Kindly answer the following questions for me:
In the JW.org, Jesus is addressed with the title “Lord”. What does “Lord” mean to JWs?
The same site states that there is no eternal torment in a fiery hell and the wages of sin is death. It also states that punishment for those who oppose God is “everlasting destruction”. Can you please explain what “death” and “everlasting destruction” mean to JWs?
Thirdly, why does John 1:1 in the New World Translation say “the Word was a god” instead of “Word was God”?
Thank you for your attention.
Here is a link to the many places in the Bible, where the word "lord" is used.
As you can see by all those references, it is a term that denotes respect, authority, and prominence.
Rev.17:14 indicates, that Jesus is a Lord over other lords.
He has been made the leader and head of the Congregations of the saints
(Eph.5:23; Col.1:18; 1Cor.14:33; 1Pet.2:10,9,5)...
as overlord and King to those same lords and kings (Rev.5:9,10; 1:5)
Jesus once said, to those who lead God's Nation...
7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
...as he quoted Isa.29:13...
"The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
I introduce these scriptures,
because I believe that the same hypocrisy exists in "JW's", and their concept of Jesus as "Lord".
They honor Christ with their teachings ("lips" / "mouth"),
essentially "claiming to know God"...
but they disown him by their works (Titus1:16).
This is a strong accusation, just as it was in the first century.
What is the basis for it?
to obey scripture.
"For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
Jesus is to be honored, as being the judge of all. This will be done by means of what Jesus taught...
"There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken." (John12:48-49)
Would you not agree, that
If we are a faithful slave and witness of Christ and God,
we judge according to the teachings of Christ as Lord,
since his teaching came from the Father?
Do "JW's" honor the Son, just as they honor the Father?
Or rather, do they honor their governing leaders, as they should honor the Son?
If the governing leaders direct elders who are spiritual Gentiles,
to spiritually kill their fellow anointed brothers in Christ (John16:2; Rev.11:7; 13:14-15),
simply because these brothers disagree with teachings that are not
sourced with Christ
(Matt.28:19-20) (2Cor.11:20,4; Col.2:8; Rev.13:7,10; 2:10)...
...Who do "JW's" "honor"? Who is their Lord?
In the name of "unity", JW's are expected to overlook and tolerate the hateful and cruel edicts coming from their leaders
(Rev.2:20; Gal.1:8; 1Tim.4:1; Rev.16:13-16; Matt.24:24-25) which result in the expulsion of Christ's faithful brothers. When expelled, Christ's anointed brothers are considered by JW's, to be spiritually dead, rejected by God, and eternally condemned. They are then treated as such. JW's thereby condone and support the actions of the wicked steward when beating his fellows. They do not stand up to care for the faithful, as Christ directed (Matt.25:32,41-46). The actions of JW's as they follow and remain united under the wicked steward, compromises their loyalty to the truths of Christ.
Is that reaction of complacency the example and teaching of Christ?
Did he compromise truth in order to remain unified with the Jewish religious leaders?
He clearly directed, that loyalty to truth would require a death such as his
(1Pet.2:21; Rom.6:5; Rev.6:9-11; 12:11; 20:4; Mark8:35).
Yet those who do this "killing" in the name of God (John16:2; Isa.66:5),
will be held accountable (Matt.25:41-43,45-46; Rev.11:7; 19:20).
the governing leaders of "JW's" claim that obeying them, is the same as obeying Jesus.
But is that so?
Jesus taught us to love our brothers...
not like Cain, who slaughtered his brother (1John3:12; Matt.23:29-35; Rev.18:24).
If we claim (honor with lips) that we love God, but we are hating our brother (which is murder -1John3:15);
we are a liar, and the truth is not in our heart ("hearts far removed from me") (1John4:20).
For more reasons than can be mentioned in this reply,
The government of "Jehovah's Witnesses" does not faithfully represent the teachings of Christ.
Just as prophesied, those who obey God as ruler rather than men, are to be "killed".
(Acts 5:29; Rev.13:15,17; John16:2) (http://pearl-666.blogspot.com
"Jehovah's Witnesses" acknowledge Jesus as "Lord" with their lips,
but they do not obey him from the heart.
This is because they are worshipping the WT Idol and it's lying portents...
--it's "Image" as being directed by God's spirit (Rev.13:15) [John20:22],
--it's Gentile elders as God's priests (Mark13:14),
--and it's leaders as the faithful slaves of Christ (Matt.24:4-5).
These circumstances, are
, The Great Tribulation.
Most of those who claim to know and love God, will be found asleep during this period (Mark13:36-37; Luke21:36)...
drunk on the Harlot's "wine"...
all because they prefer the venom of serpents (Deut.32:32-33; Jer.51:7; Rev.18:3; 2Thess.2:1-4,9-12),
instead of the true vine of Christ, and it's ignoble, faithful branches (John15:4-5,8; Matt.7:20).
- - - - - - -
"Death" and "everlasting destruction" are defined by "Jehovah's Witnesses", as non-existence.
Ecc.9:5 is used to support this...
"For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten."
- - - - - - -
"Jesus replied, "It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, 'I say, you are gods! If He called them gods (theous), to whom the word of God (theou) came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?"
The scripture which "cannot be broken"/discarded/nullified, to which Jesus refers,
is Psalm 82:6...
"I said, 'You are "gods"
; you are all
sons of the Most High.'"
Although referred to as "gods", (using the same word as used to describe Almighty God);
I assume you do not
interpret this to mean that "all to whom the word of God came", are the same person as Almighty God.
Is this correct?
Please note, that all born of God, are "Theous".
All those who harbor the eternal spirit of God, attain divinity.
(Rom.8:17,9,29; 2Cor.3:18; 2Pet.1:4; John17:22; 1:14).
Just as Jesus spoke of being one with God...
Jesus prayed that this same unity, would be shared with the "gods" referred to, above.
Again, this unity does not transform Christ's disciples, into Almighty God...
"21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them
, that they may be one just as We are one:
23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me."
When not taken out of context, but rather, when accepted within the context of all scripture;
it becomes clear that the reason why many scholars and Bible translations (not just the NWT)
render the "Theos" and "Theon" of John1:1 as separate identities,
it is because such a rendering is in harmony with the rest of what Christ himself taught,
regarding the relationship between himself (the Word),
and the Father.
This article contains more scriptures related to this question,
which you may find helpful...
Thank you for your good questions.
May the blessings of light and life from the Father, be with you,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks for your quick response and detailed reply.
I have the following follow-up question:
You wrote ""Death" and "everlasting destruction" are defined by "Jehovah's Witnesses", as non-existence."
What I understand from your answer is that all those who die without receiving forgiveness for their sins will just die and become nothing. They will not be punished for their sins. Is my understanding correct?
What you understand from my own answer, seems irrelevant for those who seek truth,
which is sourced not in any man, but in the Word of God.
Please tell me what your interpretation of Ec.9:5 is.
Please let me know.
An eventual total loss of all life and hope, does not necessitate that there is no other suffering or punishment. To illustrate:
One may die peacefully in one's sleep, or one may die after many years of torture.
Both die, but there is certainly room for punishment aside from death. Is there not?
I expect that the following link (entitled, "Will the Wicked Suffer?"),
will address your question:
If you are familiar with Rev.14:11...
"And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever
; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
"The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever
...then please keep in mind that Rev.1:1 states that "Revelation" is written in symbolic terms
(See Greek of Rev.1:1).
What does it mean to be tormented in the "lake of fire" forever
Rev.20:14 tells us...
"Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death
Why "second" death, instead of first death?
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell ("Gehenna")." (Matt.10:28)
The first death, is physical.
The "second death", is by the One who judges (and can kill) the soul.
The basis for that judgment, is by means of the teachings of Christ....
"There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words
; the very words I have spoken will judge them at the last day
How are the damning words of Christ, the same as the "lake of fire"?
Jesus Christ IS
the Word of God. All God's teachings are made available to us,
by means of God's "Word", the Bible (John1:1,14).
Note what the words of God (through Christ) are compared to...
"Is not my word like fire," declares the LORD
, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?" (Jer.23:29)
"Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth
-- then my judgments go forth like the sun." (Hosea 6:5)
"Therefore this is what the LORD God Almighty says: "Because the people have spoken these words, I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes
"And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner
I hope you discern from the foregoing scriptures,
that the "lake of fire" / "hell",
are God's judgments,
by means of God's Word ("fire").
Those who do not obey the Bible, are judged worthy of the "second death".
According to Jesus, this is the death of the soul. (Matt.10:28)
God repays the wicked with their own wickedness
[for scriptures which prove this, see (http://pearl-wickedsuffer.blogspot.com
(The wicked do not burn people forever, so according to God's perfect justice,
neither will they literally
"Jehovah's Witnesses" are taught that God is not sadistic, and does not desire to burn people forever.
The basis of that "Jehovah's Witness" belief, is Jer.7:31, where God says....
"They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire--something I did not command, nor would such a thing ever enter my mind."
The "the Valley of Ben Hinnom" (Hebrew)
(where people were burned as a sacrifice to the false God, "Molech"),
is another name for the place "Gehenna" ("Ben Hinnom" translated into Greek),
and is the same place that most Bible translators, translate as "Hell".
"Gehenna" is the word Jesus used, at Matt.10:28, above (that is usually translated as "hell").
In the King James version, Rev.20:14 reads;
"And death and hell
were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
Note that "hell" is also cast into the lake of fire. Is "hell" cast into hell?
No. "Hell", is also destroyed forever.
Yet this Greek word at Rev.20:14 was not "Gehenna".
It was "Hades". This is the realm of those considered spiritually dead (also the abyss/sea/deep/"Sheol" -Hebrew). It contains both those physically living, and physically dead.
When God's judgment of the "spiritual dead" is completed, there will be no further need for a holding pen, for those who await God's condemnation (2Pet.2:4).
Those left standing after the final judgment, will live forever,
because they have obeyed the words of Christ (Luke8:11,15; 1John2:14).
"The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life." (John6:63).
Those who had no room for Christ's word in their hearts (John8:37,40; Acts3:22-24), will remain under God's condemnation, forever...
their legacy and shame forever recorded in the Word of God, which prophesied about them aforetime (Isa.46:10; 40:8; 48:3; Acts 15:18; 2Pet.1:21; Mark13:31) (Dan.12:2; Isa.66:24; Rev.20:12-15)
If you wish to know what the Bible
teaches about the punishment of the wicked,
I do hope you will read the link above, to find the Bible verses it contains which make the truth about this, clear.
That truth, is of greater import, than the doctrine of "Jehovah's Witnesses",
whether their doctrine is true or false, or, a mix of both (Rev.8:10-11).