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.


Adam Pastor said...

Greetings Eddie

Firstly, I am NOT a JW!

Now, the Gospel that Jesus preached was "The Gospel of the Kingdom of GOD";
the Gospel of GOD's Coming Kingdom to the earth.

[Mark 1.14,15; Matt 4.23, 9.35, 24.14, etc.]

The Jews including Jesus simply had no concept of "going to Heaven" whether when they die or otherwise.

NO! It all about this planet.
About the fact that GOD will one day send His Messiah to the earth to establish His Kingdom upon the earth and restore all things.
GOD will do this via His agent, the Messiah.

[Acts 3.20-21]
(This is regardless whether the Jews believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah;
the fact remains they rightfully & scripturally look for the Kingdom to come to the earth via the Messiah.
GOD's promises are sure, despite their unbelief.)

The Kingdom will principally be established in the Promised Land; that is, the land promised to Abraham and the patriarchs, the land of Israel. Its capital city will be Jerusalem.
The Abrahamic promises were the very basis of the Gospel of the Kingdom.
[Gal 3.8]

So to inherit the Kingdom = to inherit the land/ha erets.
These are synonymous terms.
This is what all the prophets spoke about in the OT viz. the Hebrew Bible.
(Acts 3:20-21) And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

So Jesus the ultimate prophet of
Deut 18.15,18-19; was in line with all the prophets before him; when he quoted Psalm 37 in the Beatitudes.

(Mat 5:5) Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. =
(Mat 5:3) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Thus, the reason why we use this Psalm to foretell the future, is because that is exactly what our master Rabbi/Teacher Jesus the Messiah taught us & practised!!
Psalm 37 is about GOD's coming Kingdom when the wicked will be turned out
[e.g. Matt 8.11-12, 13.41] and the righteous will inherit the Kingdom.
Jesus uses this psalm to inform us of the hope of GOD's Coming Kingdom. And this was indeed the expectation of scripture-believing Jews.

Look again at Psalm 37
(Psa 37:9) For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon YAHWEH, they shall inherit the earth/land/ha erets.
(Psa 37:11) But the meek shall inherit the earth/land/ha erets; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. [quoted in Matt 5.5]
(Psa 37:18) YAHWEH knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
(Psa 37:22) For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth/land/ha erets; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
(Psa 37:28-29) For YAHWEH loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. 29 The righteous shall inherit the land/earth/ha erets, and dwell therein for ever.
(Psa 37:34) Wait on YAHWEH, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land/earth/ha erets: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
(Psa 37:38) But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

No doubt, this psalm definitely had some contemporary contentions in the time of David; but did any of the Jews of his era including David himself, inherit the land forever???
Also, let's look at the land of Israel today?
Have the righteous inherited the land? Are the wicked/evildoers cut off? Have the meek inherited the land & are they enjoying the abundance of peace? Have the saints been preserved forever? Are the righteous dwelling therein forever?

The answers to all these questions are obviously NO! Why? Because these are all future expectations which will not be fulfilled until Christ returns to inaugurate that future Kingdom.
That is why, he preached and taught his disciples to preach, that we must
repent and prepare ourselves for GOD's coming Kingdom; when the saints/righteous including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & David; will be resurrected & immortalized; and inherit the Kingdom/earth/land/ha erets; whilst the wicked/evildoers will be cut off!

So, if we keep our eyes on the blameless one and follow his practice; we alongside the blameless ones will inherit the Kingdom at Christ's Coming.

For further reading on this subject I recommend these two articles:


The Christian Hope: Life in the Land of the Promise Made to Abraham

Concerning Psalm 110.1
This is the most quoted OT verse in the NT.
It defines Christ's lordship.
It is used by both Christ & his disciples to define who Jesus is!

Psalm 110:1 The LORD [YAHWEH] said unto my Lord [adoni],
"Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."

This is an oracle from YAHWEH, the ONE GOD; who was to one day invite His Messiah to sit at His right hand.
Now incidentally the Hebrew word used for the second "lord" is adoni NOT Adonai.
adoni is a Hebrew word used to denote a 'lord' who is NOT GOD, NOT deity.
Thus in all its 195 occurrences, adoni is never ever used in ref. to Almighty GOD;
it is solely used in ref. to human lords, and occasionally angels (of course, Hebs Chaps. 1-2 show that Jesus is no angelic being, he is a human being).
So no capital 'L' should have been used in the translation at all.
Bibles such as the RV, RSV, NRSV, Jewish (JPS), NAB, correct this
NRSV: The LORD says to my lord, ...
NAB: The LORD says to you, my lord:

So from the Hebrew language, every Jewish reader knew that the Messiah was meant to be a human being. They knew he was never meant to be Almighty GOD, he was never meant to be a deity.

Thus, on the Day of Pentecost, Peter preached:
(Acts 2:33-36) Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself,
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified,
both Lord and Christ.

Get it? In light of Psalm 110.1; GOD has exalted Jesus of Nazareth & set him at His own right hand in fulfillment of this psalm; GOD making Jesus, both Lord/adoni and Messiah.

Hence he is Jesus the Messiah our Lord/adoni.

Jesus is NOT the LORD GOD.
He is the Lord Messiah in fulfillment of Psalm 110.1
[Luke 2.11, Col 3.24, Phil 2.11]
He is the "lord/adoni" at the ONE GOD, the Father's right hand.
GOD's right hand (hu)man!!
[Psa 80.17]

For more info on this subject & in answer to the other verses you posted,
Eddie I recommend the video:
The Human Jesus

Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you in your quest for truth.

Yours In Messiah
Adam Pastor

Adam Pastor said...

I meant "contemporary connotations"
not contentions