Friday, May 30, 2008

Need a week of rest

I will be out for a week and expect to pick right up where I left off. We will define the church and what the church can expect before and during the Rapture. Hope you have a good week of blogging and Just like Jesus said, "I'll be back".

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Rapture Question #4

Ok, in our last blog, we stated that if the church has to go through the Tribulation, then it is futile and perhaps even dumb for us to claim the coming of Christ as an imminent hope. Instead, it should be recognized that Christ cannot come until these predicted sorrows have been accomplished. On the other hand, if Christ will come for His church before the predicted time of trouble, Christians can regard His coming as an imminent daily expectation. Much of the difficulty in arriving at a solution of the Rapture Question has been occasioned by failure to define carefully the term "tribulation". Until the nature of the tribulation is established, it is impossible to discuss intelligently the question of whether the church will endure it. A wide variety of views on the tribulation exist, and each form of millennial teaching can be broadly characterized by its own position on the tribulation. Now I know this is a lot of writing but I'm so fixed on this and not smart enough to write it without many words. That's the kind of writer I am, many words rather than few words. I tend to make a short story long. OK, now lets consider what we really believe about what Tribulation is and how it should be regarded.
Postmillennial attitude toward the tribulation: They consider the tribulation as a final state of trouble just preceding the grand climax of the triumph of the gospel.
The National conversion of Israel and the general conversion of Gentiles is viewed as containing in its last stages of final conflict with Antichrist which is equated with Romanism. They do not attempt a literal interpretation of the tribulation. Many think of it as an imagery of events to come and others believe it is intended to show forth the different phases of the spiritual life of the church. Non the less, the general belief is that the tribulation will occur whenever trouble, past or present, is associated with the apostolic period. The tribulation, however, according to postmillennialism, is not very definite and its character is not sufficeiently serious to interfere with the onward march of the church to a great climax of triumph at the second advent of Christ. They consider the tribulation as a minor phase of the closing events of the age.

Amillennial attitude toward the tribulation: The amillennial interpretation of the tribulation does not differ essentially from the postmillennial although it has a different theological context. Some believe that the tribulation has already occurred and is identified with the troubles of Israel in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Now that the Book of Revelation was written after this and it clearly states that a tribulation time will occur, others hold to future tribulation placing the fulfillment of Scripture dealing with tribulation, including the battle of Gog and Magog, after the millennium. The amillennial view, therefore, holds to future tribulation period, but they tend to avoid the details and try to spiritualize the sequence of events which are prophesied.

Premillennial attitude toward the tribulation: The belief is that the coming tribulation is literal, however the Posttribulationals believe the church will remain on earth throughout the tribulation period. Even though the belief is literal, the midtribulationals view is that the church will be translated at the coming of the Lord for His Church just before the great tribulation, but in the middle of the seven-year period predicted by Daniel as preceding the coming of Christ. Daniel 9:27 This is a somewhat new view and little is said about it. The third view which is popular and a view in which I hold, is pretribulational. This is a belief that holds that Christ will come for His Church fefore the entire seven-year period predicted by Daniel. The church in this point of view does not enter at all into the final tribulation period. This teaching was espoused by Darby and the Plymouth Brethren and popularized by the famous Scofield Reference Bible.

OK, now the question comes to you. You've read all that I've said so far and you have to decide. Which is right? What do you believe? What makes sense with the rest of Scripture? So far, you've had to answer several questions and if any of these questions are still unanswered, you are confused about now. If you have answered all the question so far, you will be ready for me to continue. However, I will have to do that at another time, since I have other work to do right now. Stay tuned. Can you believe now that we need to determine the meaning of the term
"Church" and what did scripture mean when it used this term. Yes, so hang on.

Rapture Question #3

OK, I hope you have ask yourself the questions I gave you in session 1 and 2. It's essential that you have a clear understanding about who you are in Christ and what you believe about His Word (the Bible)

Late in His earthly ministry, our Lord Jesus Christ dealt with this same searching question from His Disciples. In Matthew 24:3 they ask; "What shall be the sign of they coming, and of the end of the world?" So this question has been around for a long time and every generation since Christ Ascension has been asking this very probing question. Well, in answering this question, our Lord said (prohesied) (predicted) certain major events which would be signs of the second advent. This period of time in general was described as a time of "Great Tribulation". In His prophecy he exhorted those living in Palestine at that time to "flee unto the mountains" Matthew 24:16 He made it very clear how people should respond to this very terrible time. "Let him tha is on the housetop not go down to take out the things that are in the house: and let him that is in the field not return back to take his cloak. But woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath: for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." Matthew 24:17-24
Wow! Sounds like things are really going to get difficult, don't it. We really can't imagine the real content of what Jesus is saying.
However, to earnest spirit-filled believers in these scriptures who are actually looking for the return of Christ, these prohetic words raise important questions. Does this awful period of trail predicted by Christ, lie between us and the end of this present age? In other words, does the church have to go through the Great Tribulation? This has been a question since the very beginning of the Church and if so, this becomes a major problem of Christian faith. In our day, when the authority of the Bible is disputed and many deny the infallibility of Scripture, some feel there is little profit in debating eschatology. They say why improve the building if the foundation is not sure? The question of whether the church will go through the tribulation is not as trivial and academic a question as some would make it. It is rather an issue with great practical and doctrinal implications. While it is not as far-reaching in Biblical interpretation as the doctrines of the inspiration of Scripture, the deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement,or the premillennial interpretation as a whole, one's understanding of the tribulation is an essential factor in any detailed program of the future. It's not only in principle of interpretation, but also greater understanding of Doctrines.
The interpretation of the Scriptures relative to the coming tribulation is important to believing Christians. The revelation concerning the tribulation is found in many passages in the Old and New Testaments and includes a major part of the Book of Revelation. Until, we understand the nature of the tribulation, we will never understand the Rapture and we will never be able to discuss out intelligent exegesis. This is where most confusion in the whole prophetic future comes from, therefore the base question of whether the church goes through the tribulation is a major factor in the interpretaion of the tribulation itself. The study of the tribulation also is a major theological issue and one issue is do we interpret scripture by the literal method, or by nonliteral, spiritualizing method?
Another issue or major factor is the seperation of divine programs for Israel and the church and then there's the larger issue of amillennialism versus premillennialism. As you can see, this is a bigger issue than most think. It's deeper than any of us can imagine as we look into these aspects of eschatology.
Finally for this writting, let's consider this: The nature of the tribulation is one of practical importance. If the church is destined to endure the persecutions of the tribulation, it is futile to proclaim the coming of the Lord as an imminent hope.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Rapture Question continued #2

Let me start today with a, "you need to go back and read my last blog" in order to keep this all in concert. You see if you just read parts of this, you will be just as confused as are most people and especially those who don't have that blessed hope that we enjoy.

More questions are being asked today more than ever before concerning the return of the Lord. The second coming has always been prominent in fundamentalist literature and preaching and even now a surprising revival of interest on the part of modern liberals. It is a subject in which we all want an answer and many want that answer without placing themselves on the side of doctrinal and scriptural positions. Now ask yourself this question right now. "Do I really believe with my whole heart, soul and mind that Jesus is really coming back to take me home to be with Him? If so, when ? What are the signs of His coming? The biggest question comes now. "A R E Y O U R E A D Y"? If you had to answer any of the above with question, perhaps you need to reconsider what it takes to be ready. Now I know that sounds like judgement, but I promise you it's not. You see, if your relationship with Jesus is just between you and Jesus and Jesus is the one that is coming back for you, then, you best make sure of that relationship.

The Rapture question, while neglected by modern liberals, is one of the main areas in dispute in conservative eschatology. Scripture prophetically tell us that one day the church (those who have accepted what Jesus did on the cross for payment of their sins, have confessed with their mouths and believe in their heart that Jesus raised from the dead and is now interceding for them to the Heavenly Father) will be raptured or "caught up" to heaven at the coming of the Lord for them. The word "Rapture" is from "rapere" , a Latin word that means caught up as mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
This is a literal, future event, which is the most important aspect of the hope of the church. The doctrine is a part of the larger truth of a literal second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It involves the accuracy and authority of Scriptures. It is impossible to discuss the questions pertinent to the time of the Rapture without assuming the authority of Scripture as it is to solve a problem in mathematics without accepting normal meaning for numbers.
Now you have to ask yourself another question right now. Do I really believe the Scriptures are totally Truth or do I lean toward not totally Truth? It's essential for you to know how and what you believe about the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul writing to Timothy, says that evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived but we must always remember what we have been taught from childhood that the Holy Scriptures gives us wisdom enough to learn what they say about our being saved through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Then Paul says this " All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, (meaning that God HIMSELF, authored ALL Scripture) and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (WHY) that the man (or woman) of God (one who knows Christ as Lord and Savior) may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

OK, we will continue with the Rapture Question #3 in our next blogging session. It is very important that you ask yourself these question first in order to get the REAL ANSWER. God bless and see you in the next blogg.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Rapture Question:

2 Peter: 3:4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I do not want you to be ignorant,brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Peter gave us some clear concise information concerning the return of Christ. He said that one of the very first signs of Christ return will be when people who "do their own thing" begin to question and even insult those who do believe by asking them to "prove it" that Jesus is coming back. Some two thousand years ago, Jesus died on the cross, was buried and rose on the third day and some 40 days later ascended into heaven where He says He is preparing a place for His children. Now those scoffers are saying, "Come on now, you know better, He's not coming back". Look at our forefather's, they too thought He was coming back and they have died and are gone back to dusk just like Jesus did"

So the question comes back to you now. What about the "Rapture Question"?
Is it true or are we just eternal optimist? Do you want to know what to believe and why you believe it? Visit this blog for the next few weeks and I'm going to discuss the question of the Rapture. Without the Rapture and without Christ return for His children we are a people lost and doomed and without hope.

Monday, May 19, 2008

To All you Bethanne bloggers

Well, I was fortunate enough to go home and see Beth and the boys last weekend. Yes her computer died and someone at her church is trying to resurrect it, but by now it stinketh I'm sure. Beth, Steve and boys are doing fine and I know she wants to get back to her blogging ASAP. I talk to her about twice a week so if you have a message you want to pass on, just let me know.
Stay tuned for the Rapture Question is coming next. Do you know what Scripture says about the Rapture? Are you ready? Better hurry!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Enough is Enough is Enough

OK, we could keep this up forever. The more I learn about the JW's, the more questions I think of. So here is what I'm going to do. I going to list some more issues which a Christian should confront a JW with and this will be my last blog on JW's. This means you will have to do your own study about the answers to their never ending contradictions.

JW's believe that man's destiny is life on earth, not in Heaven. Only 144,000 of JW's are in heaven and that number was reached in 1935. Now you only have earth to look forward to. They mainly use the old testament to a form of Judaism.
Your reply is Heb.3:1; John 14:2-3; John 17:20,24; Psalms 37:9,11,29; John10:16 and Rev.7:9

They believe that there is no conscious existence after death-- man's thoughts have perished so they point out using Psalm 146:3-4. Ecclesiastes 9:5, Ezekiel 18:4 and Luke 16:22-28 as a rebuttal.

They believe that death brings annihilation---total nonexistence. They use Ecclesiastes 9:5 for their belief. Rev. 6:9-11; Phil 1:23-24 ; Luke 16 22:23 for rebuttal

JW's believe that they alone, out of all the religions in the world, are God's chosen people and that He named them Jehovah Witnesses and they use Isaiah 43:10 NWT. It says, "You are my witnesses, " is the utterance of Jehovah.
Matt. 7:21-23 proves that it's not what's in a name that counts.

Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1, JW's are taught that Jesus Christ was a mere angel, who was born as a human, died as a sacrifice for sins, and was raised up as an angel once again. They refer to him as "Jesus Christ, whom we understand from the scriptures to be Michael the archangel. study Hebrews 1; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1; John 20:28; Colossians 1:15; Rev. 1:7-8; Rev. 3:14

Well, there's other issues, that you will have to find on your own. I'm tired of JW's right now. I'm glad I studied about them and now I feel I can witness to them in a meaningful way. Now I don't have to send them on their way, just because they are wrong. Now I can show them the real TRUTH. I think my next mission is to talk about ; the Rapture Question. I really need to hear from you if you want to discuss this or not. Awaiting your reply or show of interest.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

J W's love to tell you about this one!

Psalms 37:9,11,29 For evildoers themselves will be cut off, But those hoping in Jehovah are the ones that will possess the earth....But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth.....The righteous themselves will possess the earth, And they will reside forever upon it. (NWT)

Psalms 37:9,11,29 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth.....But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.....The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever. (NKJ)

JW's commonly turn to these verses in their door-to-door preaching to introduce listeners to the hope of life in an earthly paradise, rather than going to heaven. According to the Watchtower Society, the opportunity to go to heaven ended in the year 1935. Instead, Witnesses look forward to surviving the destruction of the rest of mankind at Armageddon and living forever on earth.
When read in context, however, the verses quoted from Psalms 37 paint a different picture. The psalm is not foretelling a future time when God will remove the wicked and turn control of the earth over to good people, Rather, the psalmist was inspired to tell his fellow Israelites what they could expect to see in their own lifetime----good men would prosper under God's blessing, while wicked men would fare badly. For example, in verse 25, David writes, " A young man I used to be, I have also grown old, And yet I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, Nor his offspring looking for bread"(NWT) He is speaking of events during his own lifetime. And in verse 37, he adds, "Watch the blameless one and keep the upright one in sight, for the future of that man will be peaceful." Again, the context concerns the immediate benefits of good conduct. The psalms contains no indication that it should be taken as a prophetic statement about the end of the world. Other verses used by JW's to teach an earthly hope, instead of heaven, include Psalm 115:16, John 10:16 and Revelation 7:9
Question: If this relates to end times, then why does the Psalmist tell us to keep our eyes on the blameless one if it is not talking about the then and there and not some prophetic time in the future? Scripture is taken out of context and thereby anyone can say whatever they want it to say, but don't forget what our previous question was about. Don't say something the Spirit didn't tell you to say. The Spirit will not lie.

Next question to ask the JW:
Psalm 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."

JW's calling at a home may invite you to get your Bible and open it to Psalm 110:1. They they will ask you to read the verse. You read that "the LORD said unto my Lord" and immediately you get confused. That's what they really want you to do. Then the JW will open their NWT and read the same verse: "The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is...." They go on to argue (1) that the NWT is a superior Bible to use, because it does not have the Lord talking to himself; and
(2) that the Lord Jesus must be a mere created being, since Jehovah God is addressing a person distinct from himself.
To answer the first argument, it is only necessary to look at the text more closely. It does not say that "the Lord" was talking to "the Lord" Most translations render the Hebrew tetragrammaton YHWH as "the LORD" (all capital letters), who is talking to the psalmist's "Lord" (both capital and small letters), the Messiah. If confusion results on the part of the JW, it is not a problem withe the translation, but with a lack of biblical education on the part of the reader. Knowledgeable Christians wh read this verse will grasp that God the Father is speaking to the Son.
The second argument---that Jesus cannot be God because "the LORD" spoke to him-- is also a faulty one. The New Testament records many conversations between Jesus and the Father, but this does not disprove the deity of Christ. The Bible reveals that the Father is God (John 6:27) and that the Son is God (Isa.9:6, John 20:28) yet there is only one God (1 Cor. 8:4) This is a hard saying yet God's ways and thoughts are much higher than ours therefore we may never, this side of heaven, understand it.
Now invite the JW to look in his NWT bible and turn to Genesis 18 and 19. Here it says that "Jehovah appeared to him" (him being Abraham) as "three men" or angels 18:1-2. Abraham addressed the three as "Jehovah" 18:3 Two of them left Abraham and went toward the city of Sodom, but Abraham continued to address the remaining individual as "Jehovah" 18:22, 19:1
When the other two reached Sodom and spoke with Abra hams relative Lot, he addressed the two of them as "Jehovah" (19:18). And, when the city of Sodom was destroyed, the NWT says at Genesis 19:24: "Then Jehovah made it rain sulphur and fire from Jehovah, from the heavens......So unless the JW want to claim that there is more than one Jehovah, they will have to admit that god can be in more than one place at the same time, and that he can hold simultaneous conversations with different people in different places. This should make it easier for them to grasp that the Father can talk to the Son, without calling into question the deity of Christ.

See ya later with more.

I know I'm slow, but I'm old, OK!

Well, I do want to continue the question and answer session on "how to witness to the JW's. So here is another issue that you can address with them. I will continue to share these with you until, I can't think of any more. I also want to get started on the "Rapture" soon. Someone ask me personally if I would do the same thing with "Mormons" that I have with JW's and I can probably do that also. So here we go.

Deuteronomy 18:20-22
"However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: "How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken? when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him." (NWT)

The Watchtower organization identifies itself as "The Prophet", saying
"This Prophet" was not a man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian witnesses. They are still proclaiming a warning....The added claim is made that: "Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road of life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.
OK, the question here is, "Is it true that they are God's channel of communication, or is it a false prophet, fitting the description of Deuteronomy 18:20-22? The test is simple. Step #1 We already know the organization "spoke in the name of Jehovah", so we go to step #2 Have the prophesies actually occurred or come true? Let's consider the facts and you determine what the answer is.
Throughout half of its hundred-year history, the Watchtower Society taught the belief of its founder and first president, Charles Taze Russell, that the Great Pyramid of Egypt was "inspired" of God-----Just like the Bible. The Society's publications translated inches of pyramid measurements into calendar years, in attempts to foretell future events. Thus, they predicted that the Battle of Armageddon will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership". Did that really happen? NOPE.
Still determined to act as a prophet, the Watchtower Society went on to predict an earthly resurrection for the year 1925. They are to be resurrected as perfect men and constitute the princes or rulers in the earth, according to his promise..therefore we may connfidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old. Did this really happen?
More resently, the organization misled millions into believeing that "the end" would come in 1975. Did that really happen? NOPE!
They will try to cover all these false prophesises up by saying they all were mistakes and that the organization has learned from these mistakes and no longer makes prophetic statements about when the end will come. Here comes another question then.
Ask the JW to take out a copy of his latest "Awake" magazine, there is a statement of purpose telling why AWAKE ! is published. Ask the JW to read it. Here is what it says; "Most importantly, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure New Order before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away." Another prophecy!
The facts are inescapable: The Watchtower Society spoke as a prophet in the name of God, and what was prophesied did not come true. Read Matt. 7:15 and 24:24

Next issue to address with JW's will come just as soon as I get the time. We will discuss: Earthly paradise vs. heaven
Let me hear from you if this is helping firm your belief and if it helps you witness to the witnesses.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Continued Questions for JW's

Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, "I AM Who I AM" And He said, "Say this to the people of Israel, "I AM has sent Me to you." RSV

Christians universally recognize that Jesus Christ was claiming to be the Deity when he referred to himself as the "I AM". John 8:57-58 "The Jews then said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.
Even Jesus enemies recognized what he was saying. the next verse tells us that, when they heard this, 'they took up stones to throw at him. The Jews viewed Jesus claim to be teh I AM as blasphemy, a crime for which they wanted to stone him to death.
JW's, however, teach that Jesus Christ is really just Michael the archangel and that Christ never claimed to be God. So, to make Scripture agree with their doctrine, they change the reading of both verses in their Bible. The Watchtower Society's translation says, "this is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, 'I shall prove to be has sent me to you' Exod. 3:14 NWT and "Most truly I say to you, Before Abraham came into existence, I have been" John 8:58 NWT. So, in the JW Bible, Jesus words appear to have no connection with Exodus 3:14
You don't have to be a Greek or Hebrew scholar to prove that the Watchtower Society has twisted these verses. JW's own study Bibles prove that Jesus was claiming to be the I AM. Their 1984 large-print NWT of the Holy Scriptures with References has a footnote on Exodus 3:14, admitting that the Hebrew would be rendered into Greek as "Ego eimi" " I AM". And their 1985 Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures reveals that Jesus words at John 8:58 are the same: "ego eimi" (footnote), "I AM" (interlinear text)

NEXT Question:

Exodus 3:15 Then God said once more to Moses: "this is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, "Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. "this is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation." NWT

JW's use this verse to argue that they are the only true worshippers of God, because they are the only ones who still call God by his name----Jehovah. The above verse, they insist, is God's command to call him by that sacred name "to time indefinite" or forever. Int he eyes of the JW's, Christians who pray to "God" or to "the Lord" are actually praying to the false god, Satan; the true God, Jehovah, does not hear prayers unless they are addressed to him by name. Therefore, JW's always use the name Jehovah in their prayers. In factl, they often repeat the name many times during a single prayer, as if God might forget that he is the one being addressed, or as if the Witness might forget to which God he was praying.
Although their own publications admit that "Jehovah" is an Anglicized misrendering and not the correct pronunciation of the original Hebrew Tetragrammation YHWH, they insist upon using that pronunciation only, rather than the more correct name Yahweh. JW's never pray to "Yahweh".
A comparison of Exodus 3:15 with verse 14 shows that the name Yahweh, or Jehovah, has meaning: God is the self-existing Eternal One. He is much more than a name and knowing him involves much more than using a name. Jesus showed that more than just a name is involved, when he said, "On that day many of you will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? And then will I declare to them'"I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers' Matt. 7:22-23 RSV.
Question: Ask a Jehovah's Witness to examine with you the prayers of Jesus Christ. Point out that Jesus never started out his prayers by saying "Jehovah God" as JW's do. Rather, Jesus began his prayers by saying "Father" Matt. 11;25, 26:39-42; Mark 14:36; Luke 10:21, 22: 42; 23:34; John 11:41, 12: 27-28, 17:1-26 and when teaching his disciples how to pray, Jesus instructed them to address "Our Father" Matt. 6:9 Luke 11:2 Christians, then, are to have an intimate relationship with God as his children who call out to him "Abba! Father!" Romans 8:15, Gal. 4:6
And, as to the importance of names, the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to stress the name of Jesus Christ by saying, "There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" Acts 4:10-12 RSV Moreover, Jesus is the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father Phil 2:9-11 RSV
Finally read Psalms 83:18 and Isaiah 43:10

That's all for today. I going home to see my daughters Beth and Lisa and my grandchildren Brandon, Anna, Zachery, Lake and Kaden. Again, my prayer is that God will give you wisdom and boldness to be the real Witness of Jehovah, our Savior who is Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Continued Questions for JW's

Genesis 40:20-22 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants....But he hanged the chief baker. KJV

The Watchtower organization has prohibited birthday celebrations among its adherents, using Genesis 40:20-22 as a key part of the "scriptural basis" for this ruling. Their thought is that the word birthday appears in the Bible only in reference to Pharaoh of Egypt and King Herod of Galilee. (Matt. 14:6 and Mark 6:21) Both of them were pagans, and both men had someone put to death in connection with the celebration. Since no men of faith are recorded in the Bible as having celebrated their birthdays, but only wicked men---so the Watchtower reasoning goes--- JW's of today must not be allowed to celebrate birthdays either.
It is worth noting that, as with other teachings, it is not left up to the individual Witness to read the Bible and come up with this conclusion. Rather, the sect's secretive governing body has promulgated this official interpretaion and uses it's disciplinary procedures to enforce the policy on all Witnesses. It is noted that a 70 year old in Massachusetts decided to send his non-JW son a birthday card. His wife reported him and he went to trial and everybody now shuns him. Even though they couldn't show him scripture that said this was non-biblical.
Question: Where in the Bible does it say that God prohibits having Birthday parties, celebrating birthdays or sending Birthday cards? They will likely take you to these particular scriptures. In refuting the Watchtower's so-called scriptural basis for banning birthday celebrations, you can point out that Pharaoh and King Herod were arbitrary rulers and violent men; such monarchs were accustomed to executing people on all sorts of occassions, not just on their birthdays. Moreover, a person sending a birthday card, or a parent providing a cake with candles at a children's birthday party, can hardly be accussed of following the pattern of those murderous men. Although the actual word birthday appears only in connection with Pharaoh and Herod in most translations, the Bible does contain references to such celebrations in Godly familes;
In Job 1:4, it says of the patriarch Job's family, "And his sons went and held a banquet at the house of each one on his own day; and they sent and invited their three sisters to eat and drink with them" NWT, That" his own day" refers to each one's birthday becomes clear when we read further. "It was after this that Job opened his mouth and began to clal down evil upon his day. Job now answered and said; "Let the day perish on which I came to be born."" Job 3:1-3 The living bible uses the term birthday when referring to "his own day".
Even the Watchtower Society's own translation reveals that the birth of John the Baptist was celebrated, when it records this angelic announcement: "And you will have joy and great gladness, and many will rejoice over his birth." Luke 1:14 NWT
If the birth of John the Baptist was an occassion for rejoicing and if faithful Job's children celebrated their birthdays, the fact that Pharaoh and Herod also celebrated theirs cannot logically be used as a basis for banning birthday parties among Bible believers today.

I will continue to post questions as I continue. I have already decided where I going next with this post. I hope it will be intriguing and also interesting and also a teaching tool. Have you ever thougth about the "Rapture". What does that really mean? What are we as Christians suppose to think and know about the Rapture? When will the Rapture occur? Will we be a part of the Tribulation?
Many questions that Christians have today revolve around the elusive thought of "Rapture" Stay tuned in the coming days or weeks depending on how long it takes me to finish my thought on Witnessing to JW's

Monday, May 5, 2008

Questions to ask a JW

Genesis 1:1-2
1. NKJ: (New King James) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

NWT (New World Translation) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of the watery deep; and God's active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters.

Most Bible translations state "the Spirit of God" was moving over the surface of the waters, but the Watchtower organization, in an attempt to disprove Christian doctrine, teaches their followers that the term "Holy Spirit" is not a person but only an impersonal force at God's disposal. So in the NWT, the writers wrote it in such a way as to disprove Christian belief. It is contrary to most translations used within the Christian Church today.

Since they believe that the "Holy Spirit" is not a person, but only an active force then this brings up a good question to the JW. In your opinion, can a force bear witness, can a force speak, can a force hear or can a force experience hurt or pain?
Even in their own NWT Bible, for example reveals that the Spirit speaks-Acts 13:2,
It bears witness-John 15:26, says whatever He hears--John 16:13, Feels hurt , Isa. 63:10, and so forth. Other scripture to refer to is Acts 5:3-4, Romans 8:26-27,
1 Cor. 6:19

Genesis 9:4

2. NKJ (New King James) "But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

NWT (New World Translation) Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is its blood.

This is the first of several scripture verses that JW's use to argue in support of the Watchtower Society's ban on blood transfusions. The organization teaches that blood transfusion is the same as eating blood, because it resembles intravenous feeding. The Society accordingly prohibits blood transfusions for it's followers. A Witness who accepts a transfusion can expect to be summoned before a judicial committee to be put on trial behind closed doors for violation of "God's law." The punishment, if found guilty, is "disfellowshiping", whereby the individual is shunned by family and friends who are forbidden even to greet the offender. JW's fells strongly about this issue. The will die rather than accept a transfusion to replace blood lost in an operation or accident. And they follow this same course with respect to their minor children. Most Witnesses carry a signed card in their wallet or purse, stating their refusal to accept blood and instructing emergency medical personnel not to administer a trasfusion if the Witness is found unconscious. The card is a legal document, singed by the JW and countersigned by two others. They recognize that they are unique among religious people in their stand on blood transfusions, although it does not occur to them that this very fact shows that the doctrine does not really derive from the Bible. No one else who attempts to follow the Bible as a fuide in life has come up with a ban on transfusions and even the Watchtower organization did not promulgate the doctrine until 1944. Most JW's areunaware that their leaders have had a hsitory of introducing other medical prohibitions and then later changing their mind. In 1967, for example, they prohibited organ transplants. Followers were expected to choose blindness rather than accept a cornea transplant, or to die rather than submit to a kidney transplant. But then, in 1980, the leaders reversed the teaching and allowed transplants once again. Between 1931 and 1952, JW's refuse vaccinations for themselves and their children only because the Society said it was wrong, but no longer since 1952. Even though, JW's will attempt to quote Scripture to suppor their position on blood transfusions, the real reason for their stand is blind obedience to the Watchtower Society. If the organization lifted it prohibition tomorrow, JW's would freely change their way of thinking.

Question: Who is greater, the speaker or the one spoken of in the Bible? Their reply would have to be the later. IF so, then why is it that they change readily when man makes up the rules knowing that God's Word remains the same, yesterday, today and forever. Refer them to the Watchtower dated 11/15/67 pp 702-704 and the Awake dated 6/8/68, p.21 and the Watchtower 3/15/80, p.31. These show the written changes that were made using what man says but obviously, God's Word remained the same. Either it was wrong and remained wrong or it was misinformation simulated by man.

OK, there's many more questions and I will post them later as I get time. I certainly hope this helps as you serve our Savior. Remember, everyone is called to evangelize our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and yes even to the ends of the earth.