Jehovah Witness Memorial: is it Biblical?

Last weekend I attended the Jehovah Witness Memorial. It’s the closest thing that Witness’ get to celebrating easter as we know it. The Memorial is mainly for the purpose of taking part of the Lords Supper. Unlike Christian churches that take communion once a month or more, Jehovah Witnesses only take communion once a year. That seems odd to us already, but I am not sure we would say it’s hugely objectionable at that point.

Where it does cross the line is that none of the Jehovah Witnesses actually eat the bread or drink the wine; well, only a very select few of them. Jehovah Witnesses have a belief that only the 144,000 talked about in Revelation 14 are those that should partake in communion. Their belief is that the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation are the only ones that will receive a heavenly hope, while everyone else will stay on the new earth, and only those with a heavenly hope should partake in the Lords Supper. There are a few reasons that this doesn’t make sense.

First, when it mentions the 144,000 in Revelation 14 it says  ‘These are those who did not defile themselves with women for they remained virgins”. I talked with one Jehovah Witness afterword who said that some of their 144,000 have had children and even the one in the service I attended was married, though he had no kids. Witness’ wish to argue that this verse is talking about defiling themselves with false religions and idols. But this is a prime example of eisegesis, where they have inserted their theology in the text. There is really nothing in the text to indicate this is talking about idolatry. Why would the verse seem to clarify talking about sex by saying ‘for they remained virgins”? If it is talking about idolatry why didn’t Paul simply say they defiled themselves with idols like many other scriptures we see?

Second, the Witness’s make it very clear that the point of the Memorial is to ‘proclaim the Lords death until Christ returns’ as it says in 1 Corinthians 11:26. Some of the Kingdom Halls do not have any of the 144,000 in attendance, which means that at some Halls there is no one actually eating the bread and drinking the wine. But when we look at the first part of 1 Corinthians 11:26 it makes it clear to say that you proclaim Christs death “whenever you eat this loaf and drink this cup”. In other words, at best a Hall has a handful of members proclaiming Christs death, and at many halls that are not proclaiming his death at all.

Finally, JW.org also references Hebrews 8:10-13 to say that the new covenant replaces the covenant with Israel. Hebrews does mention a new covenant, but it does not mention the end of the old covenant, and the idea that the new covenant replaces the old goes against what Jesus says of not abolishing the law but fulfilling it. If the law isn’t replaced we need reason to think the covenant is, and the scripture in Hebrews does not give us that.

Sources:
https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/lords-supper/

A Question Jehovah Witnesses Can’t Answer- Clay Jones

When I was in seminary in the 1970’s, I took Cults from Walter Martin and he had former Jehovah’s Witness Bill Cetnar speak to the class. What follows is the line of reasoning Cetnar presented. I’ve used it ever since with Jehovah’s Witnesses at my door, with JW Greg Stafford and other JWs on my radio program, and with JW elders at Kingdom Halls (By the way, I was 16 the first time I went into a Kingdom Hall to witness to the JWs).

Christian: Let me ask you only one question and after you answer it, I’ll answer any question you want. First I need to clarify a few things. In the New World Translation, John 1:1 reads: “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” Then in Isaiah 9:6 (NWT) we read: “For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” So then, does Jehovah equal almighty God?

JW: Yes.

C: Now Jesus isn’t Jehovah, right?

JW: That’s right.

C: Jesus equals a Mighty God?

JW: That is correct.

C: Is Jehovah a true God or a false God?

JW: Jehovah is a true God.

C: Is Jesus a true God or a false God?

JW: Jesus is a true God.

C: Okay, here’s my question: How can you believe there are two true Gods when the Bible says there is only one God? After all, it says in Isaiah 43:10-11 (NWT), “Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none.” And Isa: 44:6 (NWT) says: “I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no God.”

JW: That passage is teaching that there are no capital “G” gods.

C: Hebrew doesn’t have capital letters so the capitalization of the “G” in those passages is an insertion by the NW translators to make us believe there are two categories of gods. It is equivalent to their just inserting the word “almighty” in the text. If the Lord had wanted to proclaim that “besides me there is no Almighty God” instead of what it really says, “beside me there is no god,” He could easily have had Isaiah insert the word “Almighty” in those passages. But He didn’t.

JW: Well, we only worship one God.

C: If I only loved one wife but was married to two women, I would still be a polygamist and your believing there are two true Gods even though you only worship one of them still makes you a polytheist. The Bible says there is only one God.

JW: But the Bible calls Satan a God.

C: Is Satan a true God or a false God?

JW: A false God.

C: You still have two true Gods.

JW: But in Ex. 4:16 (NWT) it says that Moses “will serve as God to him [Pharaoh].”

C: It says Moses will serve “as God.” In other translations of this verse it says Moses will be “like God” to him. Do you see a difference between serving “as” God or “like” God and really being a god? For example, if I said an older woman was “as a mother to me” it wouldn’t mean that I actually came out of her womb, right? Do you see the difference?”

JW: But the word “God” is just a title that can be used for those on the side of God.

C: Then there would be lots of true Gods, but John 17:3 (NWT) says “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” If that’s true, how could you say that Jesus is a true God?

JW: As I said, we only worship one God.

C: But I’m not asking about how many Gods you worship, I’m asking about how many Gods you think are true. Can you think of a time when someone says that ‘X’ is the ‘only true’ ‘X’ that it doesn’t make everything else in that category false? If there God is the ‘only true’ God then any other god must be a false god, but you have already said that Jehovah and Jesus are both true Gods and that makes… count them… two true Gods.

JW: 1 Cor. 8:4-6 says “…there is no God but one. For even though there are those who are called ‘gods,’ whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords,’ there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and we through him.” See, the Father is God, not Jesus.

C: But you’ve already agreed there are two true Gods and this passage says there is only one God.

JW: You’re talking about the Trinity.

C: No, I’m pointing out that Jehovah’s Witnesses are polytheists who believe there is more than one true God, even though the Bible tells us there is only one true God.

JW: We didn’t come here to argue. [What?]

C: Okay, well, if you want to bring someone back, I’ll be glad to talk with them. [That hasn’t happened yet.]

This is all about logic. After all, if there is one God and if there are three persons in the Bible called God, then the three persons must be the one God. It is no surprise that I have yet to hear a coherent answer. I carried on an email dialog with one JW and after several months she ended our discussion with, “You just like to go around and destroy other people’s religions!”

What?

By the way, I really don’t let them ask me a question unless they can answer mine first because JWs, more than any cult I’ve talked to, will change the subject as soon as they see they are in a bind (I got that from Bill Cetnar, too).

Titus 2:13: “We wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Amen.


This article comes from http://www.clayjones.net/ the blog of Clay Jones, D.min. Associate Professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University.

Jesus established heavenly Kingdom in 1914? That’s what the Jehovah Witness’ think. . .

Jehovah Witness’ make the claim that Jesus heavenly kingdom was established in 1914 according the the biblical prophecy of Daniel about a great oak tree. Does their claim stand up to Biblical and historical criticism? Nope. And here is why. Continue reading

Most Popular Blogs of 2017

Hello world!

As the year comes to a close I thought it would be fun to look at the blogs that you all liked the most from this last year. Here is the top 10 blogs by popularity from 2017 along with a list of my personal top 5 favorites that didn’t make the to 10. Hope you all enjoy them and happy new year!

Top Ten Most Popular Blogs:

  1. Why the Christian Creation Model makes more sense of suffering than any other religion.
  2. The Single Most Damaging Statement to the Christian Faith
  3. If God is Loving Why is the Path to Heaven so Narrow?
  4. Why doesn’t God intervene to stop those who are doing evil?
  5. The Frightful Alternatives if Jesus Isn’t God.
  6. If you only learn one thing for defending Christianity, learn this.
  7. Three Blunders Atheists make arguing against God
  8. Does God send people to hell?
  9. Why does God seem different in the New Testament and the Old Testament?
  10. C.S. Lewis and how God exists with Pain and Suffering in the world
    Noah’s Favorite Five:

    1. Jesus Wouldn’t Argue. . .
    2. Why Even if you are pro-choice you should be angry with Planned Parenthood
    3. Is Christianity as violent as Islam?
    4. Pseudo Tolerance
    5. Thank you Atheist YouTuber JaclynGlenn

Is Jesus Michael the Archangel?

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

Did Judaism and Christianity evolve into monotheism?

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.

A reply to a Muslims objection of the Trinity from the late Nabeel Qureshi

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: