Reflections on what Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe

jehovah

1. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we strive (this connotes struggle, physical efforts, works…) to adhere to the form of Christianity that Jesus taught and that his apostles practiced.

What happens to the believer in the newbirth experience otherwise called the “born again” experience is transformative in the sense that this person  receives a new nature consistent with the life of Christ.

Colossians 1:13
[13]Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

The word, “strive” draws a picture of someone burdened with rules and regulations not consistent with his “DNA” or “Source code”

The believer has been delivered and has been translated. This process hands over to him the gift of righteousness which was imputed to him by the reason of the crucifixion and glorification of Jesus Christ.

Romans 4:22-25
[22]And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
[23]Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
[24]But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
[25]Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

A believer does not strive to live the life which he now has, he simply expresses his new life in Christ.

Jehovah as God

2. God. We worship the one true and Almighty God, the Creator, whose name is Jehovah.

The emphasis laid on Jehovah as being the only way God should be addressed leaves one to wonder why Jesus never referred to Him is Jehovah but as “Father or ABBA”

This is not to say that Jehovah is not his name. Of course throughout Scriptures, we will see that God did not limit his name to Jehovah but revealed himself in diverse ways which made those who encountered know him uniquely. Yahweh, Jehovah, I Am… all show this truth.

Matthew 11:25
[25]At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

If we say we are children of God, what is of utmost importance to us? Is it our relationship with our Father or His name? Even in our relationship with our earthly fathers, how many of us relate to them by name calling? Addressing our Father strictly by Jehovah is a sign that we do not yet understand that we are no longer strangers but joint heirs with Jesus.

Romans 8:16-17
[16]The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
[17]And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Matthew 6:9
[9]After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Romans 8:15
[15]For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

John 3:18
[18]He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The focus should be in the name of the Son, Jesus Christ who is our saviour and not an overemphasis Jehovah
God is our Father and not a headmaster!

3. While we accept the entire Bible, we are not fundamentalists. We recognize that parts of the Bible are written in figurative or symbolic language and are not to be understood literally.

While the point above looks harmless, let’s look at what is referred to as “not fundamentalists”

Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Protestants, Fundamentalists, or a sect?
Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians, but they are not Protestants for the same reason that they are not Catholics​—they recognize certain teachings of those religions as unscriptural. For example, the Bible does not teach that God​—the very personification of love—​tortures people forever in a fiery hell. Nor does it teach that humans have an immortal soul or that Christians should meddle in politics.​

Let’s examine the following assertions in the light of Scriptures:

a. the Bible does not teach that God​—the very personification of love—​tortures people forever in a fiery hell
Matthew 23:33
[33]Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

The word damnation is the Greek word “kriseōs”

Strong’s g2920

– Lexical: κρίσις
– Transliteration: krisis
– Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
– Phonetic Spelling: kree’-sis
– Definition: judging, judgment, decision, sentence; generally: divine judgment; accusation.
– Origin: Decision (subjectively or objectively, for or against); by extension, a tribunal; by implication, justice (especially, divine law).
– Usage: accusation, condemnation, damnation, judgment.
– Translated as (count): judgment (28), of judgment (10), justice (5), judgments (2), a judgment (1), judgement (1), sentence (1).

The word hell is the Greek word “geennēs”

Strong’s g1067

– Lexical: γέεννα
– Transliteration: geenna
– Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
– Phonetic Spelling: gheh’-en-nah
– Definition: Gehenna, and originally the name of a valley or cavity near Jerusalem, a place underneath the earth, a place of punishment for evil.
– Origin: Of Hebrew origin (gay’ and Hinnom); valley of (the son of) Hinnom; ge-henna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment.
– Usage: hell.
– Translated as (count): hell (10), of hell (2).

Firstly, love is not unjust and devoid of justice. You cannot say that since God is the essence or personification of love, that eternal damnation now negates his very essence.

John 3:16 is very clear and establishes that there is life beyond this present world. The one who believes has everlasting life

John 3:17-19
[17]For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

[18]He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

[19]And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

God’s intention in verse 17 is clear. Jesus did not come to condemn the world. Verse 18 now goes a step further to show what happens when we believe or do not believe.

It says that those who do not believe are condemned already and not that God condemns them. Their choice decides what happens to them. The sinner is condemned to eternal damnation already because he has failed to accept salvation offered by Christ.

It is the love of God that sent Jesus, and it will be wrong to ascertain that his love is unjust.

Reinhard Bonke gives this analogy to drive this point home:

Is it the barber’s fault that people move around with unkempt hair or is it the soaps fault that people are dirty?

You cannot decide to continue living in sin and yet blame God for your choices.

There is a heaven and there is a hell, believe in Christ and be in heaven!

b. Nor does it teach that humans have an immortal soul

This statement in itself is flawed in the sense that we promised everlasting life and still believe that the soul is mortal.

Matthew 22:23-24,29-32
[23]The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
[24]Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother…
[29]Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
[30]For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
[31]But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
[32]I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

In verse 23, we see that the Sadducees had built their belief in the fact that it was impossible for the dead to live again after this life.

Notice first that resurrection from the dead is not exclusive to only believers. In Jesus’ response, we see that he first scolds them of being in error. He goes on to explain that we will all be like the angels in heaven. Notice that He doesn’t say, we will all be angels.

Conciousness is not lost after death. We see this play out in the story of Lazarus and the rich man.

Luke 16:24
[24]And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

The text above not only Validates the existence of Hell but also shows consciousness. The soul is that part of man which embodies his mind and emotions.

In verse 32 of Mathew 22, Jesus names Abraham and the other patriarchs who are dead and then says, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living”

C. that Christians should meddle in politics
How would you be engaged in evangelism and be opposed to politics or leadership?

We say Christians should not be involved in politics yet we serve as class prefects, school functionaries, sit for scholarship exams, pass and win the scholarships, become civil servants and rise to become permanent secretaries, and hold appointments here and there.

If you had the opportunity of witnessing to the Governors & the National assembly in one meeting and they all decided to receive Christ, would you ask them to resign their appointments?

Genesis 1:26
[26]And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

The dominion mandate over the earth belongs to man and he has the authority to enforce the will of God on earth.

Psalms 115:16
[16]The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

Why would you say God would not want us engage in politics which is nothing but leadership?

To be continued…

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