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?

1 comment:

  1. thank you very much for this timely insight into GOD'S WORD. This a very relevant topic in discussion with jehovah witnesses