Jehovah Witness’ believe that Michael is another name for Jesus. Jw.org states, “At times, individuals are known by more than one name.” The website then goes on to give two arguments. Continue reading
A view that I often hear taught or believed by some is that Monotheism was not the original viewpoint of Judaism. They contend that Judaism slowly moved away from polytheism into monotheism almost in an evolutionary movement of the religion.
Those who take this view bring up scriptures where other gods are mentioned in a way that seems to acknowledge that other gods actually do exist. One example they might use occurs in my favorite Bible story of all with Elijah.
Elijah is in a stand off with the priests of Baal on Mount Carmel, he tells the priests of Baal to set up a sacrifice and pray to Baal to burn it up. In this instance Elijah could be seen as acknowledging that other gods actually do exist because he tells them to ‘call out to their god’ or ‘call out to your god’. I am sure many adherents of ‘evolutionary monotheism’ would see this as acknowledgement that multiple gods exist, but there is one huge problem to this. . . Baal never does anything.
Instead of Baal maybe burning part of the sacrifice and Yahweh burning up the whole sacrifice to show he is the supreme God, Baal does absolutely nothing. In fact Elijah the mocks the priests saying ‘if Baal really is a god, maybe he is thinking, or busy, or traveling! Maybe he is sleeping so you will have to wake him!”. Clearly, though Elijah called Baal a ‘god’ he never really believed Baal even existed.
Furthermore, adherents to this evolutionary monotheism view have ignored passages that blatantly preach against it. For a Jew the most glaring example would be Deuteronomy 6:4 which is known as the Declaration of Judaism or the Shema says: “hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.”
Other verses also make it abundantly clear in Isaiah 45:5 ‘I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.’ or Isaiah 43:10 “Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me”.
Clearly these verses teach that there is simply one, monotheistic God, and no others exists, nor will ever exist. Anyone who denies a strictly monotheistic view of God while accepting these verses must go through some theological gymnastics to come to such a conclusion.
Evolutionary monotheism ignores the obvious teachings of scripture as well as the clear history of Judaism as a whole. There has never been any other God and there will never be any other God but him.
We’ve talked about this issue a few times, but more an more I see that having a clear understanding of the Trinity is necessary. In this video Nabeel answers a typical objection to the Trinity in that the term Trinity does not appear in the scripture. Check it out:
I think there are many Christians who feel intimidated to talk to Jehovah Witnesses’ and Mormons. Most of the time we realize that the missionaries from those religions have done a lot of studying and preparing to share about their faith and we find that intimidating because we feel like we haven’t done much of that ourselves. But I wanted to challenge you to think of this differently.
Many religions in the world claim to be the true one. Of course we know that not all them can be true, because they contradict. Islam says Jesus isn’t God, Christianity does. Hinduism says hell doesn’t exist, western religions do. Buddhism says this world is an illusion, Judaism says that God created the very real world that we see. So how do we determine which one is true?
If you have talked with Jehovah Witness’ for any period of time you know that many of their doctrines come directly from a society called The Watchtower. The society publishes all of the substantial content of Jehovah Witness’, there is no independent Jehovah Witness publications. As the authority for Jehovah Witness’ it claims to speak for God much like the prophets that we see in the Bible. So should we trust it? Well, it seems the best way to know would be testing them by the Biblical standard.
In Deuteronomy 18 we are told that if someone is a true prophet of God they will not prophecy anything that doesn’t come to pass or speak in the name of any other God. As for the second part of that test, Watchtower is on track, it claims to speak only for the God we see in the Bible. In the second part we run into a slew of problems as many of the predictions of the Watchtower have never come to pass.
Here are some predictions that the Watchtower has made in the past:
- Christ would come back in 1874
- The world would end in 1914
- Old Testament Saints would come to earth in 1925
- The world will end and Christ would come back in 1975
The Watchtower itself admits this predictions were wrong.
So, does the Watchtower stand to the test in Deuteronomy 18? Obviously not, even according to the Watchtower itself.
In fact the Watchtower even tried ‘correcting’ some of these predictions moving dates further out when they were wrong initially only to be wrong even a second time. Perhaps getting something wrong once could be a mistake of some sort, though the Biblical test says otherwise, but once it was wrong a second time we should be completely abandoning such a source as a reliable mouthpiece of God. If they made a ‘mistake’ about something as important as when Christ comes back why should we believe that they are not leading us astray in other doctrines that they teach?
Early Watchtower beliefs under one of the Jehovah Witness’ church fathers Charles Taze Russel actually believed the Ancient Pyramid of Egypt to be a sort of ‘Stone Bible’. It was believed measurements in the Pyramid were prophetic to the beginning of ‘the years of trouble’. The doctrine was taught to Jehovah Witness’ for fifty years from 1879-1928, after Russel was buried under a pyramid marked grave.
Russel’s successor flipped from calling the pyramid a ‘stone Bible’ to a work of the Egyptians under the influence of the Devil. Quite a flip for a group that should be speaking for God.
The Watchtower Society is very unorthodox in many beliefs. The Watchtower doesn’t believe Jesus is God, they reject the Trinity, regard blood transfusions sinful, celebrating birthdays as sinful and have changed vital words or added words to the Bible in their New World Translation. But given the obvious unreliability of Society I think we can steer clear from accepting any of these doctrines.