08 August 2007

"Test Every Spirit"--Jehovah's Witnesses (part 2)

Part 1 from yesterday.

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That said, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society really trips themselves up in their teachings about Christ. Listen to these passages from GOD’s Word:
Colossians 1:16 (NKJV)—For by [Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
  • Of course, the NWT adds one little word that changes the whole meaning of this verse. It's the word "other"--"because by means of him all [other] things were created...All [other] things have been created through him and for him...Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist..." NOTE: The word "other" is not in the original Greek!
Isaiah 44:24 (NKJV)—Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb: 'I am the LORD, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself…
  • NWT: I, Jehovah, am doing everything, stretching out the heavens by myself, laying out the earth. Who was with me?
Isaiah 45:18 (NKJV)—For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it…“I am the LORD, and there is no other.
  • NWT: For this is what Jehovah has said, the Creator of the heavens, He the [true] God [Maker of Earth]…the One who firmly established it…'I am Jehovah, and there is no one else.'
John 1:3 (NKJV)—All things were made through [Christ], and without Him nothing was made that was made.

  • NWT: All things came into existence through [Christ], and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.
See where I’m going with this?

Plus, we have all these other Scriptures:
John 10:30, 31, 33, 38—Jesus said, “I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him….saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God…[Jesus said], "the Father is in Me, and I am in Him."
Listen to what King Solomon said in 2nd Chronicles 6:18—But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! If the heaven of heavens couldn’t contain GOD, how could an angel? But you see, John said that the Word was GOD, and that the Word became flesh and dwelt among men! Jesus said in John 2:19, “Destroy this Temple and I shall raise it up again in 3 days!” Even in the NWT! I like how this gentleman responded to the question of Jesus’ deity, a question asked by a Jehovah's Witness:
Was Jesus crucified because he claimed to be a super angel? No, He was crucified because the Jewish leaders of His day understood Him to be claiming that He was God. They wouldn't have executed him if He had been merely claiming to be some sort of angel. Someone claiming to be an angel -- even the archangel -- was not guilty of a capital offense. The fact that Jewish authorities went to the trouble of convincing the Roman government to put Jesus to death strongly suggests that those Jews understood Jesus to be claiming to be God.
John 8:58-59—Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” After which the Jews picked up stones to stone Him.
John 18:4-6—Jesus said, “Whom do you seek?” The Roman soldiers answered “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said, “I AM.” After which they fell backwards to the ground.
Colossians 2:9—In [Christ] dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Acts 20:28—"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."

Now, let’s look at what Jehovah's Witnesses believe about the post-resurrection Christ. They believe that when Jesus left the tomb, it wasn’t His body that walked out. They believe, and teach, that it was Jesus’ spirit that made all those appearances. Some official Watchtower Bible and Tract Society quotes:

  • "The King, Christ Jesus, was put to death in the flesh and was resurrected an invisible spirit creature."

  • "In His resurrection He was no more human. He was raised as a spirit creature."

  • Or, He was "dissolved into gases" or "preserved somewhere as the grand memorial of God's love."
Matthew 28:5-6—And the angel answered and said unto the women, "Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." Jesus was NOT resurrected as some “spirit body”. His flesh and blood, physical body rose up from that stone cold slab, walked out of that tomb, showed Himself to the men on the road to Emmaus, to Mary Magdalene, to His mother Mary, and to His disciples, and now that physical body, with the holes from the nails and the spear, sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven, awaiting the day when He returns.

Listen to these passages from the Word of GOD:
Luke 24:30 (NKJV)—He’s eating with the two men from Emmaus. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Ghosts cannot pick up bread and break it.
John 20:27 (NWT)—Jesus tells Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands, and take your hand and stick it into my side, and stop being unbelieving but become believing.” Now answer me this: If Jesus was just a “spirit” at this point, why would He have Thomas stick his fingers through His hands? What would that prove? If He was a “spirit”, wouldn’t Thomas’ finger go right on through anyway?
Luke 24:41-43 (NWT)—But while they were still not believing for sheer joy and were wondering, he said to them: “Do you have something there to eat?” And they handed him a piece of broiled fish; and he took it and ate it before their eyes. And it fell to the floor because He didn’t have a body to hold it.
Luke 24:39—Probably the best argument against this “spirit-body resurrection” doctrine. And I’m gonna read it right from their own translation. Jesus says, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; feel me and see, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you behold that I have.”

Now, for the Jehovah's Witnesses’ teachings on the Holy Spirit. From the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society website:

  • No, the Holy Spirit is not a person and it is not part of a Trinity. The Holy Spirit is God's active force that he uses to accomplish his will. It is not equal to God but is always at his disposition and subordinate to him.

  • To a certain extent [the Holy Spirit] can be likened to electricity, a force that can be adapted to perform a great variety of operations.
Jesus said, “If I go I will send the Comforter,” He didn’t say, “If I go, I will send a force.” He didn’t say “I will send electricity.” They say, “If the Holy Spirit is a person, how can you be baptized in that person?” Well, how can we be baptized into Christ, like it says in Romans 6:3? How could Paul say that he was poured out like a drink offering (2nd Timothy 4:6)? I guess if we were talking about a person like you or me, that would be a valid question. But guess what? We’re talking about GOD. He can do whatever He wants to do. And the Holy Spirit is indeed part of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is not emotion. The Holy Spirit is not feelings. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of GOD, poured out upon us. Gonna throw some more Scripture atcha:
Acts 5:3-4—But Peter said, "Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost...Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God."
Acts 13:2—While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for ME Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." How can some thing call these men to do the work of GOD? Unless that Spirit is GOD Himself?
Ephesians 4:30—And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

Concerning the Holy Spirit, I’d like to finish with a quote from a book called “The Divine Conquest,” by A.W. Tozer. If you ever think you’re feeling a little too full of yourself, read this book. You'll be feeling thiiiis small when you're done. (Actually, most of Tozer's books are good for that.)
One quality belonging to the Holy Spirit, of great interest and importance to every seeking heart, is penetrability. He can penetrate matter, such as the human body; He can penetrate mind; He can penetrate another spirit, such as the human spirit. He can achieve complete penetration of and actual intermingling with the human spirit. He can invade the human heart and make room for Himself without expelling anything essentially human. The integrity of the human personality remains unimpaired. Only moral evil is forced to withdraw.

How can one personality enter another?...We place a piece of iron in a fire and blow up the coals. At first we have two distinct substances, iron and fire. When we insert the iron in the fire we achieve the penetration of the fire by the iron. Soon the fire begins to penetrate the iron and we have not only the iron in the fire but the fire in the iron as well. They are two distinct substances, but they have co-mingled and interpenetrated to a point where the two have become one.

In some such manner does the Holy Spirit penetrate our spirits. In the whole experience we remain our very selves. There is no destruction of substance. Each remains a separate being as before; the difference is that now the Spirit penetrates and fills our personalities and we are experientially one with God.

How shall we think of the Holy Spirit? The Bible declares that He is God. Every quality belonging to Almighty God is freely attributed to Him. All that God is, the Spirit is declared to be. The Spirit of God is one with and equal to God just as the spirit of a man is equal to and one with the man. This is so fully taught in the Scriptures that we may without loss to the argument omit the formality of proof texts. The most casual reader will have discovered it for himself.

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