your problem is summarized in the following statement, where you continue to pit your thoughts against what the Bible says, where you said…“its no sense”
It isn’t about what you think “makes sense”. Its about what Jesus said. He said, quite clearly, that if you are not born again, you will not enter into God’s kingdom…EVER! Now, my job is not to argue this or convince you, because you have a free will. My job is to tell you what the Bible says. What you do with it, is up to you. But know this….If you are not born again, according to Jesus Christ, you will never see God’s kingdom. That is the simple truth of the matter. You can argue, you can tear apart, and you can question. But if you are not born again, you will not make it. That’s as simple as I can put it.
Nicodemus didn’t think Jesus’ words “made sense”, either. Like you, he completely misunderstood what Christ was saying. He asked Jesus if a man could go back into his mother, and be born a second time. He was thinking in terms of natural birth, but Jesus was talking about a spiritual birth…One that is accomplished, not by a doctor in a hospital room, but by the Spirit of God transforming a person by adoption, into the family of God.
That is what Jesus meant in John 3:5.…The “born of water”, is a reference to the natural birth, and born of “the Spirit”, is a reference to the need for a spiritual birth.
Thirdly, your mistake was also in assuming that a person must go to heaven as a spirit, in order to experience the new birth. Not Scriptural, I’m afraid. Peter referred to being “born again”, as a CURRENT standing among God’s people….
1 Peter 1:22-23- “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
In this passage, Peter is not referring to people who have ALREADY gone to Heaven, Christaras….He is referring to his brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, who were still here in the flesh. Otherwise, there is no need to command them to “love one another with a pure heart”.
This is life or death for you, my friend. My advice is to stop arguing with God, and simply accept what He has graciously offered you. He is God, and you are a sinner…He doesn’t owe us anything, nor was He obligated to even provide salvation for us. If I were you, I would humble myself and accept it, whether I understood the “why”, or not.
YOU: “Remember I followed your advice and read whats in the Bible. I told you not to be so sure about your views in the Bible. But.. you insisted there are no explanations and interpretations for whats clear. This was too fierce and dogmatic. So go ahead now and prove what I clearly see there is not God's words but a view with Watchtower's glasses.”
You did not follow my advice, Sir, because instead of reading and accepting what is in the Bible, you attempted to try and find something in the Bible to contradict other things that are in the Bible. That isn’t the way we are supposed to handle the Word of the living God.
Yes, you told me not to be “so sure about my views”. But that would be an insult to God, Who told us what to believe. If am not sure of what He says, then I am implying that He cannot be trusted, or that somehow He is not able to clearly reveal the truth to us, and that we must figure it out for ourselves.
You are correct in one statement you made..…When the Bible speaks clearly and explicitly on a topic, then that is the final word on it. Whether you think it is “too fierce and dogmatic” or not, is of no consequence. If you think you can QUESTION and ARGUE with what is clear in the Bible, then that is too foolish and dangerous. Being “fierce and dogmatic” on what the Bible teaches, is a very smart thing to do. It simply means that you believe what God said, and you accept His Word as the final authority.
And personally, I take it as a compliment when I read you telling the other Witnesses here, that I am so determined to accept everything in the Bible, and that it alone, is my final authority. I believe you said it like this….
“I think that even Derrick has fallen in the same trap. He gives a lot of emphasis to Jesus as the Ultimate Savior, but then he also gives a lot of emphasis to everything we read in the Bible as absolutely unquestioned truth. He puts the Written Word in the same fate with the Living Word.”
Thank you, Sir. I wear that with honor. Yes, I believe God has a Book, that clearly reveals anything and everything that we need to know, about how to be saved, doctrine, and how to live our lives. I believe the Scripture actually says that….
2 Tim. 3:15-17- “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Show me the Watchtower Organization in that, Sir. Show me human “logic”, or any other religious organization or denomination. And from that verse, please show me why I should not believe, as you stated above, that the Bible is “absolutely unquestioned truth”.
Do you realize how some of these JWs here must have cringed, when you made this statement? What you meant as a criticism of me, was actually an admission that Derrick Holland accepts the Scripture and nothing else. Thank you, Sir. That was a compliment.
Christaras, I have again spent numerous hours answering these questions for you. What I want from you, is that you take the time to READ this reply, mull it over in your mind, read the verses, ponder on them, read them again, and they prayerfully ask God to show you which position is the correct one, and if His Word is really His mind on these matters. An immediate follow up is not necessary, nor desired. You really need to just stop and ponder the teachings of God’s Word. Your life depends on it.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: In your last letter about Heaven and Earth you spent a lot of paragraphs on how I tried to ridicule your answer because of a "lol!" and a logical conclusion I made(only animals on Earth). Then at the end you gave the explanation "they stay in Heaven until Jesus' return on Earth". Was it difficult to just give the explanation instead of saying how you were supposedly attacked?
You always think youre attacked, or youre doing this to avoid my questions. Maybe the second, lol! I can ask a JW every question and as many questions I wish(even 100000000 in a month), concerning the Bible and religion in general. You are not to tell me what to ask and how many questions to ask. You are not even a JW to complain, you can just ignore my questions if you find them repetitive, boring, irrelevant. If you dont like them I can send them to other experts. No problem, no one forced you to answer lol!
In your message I can see you continuously attack me for making my interpretations. You continuously say you just read what is there while Im making my interpretations. Ok, if you believe so. I cant change your mind. You have understanding, we are stupid. Yes, the exact words "God said" are not contained....even though God or Jesus seem to ... speak
I find your explanation for Lazarus wrong. It was the sleep of Death, not a common sleep. But anyway. Yes, I agree with your explanation on Paul.
I have already sent a follow up to Mr Hepburn on the Living and Written Word. There you will find a detailed explanation of what I THINK. Yes, these are my thoughts. I believe JWs are right concerning the OT and that evangelists like you are more right on NT. There are cosmological, anthropological NT statements that are in harmony with OT. But there are also new statements on these subjects as the one of Paul, coming from hellenistic influences.
So yes, I see contradictions in these subjects and I sincerely dont know what to believe. Hopefully you said "Im not going to Hell!"(pheew!!!) if Im ignorant. Yes sir, Im ignorant and confused. I see contradictory statements on these subjects, COMING FROM HUMANS OF DIFFERENT TIMES AND CULTURES. Thats why I believe God doesnt tell us about His nature(trinity or not), our nature(flesh or flesh+spirit or flesh+spirit+soul), what happens after death etc. If you claim Solomon speaks from a HUMAN PERSPECTIVE, then I can claim Paul does too.
When God speaks, when man speaks???
Thats why Im telling to ALL OF YOU, you put the Written Word in the same line with the Living Word. The Written Word leads to Jesus, its NOT Jesus.
You are divided in 1000 of heresies, telling to the opposite christian hes going to Hell or he's slaughtered like a pig in Gehenna, because anthropological, cosmological, theological ideas.
I sincerely see contradictions and the theologians attribute this to people of different times and cultures. Sir, the ancient Jews have not any notion of a soul apart from the flesh, they didnt know anything about a tormenting place. They only knew about a future judgement. Some new added ideas in NT about a tormenting place and a soul inside man, come from Greece and Hellenistic Era. Have you researched the subject, have you read what thousands of university theologians say?
Yes, God can not contradict. Contradictions are in human assumptions. Neither apostles nor Solomon were gods. Only God knows. The only one we must know is Jesus Christ. He knows everything, our own "knowledge" is unsure.
By the way, I dont know why you always mention evolution. Did I say I believe in evolution? Of course a christian must believe God created the world. This is basic. Everything comes from God.
Okay, I wanted to wait until I read Eddie’s comments, before responding. Not really much there worth mentioning, as he basically told you the same thing I did, about the Scriptures not contradicting, and the problem being with the interpreter, and not the text itself.
Well, you seem rather upset and a rather sensitive person. That is regrettable. You falsely claim you were attacked, and you were not. Not once did I attack you. I merely pointed out the error in your statements, and told you that you were writing too much, and needed to be more respectful in the amount of time that you require people to spend answering your questions. But that is not an attack. And by the way, nor did I say you were attacking me. I don’t know why you made that claim, because it was false. What I DID say, was that you were trying to trap me into not accepting something “God said”, and that you would be unsuccessful, which is exactly what you were doing, and exactly what played out. But I didn’t feel attacked, nor did I attack you.
Now, about your writing so much. I have to say, that your reaction was very disappointing, and if I might say it, immature. How old are you, anyway? There was no reason for you to get all upset about that, because it was the truth. Now Christaras, had you simply said something like “I didn’t mean to be writing so much and I didn’t realize it, but in the future I will try to do it within reason”, then there would be no problem at all. But instead, you write this….
“Maybe the second, lol! I can ask a JW every question and as many questions I wish(even 100000000 in a month), concerning the Bible and religion in general. You are not to tell me what to ask and how many questions to ask. You are not even a JW to complain, you can just ignore my questions if you find them repetitive, boring, irrelevant. If you dont like them I can send them to other experts. No problem, no one forced you to answer lol!”
I’ll just ignore the “lol”s, which are obviously the product of immaturity on your part. Instead, I will address the above comments….
First off, I am not concerned with how much you write any JW here. That is none of my business. I was referring to MY schedule, and since you have been writing me 10-1 as much as anyone else, then YES, I can address you about it. If the other JWs want you to write them day in and day out, and spend hours every single week on your questions, then by all means....
Secondly, no, you can not ask ANYONE here (JW or not), “as many questions I wish (even 100000000)”. First off, no expert here ALLOWS that many questions per day, and I can assure you that there isn’t an expert here, that isn’t going to get annoyed by anyone, who insists on using up all or most of their allotted questions. Think about someone besides yourself, Sir. There are other people out there who have questions, too. In fact, I have been far more patient with you than most of them, as you write me nearly 10-1 more than any of them, although you do seem to be writing Mr. Hepburn a lot lately. He will be the most patient of any of them. Have you forgotten that Rando has already assigned you to Gehenna, and called you “Judas”? I don't believe I have said anything to you, that even comes close to that, have I?
Now, let me just explain this to you. Perhaps you remember a couple years back, I had to start rejecting your questions, because you were getting to the point of harassment, and started this incessant questioning. You informed me that the WT publications were “inspired of God”, and informed me that you were going to “teach me”, whether I liked it or not. Remember that? So, I promptly started rejecting your questions, because I don’t deal with people who are under the mistaken notion that they are my boss.
Then, you started in on other non-JW experts, ordering them to leave the board. Remember doing that? You stated “no more apostates here answering questions”!!
However, you later came back and apologized, so I started taking your questions again. Now, if you insist on not being reasonable and polite, then we will just go back to the previous practice of not taking your questions at all. I hate to do that, and I reserve “rejections” for the most obnoxious and disrespectful questioners. I do not want to put you back into that category, but that is up to you.
I told you that you are welcome to ask me questions about JW doctrine WITHIN REASON, but that you are not going to overload me to the point that nobody else can write me questions, because you think you have the right to “Max” me out. I would ask you to act with a little more maturity, instead of blowing up, and going all to pieces. And have some consideration for other people....
And my being a JW or not being a JW, simply has nothing to do with that. You seem to think that you can do whatever you wish, and the expert has no say. Let me assure you that is not the case. Not only can we set how many questions we allow, we can also reject any questions we choose to. Now, I think the “rejection” method is used in a cowardly manner by many experts here, and I rarely use it…Like I said, its only for obnoxious or disrespectful people.
But like I said, you are free to ask me questions, but I want you to ask reasonable questions, about THIS topic, and with REASONABLE frequency….Not one series of questions after another. And that IS what my profile states….“I can answer questions about their doctrines from the perspective of Biblical Christianity.”
That is why we HAVE profiles…To state what questions we wish to answer.
Now, I am not going to argue with you about it, nor am I going to go around in circles with you. I’ve told you what I will do, and will not do. You can respect that, or find another expert. Your choice. But you are not going to ask me “as many questions as you like” on any subject you like.
YOU: “In your last letter about Heaven and Earth you spent a lot of paragraphs on how I tried to ridicule your answer because of a "lol!" and a logical conclusion I made(only animals on Earth). Then at the end you gave the explanation "they stay in Heaven until Jesus' return on Earth". Was it difficult to just give the explanation instead of saying how you were supposedly attacked?
You always think youre attacked, or youre doing this to avoid my questions. In your message I can see you continuously attack me for making my interpretations.”
Again, I don’t believe I said you attacked me.
As for this statement…“In your last letter about Heaven and Earth you spent a lot of paragraphs on how I tried to ridicule your answer because of a "lol!" and a logical conclusion I made(only animals on Earth).”
No, it “wasn’t so hard” to just provide the explanation, except for the fact that I already HAD provided you the explanation in the link I gave you from a previous question of yours. Therefore, the animal remark was not a “logical conclusion”, because it was the exact opposite of what I had already told you, about my position regarding the new earth. And not only is it the opposite of what I had told you in that link, but even in the 2 answers just prior to that one, I had already told you that the new earth was described as “wherein dwelleth righteousness”
, which I believe is the opposite of saying that only animals were there.
You were the one who kept claiming that I didn’t think people would live on the new earth, when I had already told you they would.
And there was no “avoiding” your questions, either. Again, this same question had already been answered. Why keep asking it?
YOU: “You continuously say you just read what is there while Im making my interpretations. Ok, if you believe so. I cant change your mind. You have understanding, we are stupid. Yes, the exact words "God said" are not contained....even though God or Jesus seem to ... Speak”
Okay, this was very immature….Did you throw something across the room, when you wrote this? Nobody said you were stupid. I said you are using one Scripture to contradict another, which you are. And you basically conceded that, when you ADMITTED that I am right about the New Testament’s teaching on life after death. Funny, if I am right about it, then why are you arguing with it?
What you think God/Jesus “seem to speak”, is irrelevant. What matters, is what you can show that they DID say. Again, anything beyond that, is merely your opinion of what you think they were trying to say. Show me where they SAID it…not where it “seems” they might have.
See, that is your problem….You admit I am right about the New Testament. And your solution to the dilemma? Claim the Bible contradicts itself, with some theory about “the living Word being above the written Word”. Not so. God doesn’t have 2 “Words” which contradict each other. If they are both the “Word”, they would harmonize…not contradict.
But the worst part of it is, that you STILL never provided ANY statement from EITHER Testament, which contradicts the words of Paul. The contradiction is in your understanding, but not in the text.
I can’t believe you claimed that I am right about the NT, and they are right about the OT, implying that the NT and OT contradict each other. They do not. Did it ever occur to you, that perhaps the NT reveals in MORE DETAIL, things the OT merely hints at, but doesn’t fully reveal? Why does there have to be a contradiction? Why can’t it simply be that the NT expounds on it, and explains it?
But okay, let me just show you the problem with the way you are approaching the Scriptures. You tried to use Jesus, to show that I am wrong about the nature of the human being, in regards to what happens when they die. You attempted to use the story of Lazarus, where not one statement was made that allows you to do anything but SPECULATE, about what Lazarus’ condition in the spirit, was. You ASSUME that because his body was dead, he was in a state of non-existence. But you didn’t show that from the text.
Instead, you wrote…“I find your explanation for Lazarus wrong. It was the sleep of Death, not a common sleep. But anyway. Yes, I agree with your explanation on Paul.”
You can find it wrong if you want to, but show the statement which contradicts the Scriptures I gave you. You can’t. You read into the text, what isn’t there. Period.
And let me clarify…Yes, I KNOW that Lazarus was “sleeping in death”. I gave you the quotes about sleep, because of your inaccurate definition of “sleep” as being “state of unconsciousness”.
If you had read the other part of my reply, you would see that I did say that Lazarus’ body was unconscious, and would have rotted down to nothing, if left there. Did you just miss that part?
But the entire discussion was about his body…nothing else.
Now, let me get to my main point…You tried to use Jesus, to contradict the “written word”. Unfortunately for you, you were very selective in WHICH “words of Jesus” you decided to use. Did you know that Jesus also made statements, which are against the “soul sleep” notion? We wont even get into Luke 16:19-31. Let’s look at these….
Luke 12:4-5- “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”
Since these are the words of Christ also, then something needs to be explained….If man can only kill the body (but you said that is all man is…a body), then what exactly, is it that God casts into Hell?
We are not to “fear man”, because he can only kill the body. But we ARE to “fear God”, because He can do more than that. But if man is ONLY a body, then this verse makes no sense at all.
We see the parallel passage to this verse, in Matthew 10:28.…
Matthew 10:28- ”And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
So, let me get this straight….You believe man is ONLY a body, and IS only a soul, but doesn’t HAVE a soul…right? Yet here, a CLEAR difference is made between the body and the soul…God can destroy “BOTH soul AND body”
, but man can kill ONLY the body.
But they are the same?
Christaras, be honest with yourself…You can’t make those 2 passages teach “soul sleep”, no matter how hard you try.
And they are the words of Jesus…The same Jesus that you tried to use, to contradict Paul’s statements about death, and the same Jesus you think teaches that man goes into a state of non-existence at death.
Will you now say that Jesus is contradicting HIMSELF? Or, is it just possible that what I said before is true…That you have an idea you want to prove true, instead of just reading all of what the Bible says about it?
That is not an “attack”, Sir. But if you’re going to keep contradicting the Scriptures, and keep coming up with this stuff about the “written Word vs. the living Word”, then you need to ask yourself “why”? If either the “written Word” or the “living Word” contradict, then they cannot both be the “Word” of God.
If I may take a statement from your writing to Eddie, I would like to comment on it….
YOU: “So we have unwarranty explanations and Im the sinner who says God's Word has contradictions between OT and NT? I didnt say God contradicts!!! These are human opinions from people of different times and cultures sir. Paul is a Hellenistic Jew. Solomon is a true Jew that lived 1000 years before Paul. An abyss of thought stands between them.”
To say that God doesn’t contradict, but to say His inspired Word does, is self-defeating. If God doesn’t contradict, by His very nature (and He doesn’t), then neither can His Word. To say otherwise, is to say the Bible is not His Word.
What you are forgetting, is that the Bible is not merely the product of a Hellenistic Jew, a true Jew, or the result of various cultures with various ideas….No, it is the result of men writing under the inspiration of God’s Spirit, without ANY mixture of error. It is a revelation, sometimes PROGRESSIVE, of Biblical truth. Just like you can't get the true picture from looking at merely one piece of a puzzle, you have to take ALL the pieces and put them together the way they are designed, and then you see the entire picture.
Again, any supposed contradiction or error, is a failure to properly understand it, or an attempt to make it teach a pre-conceived idea….Not an indication of mistake or error.
YOU: “If you claim Solomon speaks from a HUMAN PERSPECTIVE, then I can claim Paul does too.”
No, actually this cannot be a valid claim. For one thing, we have a recorded period in the life of Solomon, of apostasy. We know this happened, and we know WHY it happened…He loved many “strange women” who led him after other “gods”. He recorded these events of his life, and also his philosophy of life when he was in that spiritual state. There is a GOOD REASON why you never see a JW quote the entire verse or context, when they reference Ecclesiastes 9:5. There is a GOOD REASON why they only use one phrase from that passage….“For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing”
….Because the rest of that passage and its surrounding context, absolutely shatter their OWN doctrine of a resurrection, the need to live according to God’s precepts, etc.
However, we have no record of any such period in Paul’s life. From the time of his conversion, he preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ, until the day of his death. Even when it was coming time for him to “depart and be with Christ, which is far better”
, we see him writing that he had “kept the faith”, and “fought a good fight”. He was faithful to God unto death, and his writings are in our Bibles, because he was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Meaning…they are truth and nothing but, truth.
You cannot make it appear that Paul was wrong, and Jesus was right, because they do not contradict. Paul received revelations from Jesus, and was a servant of Jesus. And even one of Jesus’ OWN disciples, affirmed the TRUTH of Paul’s writings, and said those who “wrest them” do so to “their own destruction”. That is serious business.
2 Peter 3;16- “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
This is Peter speaking, a disciple of Jesus, about the writings of Paul. Do you honestly think that Peter would VALIDATE the writings of a man, who was contradicting Jesus?
So no, I don’t think you can make the same argument about Paul, that you can about Solomon.
YOU: “But there are also new statements on these subjects as the one of Paul, coming from hellenistic influences.”
This is troubling, Christaras. You are basically accusing Paul of being a pagan, instead of a follower of Jesus Christ. Paul’s statements are NOT due to “Hellenistic influences”, but rather, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God.
You said you are confused and don’t know what to believe. My advice…Believe the Word of God…nothing else. You don’t have to remain confused. I sincerely hope you don’t.
Take care, Christaras.