Thursday, November 12, 2009

Basic JW apologetics.

Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) are a non-Christian break-off of mainstream Protestantism.

The goal of this post is not to encourage you to indiscriminately confront JWs *, but rather know enough information that you are convinced they are a false and dangerous group.

While most people know that the JWs are famous for their denial of Christ's Divinity (thus the JWs reject the doctrine of the Trinity), not to mention deliberately tampering with certain texts of Scripture, I believe that this issue should be left aside because of its complexity. I am not saying Christ's Divinity is unimportant, but rather I believe there are other fundamental doctrines which are easily disproved and only require basic arguments. [UPDATE June 12, 2010, for more information, please see my newer JW articles dealing directly with the Trinity and Christ's Divinity]

Here is a list of doctrines which I believe can be easily disproved:

The JWs teach Jesus did NOT resurrect in a physical body.
This is a doctrine which many people don't know they teach, but right behind denying Christ's Divinity, it is the most critical. Rather than teaching - as Christianity has done from literally the very start - that Jesus was resurrected in His own body (now glorified), the JWs teach He was resurrected as an "immortal spirit person." The way to approach this is first to realize that it would not be a resurrection by definition if the person's body did not regain it's life, instead it would be something similar to reincarnation. Next, Scripture is very clear that Christ's body was placed in the tomb after death, and on Sunday the tomb was empty, with Jesus appearing to His followers and even having them touch His body! The JW is in quite a bind here, and their common response to this is that Christ's body was dissolved into nothingness while in the tomb. But not only is such a notion nowhere hinted at in Scripture, it makes of mockery of Jesus appearing to people to reassure them and even having people touch Him. His appearance would be essentially that of a phantom-ghost. A few key Scriptural texts to consider are:

Luke 24: 36While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." 37They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." 40When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.

John 20: 26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." 28Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

Acts 2: 29"Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.

John 2:
18Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" 19Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." 20The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" 21But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
The first two texts show Jesus appearing for the main purpose of showing them He was alive again, that he was not a ghost, and that He should be touched. The third text clearly indicates Christ's body did not undergo decay, which directly goes against the JW claim that Christ's body dissolved while in the tomb. Lastly, a very powerful text shows his body was going to be restored at the resurrection, which would be absurd if His body was not actually restored.

The main texts JWs turn to when claiming Jesus resurrected as a spirit rather than in a body are 1 Peter 3:18 and 1 Cor 15:45. These texts merely refer to Christ's resurrected physical body being a glorified body (incapable of future pain or death), these in no way mean Christ didn't have His physical body back - as the NT solidly testifies to.

The JWs teach Jesus is Michael the Archangel.
This doctrine is not advertised much, but it is an official doctrine. This is easily refuted by the simple fact the Bible nowhere equates the two. The JW logic is given as follows, from their book "What does the Bible Really Teach" in the Appendix titled "Who is Michael the Archangel":

God’s Word refers to Michael “the archangel.” (Jude 9) This term means “chief angel.” Notice that Michael is called the archangel. This suggests that there is only one such angel. In fact, the term “archangel” occurs in the Bible only in the singular, never in the plural. Moreover, Jesus is linked with the office of archangel. Regarding the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 states: “The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice.” Thus the voice of Jesus is described as being that of an archangel. This scripture therefore suggests that Jesus himself is the archangel Michael.
This reasoning is not only quite weak, it is fallacious. The JWs say this evidence "suggests" Jesus is Michael, meaning all they have at most is only indirect evidence for such a bold claim! Next, it is fallacious to argue that the definite article ("the archangel") suggests there is only one, when they immediately turn to a text using the indefinite article ("an archangel") which indicates there are other archangels. This simple fact undermines any claim that there is only one archangel. Lastly, the fact that Jesus is mentioned in the same context as Michael (who's name only appears twice in the NT), without any equation of the two, indicates they are in fact two separate beings.

The JWs teach 1914 AD is when Jesus returned.
This doctrine is foundational to JW theology, and without this doctrine the Watchtower (the JW officials) would have no authority whatsoever. The JWs teach that in 1914 AD, Jesus was installed as King of Heaven and this event marked the beginning of the end-times. As part of this end-times scenario, they teach God gave authority to a special group of people, "the Governing Body," who head the JWs and are seen as God's mouthpiece on earth. The biggest problem with this teaching is that the Bible nowhere teaches it, no such dates are given nor is such a teaching even foretold. The JWs reasoning is given in their book "What does the Bible Really Teach" in the Appendix, speaking on the vision in Daniel 4:10-16 the JWs reason:

... the vision served notice that this ‘trampling of Jerusalem’ would be temporary—a period of “seven times.” How long a period is that?
Revelation 12:6, 14 indicates that three and a half times equal “a thousand two hundred and sixty days.” “Seven times” would therefore last twice as long, or 2,520 days. But the Gentile nations did not stop ‘trampling’ on God’s rulership a mere 2,520 days after Jerusalem’s fall. Evidently, then, this prophecy covers a much longer period of time. On the basis of Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6, which speak of “a day for a year,” the “seven times” would cover 2,520 years.
The 2,520 years began in October 607 B.C.E., when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians and the Davidic king was taken off his throne. The period ended in October 1914. At that time, “the appointed times of the nations” ended, and Jesus Christ was installed as God’s heavenly King.
First, notice how the JWs have to use a lot of 'gymnastics' to come up with 2,520 years. The Bible is not a 'code book' with secret data hidden in it which then must be manipulated to reveal a secret message. This makes the JW "calculations" already dubious, even childish. They are essentially forced to draw from various texts, written for very different times and purposes, to eventually come up with the magical number 2,520. Notice next what the JWs conclude when the value of 2,520 days doesn't seem to work, they say "evidently" this must mean the period is a lot longer, which means they are building key teachings off of speculation. Lastly, their calculations require them to count from the year 607 BC, but the Bible nowhere gives us this date. They derive this date from secular history texts, yet this fails because they have had to leave Scripture and rely on uninspired worldly documents. This is further compounded in light of the gymnastics and digging through Scripture just to 'derive' 2,520 years, now they must leave Scripture entirely to come up with 607 BC.

The JW argument also requires a total apostasy for it to work, but that is plainly against the promises of Christ to always be with the Church, which is in fact His Body.

The JWs teach Jesus is not to be prayed to.
This is more of a 'quickie', nothing major in itself, but can combined with other texts used to support the Divinity of Christ (this topic is outside the scope of this article). The JWs teach only Jehovah (i.e. God the Father) is to be prayed to, and the logic behind this is simple: only God should be prayed to. Examining the Bible, there is a text which directly supports prayer to Christ. It comes from the conclusion of Acts 7, where St Stephen is getting stoned for preaching the Gospel. I will quote from both a mainstream Christian Bible translation and the JW Bible Translation:

59While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep. (NIV Bible)

59 And they went on casting stones at Stephen as he made appeal and said: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then, bending his knees, he cried out with a strong voice: “Jehovah, do not charge this sin against them.” And after saying this he fell asleep [in death]. (New Word Translation, JW official translation)
Clearly, Stephen was praying to Jesus, asking for something very important, that Jesus would accept his soul into Heaven. What is also noteworthy about this text is that Stephen is talking to the "Lord" in verse 59 and 60, that is indeed the Greek term used in both cases. The plain reading of this indicates Stephen is talking to the same person in both verses. But the JWs do something sneaky here. The term "Jehovah" never appears in the Greek anywhere in the New Testament, only the word "Lord." However, the JWs claim that since Jehovah is God's name, that substituting "Jehovah" where the New Testament uses "Lord" is acceptable. The fact is, it's not acceptable and done without warrant. It is a first class example tampering with the Scriptures. But Christians can actually use this tampering to their advantage. Since Jesus is frequently called "Lord" in the New Testament, the JWs must break their rule about the term "Lord" and not translate it as "Jehovah" when it is used in reference Jesus. This leads to problems when Jesus is called Lord and clearly in reference to God (the classic case is in Romans 10:9, 13, where Jesus is called "Lord" but it is referencing an Old Testament passage, Joel 2:32, where God is the "Lord" in question.) In this case of Acts 7:59-60, using the JW translation, the first occurrence of "Lord" is Jesus, but the second occurrence of "Lord" is translated as Jehovah. This form of "translating" is unacceptable, but it is clear that it was done to deflect away from making Jesus appear too much like God.

The JWs teach the soul is not immortal.
This doctrine is important to the JWs and also ties into other doctrines as well (e.g. physical resurrection). The JWs teach that the soul is nothing more than the body's life force, and at death it simply ceases to exist in the same sense a dead battery no longer has any electrical charge. A few powerful texts showing souls to continue after death are:

Mat 17: 1After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."

Rev 6: 9When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" 11Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.
These texts are fairly straightforward. The first show two Old Testament giants, Moses and Elijah, appearing and talking to Jesus. The second text talks about Christian martyrs who were looking down from Heaven and talking with God. These are hardly situations where the soul ceased to exist once they left the body.

The JWs teach only 144,000 will be in Heaven.
This is an important doctrine because many non-JWs don't realize that the great majority of JWs don't believe they will be in Heaven! Yes, the great majority of JWs believe they will be rewarded in the next life by being given a home on a new earth, and will be a distinct place from a select 'few' who will be in Heaven, immediately in God's presence. They teach only 144,000 faithful JWs (nobody really knows who or how one is among this number) will be in Heaven, and they take this from Revelation 7:14, but upon careful reading it is shown to be a symbolic number indicating perfection: It is derived from taking 12,000 of each of the 12 tribes of Israel. What is more important is that immediately after this, Revelation 7 says:

9After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10And they cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb."

Rev 19: 1After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
This plainly indicates there is a number no man can count that will be in Heaven, in God's presence; a direct contradiction to the JW claim. The JW "response" is that this great crowd is not really in Heaven but merely indicates they are an approved people. This is special pleading; grasping at straws. Likewise, they claim the great crowd mentioned in Rev 19:1 is not the same great crowd; again special pleading.
On top of this, the JWs teach only the 144,000 can partake in Holy Communion, but there is absolutely no Biblical basis for this. The Bible gives no hint that only a subset of Christians can partake, directly casting doubt on JW credibility.

The JWs teach serving in armed forces is un-Christian.
As part of their approach of 'standing out' among other religions, notably Christianity, the JWs teach one should not participate in politics at all, nor server in the armed forces. Because there is no such Biblical text that forbids this, the JWs take a philosophical and indirect approach, arguing Christians shouldn't kill others and thus military service is forbidden. But does the Bible argue like this? The short answer is 'no'. The Bible forbids killing in the form of murder, but not for purposes of judicially imposed death penalties or self-defense (Romans 13:1-5). Even more significant are the texts which directly speak of soldiers and commanders coming to accept the Gospel - with no indication they must quit their job (Lk 3:14; Mat 8:5-13). A good example is from Acts 10, dealing with Cornelius the Centurion (a general in charge of 100 soldiers), where he accepts the Gospel without the slightest indication his career is inherently contrary to God's ways. JWs will often push hard on the emotional/philosophical argument mentioned above, but the plain Biblical evidence refutes them.

As stated in the beginning, these arguments are more for convincing you that the JWs are a false religion, and the examples above should sufficiently damage the credibility of their organization that any fair minded individual will realize the Watchtower is not God's Spokesman on earth.

For more help, see some of the great JW Apologetics Articles hosted by Catholic Answers.

* It is not a good idea to invite JWs into your home unless you really know what you are doing, otherwise you endanger yourself spiritually (as well as other family members who might be in the room). They rely on many deceptive tactics, including tampering with Scripture, misquoting sources (even Catholic ones) and even lying about what they believe.


Michael said...

Let's not forget that, besides descending with the cry of an archangel, Jesus will also descend with the sound of a trumpet. Clearly, then, Scripture teaches that Jesus is a trumpet.

JFB said...

Thank you for all that info--now as one of Jehovah's Witnesses I encourage everyone of you who read this Blog to take one two or more of these silly arguments to the JW's that come to the door and listen to their real explanation.
BTW here is a little something to chew on (notice the scholar's quotes)

Nick said...


I wish some JWs would come to my door so I could ask them. I don't know how they would respond.

If I've misrepresented a JW teaching, or gotten a teaching wrong, or am simply wrong in my answer, then please enlighten me.

JFB said...

You have made many statements that need correction...let's take this piecemeal: Question...what was God's original purpose for creating mankind? Where would Adam and Eve be if they did not sin?

Nick said...

JFB: What was God's original purpose for creating mankind? Where would Adam and Eve be if they did not sin?

Nick: His original purpose for creating man was so that man could enjoy communion with Him. If Adam and Eve did not sin, they would have remained in Eden, and even sometime after that been taken to Heaven.
That said, these are general answers and have an element of speculation.

JFB said...

"and even sometime after that been taken to Heaven"?
Respectfully, this is where you and JWs BEGIN to separate.
Nowhere does the Bible say speaks of death as a punishment. Adam was told of a course that would lead to death--disobedience. gEN. 2:15-17 He lived to be 930 years old--how could that be if there was not potential for everlasting life? Gen. 5:5. God's purpose was for them to reside forever on earth. Ps 115:16; Gen 1:28 and this will be fulfilled. Ps.37:10,11,29
Do you see how this can affect one's entire viewpoint of the Blble's message to all?

Nick said...

I'm not sure what *specifically* you're objecting to. Yes, it speaks of death as a punishment, I agree; I never denied that.

I merely stated Adam could have (if he continued in obedience) been taken to Heaven (without dying). This would have been a sort of an Enoch or Elijah type thing.

The fact Adam lived 930 years shows that the real death he/man endured was spiritual death, which carried over into bodily decay and pain.

JFB said...

This would have been a sort of an Enoch or Elijah type thing????

I believe it was a spiritual AND physical death.
Notice this quote:

*** ce chap. 16 pp. 191-192 pars. 8-9 Why Would God Permit Suffering? ***

8 When the first humans pulled away from their Creator’s direction, what happened to them is similar to what happens when you pull out the plug of an electric fan. As long as the fan is plugged into a power source, it runs. But when disconnected, it slows down and eventually comes to a dead stop. That is what happened when Adam and Eve pulled away from their Creator, “the source of life.” (Psalm 36:9) Since they willfully chose a course of independence from their Maker, he let them learn the full meaning of their choice by leaving them on their own. As a Bible principle states: “If you leave [God] he will leave you.” (2 Chronicles 15:2) Without their Creator’s sustaining power, a gradual breakdown of mind and body began. In time, they grew old and died.—Genesis 3:19; 5:5.

9 When Adam and Eve chose to be independent of their Maker, they fell from perfection. This was before they had any children. As a result, when they later had children, these reflected what the parents had become—imperfect. So the first humans became like a defective pattern. Everything produced from them was also defective. Hence, we are all born imperfect and inherit the disabilities of aging, sickness and death. This imperfection, along with separation from the Creator and his laws, opened the floodgates of human folly. Thus, mankind’s history has been filled with suffering, sorrow, sickness and death.—Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12.

AS FOR THE "Enoch or Elijah type thing" COMPARE JOHN 3:13

JFB said...

Now we need the Kingdom. ENTER the ransom sacrifice Mark 10:45

Why do you feel Jesus called it a Ransom?

Nick said...

When I mentioned Enoch or Elijah, I was referring to how God simply took them to Heaven without dying.

Just as an important note: I also believe it was a spiritual AND physical death. I might have not made that clear.

You asked: Why do you feel Jesus called it a Ransom?

The notion of "ransom" means to "buy back" and the Hebrew word is very close to the Hebrew word for "atonement". I believe the notion of "ransom" fits with the other terms given in Scripture such as "reconciled" and "proptiation" and such. Basically His sacrifice was a form of reparations due to man dishonoring God.

JFB said...

When I mentioned Enoch or Elijah, I was referring to how God simply took them to Heaven without dying.

FIRST OF ALL BEFORE WE GET INTO THE RANSOM.... did you read John 3:13?

"(John 3:13) Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man."

We belive that Elijha was just taken up to the the physical heavens, the atmosphere, the “expanse,” also called “Heaven” at Genesis 1:6-8. A windstorm could exist only in this atmospheric expanse, not in the spirit realm of Jehovah’s heavenly presence. He was carried up out of Elisha’s sight by the windstorm.

The Bible does not say that Elijah died on that occasion. As a matter of fact, Elijah was still alive and active as a prophet at least five years later, apparently over in the territory of Judah. The Bible tells us: “Eventually there came a writing to [Jehoram, king of Judah] from Elijah the prophet.”

This letter foretold the sickness and death of Jehoram because of his wrong, idolatrous course. (2 Chron. 21:12-15) A further evidence that Elijah did not die at the time of being taken into the “heavens” is that his servant and successor Elisha did not then hold the customary period of mourning for his master.—Compare 2 Samuel 19:1; 1 Chronicles 7:22; 2 Chronicles 35:24.

What about Enoch, the seventh in line from Adam? The Bible says: “Enoch kept walking with the true God. Then he was no more, for God took him.” (Gen. 5:24) Enoch as a prophet of Jehovah foretold God’s coming with his myriads of angels to execute judgment against the ungodly. (Jude 14, 15) Persecution was likely brought against him because of his prophesying. However, God did not permit his opposers to kill Enoch. Instead God “took him,” WE BELIVE this means that He cut short Enoch’s life at an age far below that of most of his contemporaries. Just like as in the case of Moses’ body, God disposed of Enoch’s body, for “he was nowhere to be found.”—Heb. 11:5; Deut. 34:5, 6; Jude 9.

Back later regarding the Ransom

Nick said...

Catholics make a distinction between "ascension" and "assumed." Only Jesus ascended, which was done by his own power and initiative. Those who were Assumed did so outside their own power and initiative, but directly and solely by God's power.

I'm not sure what mentioning scientific points such as where a windstorm could exist does any good, for these were miraculous events and thus transcend natural phenomena.

JFB said...

Actually, the Bible says he was "lifted (or taken) up" not "he lifted himself up...Is "assumed" used anywhere in Bible? Except the way it is used at Ps 55:12?
and then there are also those words "“he was nowhere to be found.”—

Did David go to heaven? Notice Peter's words. Thnk about WHY he would say this...

(Acts 2:29) . . .Men, brothers, it is allowable to speak with freeness of speech to YOU concerning the family head David, that he both deceased and was buried and his tomb is among us to this day.

(Acts 2:34-36) . . .Actually David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, 35 until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.”’ 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom YOU impaled.”

I know you believe his soul went but, his body stayed.. Again, nowhere does it say that--why would Peter make that statement?
Alright, nuf what is the Ransom?

JFB said...

The reason I wanted to get on this subject is because all that you have stated about Jehovah’s Witnesses, in your long diatribe and criticism here on your blog, and whether the statements are true, false, or misunderstood, actually hinges upon everyone reading this blog understanding what OUR understanding is of the Ransom .
The ransom to us is Jehovah’s greatest gift to mankind. It makes possible our deliverance from sin and death. (Ephesians 1:7) It is the foundation of the hope of everlasting life, whether in heaven or on a paradise earth. (Luke 23:43; John 3:16; 1 Peter 1:4 Ps.37:10, 11, 29) The ransom became necessary as you stated and I stated in my earlier post, because of the sin of Adam. By disobeying God, Adam bequeathed to his offspring a legacy of sickness, sorrow, pain, and death. (Genesis 2:17; Romans 8:20)
Now there is much that can be said but, in short God’s solution was both merciful and just—one that no human could ever have devised. Psalm 49:7,8 Yet, it was elegantly simple. It is variously referred to as a purchase, and as you said…reconciliation, a redemption, a propitiation, and an atonement. (Daniel 9:24; Galatians 3:13; Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 2:17) But I think the expression that best describes the matter is the one used by Jesus himself. He said: “The Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom [Greek, ly′tron] in exchange for many.”—Matthew 20:28.
The Greek word used here comes from a verb meaning “to let loose, to release.” This term was used to describe money paid in exchange for the release of prisoners of war. Basically, then, a ransom can be defined as, again as you said, something paid to buy something back. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word for “ransom” (ko′pher) comes from a verb meaning “to cover.” For example, God told Noah that he must “cover” (a form of the same word) the ark with tar. (Genesis 6:14) This helps us appreciate that to ransom also means to cover sins.—Psalm 65:3.
The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament observes that this word (ko′pher) “always denotes an equivalent,” or a correspondency. Thus, the cover of the ark of the covenant had a shape corresponding to the ark itself. Likewise, in order to ransom, or cover, sin, a price must be paid that fully CORRESPONDS to, or fully covers, the damage caused by the sin. As stated above-- God’s Law to Israel: “Soul will be for soul, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”—Deuteronomy 19:21.
It is nothing new to you or your readers that men of faith from Abel onward offered animal sacrifices to God demonstrating their awareness of sin and of the need for redemption, and they showed their faith in God’s promised liberation through his “seed.” (Genesis 3:15; 4:1-4; Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 11:4) God looked upon such sacrifices with favor and granted these worshipers a good standing. But really, animals could not really cover man’s sin, for they are inferior to humans. (Psalm 8:4-8) Hence, the Bible says: “It is not possible for the blood of bulls and of goats to take sins away.” (Hebrews 10:1-4) As you all know these sacrifices were only pictorial, or symbolic, of the true ransom sacrifice that was to come....Next a "God/Man or a Perfect Man what was required?
Back tomorrow. Hint: Why couldn't blood of bulls and of goats take sins away?

JFB said...

“In Adam all are dying,” said the apostle Paul. (1 Corinthians 15:22) The ransom thus had to involve the death of the exact equal of Adam—a perfect human. (Romans 5:14) No other kind of creature could balance the scales of justice. Only a perfect human, someone not under the Adamic death sentence, could offer “a corresponding ransom”—one corresponding perfectly to Adam. (1 Timothy 2:6) It would not be necessary for untold millions of individual humans to be sacrificed so as to correspond to each descendant of Adam. The apostle Paul explained: “Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin.” (Romans 5:12) And “since death is through a man,” God provided for the redemption of mankind “through a man.” (1 Corinthians 15:21) How?
Jehovah arranged to have a perfect man voluntarily sacrifice his life. According to Romans 6:23, “the wages sin pays is death.” In sacrificing his life, the ransomer would “taste death for every man.” In other words, he would pay the wage for Adam’s sin. (Hebrews 2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24) This would have profound legal consequences. By nullifying the death sentence upon Adam’s obedient offspring, the ransom would cut off the destructive power of sin right at its source.—Romans 5:16.

JFB said...

We believe God made the supreme sacrifice of sending his only-begotten Son, “the one he was specially fond of.” (Proverbs 8:30) Willingly, God’s Son “emptied himself” of his heavenly nature. (Philippians 2:7) Miraculously, Jehovah transferred the life and the personality pattern of his firstborn heavenly Son to the womb of a Jewish virgin named Mary. (Luke 1:27, 35) As a man, he would be called Jesus. But in a legal sense, he could be called the second Adam, for he corresponded perfectly to Adam. (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47) Jesus could thus offer himself up in sacrifice as a ransom for sinful mankind.

In the spring of 33 C.E., Jesus Christ willingly submitted to an ordeal that led to the payment of the ransom. He allowed himself to be arrested on false charges, judged guilty, and nailed to a stake of execution.
In order to counterbalance the sin of Adam, Jesus had to die, not as a perfect child, but as a perfect man. Remember, Adam’s sin was willful, carried out with full knowledge of the seriousness of the act and its consequences. So in order to become “the last Adam” and cover that sin, Jesus had to make a mature, knowing choice to keep his integrity to Jehovah. (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47) Thus Jesus’ entire faithful life course—including his sacrificial death—served as “one act of justification.”—Romans 5:18, 19.

By remaining “loyal, guileless, undefiled, separated from the sinners” in spite of horrific treatment, Jesus proved with dramatic finality that Jehovah does have servants who remain faithful under trial. (Hebrews 7:26) You might check out "man" in Job 2:4 it will show you how WE are all involved in the issue brought up by Satan...

JFB said...

The apostle Paul explains: “When Christ came as a high priest . . . , he entered, no, not with the blood of goats and of young bulls, but with his own blood, once for all time into the holy place and obtained an everlasting deliverance for us. For Christ entered, not into a holy place made with hands, which is a copy of the reality, but into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us.”—Hebrews 9:11, 12, 24.
Christ could not take his literal blood into heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:50) Rather, he took what that blood symbolized: the legal value of his sacrificed perfect human life. Then, before the person of God, he made formal presentation of the value of that life as a ransom in exchange for sinful mankind. Did God accept that sacrifice? Yes, and this became evident at Pentecost 33 C.E., when holy spirit was poured out upon about 120 disciples in Jerusalem. (Acts 2:1-4) Thrilling though that was, the ransom was then just beginning to provide marvelous benefits.

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul explains that God saw good through Christ to reconcile to Himself all other things by making peace through the blood Jesus shed on the torture stake. Paul also explains that this reconciliation involves two distinct groups of individuals, namely, “the things in the heavens” and “the things upon the earth.” (Colossians 1:19, 20; Ephesians 1:10) That first group consists of 144,000 Christians who are given the hope of serving as heavenly priests and ruling as kings over the earth with Christ Jesus. (Revelation 5:9, 10; 7:4; 14:1-3) Through them, the benefits of the ransom will gradually be applied to obedient mankind over a period of a thousand years.—1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Revelation 20:6; 21:3, 4.
19 “The things upon the earth” are those individuals in line to enjoy perfect life in Paradise on earth. Revelation 7:9-17 describes them as “a great crowd” who will survive the coming “great tribulation.” But they do not have to wait until then to enjoy the benefits of the ransom. They have already “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Because they exercise faith in the ransom, they are even now receiving spiritual benefits from that loving provision. They have been declared righteous as God’s friends! (James 2:23) As a result of Jesus’ sacrifice, they can “approach with freeness of speech to the throne of undeserved kindness.” (Hebrews 4:14-16) When they err, they receive real forgiveness. (Ephesians 1:7) In spite of being imperfect, they enjoy a cleansed conscience. (Hebrews 9:9; 10:22; 1 Peter 3:21) Being reconciled to God is thus, not some hoped-for development, but a present reality! (2 Corinthians 5:19, 20) During the Millennium, they will gradually “be set free from enslavement to corruption” and will finally “have the glorious freedom of the children of God.”—Romans 8:21.

Nick, before Adam and Eve sinned, there was no need to pray for a 'kingdon to come'--that Kingdom is Jehovah's Witnesess whole message. Matthew 24:14 as for the rest of your criticism of us...I invite all of your readers to bring up any of the subject matter you spoke of when they vist. Thank for allowing me to say what I have
Please read EVERY scripture I have cited.

Nick said...

First, I am terribly sorry for the delay; I was having almost no freetime on the computer the last week or so. You've posted quite a bit of stuff, so hopefully I can get to it all.

1) The notion of Assumed versus Ascended are primarily theological notions. The term ascend is applied to Christ.

2) You asked if David went to Heaven, and the answer is not immediately, for Christ had not resurrected yet. David and all the OT saints went to "Abraham's Bosom" which was the good area of Hades. Peter's language is targeting the fact David wasn't speaking of himself being resurrected, for his tomb was still there and thus was speaking of Jesus. Note the key details: "he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption." Note the two components: not abandoned to Hades, that's the soul, and body did not decay, that's the body.

3) Ransom stuff. It is interesting that you say all my comments, whether true or not, hinge on the Ransom. That said, we seem to have a lot of assumptions going into how we view the Ransom, such as how to measure the 'equivalent' of sin. If sin is an infinite offense, then an infinite valued ransom is required, and a man cannot provide this. And this is further an issue when one notices Jesus didn't just atone for all sins, he earned reward for both himself and others - when at most Adam could have done the latter through obedience. Further, Jesus' sacrifice was for all men's sins, not just Adam.

4) You mention the sacrifices of men such as Abel, but I don't believe these were 'sin sacrifices' but rather pleasing offerings to God. Even in the Mosaic Law, only some of the sacrifices were for sin.

5) I'm not in agreement with your notions of 144,000 and literal millenialism.

6) There was no need to pray for God's Kingdom "to come" before sin because sin is what corrupted and alienated man from God.

Jesse said...

Are you a former Jehovah's Witness?

Jesse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick said...

I have never been JW.