Saturday, July 31, 2010

Unitarian explanation of Colossians 1:16

Some interesting and reasonable biblically-supported exegetical insight here.To be honest at this point..I am leaning more toward "Socinian" interpretations.I hate labels like that but it's a quick way to make it clear what I'm talking about.For Jehovah's Witnesses,of particular interest should be the discussion here of "firstborn."I still see it as a red flag that those within the "Arian" community disagree amongst themselves on who Jesus is NOW.That being said,I can certainly see why they think Jesus DID preexist as certain texts here and there seem pretty explicit that he did.However,to construct doctrines and beliefs on scattered texts with possible alternative interpretations instead of the plain reading of the bible as a whole I would say is a mistake.No one anywhere ever identified Jesus as an archangel,the angel of Yah,or Godman.It was only ever the Messiah,the Christ,God's Son.I don't think the Jews were expecting a Messiah who had just been an angel or God.By any means.Surely this would have been communicated,as would the trinity have been,in clear and unambiguous terms if an angel was reincarnated as a genuine man.

Friday, July 23, 2010

John 1:1,the Word of God,and "new light" on Jesus

If you haven't already,first read my previous blog post.I have to qualify here again that I am journeying into the Socinian mind and writing as a Socinian(those who don't believe Jesus preexisted)would to see how well their interpretations register with my reasoning.I must say,with John 1:1,very well so far!I hope to explain soon to my Arian friends why I'm seriously questioning my Arian tradition.Hopefully I will be able to articulate why satisfactorily so as to do this topic justice and bring glory to God and Christ always no matter what!May God guide us in our truth seeking to the absolute truth of his word and to the Jesus of the bible.May he have mercy on those of us who can admit we don't know everything,who have questions and crave answers in all earnestness as Christian seekers.God alone knows our deepest thoughts and yearnings and I have faith that as long as we're willing to humbly seek,we will by his spirit find.If there's one thing I have learned as a former Jehovah's Witness though,it is that if we are scared to question our traditions,if we're wrapped up in our doctrines at all costs,there is no way he can help us.We must become like children and surrender to him alone in Christ Jesus.

In further regards to John 1:1:

Often in scripture,the preposition "with" can,as Greg Deuble notes in "They never told me THIS in Church", "describe the relationship between a person and what is in his heart or mind."(p.192)Just a few examples:

2 Kings 3:12:And Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the LORD is with him.”
2 John 2 because of the truth that remains in us, and it will be with us forever
Jeremiah 27:18:If the word of the LORD is with them
Proverbs 11:12:Wisdom is with the humble

So is it any marvel that God's word was WITH him and so identified with him?Just like in these texts truth,God's word and wisdom even could be with US and identified WITH us because they're a poetic and poignant part of us?

This principle can be summed up in Proverbs 23:7:

For as he thinks within himself, so he is.

Yes,as God thinks and wills and purposes,wrapped up in his word which becomes reality if he makes it be so,can be (poetically)described as what he himself is.

2 Peter 3:5:long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

Does this mean that by His Son the heavens and such existed or by God's will and plan and spoken word?

Rev. 4:11:Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.

God's *will*, *word*,*spirit* and *wisdom* ,encompassing his plans and attributes, can be spoken of as separate from him,poetically and understandably.God speaks and it comes to pass via divine strength,will,and wisdom.Does John ch 1say that GOD became flesh OR that his "word" did?Jesus was indeed fully expressive of God's plan,purpose,will,word and wisdom for being the Amen,God's vessel to inhabit by spirit fully,our redeemer,and the fulfillment of all things PURPOSED from the "beginning."Because of God's foreknowledge of our downfall and man's sure eventuality in abusing the gift of free will,hence needing a redeemer.

Taken from "Restoring the Biblical Christ.. Is Jesus God?" by Jason Kerrigan(who in this book does communicate his belief that Christ preexisted) Kerrigan notes definitions of "word".. p. 7

logos-something SAID(including the thought);by implication a topic(subject of discourse),also reasoning(the mental faculty) or motive;by extension a computation(-Strong's #3056)

rhema-an utterance(individually,collectively,or specifically);by implication a matter or topic(especially of narration,command or dispute)saying,word(-Strong's #4487)

Kerrigan says "Our words are expressions of our thoughts.Likewise,the word of God is the expression of God,and this expression is how God reveals himself."(p.8)

In Ephesians 6:17 the Word of God is identified as the *spirit.*

Kerrigan notes:"(because a word is an expression),the fact that the Spirit is called "The Word of God" shows us that God is somehow expressed via his spirit."(p.10)

And we all know that spirit was expressed in and through Christ more fully than anyone else ever,given him "without measure."(John 3:34)Make no mistake that the spirit of Christ IS the spirit of God meaning that which was GIVEN to him BY God to not only reveal God to the world through his person but also to dispense measures of it to believers due to this authority given him by his own God to do so as mediator and agent.

In 1 Cor. 2:9-12 ,God is revealed by his spirit because it searches the deep things of Him.It is likened to OUR spirits that "know us."Our spirits are within us yet not separate people that exist within our "beings."Similarly,God's spirit is within him and expressive of him and not a separate entity or person either.After all,it is compared to ours but is yet superior,unfathomable,and of course divine beyond measure,hence indescribable and personifiable and extraordinary!It's God's spirit after all!it searches the "deep things of God" and hence reveals those to us,sometimes through others,most especially Christ.I love the way Kerrigan in his book describes the spirit of man which can help us discern the definition of God's as well(pp.11-12)..He says:

"Our spirits search out the inward things that pertain to us so that those things may be brought forth,made intelligible,and applied to various situations in an orderly way."

Skipping ahead some..he says

"By way of analogy,it is like each of us is a big library,and in this library there are books that contain all our memories,books that contain all our emotions,and books that contain all our knowledge.When we learn something new it is our spirit that records those things in one of the library books(so to speak)and then places the book containing that knowledge within the shelves of our soul(our very being or own words to define soul here)until that knowledge is needed again.Our spirit is also what goes back to those books and retrieves the information stored in us so as to present that information to our thoughts(or AS our thoughts) in an orderly way.Hence,a man's spirit is not a personality that is distinct from the man,but is rather that man's own personality revealed."

Skipping ahead again..

"It is the spiritual man(the soul) residing within a man's physical body that is the SOURCE of that man's personality(2 Cor. 5:1-8,2 Peter 1:13-14).In a similar way that our spirits search us,so also the Spirit of God searches the things of God and brings those forth.This is how God is expressed via his Spirit-the Spirit searches the things of God and reveals those things outwardly."

Kerrigan points out that God's spirit isn't constrained by the boundaries that limit the spirits of human beings and that we have no spiritual power at all but by the grace of God.

God's expression,or logos(word) is his spirit in some sense in that the spirit reveals it to us.So in my personal opinion,when God's spirit impregnated a virgin womb,the spirit that caused the birth of Christ in the flesh revealed God's expressive *word* through Christ,and that is how and why the word became flesh,how and why God is revealed in Christ.Though Kerrigan believes Christ preexisted and so would not agree with some of my conclusions here,I agree with him when he says "We cannot partake of the Spirit of God apart from Christ.God is expressed in his Spirit,but we cannot perceive nor access that expression unless we look to Christ,through whom that expression is revealed."(p.13)(1 Tim 2:5)..He goes on to say "Christ IS the expression of God unto us(but only in an intermediary sense.)And this is why BOTH Christ AND the Spirit are called "The Word of God."The Spirit is God's word inherently,but Christ is God's word mediated unto us.The Spirit is the principle truth of God revealed,but Jesus is the one THROUGH whom that principle truth is revealed to us."(p. 13)(John 8:40,John 18:37)

Even though the bible says:

Psalm 33:6a (NASB)
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.

Psalms 107:20 (KJV)
He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.

It also says:

Isaiah 55:11 (NRSV)
So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; It shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

So the "word" spoken of comes forth from God's MOUTH.Similarly,God's spirit comes forth from his lips or mouth,as it does Jesus's when he BLEW the spirit upon his disciples in John to give them the power to forgive sin.(John 20:21-23)Yes indeed!..God's purposes come to fruition by means of his personifiable force and power,his spirit.From biblicalunitarian's site:

"Broughton and Southgate argue that “Word,” “Spirit” and “Wisdom” are all personified because they are intimately connected to how God has related to the world as its Creator, and that John’s use of logos is consistent with this biblical usage."

The article on the biblicalunitarian site about John 1:1 is taken from their book "One God & One Lord: Reconsidering the Cornerstone of the Christian Faith."All the rest of this blog,as long as it is in quotations is from the site linked above.Anything not in quotations are my personal thoughts.This is obviously just snippets from the site so visit it for in depth analysis and more from their book.

To quote them:

"We can see how John draws on all the Old Testament teaching…Wisdom is personified in Proverbs 8 as saying that she was in the beginning, that she was with God, and that she was His instrument in creation. The Word of God created the heavens (Ps. 33:6), and so did the Spirit as described in Job 26:13 (KJV) [and Gen. 1:2]. The language clearly is of figure and metaphor, of personification, not actual personality. And John is saying exactly the same of the logos or Word. No Jewish reader brought up on the writings of the prophets would have deduced from John’s introduction that he was alluding to a person who had existed with God from all time. They would see it instead as a continuation of the imagery by which the Word or Wisdom or the Spirit—those manifestations of God which are inseparable from Him—are described as putting God’s intentions into effect."--Broughton, James H. and Southgate, Peter J., The Trinity: True or False? (The Dawn Book Supply, Nottingham, 1995), p. 247."

The Jews being strictly unabashedly monotheistic understood the personifiability of the wisdom,spirit,word,etc. OF God without ever identifying those things as people within the being of God.

Also from the site:

"While in John 1:1 the logos is God’s self expression and His wisdom, plan and power, many times in the New Testament the logos is the message of the coming, the life, the death, the resurrection, the ascension, the exaltation, the lordship and the coming again of Jesus the Messiah. If the logos that was “in the beginning” is understood in these terms, then it becomes clear that God had this very series of events in mind when He created the cosmos. “The Word was God” (John 1:1) in that it is God’s self-revelation, the account that God chose to give of Himself and His will to all nations."

“In the beginning God” in Genesis 1:1. John tells us that “in the beginning” God had wisdom and a plan, and was prepared to start acting that plan out so that the people He created and invested His love in could be rescued from death and live with Him eternally. The crowning piece of the plan of God was the creation of Jesus Christ, who was in a very real sense, “the last word."

I guess in essence this could mean Jesus was the "beginning and the end" of God's plan of salvation and as the "creator" of the NEW heavens and NEW earth in that in him all things will consist and because of him it will come to be and for him God had a perfect kingdom in mind,to gift to a Son he so adores who faithfully served him in love and reverence,foreknown and decreed,slain even!,from the foundation of the world!God also had Christ in mind as redeemer and heir as he originally created,knowing mankind would fall and need his foreknown Son to save us with an imputation of his own superb righteousness.

More from site:
"God’s plan was being expressed in wisdom and action all through the Old Testament. The logos was being expressed as Abraham set off to sacrifice Isaac, as Moses lifted the serpent up on the pole, as Solomon built the Temple, and as Isaiah penned the verses stating that the Servant of God would be pierced for our transgressions. It was expressed in pieces and parts in history, as people acted, and in prophecy, as people spoke. Then one day, probably in 3 BC, the types, foreshadowings and prophecies ceased, and the logos, the plan, purpose, wisdom and power of God, “became flesh” in the man Jesus Christ."

"As E. W. Bullinger notes on John 1:1 in the Companion Bible: “As the spoken word reveals the invisible thought, so the Living Word reveals the invisible God.” (Bullinger, op. cit., Companion, p. 1512)

“Before Jesus’ conception in the womb of Mary, the logos was to Jesus what promise is to fulfillment. When “the logos became flesh,” the promise was fulfilled in the form of a person. "

"C. H. Dodd is another scholar who sees in the logos the meeting of the divine, God’s communication of Himself, with the human, the man in whom God most clearly revealed Himself. The logos is the “final concentration of the whole creative and revealing thought of God” in “an individual who is what humanity was designed to be in the divine purpose.” (C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, (Cambridge, 1953), p. 282.) In other words, Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, is what Man was intended to be, the perfect representative of God."

“If Jesus is not identical to the logos, what exactly is the relationship between them? The relationship of Jesus to the logos of God can best be described as intimate and prophetic, two important characteristics of the entire Gospel of John. Jesus was conceived in the mind of God “in the beginning,” and was in view when God created the present heavens and earth. God knew His plan, and throughout the Old Testament communicated it through a body of prophetic language that pointed toward Christ’s coming. Jesus refers to this plan in his prayer on the eve of his death:

John 17:24
Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Peter communicates this same truth in his first epistle:

1 Peter 1:20 (NASB)
For he was foreknown before [pro] the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.

John is not propounding a mystical process by which a pre-existent spirit being became clothed in flesh. Rather, it is asserting that the prophetic plan and purpose of God has become a true man, “in the flesh,” and that as the “purpose of the ages,” even creation itself is organized around him. “

"The logos was not “made flesh” through a metaphysical or mystical process by which a pre-existent spirit being transmigrated his eternal consciousness into a temporal human zygote at the moment of conception. The logos was “made flesh” through a process that began when God fulfilled His Word to His people by creating the long awaited Seed of Promise, the seed of the woman, the one who would be just like his Dad, the “chip off the old Rock.”

Ephesians 3:9
And to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

So Christ wasn't existing in heaven for all time but was rather hidden in God to appear at the decreed time as the Last Adam through human genealogy for the salvation and glorification of faithful mankind and his own inimitable inherited exaltation to a remarkable glory,2nd only to his father's!

Did John write the gospel to let us know Jesus preexisted or was the 2nd person of a triune philosophical homoousios (substance)?Apparently not.

John 20:31But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

And is calling him the son of God a declaration he's also True God?(John 17:3) Apparently not!

Luke 1:35:And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God."

Yes,he's the Son of God because he was conceived in a virgin womb supernaturally and miraculously by God's spirit,of course making him God's unique Son.Who else has ever been?Who else is the fulfillment of all things?Who else is the beginning and end of all God's plans by his admirable faithfulness to his own God which leads to salvation for all who exercise faith in him?Praise the Lord Messiah!For everything he is and for everything he's done to the glory of God and the exaltation of righteous mankind!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

John 1:1 and my "crisis of conscience" about my Arian view of Jesus Christ

I am going to readily articulate a blog disclaimer here..I am in no way certain at this point of either an Arian OR a Socinian view of Jesus Christ.I could argue convincingly,while actually BEING convinced,either view.I see both sides so clearly and hence am in a dilemma.It all started when I began seriously contemplating if Jesus was currently an angel or a man or back and forth or what.In other words,I had a "crisis of conscience" with my tradition,as I recognized for the first time I had a split personalitied Christ like the trinitarians.. I always knew Jesus was UTTERLY perfectly HUMAN,like the first Adam,while he walked this earth,with no further natures on top of his flawless humanity.But because of my question about who Jesus is NOW though, I decided to consider the view of those who don't think he preexisted to find out if there is something I might have missed because previously,I thought their arguments were special pleading with explicit texts.I have since discovered that isn't really the case.Though I still have questions a'many,because of my big mouth and my journey here,I have decided to share my ponderings with whoever stumbles upon this.Any advice,thoughts,or questions would be appreciated.Thanks to all.This is only the very first part of my journey into this and there will be more I will write about John 1:1 and far beyond,so stay tuned and let me know if you've ever seen both sides to an issue so clearly that your head spun in confusion?;)..This blog is written almost as if I'm CERTAIN Christ didn't preexist.That isn't the case but I am writing as a Socinian would here to explore this view and to see if it registers with my reason as I write about and research it.Let me know what you think.Especially if you're a unitarian of any kind.My email is love to hear from any of you on this issue!

The Word of God is NOT *just* Jesus Christ.The reason Jesus is called the Word of God,in my opinion,is for multiple poignant and important reasons:

*His words were not his own,but rather God's,so he relayed God's messages and love to mankind fully and beautifully as God's prophet,agent,image,and representative,who again,said nothing of his own initiative but in all things looked to his own God and father for what to do and say.

*He fulfilled all God's plans and intentions from the beginning,including what was prophecied at Genesis 3:15.Therefore,God's "word",or what would come to pass for the light and life of all mankind,was fulfilled perfectly and fully in Jesus the Christ of Yah,the Son of the Most High God.God's *Word* ,here,would be representative of God's will and plans for a coming savior who would make all God's purposes possible and of comforting absolute surety due to Jesus's faithfulness,obedience,and diligence to his father's *word*,or will.Hence Christ encompasses God's *word* on every level as the Great Amen who ensured God's prophecies by his faithful life,fleeting death,and glorious resurrection.

You'll notice throughout the OT when the word of God is spoken of,it is about what God wills or says by his spirit.I used to read into those texts my personal theology that a preexistent Jesus was probably speaking on God's behalf as his "word" and hence "the word of God" "says."But does that have to be the case?I don't think so anymore.God making everything by his "word" would rather now seem to suggest to me that what God *spoke* came to be.It came to be by his will or speech,(his word) and then by his spirit which works in accord with his will and word and essentially becomes an unstoppable divine force and presence that God uses to create,inhabit chosen servants,and anything else at all that God wills (He may accomplish by his spirit either directly or through others.)This is very much like God's "Wisdom" being personified so vibrantly and often.God's "wisdom" also doesn't always have to be Christ,who once again demonstrated God's wisdom more fully than any other in that God inhabited Christ reconciling a world unto Himself and by living such an admirable and wise life,thereby being so termed "The Wisdom of God."Also,he reveals God's wisdom in his father's plans of salvation and redemption by his fulfillment of those as he finished all the work that needed to be done to ensure a restoration of all things unto glory.God's wisdom,however,can encompass more than Christ of course and,like God's *word* and God's *spirit*, is ofttimes personified and spoken of as a separate entity from God himself in that BECAUSE they ARE all God's attributes,their magnificence inspires poetic license.Just like our attributes and our "spirit" would even as mere human beings.We're talking about God here!

All this thinking made me reconsider the "Socinian" (those who do not believe Christ preexisted) view of John 1:1.Greg Deuble's book "They never told me THIS in Church" is a great one.Let me quote what he says concerning John 1:1 on page 187:

"John DID NOT write "In the beginning was the Son and the Son was with God and the Son was God."(Some translations make this bold claim even though it is totally unwarranted from the text.)But our inherited tradition automatically makes our eyes run in that groove.One of the reasons we tend to read into this meaning is the very fact that our translations have a capital "W" for "Word."The capital W subconsciously dictates what we think John means when he speaks of the "Word."

Interesting indeed that most of the English translations prior to the King James of 1611 identifies the "word" in John 1:1 and beyond as an "it" and not a "who,"proclaiming that God made all things by "it" and not by "him."This makes some sense to me given that what God *spoke* by his "word" came to be(created.)These are perfectly acceptable translations that should at the very least be considered by truth seekers.After all,when "logos" is use in scripture,it isn't generally called a "him" but rather is clearly an "it."As Greg also points out in his book on page 189,the Gnostics were promoting that Jesus was a preexistent heavenly being,a mixture of flesh and spirit,rather than JUST a human.Therefore,John here could have very well been refuting their notions by emphasizing that the "Word" was poetically wrapped up with who GOD was and was not a SEPARATE person by his side,but rather his will and plan and purpose fulfilled by his spirit,that also BECOMES "flesh" in verse 14 when Jesus is born of a virgin womb by the spirit of God.What God has willed,wrapped up in what he purposes and speaks,becomes the Last Adam fulfilling all things,from the fatal blow to Satan to the positive promise of an eternal heavenly kingdom with Messiah as Lord and king by the will and purpose of God.More evidence that John was here refuting the Gnostics and not saying Jesus was an eternal deity always with God in heaven:

1 John 4:2 every inspired expression that confesses Jesus Christ as having come in the FLESH originates with God

Could John here have been repudiating as antichrist ANY confession that goes beyond Christ having come as the Last Adam,a fully flesh man born by the power of God's spirit through a virgin womb?In other words,any confession that Christ was ALSO "fully something else" or ANYTHING else on top of or instead of flesh?Worth at least a consideration!

Examine also:

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

To quote Deuble(p. 189):"Four times John says that which was from the beginning was a "what"!Here the relative pronouns are neuter and not masculine.And to avoid all confusion as to his meaning he even says it was the "word of life" which was in the beginning with God."

So was the "word of life" which correlates with the "word" of John 1:1 Jesus Christ in a preexistent state OR was it God's spoken will and purpose,plan and word,that BECAME Jesus in the flesh through a human genealogy?With discernment,I would say the latter.Discerning here that John identified it as a "what" and not a "who" or a "him" and also that the bible speaks of Christ as having been concealed within God from the beginning and not revealed till he came in the flesh.God purposed his birth for the redemption and salvation of mankind and so it came to be.What God *spoke" by his *word of life* was fulfilled in the Christ.Amen to that!Hebrews 1:2 says in the LAST days he spoke to us through his Son,so logic would dictate not before.

Colossians 1:25:I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.

The *word of God* here fully known was a *mystery hidden for ages*.Was this *mystery* a preexistent Christ waiting to reveal himself in the flesh OR God's purpose to bring about a savior that THEN later came to exist and so was able to redeem us according to God's wisdom,words,plans,and purpose?

1 Corinthians 2:6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

So here in Corinthians Paul says the *wisdom*(which also became Christ in the flesh for our redemption!) was DECREED.Implying it wasn't "always existing" but rather "would come to pass."Meaning it was always God's plan and purpose for Jesus to fulfill all things for his glory,for the Lord's glory,and for our eventual glory as the free and imperishable sons of God,in the pattern of his firstborn and chief and unique one who was our forerunner and redeemer,the one who guaranteed God's plans by his inspiring and heartfelt obedience and gifted exaltation.

1 Corinthians 1:30: And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

This text says Jesus BECAME to us wisdom from God and doesn't in any way communicate Jesus was ALWAYS
alive to be wisdom from God.This makes sense because he was DECREED,as God made evident in what he said in Genesis 3:15,the first Messianic prophecy.

To quote Karen Armstrong,who Greg quotes in his book(from A History of God:From Abraham to the present:the 4000 year quest for God,p.106)"The "memra"(word) performs the same function as other technical terms like "glory,""Holy spirit",and "Shekinah" which emphasized the distinction between God's presence in the world and the incomprehensible reality of God Himself.Like the divine Wisdom,the "Word" symbolized God's original plan for creation.When Paul and John speak about Jesus as though he had some kind of preexistent life,they were not suggesting he was a second divine "person" in the later trinitarian sense.They were indicating that Jesus transcended temporal and individual modes of existence.Because the "power and "wisdom" he REPRESENTED(emphasis mine) were activities that derived from God,he had in some way expressed "what was there from the beginning."These ideas were comprehensible in a strictly Jewish context,though later Christians with a Greek background would interpret them differently."

So the "word of life" that was in the beginning with God didn't become manifest till the latter times when Christ fulfilled it and became flesh to dwell with and die for us.My theory is that God foreknew how man would abuse his free will and how man could never learn exactly how disobedience to him would be to humankind's utmost detriment without actually experiencing the inevitable consequences of such ignorant rebellion! He in his wisdom planned for us to suffer now a world not theocratically divinely ruled in justice so that we MAY learn and appreciate his kingdom when it DOES come.Never will we have an excuse to willfully disobey again.Never will we wonder what a world would be like without God in ultimate control,but rather rebellious creatures working outside his will.We know now and God is good to have educated us!How else would we have known?God also knew how easy it would be for man to misuse and abuse the awesome gift of free will and so what has happened,with Adam and Eve doing so and subsequent humanity under their curse via inheritance,was what would NATURALLY occur.Due to God's grace,wisdom,and mercy,we can be redeemed from the curse but must NOW LEARN that to live in a peaceful God-ruled kingdom requires our willful obedience to the one who clearly knows what is best for us because he created us and knows all things.To willfully,after having learned all we know now with the world's downfall because God allows men and fallen angels to have temporary control of world affairs,disobey and rebel against our loving and all knowing life giver would be inexcusable,ignorant,and death dealing.How could we live in his upcoming perfect, peaceful, blissful,& flawless kingdom if we don't love or obey him?Hence some HAVE to be destroyed but only those who don't free-willfully love and obey God.My purpose in mentioning these things is to tie in to the reader how, because of God's foreknowledge of all this, that he purposed & planned,via his spirit,will,wisdom and word to bring about a means of redemption which became Christ in the flesh for ultimate salvation.God has scales of perfect justice so if one perfect man(God's first human son) could bring about death for every man by one act of disobedience then another perfect man(The Last Adam,the Son of the living God) could bring about the salvation of every man of faith by his own obedience.It's a beautiful thing indeed!The redeeming blood of the perfect and holy Lamb of God accomplishes for us what God's will purposed.God's "word of life" ,that spoken of in John 1 and 1 John 1 was God's divine wisdom,plan and purpose(and hence was poetically described in John 1:1 as being divine or wrapped up with God Himself) was fulfilled when Christ became flesh.(John 1:14)

Many commentators recognize that John ch. 1 is in a poetic style as opposed to a literary one.To quote Deuble:"(Early Church father)Origen's commentary on John states:"logos-only in the sense of the utterance of the father which came to expression in a Son when Jesus was conceived."Similarly Tertullian:"It is the simple use of our people to say (of John 1) that the word of REVELATION(emphasis mine) was with God."(p. 191 in Deuble's book from Ad Praxeus 5)

But was God's revelation of Christ a revelation of Christ as the second person of his being or a preexistent archangel OR as the one who via his spirit and a virgin womb came to be flesh to dwell among us as savior of the world in latter times(who wasn't ever born before he was born as a perfect man)?

From where they have generous excerpts from their book "One God & One Lord: Reconsidering the Cornerstone of the Christian Faith"

The site says"Logos is the term that God uses to represent His purpose for this new creation, which was eventually realized in the person of Jesus."It also quotes from Anthony F. Buzzard and Charles F. Hunting from their book "The Doctrine of The Trinity: Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound":

"What was it that became flesh in John 1:14? Was it a pre-existing person? Or was it the self-expressive activity of God, the Father, His eternal plan? A plan may take flesh, for example, when the design in the architect’s mind finally takes shape as a house. What pre-existed the visible bricks and mortar was the intention in the mind of the architect. Thus, it is quite in order to read John 1:1-3a: “In the beginning was the creative purpose of God. It was with God and was fully expressive of God [just as wisdom was with God before creation]. All things came into being through it.” This rendering suits the Old Testament use of “word” admirably: “So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”(Isaiah 55:11)"

"The true background to John’s thought and language is found not in Greek philosophy but in Hebrew revelation. The “Word of God” in the Old Testament denotes God in action, especially in creation, revelation and deliverance."scholar F.F.Bruce, op. cit., John, p. 29.

There will be more to come.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jehovah's Witnesses need truth and Christian freedom

This video speaks(in a distinctly southern fashion) more about my main objective in the Romans blog I posted last.There is some said here that I have written in other blogs but reiterate because I keep getting the same defenses from JW's,especially about the faithful slave feeding them at the proper time.The reason I so emphasize the need to be in Christ and the need to be God's child is because it is a prevalent heartfelt and life saving admonition throughout the entire NT for all believers.It was one of,if not the most compelling reason for me to leave the WT organization.There were many others,but this one hits home for those who read God's word without the WT's bias distorted and flawed lens of changing light.I love JW's so much and completely understand their ways of thinking.Sometimes it takes a reality check to wake up.And though it's always best if the reality check is tempered with mildness and deep respect,how exactly can you communicate bold and grand injustices without simply sounding possibly bitter or condemnatory?Maybe I'll find a balance,but it is of utmost importance that the Messiah complex of the WT organization be exposed as the blasphemy that it truly is.

I've been accused by JW's of sounding like a trinitarian because of emphasizing Christ so much.By NO means am I negating the father and God of Christ's role as Most High God nor am I exalting Christ to ontological equality and inclusion with & in the "being" of his own God.What I AM doing is proclaiming the true roles of Christ for every believer that the WT denies him.The WT doesn't negate Jehovah's roles.They do Jesus's.So THAT is why I emphasize Christ for JW's and certainly not because I believe God is a triune substance.The organization essentially becomes a Messiah in that all the titles for the Lord ALONE(savior,mediator,the truth,how to live forever etc..)are attributed to a "mother organization" either instead of or in addition to Christ alone when nothing should be added.For the trinitarians,the fact that we're Christ's body alone should help you figure out that Christ isn't God unless we become God's brothers and God's body in whom the first of God's 3 persons can indwell the second,whose body we are,by means of the third person of his being.God inhabits Christ's body by spirit,but no one God inhabits by spirit,like he does his Christ more fully than anyone else,actually becomes the SAME God.Unless we do too!Trinitarian arguments OFTTIMES make Christians God too.Like proskeneo(Rev 3:9),fullness(Eph. 3:19) forgiving sin(John 20:22-23),judging(1 Cor. 6:3)..etc.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jehovah's Witnesses,Romans 8 and the glorious freedom of being born again

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

If you aren't IN Christ Jesus,forbidden to the most of you by the WT society,then you are NOT FREE from the law of sin and death.That means you cannot live.I know that JW's will automatically wonder how the OT faithful will live since they didn't have the opportunity for freedom in Christ.Because of their faith in that One to come and in God himself and his sure promises,they too will be set free in Christ when God grants them the eternal life found only in His Son.There is simply no way Abraham or David or anyone who sincerely loved God would deny the invitations and words of His Own Son.Do you really think Joseph or Joshua would have said ,had they lived AFTER Christ "but God..I don't WANT to be set free in Christ from the law of sin and death!I'd rather still be in bondage because a few men in NY tell me I can't be set free in Christ even though you tell me I can and Christ tells me I can.I'd simply rather listen to fallible men."These OT faithful followers of God exercised grand faith in things they did not behold but knew would occur.For that they too will experience what Christians can and be declared righteous in the Last Adam.Christ abolished the Old Law Covenant by fulfilling it and offering something greater that can TRULY save and set us ALL free from slavery.We are not living in times before he came anymore.No more excuses for denying his spirit and freedom.

3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

This is written to the body of Christ,yes,all true Christians.If we aren't sealed with God's spirit,the bible makes it painfully clear that we have no life,no hope.If you deny Christ's Spirit,and the sealing with it to become God's Son and Christ's brother,you are living according to the FLESH,which brings death.You can have life in abundance in Christ alone.And not in an organization who denies you what scripture offers freely at every turn.Being a slave to men would NATURALLY lead to setting minds on things of the flesh.Where there is no life.WT or holy scripture?Men or God?False prophet organization or the body of Christ?

13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Are you led by God's spirit?If not,why not?And if you are,that means you are a child of God!Embrace it.

Let's jump to 1 Corinthians ch. 15 to examine what happens in the resurrection to ALL CHRISTIANS before we move on in Romans.(certain texts and portions removed to keep it briefer and on point.)

verse:42 What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory.44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

Notice there are not two DIFFERENT types of resurrections here..ALL the righteous will likewise bear the image of God's Son and be given "spiritual heavenly bodies" in that God glorifies our bodies and CLOTHES them with the glory of incorruption and imperishability that flows from heaven.The kingdom of the heavens is NOT distinguished from the inhabited earth to come in scripture.It is all the same kingdom.New Jerusalem will descend to this earth and make it new,blessing it exceedingly.Our promise is reserved in the heavens in that now the earth is still corrupt and hasn't yet become the kingdom of the Lord and his Christ(Dan 2:44), and so right now heaven is where our hope should lie because that is where our blessings are being stored up that will flow to this earth, making it new in the coming kingdom!No we won't be flying away to heaven but rather heaven and the New Jerusalem will descend to the earth and make it Edenic.Where in 1 Corinthians 15 is the resurrection of the ones who AREN'T Christ's brothers and sealed with his spirit depicted?Where in this chapter is it noted that some Christians won't be glorfied till after the millennium and that they live somewhere different than the "elite?""Flesh and blood" not being able to inherit the kingdom has to mean that the corrupt flesh like we have now cannot..Only the clothed-with-imperishability "heavenly" "spiritual" bodies made in the image of the glorified resurrected Last Adam can.

Moving on in Romans chapter 8:
17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: “Abba, Father!” 16 The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 If, then, we are children, we are also heirs: heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ, provided we suffer together that we may also be glorified together.18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

This goes right back to 1 Corinthians 15 where our glory will be revealed in the resurrection.Again I will have to ask JW's where the resurrection of those who are STILL under bondage to the "spirit of slavery causing fear again",(even after Christ came and did away with it for those who exercise faith in him,) is heralded?Shouldn't it go without saying that if we have 2 choices according to scripture:
1.To be free in Christ,sealed with his spirit in all righteousness and promised glory
or death dealing bondage to the spirit of slavery that causes fear and keeps us dead and fruitless as ones who CANNOT cry "Abba Father!" & who cannot be sealed with what testifies to life and glory..

that we should choose option number 1 when it is ONLY the eisegesis and special pleading of men who want to keep us in bondage(willfully or not) that keeps us from true Christian freedom!
verse 16 in Romans 8 says:
16 The Spirit himself(should be translated ITself) bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God
reminds me of..

1John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God

So far we've learned that confessing Jesus is the Christ means you're God's child,even though the WT says you cannot be.

moving on..verse 4 of 1 John 5 says

4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.

And we know what happens to the world in 1 John 2:15-17,so according to the WT,because you cannot be children of God as JW's(at least not the most of you)you cannot overcome the world.How does it feel knowing you cannot be born of God and hence unable to live and overcome the world because men who know they're fallible and don't even agree amongst themselves often,(as well as having false prophecied repeatedly throughout the WT's brief history,) have told you so?

also in 1 John 5:

11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is IN HIS SON...skipping to verse 18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

So if you aren't born of God after exercising faith then your only other option is to be dead in your trespasses and to be a part of the world that is passing away.
This goes well with and is corroborated in John ch. 15 where the NWT mistranslated so that it wouldn't read "abide in Christ".John ch. 15 says if you don't ABIDE IN CHRIST that you're dead and fruitless and will be consumed in fire..the WT instead translated it "in union with Christ" so one may not get an idea different from their traditional ones.These texts and truths are also corroborated in 1 John 3 where it says:

1 John 3: 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

So whoever is "of God" is "born of God",and whoever isn't born of God(again,forbidden to almost every JW!) is classified as a child of the devil!(red alert)If the WT doesn't give you the option of being a child of God,what would this mean for you if there are only 2 options as presented in these texts?

1.child of God(denied to you by the WT) OR

2.child of the devil

As a JW,if you aren't children of God,if you don't have that glorious freedom a Christian is supposed to,whose child are you?The bible gives two option there to be a child of God "maybe later if you're lucky" if you treat Christ's brothers well enough,whose brother YOU should be now as a Christian who exercises faith in your Messiah,the real "truth!"

Lets move on in Romans 8:
19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Lets look at what the WT society has to say about these texts from the Insight book Vol. 2 under heading "Sons of God"

"Since Paul says that “the creation” is waiting for this revealing, and will then be “set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God,” it is apparent that others aside from these heavenly “sons of God” receive benefit from their revelation in glory. (Ro 8:19-23) The Greek term rendered “creation” can refer to any creature, human or animal, or to creation in general. Paul refers to it here as being in “eager expectation,” as “waiting,” as “subjected to futility, [though] not by its own will,” as being “set free from enslavement to corruption [in order to] have the glorious freedom of the children of God,” and as “groaning together” even as the Christian “sons” groan within themselves; these expressions all point conclusively to the human creation, the human family, hence not to creation in general, including animals, vegetation, and other creations, both animate and inanimate. (Compare Col 1:23.) This must mean, then, that the revelation of the sons of God in glory opens the way for others of the human family to enter into a relationship of actual sonship with God and to enjoy the freedom that accompanies such relationship."

What the WT is ignoring here is that OTHER creations,which even they admit can be more than the HUMAN creation in this quote from the Insight book when they said that the Greek term could refer to "creation in general", clearly is able to be personified..just like the souls of the slaughtered "cry out" to God,just like the holy spirit "speaks,"just like wisdom "dwells with prudence" and has lips,just like trees "clap their hands,"etc. Creations and other things that aren't human beings are frequently personified so this isn't a good argument on the part of JW's to say that this MUST clearly mean only the human creation.They take this assumption and not only run somewhere unwarranted with it,jumping to an absurd impossible conclusion,that there are 2 separate hopes for Christians(grossly unbiblical) and that just a few are sons of God(also abhorrently unscriptural) and that almost all Christians cannot be God's children for a long time to come!Everything in scripture would point to a truth contrary to the WT's, so REASON here is necessary.Many commentaries say the groaning creation here pertains to all the corrupt creation around us,from the animals to nature.It very well could be,as even the WT admits the greek term for creation can mean this.However,IF it is referring to ONLY the human creation then notice it says in verse 22 that they groan and travail in pain together "UNTIL NOW." This clearly means that Christ set us all free from bondage to corruption and that we can now be free in him.ALL of creation,not just a couple people within that creation.To say these texts weren't written for almost every single Christian who reads them would be far fetched and ridiculous.Examine also:

We just covered how in Romans 8:19-22 the creation groaned together until Christ came and set it free so now we'll discuss what firstfruits means in verse 23 where it says:not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

So even though Christians have been set free to an extent from bondage,the ultimate setting free and "real life"(1 Tim. 6:19) in the "inhabited earth to come"(Heb 2:5) when the "redemption of our bodies"( 1 Cor. 15:52) will be fully realized is yet to be.But as Revelation says..God's promise of that kingdom is a "faithful and true" one.(Rev. 21:5)Of THAT we can be assured.

The WT Insight book Vol. 2 also says(under heading "Sons of God"):
"It may be noted also that James (1:18) speaks of these spirit-begotten “sons of God” as being “certain firstfruits” of God’s creatures, an expression similar to that used of the “hundred and forty-four thousand” who are “bought from among mankind” as described at Revelation 14:1-4. “Firstfruits” implies that other fruits follow, and hence the “creation” of Romans 8:19-22 evidently applies to such ‘after fruits’ or ‘secondary fruits’ of mankind who, through faith in Christ Jesus, gain EVENTUAL sonship in God’s universal family."

First of all,this quote makes the bold leap from firstfruits implying there are afterfruits(which is true but doesn't negate the fact that those after get the same inheritance!)all the way to the assumption that the "groaning creation" HAS to be the afterfruits(the so called "earthly class" that simply ARE NOT sons of least not for a long time to come!And as we've already covered,to deny that you're a child of God leaves you only one other be a child of Satan and his world that is passing away.Keep in mind the groaning happens UNTIL NOW acc to verse 22.Meaning JW's should NOT still be groaning in the kind of pangs those in bondage before Christ came were since Christ has fulfilled all things and set them free from that!

There are a few possible interpretations of "firstfruits."It could mean
1.That the ones who were writing,THE JEWS,were the first to be offered this hope in Christ and the Gentiles were AFTER them.
2.That all those at Pentecost and probably beyond,essentially all the very first Christians,were the FIRST ones to receive the sealing of the holy spirit,but this clearly does not exclude other Christians from receiving the same if they too want life and glory.
3.All Christians are the firstfruits and all the OT faithful will be sealed after.

Basically,it is a WILD eisegetical leap to assert that "firstfruits" means that the firstfruits themselves are the only ones allowed a sealing with the spirit NOW.Clearly,the word itself implies that there would be those right after them who would too.Positively no hint that this could only occur thousands of years later,but textually there is explicit indication that the groaning creation that the rank and file JW's think that they ARE should have ceased thanks to the Messiah,save for the groaning for the pure and unadulterated freedom that will abound in the coming kingdom!

Even further,in reference to the resurrection:

1 Corinthians 15:23 says:But each in his own order: Christ the FIRSTFRUITS, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

So I guess I'll ask the JW's,does Christ being the firstfruits here exclude anyone else from attaining to his resurrection OR does it mean there will come those after who attain the same glorified resurrection?If there will be those after,(and the WT teaches that there will,)why isn't the same principle in regards to firstfruits applied consistently in WT exegesis?In that it simply means "first one" or "first ones" as opposed to "different class of people altogether than most of those who come after."

Finishing up Romans 8:
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself(or rather ITself) intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What a shame to let a manmade modern day organization keep you from having the Spirit of Christ seal you and intercede for you!Don't let ANY word or thing MEN have said or written keep you from the truth and glory for all Christians as presented in Romans 8 and beyond.God won't excuse your listening to men who contradict his word.It's really very simple..if the WT isn't teaching what scripture says explicitly but have instead invented an elaborate misguided system of inference to erase the application of MUCH if the NT for you personally,then it's not ok to follow the men who do this.

The WT enslaves its followers under a works based salvation system and keeps them under the Old Law covenant in that Christ is denied to them as their mediator and they must instead rely on an organized system as their way to God.Which defies,nullifies,disregards,disrespects,and makes moot everything Christ said in John ch. 10,which I encourage JW's to read very carefully.If you know there's ANYTHING at all wrong with the WT organization then that means you cannot unhypocriticallly be a JW because they Pharisaically DEMAND you adhere to their EVERY teaching,their "full range" to be acceptable.So unless you want to live a life of hiding your feelings,thoughts,and of forced conformity,let Christ set you free.

Many in the JW faith know of the many problems and unscriptural teachings within the organization yet think Jehovah will correct all those issues in his own due time.To quote Ray Franz from "In Search of Christian Freedom":

"To think that God is obligated to take some special action to clean up the Watchtower organization,while letting whatever problems and faults exist in all the thousands of other religions continue as they are,is not,I feel,based on any sound scriptural reason.NO people on earth were more intimately connected with the name represented by the Tetragrammaton than the Israelite nation,those to whom the words "you are my witnesses," were originally addressed.Yet God did not "straighten out" that nation nor did his Son do so.The desire on their part(particularly that of the national leadership) for change was absent.The evidence is that it is similarly absent in the WT organization."p.522

The WT would have you believe that only a couple of THEIR anointed in secret chambers can teach you as opposed to your own anointing that scripture says occurs when you profess faith in and obey the Christ.But what does the bible say?

1 John 2:26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

AGAIN, so much is said in just a couple texts that explicitly refutes WT beliefs.:

1.If you're a righteous Christian ,you're born of God.(born again!)
2.Abide in Christ or disobey too many scriptural admonitions to count.
3.Do not be need NO ONE to teach you what God through his spirit can and will.Those who intellectually intimidate you to believe something different are those who have like thieves come in the place of Christ and claim you can't learn anything without them,know God without them,nor be saved without their system.The true religion in scripture is the body of Christ.If you aren't member of that,you haven't found the "truth" yet.Christ cannot be your "head" if you aren't in his "body!"And if Christ isn't your head,you're not a Christian yet.

To expound on this theme that all Christians should be sealed with the spirit,born of God, and anointed..let's go into the book of Galatians ch 4.Regarding the WT assertions that ONLY 144,000 are partakers of the New Covenant..lets examine this chapter and reason with the scriptures.:

Galatians 4:22 it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,
“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has husband.”28 Now you,brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. (notice only 2 options here,again:1.born of flesh(equals death)OR born of the spirit that the WT denies you!Which would YOU rather be?Which SHOULD you be according to the bible if you want to live?)30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

Summarized and put as simply as is possible..The old covenant included MILLIONS from the time of Moses to John the Baptist.These texts make it clear those in the NEW covenant would be MORE NUMEROUS than those in the old,rendering the WT's literal application of 144,000 impossible!To quote a webpage I'll link here:

"This is because the New Covenant would comprise of Jews and Gentiles without any distinction (Romans 3:22).Thus it can be easily and Scripturally demonstrated that the New Covenant is made with MILLIONS of persons and not just the 144,000 as is taught by the Watch Tower Society."

Just to reiterate the truth that all Christians can receive an anointing and the same scriptural destiny..

Examine also:

Ephesians 4:4 One body there is, and one spirit, even as you were called in the one hope to which you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

Notice these texts say "ONE hope,one faith,one baptism"..not two hopes,one faith,two baptisms.

As many know,the WT says the "little flock" and the "other sheep"of Luke 12:32 & John 10:16 are those going to heaven as Christ's brothers and then those who can't,who will live here instead and be kingdom subjects.Is this true?Absolutely not.The most natural and true meaning of these is that the little flock are the Jews to whom Jesus is speaking and the other sheep everyone else,the gentiles.Let's closely and seriously examine what happens to the "two groups"(which in reality are the Jews and the Gentiles that the WT misinterprets as the "anointed" and a "non-anointed" class)that the WT tries to separate into different destinies,with one group lording it over the other:

These are VERY important scriptures for the JW to examine sincerely and unbiasly.Let's let them simply speak.No butchering,no special pleading,no trickery.

Ephesians 2:13 But now in union with Christ Jesus (SHOULD be translated IN Christ Jesus,simply)you who were once far off have come to be near by the blood of the Christ. 14 For he is our peace, he who made the TWO PARTIES ONE and DESTROYED THE WALL in between that fenced them off. 15 By means of his flesh he abolished the enmity, the Law of commandments consisting in decrees, that he might create the two peoples in union with himself into one new man and make peace; 16 and that he might fully reconcile BOTH PEOPLES in ONE BODY to God through the torture stake, because he had killed off the enmity by means of himself. 17 And he came and declared the good news of peace to you, the ones far off, and peace to those near, 18 because through him we, BOTH PEOPLES, have the approach to the Father by ONE SPIRIT.

Both peoples(Jews and gentiles) now can approach by ONE spirit in union the father,as opposed to only one group being allowed to do this.The wall is destroyed and the flock is one.BOTH GROUPS are reconciled here into the SAME BODY OF CHRIST,where scripture says you either dwell or perish.There is no way this advocates a separation of the two groups as presented in John 10:16 and Luke 12:32 in any capacity.Why does the WT defy these texts in such an egregious manner and build the wall Christ tore down & deny the ONE SPIRIT to most of their followers?Only Jews are saved.Faithful natural ones AND those adopted as spiritual Jews(ALL faithful Christians) if you aren't adopted as a spiritual Jew,then where's the scriptural evidence you can be saved at all?

If your foundation for salvation and true belief is rested upon men or an organization,you are in a pitiable state and may not know.You may not know because you are deceived by loyalty to men and organizational loyalty,and when we put so much trust and faith in men who refute God's Son at many turns,God cannot help us.Let him help you..Confess that you want to trust Him and his Son over everyone else..his word over any literature,his proclamations over any fear you may have to somehow violate a policy of men..He WILL welcome you into the body of His Son with open arms,another vessel in whom he can dwell by spirit..another sheep who has found where life really His Son who he made to be the temple in whom true believers either dwell or get consumed.(John 15:6,Hebrews 3:6)

Just to bring it on home:

John 1:12 However, as many as did receive him, to them he gave authority to become God’s children, because they were exercising faith in his name; 13 and they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man’s will, but from God.

Yet AGAIN,if you aren't born of God,you're born of a "fleshly will" or "man's will"..which option sounds more coherent and plausible and desirable for a Christian?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

John 2:19 for trinitarians (again)

I covered this text more thoroughly with other possible interpretations in a blog from January 2010.Here's the link:

examine the texts in question:

John 2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

First ,let's establish that there is not a singular text in scripture that communicates that Christ raised HIMSELF from the dead(except an apparent misapplication of John 2:19.)After all,he was dead and therefore COULD NOT.It would be IMPOSSIBLE,simply.Unless of course there IS a literal application here only in that his body "rose" when God awoke him.That actually IS a possible meaning of it given that the greek verb egeiro can literally mean to "awake" or to "rise."Which of course could occur after God gave his spirit(breath) back to him that had left him at the cross where his spirit("breath" as opposed to a separate unkillable entity)had returned to the God who gave it which caused his breath and thoughts to cease for 3 whole days.(Ps. 146:4)

God defines those who are dead as metaphorically "sleeping"(connoting their ability to be awoke,John 11:11),having zero thoughts(as opposed to thoughts running strongly,Ps. 146:4),NOT praising Jah(as opposed to being alive to praise Him,Ps. 115:17) ,utterly silent(as opposed to loud and clear with speech,Ps. 31:17)..the list just goes on.And Christ testified that HE(his person as opposed to just some vessel that didn't have him in it at all) was DEAD,correct?If Christ had said that **HE** accomplished something,would you assume Christ the person didn't?But that his flesh without his person present within it did?If you would reasonably understand that when Christ speaks of "himself" he is talking about his entire person,then why do you throw away your logic when it comes to ***HIM*** actually dying according to GOD's(As opposed to Plato's) definition of the word?

Let us also examine the scriptures to see if it actually SOUNDS like Christ was counting on his alive self to raise a capsule that was devoid of his person.

Psalm 16:10 prophetically states:For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

In Sheol,acc to Psalm 31:17,the genuinely dead and those who've perished are SILENT.So if you don't believe Jesus was silent,sleeping,etc..his entire person,for 3 days,you have a "different Jesus."(2 Corinthians 11:4)Notice Jesus says ***you***(his father) "will not abandon my soul(which means the entire person or the life of a person) in Sheol(the common grave of mankind)",as opposed to "I can help myself if you won't even though I'm supposed to be dead."

At Hebrews 5:7 we also read:

During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

Again,in no way could this possibly communicate that Christ knew anyone but the one he earnestly prayed to and reverenced,his own God and father,as opposed to himself and the supposed "person" of God's spirit,could save him and raise his soul from the tomb.God raised Christ by his spirit,which is Gods spirit and not a person of a fictional triune God.We have spirits who aren't people in our "beings."God has a spirit that is holy and indescribable but that ALSO isn't a "person" in his "being."

I could obviously give text after text(and then some) that explicitly let us know WHO raised Christ from the dead.His God and father.How come no one could communicate that Christ raised himself anywhere in all of scripture? Would it be wiser and more responsible to :

1.Take one scripture and try to make the explicit statements that contradict it all through the bible fit with it by embracing an unbiblical philosophy that scripture never deliberately communicates.
2.To take the ONE text that contradicts every single numerous other passage and see if there's biblical precedent and logical precedent for an alternative interpretation that agrees with all the rest of scripture?

NOW for YET another plausible possible interpretation of John 2:19..PLEASE check out my video "Did Jesus REALLY die for trinitarians?"(which is posted in the link to the other January blog above) for many more interpretive possibilities,as well as a number of texts written out that let us know who REALLY raised Christ.

Jesus is called the Word of God.Which is apropos because as prophet he spoke the words of God and not those of himself,not his OWN words.God spoke through him and was able to do so in the 1st person at times.There is absolutely biblical precedent for this.In revelation,God gives the revelation to Christ(which if Jesus was omniscient would have been superfluous)who gave it to an angel who gave it to John.So in revelation,anyone,from Christ to the angel to John could have said ***I*** did this or that or am this or that and it could be attributed to God as the source of the words spoken through channels.Discernment and reason are always necessary.This is the power of God's spirit.When it fills someone speaking on his behalf,that person can speak in the first person as God.Let's examine a couple examples:

Deuteronomy 29. verses 2-3:Moses summons all of Israel and says to them, "You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land; the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders"

Moses recites God's wonders and then in verse 6 says in the FIRST PERSON speaking for God.:"You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the LORD your God."

What is going on here?Is Moses Jehovah because Moses said ***I***am the LORD your God OR is the Lord HIS GOD speaking through the agency of Moses?

To quote Jason Kerrigan from "Restoring the Biblical Christ ..Is Jesus God?" p.100

"The question is not whether or not Christ spoke the words(of John 2:19),but the question is whether or not the words that Christ spoke were God's words or his own.John only states that Jesus said these words,and that does not eliminate the possibility that they were the prophetic words of God.In fact,it is normal for John to record the words of God as the sayings of the prophet through whom God spoke."

Then Kerrigan gives an example of Paul mentioning how God spoke through Isaiah,another prophet,at Acts 28:25-27:“The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:

26 “‘Go to this people, and say,
You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.

So when God,by his spirit,spoke through Isaiah,was Isaiah responsible for the words out of his own lips?Could he have spoken in the first person as God since he was God's mouthpiece and prophet?Lets examine:

Hebrews 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son

To quote Kerrigan again (p.100)"If God spoke through Christ the same way he spoke through the OT prophets,then why is it that every time God has spoken through Christ,trinitarians say that Christ must have spoken those things concerning himself?"

Because occasionally God's prophets slipped into first person narrative when God spoke through them,should we not occasionally likewise expect this of Jesus?I can confidently say this is POSSIBLY what is going on in John 2:19 because there aren't just a FEW texts that let me know Jesus's God and father alone raised him but I also know Jesus said that ***he***(his whole person) died.(And we've already gone over what that meant for him.)There are 100s of examples of God speaking in the first person narrative throughout Isaiah,Jeremiah,Ezekial etc..Jesus spoke the "words of God."(John 3:34)He was indeed a prophet who God spoke through,the greatest one!As if God's greatest prophet is the SAME God whose prophet he is.

John 2:22:So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.

John uses the greek verb "egerthe" for "raised" in the PASSIVE voice,that,as Kerrigan says,"identifies the subject as the RECIPIENT of an action that is performed."

John or anyone else who spoke of Christ's being resurrected could have attributed it to the Christ while he was SUPPOSED to be dead but OF COURSE they don't.Wonder why?

I'm sure one of the scriptures John believed,as mentioned in John 2:22 was that prophetic one in Psalm 16:10 where David speaks the words of Christ prophetically in the first person narrative.

To quote Kerrigan,again(p.103)"That fact that THIS is the passage of scripture that the disciples believed(And thus quoted--Ps. 16:10 quoted at Acts 2:26-27)after Christ's resurrection is very important,because it clearly demonstrates that Christ was DEPENDENT UPON GOD for his resurrection."

Now this is just ONE more possible interpretation of John 2:19..There are many more possible ones!Let scripture interpret scripture,use reason,recognize how God Himself defines death,listen to Jesus(he said ***I*** was dead),and recognize the futility of arguing that someone who had to cry profusely to another to raise him apparently wasn't conscious enough or "split personalitied" enough to raise himself while he was supposed to be unconscious in his entire being.Reason is your friend.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Excerpt from "In Search of Christian Freedom" by Ray Franz

The book is by Ray Franz,former governing body member(he recently passed away and I hope to see him at the resurrection!)..This excerpt is from chapter 1 of the book..The entire book is a gem in my opinion.Everyone could benefit from it,ESPECIALLY Jehovah's Witnesses and ex-JW's.And anyone else trapped in a legalistic religious system.Some of the smartest Christians I know think the OT laws are essential..hopefully some of the logic in this video and elsewhere will be at least considered by them.And JW's obviously think they need a governing body to dictate their consciences and daily affairs.You HAVE to submit to it,right or wrong, if you want to remain what they would call "a good association."MORE study,MORE hours,MORE meeting attendance,LESS beard,no independent study,no outside religious material...the list is endless!!