Sun, Sep 26th - 2:25AM
Questions For Oneness Pentecostals
Is your concept of God based on Scripture? Scripture itself, comparing Scripture with Scripture, is the key to the interpretation of Scripture. “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (I Corinthians 2:13) “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15)
Many claim to have received a “revelation” that proves their doctrine without Scriptural support. But if that “revelation” cannot be supported with Scripture, how can you know that it is from God? “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psalm 119:130) “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (I Thessalonians 5:21)
If Mark 16:16 were changed to read “He that believeth and pays tithes (or other Christian activity) shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned,” would you assume that tithing (or whatever Christian activity is inserted) is a prerequisite for salvation?
If God had wanted to convey that the washing away of sins is the result of calling on the name of the Lord how would He have changed the wording of Acts 22:16? “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16)
If God had wanted to convey that Noah’s safety during the deluge was the outward confirmation of the grace he had already received years earlier (Genesis 6:8) and that, in the same way, Christian baptism is the outward confirmation of the grace a Christian had already received when he trusted Jesus Christ as Savior how would God have changed the wording of I Peter 2:20-21? How can a figure be that of which it is a figure? “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 2:20-21)
If God had wanted Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, and Galations 3:27 to refer to baptism into the body of Christ, which can only be done by the Holy Ghost, how would He have changed the wording of these passages (also consider I Corinthians 12:13)? “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4) “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12) “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galations 3:27)
Are all of the signs mentioned in Mark 16:17-18 expected to accompany the conversion of every Christian? “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:17-18)
Is there any solid teaching in the Book of Acts that “tongues” must accompany the conversion of every Christian? Is there any solid teaching in I Corinthians that “tongues” must accompany the conversion of every Christian? Is there any solid teaching in the whole Bible that “tongues” must accompany the conversion of every Christian? Is there any universally expected sign of Spirit baptism taught in the Bible other than the transformed character of the believer?
In Acts 2:38, why is the command to repent given in the second person plural while the command to be baptized is given in the third person singular? If God had wanted the baptismal command to be directed to people who have already repented and been forgiven how would He have changed the wording of Acts 2:38 (consider Acts 3:19)? If God had wanted Peter to convey that converts are to be baptized as a submission to the authority of Jesus Christ (“In the name of Jesus Christ”) without specifying the words to be spoken by the baptizer how would He have changed the wording of Acts 2:38? Where does Peter teach a prerequisite seeking to receive the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:38? If God had wanted to convey that the Holy Spirit is a free gift Who comes directly and instantaneously to the person who genuinely repents how would He have changed the wording of Acts 2:38? “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)
While Matthew 28:19 is addressed to baptizers, where is there a baptismal command in the Book of Acts that is addressed to baptizers and not baptismal candidates?
If God had wanted to convey that the Son Of God is divine how would He have changed the wording of John 5:18 and Hebrews 1:8? “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18) “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8)
If Jesus had wanted to convey a distinction between Himself and the Father and the Holy Ghost how would He have changed the wording of John 14:23,24,26? “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.” (John 14:23-24) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)
If Jesus had wanted to convey that He and the Father have separate wills how would He have changed the wording of Matthew 26:39? “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39)
If God had wanted to convey that Jesus was completely God and not just part God how would He have changed the wording of Colossians 1:19? “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” (Colossians 1:19)
If God had wanted to convey that Jesus’ human nature was not separated from His divine nature how would He have changed the wording of Mark 2:5-12? “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.” (Mark 2:5-12)
If God had wanted to convey that the Father and the Lamb are distinct persons how would He have changed the wording of Revelation 5:1-9? “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four [and] twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Revelation 5:1-9)
Whether any of us completely understand or even accept a Bible truth does not determine if it is a Bible truth, and since God is our Creator and is so much higher we should not be surprised to find difficulties in understanding His nature. God reveals Himself to man through words, words in His Word. As the Spirit of God reveals truths to us through the Word of God He becomes more majestic to us, not simple. (Psalm 97:2)
Sun, Sep 26th - 2:23AM
Questions For Jehovah's Witnesses
Is there anything about the Watchtower Organization that you don’t like or that you find difficult?
Do you ever have difficulty getting along with other Jehovah’s Witnesses, and do you ever find yourself able to get along with non-JWs easier or better than you can get along with Jehovah’s Witnesses? (Watchtower publications say that true Christians have love among themselves, and that this love is one of the identifying marks of the only true Christian religion, God’s organization.)
Do you ever find it difficult to understand how the Watchtower leadership concluded that any particular Watchtower teaching is based on the Bible or the clear teachings of Scripture? (Acts 17:10,11; I Corinthians 2:5; Colossians 2:8; II Timothy 2:15; 3:16,17)
Does the “New Light” always expound or add to the “Old Light,” or does the “New Light” ever completely replace or disprove the “Old Light?” (Psalm 33:11; 119:89; Proverbs 19:21; Ecclesiastes 1:9,10; James 1:17)
Does the Watchtower Society encourage personal study, discernment, and growth, or do they require a child-like dependence? What would happen if a JW followed the example of the Bereans and critically examined Watchtower teachings to personally discern if they really are taught in Scripture? (Acts 17:10,11)
How can you be certain that a teaching is true if that teaching cannot withstand questions or critical analysis? (I Thessalonians 5:21)
While the Bible certainly does not condemn all use of Christian literature and Bible study helps, and Christian books and magazines (and other materials) can be helpful, where does the Bible indicate that Christians must submit to the infallible views and interpretations of an organization or its publications? While Acts 8:30-31 does indicate that people occasionally need help understanding Scripture, where in this passage is there any indication of an organization? Since the Ethiopian eunuch never saw Philip again, where is there any indication that the Ethiopian eunuch had to join or submit to an organization or anyone? Did Philip use the Bible alone to expound upon the meaning of Scripture or did he use additional literature? If the Bible alone was sufficient for Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, doesn't this indicate that the Bible itself is sufficient for us also? (Watchtower publications use Acts 8:30-31 to say that the Watchtower Society is God's only Bible-interpreting organization and that people cannot understand Scripture without the Watchtower Society.)
If the anointed Christians among Jehovah's Witnesses are supposed to be God's collective "Faithful and Discreet Slave" that guides people in their understanding of Scripture and is God's only channel of truth, and if this organization did not exist until the latter part of the nineteenth century, does the Watchtower interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47 mean that for eighteen centuries God did not have any true representatives on earth? (Consider Ephesians 4:11-16)
Do you ever feel that Watchtower leadership (Governing Body or local Elders) is intrusive in matters of personal preference or opinion where no genuine Bible truth, principle, or command is at stake? (I Peter 5:1-3; 4:15; Romans 14:1-13)
Are Jehovah's Witnesses loved and hated because of their personal faith and loyalty to Jesus Christ or because of interpretations and teachings peculiar to the Watchtower Society? (I Timothy 1:3-7)
What is the Gospel being proclaimed by Jehovah’s Witnesses? (John 3:13-15; Acts 4:15-19; I Corinthians 15:1-4; II Corinthians 11:3,4; Galations 1:6-8 )
Why does the Watchtower Society avoid the possibility that Acts 20:20 refers to house-churches, since the early Christians usually met for worship in private homes? (Romans 16:5; I Corinthians 6:19; Colossians 4:15; II Timothy 3:6; Philemon 2)
Does the lack of unity among believers at Corinth mean that they were not Christians? (I Corinthians 1:2,11-13) Where is there any reference to an organization in I Corinthians 1:10, and where in I Corinthians 1:10 (or the context thereof) are we told that unity is to be achieved by submitting to an organization? (Watchtower publications use I Corinthians 1:10 to teach the importance of complete conformity to the teachings of the Watchtower Organization, and insist that such unity proves that JWs are the only true Christians and that those who do not have such unity are false Christians.)
Where in the Bible did Jesus Christ ever deny His deity?
If John 20:17 means that the Father is God, then why doesn't John 20:28 mean that Jesus is God?
If only the Father is God and Jesus is "a god," then just how many "gods" do JWs have? (John 1:1 NWT; Isaiah 43:10; 44:8)
In the 282 New Testament references to God without using the definite article with the word theos the New World Translation usually renders theos as "God," such as in Luke 20:38 and John 1:18. Why isn't the same rule applied to John 1:1 in the New World Translation also applied to the other New Testament passages where Theos is used without the definite article?
Do you believe Jesus is “a god?” Do you believe Jesus is a true god? If Jesus is a true god how do you reconcile this with John 17:3? If Jesus is a false god how do you reconcile this with John 1:1? (Watchtower publications say that only the Father is the one true God (Jehovah) based on John 17:3, and they say that Jesus Christ is “a god” based on the New World Translation’s rendering of John 1:1.)
If Jesus is not God, how do you reconcile this with Colossians 1:16 and Isaiah 44:24?
Since there is no Bible verse that says explicitly that the Father is Jehovah, should we assume that the Father is not Jehovah?
Where does the Bible say that the Holy Spirit is God's active force? Why did Peter say that Ananias had lied to the Holy Spirit when he had lied to God, unless the Holy Spirit is God? (Acts 5:3,4) How is it even possible to lie to an impersonal force? (Acts 5:3) Did the Holy Spirit teach you that He is not a person or did man? (I Corinthians 2:13)
How do you reconcile the almost exclusive emphasis of JWs on the name Jehovah with Acts 1:8? Where in the New Testament did Jesus tell His followers to declare the name Jehovah? Where does the New Testament say that declaring the name Jehovah is a mark of true Christians? Which name is consistently uplifted in the New Testament?
Why do you assume that the submission or subjection of Christ to the Father means inferiority? (I Corinthians 15:28) Does the Bible ever indicate that the husband's headship over the wife means that a woman is naturally inferior to men? Do you believe that compatibility between functional subordination and equality of being is possible? How do you reconcile the subjection of Christ to Joseph and Mary with the claim that Jesus Christ is inferior to the Father by virtue of His being subject? (Luke 2:51; John 1:3; I Corinthians 15:28)
Where does the Bible say that Jesus is Michael the Archangel or that Michael the Archangel is Jesus Christ? (Hebrews 1:5,6)
Where does the Bible say that Jesus Christ was not bodily resurrected? (Luke 24:36-43; Acts 10:39-41)
Where does the Bible say that in heaven today Jesus Christ does not have a glorified human body? (Colossians 2:9; I Timothy 2:5)
Where does the Bible say that the return of Christ will not be in visible human form? (Acts 1:9-11) Did Christ ascend into a literal or figurative cloud? (Acts 1:9)
How do you reconcile the promise of Matthew 28:20 with the teaching that the return of Christ would be invisible and that He returned invisibly in 1914 AD?
If the Second Coming is past and Christ returned in 1914 AD, why do Jehovah's Witnesses still observe the Memorial service, since this was to be observed "... until he arrives?" (NWT) Doesn't this contradict the purpose of the Memorial? (I Corinthians 11:26)
If Jesus was hung on a single upright pole, a torture stake, and not on a cross then why was more than one nail used to fasten His hands, and why does the Bible say that the written charge was placed over His head and not over His hands? (John 20:25; Matthew 27:37)
While Ecclesiastes 9:5,10 may not prove there is conscious life after death, do these passages prove that there is no conscious life after death or could these passages and their context be dealing with the inevitability of physical death? (Ecclesiastes 9:2) Do you believe that all will receive the same fate or destiny, whether they are faithful or wicked? Does the phrase “the remembrance of them has been forgotten” in Ecclesiastes 9:5 mean there will be no resurrection after this life for anyone?
How do you explain Matthew 10:28 and other passages that make a distinction between the body and the soul? If by "destroy," in Matthew 10:28, Christ meant a termination of existence, then why did He use the Greek word "apollumi?" Christ used the word apollumi in Luke 5:37 concerning the destruction of wineskins ("be ruined." NWT) If God had wanted the Bible to say or indicate that the soul and the body are distinct and that the soul is immortal how would He have changed such passages? Also, while the Bible does say that animals have souls, where does the Bible say or indicate that animals have immortal souls?
In Acts 7:59 was Stephen asking Jesus to take away his bad breath? (Watchtower literature says that the spirit is merely one's breath.)
If the account of Luke 16:27-31 is a parable and the Rich Man represents false religious leaders and Lazarus represents true Christians, as is taught in Watchtower publications, then who were the Rich Man's five brothers and why did he want Lazarus to witness to them? Why did Jesus portray Abraham as speaking to a man who no longer existed?
If "forever" is figurative in Revelation 20:10 and similar passages, then how do we know when Bible references to forever are literal or figurative, and how do we know if we can live forever? (John 6:58; 3:16; etc.) If God had wanted to say that hellfire is real and is an eternal punishment, how would He have changed the wording of Revelation 20:10 and similar passages?
Where does the Bible say that hellfire does not exist and that Bible references to Hellfire are only figurative? If Gehennah means the Valley of Hinnom and not hellfire, is there still fire burning in the literal Valley of Hinnom? (Mark 9:47,48) Were the Scribes and Pharisees thrown into the Valley of Hinnom? (Matthew 23:15,33) Who is referred to in Luke 12:4-5, and why should anyone fear someone who can do more to him after the body is killed if death is a termination of existence? Are there worms that never die in the Valley of Hinnom? (Mark 9:44,46,48; The Old Testament refers to the lost in Hell as worms or maggots, so we can assume that this is what Christ meant.) How is it possible to be tormented in a symbolic flame? (Luke 16:23-24; Revelation 20:10)
How can a copy, no matter how exact, be the original? Is a copy of a CD the original CD? Is a copy of a document the original document? If God created an exact duplicate of you today and gave it your exact thoughts, emotions, and memories, would you and your duplicate always have the same thoughts, emotions, and memories, or would you actually be separate people living separate lives? Would you be willing to die so that your duplicate could continue living your life without you around, since he would really be you and you would still be living and conscious because he would have your thoughts, emotions, and memories, your life pattern? (Watchtower publications deny that physical death is separation of the soul and body, and that resurrection is a reuniting of the soul and body, by teaching that resurrection means that God recreates a body with the same life pattern and memories, an exact copy.)
Where does the Bible forbid service in the armed forces, and where in the Bible is any soldier told to resign from the military?
Where does the Bible forbid a medical blood transfusion to save a life? (Romans 4:15)
Where does the Bible forbid celebrating religious holidays? (Romans 14:5,6)
While the Bible teaches much about the Old Covenant for Jews and the New Covenant for Christians, where does the Bible teach a third arrangement of a "great crowd" of "other sheep" who do not have a heavenly hope? (John 17:20,24; I Peter 1:3,4) Where does the Bible say that the calling to the heavenly hope would end in 1935 (except to replace unfaithful anointed), as is taught in Watchtower publications? Where is the "great crowd" according to Revelation 19:1 in the New World Translation? If God had wanted Revelation 19:1 to say that the "great crowd" has a heavenly hope, how would He have changed this passage to indicate that? If Christ had wanted to mean that the "other sheep" were gentile converts, how would He have changed the wording of John 10:16 and the context thereof?
The New World Translation is consistent in the punctuation in the dozens of other New Testament passages where Jesus uses the expression "Truly I tell you" or "Truly I say to you" ("tell" and "say" are the same word in the Greek text); so why does the New World Translation make an exception in Luke 23:43 and put a comma after the word “today.” If I were to vocally and personally say something to you right now it would be quite obvious that I would be speaking "today;" where does the context of Luke 23:43 indicate any logical reason that Jesus would feel the need to verbalize the quite obvious fact that He was speaking those words on that very day?
What would happen if a Jehovah’s Witness publicly professed a personal experience with Jesus Christ? (Matthew 10:32,33; John 10:27; consider John 9:22)
Where does the Bible tell you to shun a friend or relative who conscientiously chooses to leave the Watchtower Organization?
Where does the Bible tell you to shun a friend or relative who conscientiously chooses to join another denomination?
How do you reconcile Isaiah 9:6, where Jesus is called Mighty God, with Isaiah 43:10 & Isaiah 44:6? (Also compare Isaiah 10:20,21 NWT)
Whose manifestation and whose kingdom is referred to in II Timothy 4:1?
Whose glory did Isaiah see? (Isaiah 6:1; John 12:37-41)
Who is the First and the Last? (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:8; 22:13,16)
Who did Stephen pray to? (Acts 7:59,60)
For Who did John the Baptist prepare the way? (Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:1-3; Luke 1:76; also compare Malachi 3:1 and Matthew 11:10)
Who is Jehovah of Hosts? (compare Isaiah 8:13,14 with I Peter 2:7,8 and Isaiah 6:3,8-10 with Acts 28:25-27)
Who promised the New Covenant? (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 10:15-17)