Jehovah`s Witness/Who is being tormemted?
QUESTION: Hello again Derrick. I've enjoyed reading your defense. It's a shame that people have to resort to such tactics. I myself can empathize with this. You see, the JW I work with uses these same reasons as to why I am a liar and controlled by Satan. Really? Can't we just have a discussion of what verses mean without you having a meltdown. I mean, he seems to be in torment. I asked a couple of JW experts here some simple questions. One chimed in about the Trinitarians. I didn't know that the concept of heaven was Trinitarian. When I asked him to explain this he said "not until you repent". ( I didn't mark it private, unless I hit the button accidently)
So maybe you can explain what Jesus meant while He was on the cross next to the robber. "Today you will be with me in paradise". I purposely left out the controversial comma because either way it contradicts what the watchtower teaches in my opinion.
Thanks again, and keep the faith. Kevin
ANSWER: Good evening, Kevin. Its great to hear from you. I hope you and your family are doing well.
Yes, it truly is a shame and a disgrace that these people resort to such tactics. Should a person who claims to be in "the truth", EVER need to be called out for lying? Much less, time and time again, over a period of several years. They should hang their heads in shame, for their deplorable conduct.
You mentioned that you have the same situation with your co-worker. I think I know the problem....These people are convinced, and have it drilled into them week in and week out, that they and they alone, have "the truth". They are the only ones with Bible knowledge, and they are the only ones who have any truth to offer. So, when they meet a Christian who knows their Bible as you do, or as I do, and they are asked a question that stumps them, they feel embarrassment deep down. They have to offer the "answers" they have been taught, but deep down, I think those answers sometimes embarrass even them. And as my friend Rita pointed out in a previous writing to me, if you ask questions that are beyond the "script" they are trained to give, then that becomes all the more frustrating for them. So, the course of action they often take, is to lash out and attack the character of the person who asked them the question they could not answer.
In fact, there is a former JW who used to visit this board, for the sole purpose of debating me. He even teamed up with ole' Rando for a time. He has since left the JW religion, and when I asked him why, he mentioned the "Jesus is Michael the Archangel" thing, as one of the reasons. He admitted to me, basically what I just said above....That they HAVE to defend the belief, with the arguments they are given. He used to try and defend it here, but he told me this....He said that when he had to try and convince people that Jesus was Michael, it "drove him crazy"
, because he himself didn't think the arguments were solid, but he had to present them, nonetheless.
But in the case with these who are still in, like the ones here who act like immature kids, and your co-worker, they lash out at you for making them see the inconsistencies in their doctrine, which the desperately want to be "the truth".
Then, when you respond to the character attack they throw at you, they accuse you of "attacking" them.
Its childish, really.....To call someone ugly names, merely because their error was pointed out from the Scriptures.
I will tell you something....When I came to this site over 14 years ago, I was shocked by what I saw. I have become convinced over the years, that the anonymity of the internet, brings out the worst in these people. When I first found this site, it had a Message Board attached to it, where you could read various posts from both JWs and non-JWs, and you could post a response to anyone's post that you wanted to. This Message Board has been long gone, but that is when I first started seeing JWs act in this manner. All my life, I grew up around JWs, and always thought most of them to be decent and honest people. I still think that, by the way. Of course, there are always some bad apples, and I always knew that. But for the most part, I didn't view JWs as willful liars....only deceived people. And again, I still don't view all JWs as liars, but the ones who are liars, seem to find their way to this site.
But I would get in discussions back and forth on the Message Board (this was prior to my joining as an "Expert"), and I fully expected some differing views and various opinions. But man, when the name-calling started, and the outright misrepresentations started, I thought...."This isn't how I thought JWs were"
. And honestly, things sunk to an all time low, when Rando joined this forum in 2007. Never before, had I seen such wicked, dishonest, and deplorable conduct from a JW. I'm not talking about disagreement on doctrine. Nor am I talking about just calling me an "apostate" or "opposer". I'm talking about an all-out attack of one lie right after another. He made threats to one questioner, implying he would "send men in black coats" to his house. Then, he began to level accusations against me of spousal abuse (a bald-faced lie), and also, sexual harassment, if you can believe that one. He then posted such nonsense, as saying that I was several other people on here, using "aliases". Fact is, I've never had an alias here, nor have I ever sent myself a question pretending to be another person, as Rando has done hundreds of times.
Then he lied, claiming he had "found out" that I was a former JW brother, who had become "apostate"....A complete lie. He knew NOTHING about me, nor my past. So, he lied to the board on that one, because he had "found out" nothing. Then, he began throwing swipes at my family, claiming my mom is not really a JW. It has been one lie after another, for the past 7 years, and not one ounce or remorse or repentance on his part. None. I would hate to be him, when it comes time to answer to Almighty God.
But I am simply saying, the conduct of these people when their error is brought to light, is shocking. It shows that defending the "Slave" is apparently more important than obeying the Bible, and upholding its teaching on honesty.
The conduct of some of the JWs here, can only be described as demonic, and sheer wickedness.
I am sorry that you work with one who seems to be like them. I agree with you, that their actions, show that it is them who are actually in torment. They have to console each other, by telling themselves and each other, that they have "exposed" the apostates. But deep down....they know what the score is. Make no mistake....they know, and their actions prove it.
You are correct.....You should be able to have a discussion with your co-worker, without him having a complete meltdown. But you are also correct, in that its because he is tormented. What he has convinced himself to be "truth", and what he has put all his hopes in to be "truth", is being threatened. You are asking questions that are making him think, and he doesn't like the conclusions his mind is coming to.
You want proof of them being in torment? No greater example, than this immature child named "Christaras", who as you have seen, has been quite upset as of late. He is all over the place in his doctrine, and very unstable. Not only that, he has been writing me constantly, but I have promised this forum that he will not spew his hate and venom through my profile again, so since he continues to write me in that manner, he is being rejected each and every time. He's really nothing more than a Grade A pest, and I'm doing him a huge favor in ignoring him. But his comments to me, only evidence the torment he is going through, due to the Bible truth being shown....And he's not even a JW, to beat it all! But since he is mad at me, then the JWs have become "the truth" again.
But yes, I think the actions speak for themselves. I mean, why would a person EVER need to lie about what someone believes, if they are indeed able to expose that person with "the truth"? If they have "the truth", and can expose "apostates" with "the truth", then WHY LIE? Does that make sense? Why claim someone believes something that the JW knows full well the person does not believe?
You hit it on the head....torment. And fear. No question about it.
Now, you asked me about Luke 23:43. There are points to be made on both sides of that issue. I think "paradise" needs to be distinguished from Heaven, at least at that point in time. Obviously, the thief did not immediately go to Heaven, as Christ had not died and risen again, at that time. It is the blood of Christ, and His victory over death, Hell, and the grave, that opened the door to Heaven, for those who come to Him in faith.
The JW side will point out that the Greek did not have punctuation marks (such as a comma) when this verse was recorded, so therefore, the location of the comma in a given translation, would be based on the theology of the translator. This point is not totally without merit, but nor does it prove THEY put the comma in the correct place, either.
The Christian side, would say that the thief did enter into Paradise on that day, but not into Heaven, until the fulfillment of Ephesians 4:8-9.....
"Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?"
The truth is, there are numerous verses in the New Testament, which clearly show the Christian is with Christ at the moment the body dies. Those verses are irrefutable....Just ask Christaras.
I would like to hear your thoughts on this verse, especially where you said that the WT's doctrine is contradicted, either way. I agree with you, but I would like to see your thoughts on that.
Personally, I believe that it would be redundant for Jesus to be saying that He was telling the thief that "today", because this would not even need to be said.
I believe this verse has to be looked at in context. In the preceding verse, the thief had asked Jesus to "remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom"
. With this as the backdrop, it makes no sense for Jesus to reply by saying "Verily I say unto thee today..."
. Of course He was saying it "today"...When else do you say something? Rather, it seems His reply, is in answer to the thief's request to "remember me"
. Jesus is saying, in effect...."It isn't a matter of Me 'remembering you', or that you have to wait for some future time....You are going to be with Me, as of today"
This is the most logical rendering, given the context. The repentant thief was getting MUCH more than he bargained for, or had dreamed of.
It needs to be remembered that this conversation took place VERBALLY, and not through writings. We do not speak with punctuation marks, such as commas, semicolons, question marks, exclamation points, etc. These devices are used by writers, in an attempt to convey the tone of what was spoken verbally. Therefore, it is not true, that what Jesus SAID, was "ambiguous", as some claim. Let me quote from an article on this subject, which brings this point out....
"One may be tempted to object by saying that it is the position of the written comma that reveals what Christ really said. This is precisely what is not true of the passage in question. The author of the Gospel was not present at the crucifixion to hear Christ's comment personally. Christ's comment was recorded from the oral tradition of the disciples. This leads us to the second point: that the oral tradition had preserved this comment in a particular form, with the spoken emphasis already built into it.
Commas have no syntactical value in New Testament Greek. If commas are later introduced by an editor, they would serve only to make the text easier to read — not to clarify the meaning. Commas, in any edition of the Greek New Testament, are intended only as a help to the reader, not as a means of safeguarding the correct understanding of a passage.
In view of the above details, the presupposition that the text of Luke 23:43 is ambiguous without the comma is not legitimate."
In other words, what is more important than where a translator THINKS the comma should go, is the tone of the passage, when it was actually spoken.
So, here is the fact....One cannot ascertain the correct placement of the comma, merely by appealing to the Greek text. HOWEVER....JWs often make an incorrect assumption, namely, that if the NWT rendering is grammatically possible, then it is automatically CORRECT, and cannot be criticized. This is not the case at all.
But probably one of the most in depth treatments of this verse I have seen, and which illustrates the inconsistency of the NWT (though I haven't checked this out in the revised NWT to see if its still the case), is found in the following link....
But at any rate, I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this verse.
Before closing, I want to respond briefly to this comment.....
You wrote...." I asked a couple of JW experts here some simple questions. One chimed in about the Trinitarians. I didn't know that the concept of heaven was Trinitarian. When I asked him to explain this he said "not until you repent". ( I didn't mark it private, unless I hit the button accidently)"
Well, I bet I can guess WHICH "expert" chimed in about the Trinity....The same one that ALWAYS "chimes in" about the Trinity, even when the Trinity has nothing to do with the discussion. Would it happen to be the SAME one who, just this week, "chimed in" on the Trinity, even though nobody was really talking about it?
How predictable can this guy be?
In fact, there is a very predictable pattern that always emerges in this forum. Whenever a JW tells a lie, and is getting hammered and publicly humiliated for it, the other JWs always jump in and try to divert everyone's attention, by starting a discussion on the Trinity. It never fails. Then, we all get to sit around and be entertained, watching them discuss and once again, show they don't have a clue what they're talking about. I love reading and seeing all the things I "believe" (supposedly), as a Trinitarian. I know I shouldn't be amused, but its really hard not to be....Seeing people who have no clue what they're talking about, talking about it, as if they're experts on the subject.
But yeah, its pretty enlightening that you asked him why the concept of Heaven was "Trinitarian", and he basically told you that he would not explain it to you, until you repented.
Hmmm....I THINK the "experts" signed up here to ANSWER legitimate questions, did they not? I haven't seen in any of their profiles, that "I will only answer your legitimate questions, IF you repent and see things my way"
That is so typical....
Well, I'm gonna close for now, as its getting late and I have an early day tomorrow. Kevin, it is great to hear from you, and I will be looking forward to your follow up, with your thoughts on Luke 23:43.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks for the well wishes Derrick. Before I get to Luke 23:43 let me give you a little background of my dealings with this Jw. One of the reasons I wanted to write you was to share my experiences with the Jw community first hand as I saw that there was similarities with their behavior that I don't think is coincidental.
When I was first approached by my Jw co- workers (three) Their first line was "do you want to be immortal"? I laughed and asked if they were vampires? This got me to do a google search on the Jws and I was amazed to say the least at what popped up. The first thing I learned was that they have been predicting Armageddon to come many times. Now at the time I was not really into reading or studying the bible, but even I knew this was wrong. The next thing that popped up was that they believed Jesus and Michael the Arch angel were the same. Again I thought whhaaattt. So armed with a little information I asked this new Jw if in fact he thought Jesus and Michael were the same person and he responded, "No of course not". Hmmm. What about the date setting for Armageddon? He said that never happened. It literally took over a year for him to change his opinion, not from all the info I showed him from the watchtower, but from some of the people in his congregation. Then it became "well they didn't predict it, they just thought the 6000 years since Adam meant something significant".
Then one day he announced that he was able to understand the bible because he received the Holy Spirit and was now thinking clearly. I said in the bible or everything? He said everything. What a joke. If you knew this guy personally, thinking clearly wouldn't come to mind. In fact at work he did something very dangerous that put my safety at risk. His first reaction was to try to explain it away instead of taking responsibility. That seems to be his pattern as a Jw, thinking his intellect is so superior, that he could spin anything like he practices with the bible verses.
Here's a list of some of his outlandish statements that show his Jw background that I've been reading on this forum
I hate the pope
You worship the Devil
Saying that I said something that I never said.
Gods love is not unconditional, you have to earn it
You won't be resurrected to paradise earth
I'm jealous of him because he's so happy
Since I think "I Am" is a proper translation, I don't understand simple English. (this guy immigrated from the Ukraine about ten years ago)
Judas wasn't at the last supper
I don't read the bible and many more.
Now that I got that off my chest, let's get to Luke 23:43. Basically to me it means that he will be with Jesus in heaven. I heard the President of the Moody Bible Institute talk about this (after I formulated my own opinion). He thought that the thief indeed went to heaven that day after Jesus went to preach to the spirits in prison. He didn't know how long, but less than a day. I believe that when I die I will go to heaven as well according to John 3:16 and many other verses in the new testament.
From the Jw perspective how could this thief go anywhere? He was not baptized (as a JW) or did any preaching. If he was to be resurrected to paradise earth, how so? Not able to do any of the Jw requirements while dying on the cross next to Jesus. How could he go to heaven? Was he one of the anointed 144000? Probably not.
Thanks Derrick. May God bless you and your family. Kevin
Good evening, Kevin. Thank you for following up. I noticed that the first writing from you was public, but this one is marked "Private". I wasn't sure if you meant to send it "Private" or not, but since I'm not sure, I will leave it as such. Its fine if you did....I just noticed you said about wanting to share your experiences with the JW community, and I thought maybe when you said that, you were hoping people could see it. If you want it public, just re-send it to me, and I will copy this answer and it will post in the forum.
You are absolutely correct about the numerous failed predictions, regarding the time of the end. They have made several, and all of those have failed. First, 1914 was supposed to see the END of Armageddon. In fact, the 1914 teaching has undergone several revisions, and today, it is basically believed that 1914 marks the time of Jesus' "return" invisibly. Then, there was 1925, then 1975, etc. As of yet, not one prediction has come to pass, as predicted.
And yes, you are absolutely correct that they teach Jesus and Michael the Archangel, are the same being. You know, that one really astounds me. Here is why...
JWs will come on here and issue challenges such as...."Name one Scripture in the Bible, where it says there is a Trinity"
. And of course, you and I know that the Trinity is not merely based on just one verse, but the teaching of the Scriptures as a whole, on the nature of God. Scripture is clear that there is only one true God, and reveals that there are 3 distinct Persons called "God". But funny, after demanding that one Scripture, they suddenly become very silent when you ask them for that one Scripture, that identifies Jesus as Michael. Or that one Scripture that shows Jehovah "dissolving" Jesus' body, instead of resurrecting it. And they can't give you a Scripture that teaches either belief.
There are far more verses showing Jesus to possess the nature of God, than there are showing Him to be a created Angel named Michael. So what it boils down to, is that they REJECT a teaching about Jesus (His deity) that the Bible shows in many places, and ACCEPT a teaching about Jesus (being Michael), that the Scripture NOWHERE teaches. In other words....they deny what it does teach, and accept what it doesn't teach.
I was also intrigued that this JW would tell you that they did not teach this. Was he lying, or just ignorant of the teachings of his own religion? Or was he merely stating his personal belief that Jesus was not Michael. I had a former JW tell me that he hated having to defend that belief, because he couldn't even convince himself of it, let alone convince anyone else.
And they certainly DID predict the dates for Armageddon. Regarding the prediction for 1975, there was an allowance made for a difference of a few weeks or months, but "not years"
(an actual quote). Meaning....that the end would come in or around 1975, but might be delayed only slightly, but would not be wrong by years. Well, it has now been nearly 40 years.....
It seems your JW co-worker either doesn't present things honestly, or he doesn't know his own religion's teachings or history.
You wrote...."Then one day he announced that he was able to understand the bible because he received the Holy Spirit and was now thinking clearly. I said in the bible or everything? He said everything. What a joke. If you knew this guy personally, thinking clearly wouldn't come to mind."
Well, that sounds quite familiar. Kind of like the guy on here, claiming he can understand every single verse in the Bible, using "human reasoning" and "human logic". Yeah, sure....
Yet, when given the chance to answer some discrepancies between his beliefs and the Scriptures from a "logical" perspective, he has suddenly become very quiet. Some people have more hot air, than actual substance.
In reading your list of statements from some JWs, I was struck by one thing....For whatever reason, getting facts straight is simply not a priority with these people. At least the ones with this mentality. In fact, we saw a JW expert just this past week or so, go one step further....He thinks that he ha such a right to lie and distort, that even when a JW writes and asks him to adjust his conduct or leave the forum, then that person is automatically labeled as an "apostate". Makes you wonder what has to happen to someone's brain, to make them think like that.
And what you said about explaining it away instead of taking responsibility. Yep, seen that one too. These people honestly believe they can say or do anything, and they are not to be held accountable. They can endanger your safety (as in your case), lie about you, or whatever....And its never their fault.
As far as the JW belief about the thief next to Jesus, no, they do not believe he was one of the 144,000. In fact, I want to compare a paragraph from an article from JW.org, and notice how it outright contradicts Jesus' statement to the thief. I see this as a problem....
From JW.org: "What do you think? Will Jesus be here on the earth with the criminal who was sorry for his sins?— No, Jesus will be in heaven ruling as King over the Paradise earth. So Jesus will be with the criminal in that he will raise him from the dead and see that he is taken care of in the Paradise on earth."
Now, the Bible verse....
"And he said to him: “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.”
"And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
So from this, we can deduce that "you will be with me"
, actually just means "I'll take care of you"
Neat, huh? We can make the Bible say whatever we need it to, just to suit our doctrine. And if the Bible doesn't cooperate and say what we need it to, we will just tell you it means something else.
It is truly sad how they can look right at a plain passage of Scripture, and get the opposite meaning of what is right in front of them.
While I believe that the thief didn't enter Heaven until after Jesus ascended on high, I do believe he went into paradise (Abraham's bosom) that very day of his death, and that Jesus went there as well. It is not clear everything that happened in the spirit realm between the cross and the resurrection, but we know that Jesus descended into the lower parts of the earth, and that He preached to the spirits in prison, and that He ascended up on high.
So like you, I believe the WT conveniently placed the comma where they wanted it to be, and that they destroy the true meaning of the passage, in so doing.
Anyway, thank you for sharing your observations and your own experiences. Its really amazing how so many of them, have so many of the same traits in their dealings with other people. Granted, its not all of them. But it sounds like some of the ones on here, act just like your co-workers. Are you sure Rando doesn't work where you do?
Like I said, I wasn't sure if you wanted this Private, but if so that is fine. I didn't want to change it, in case you did want it that way.
Take care, and God bless.