|Questions Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask|
|By: Lorri MacGregor; ©December 2001|
|Which religion teaches the “true” Jesus? Why does the Bible contradict itself? Does the soul die? Should Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter? These are some of the questions Lorri MacGregor tackles.|
We receive correspondence from people in all stages of dealing with the Watchtower Society. We receive mail from devout Jehovah’s Witnesses calling us a whole assortment of unflattering names. One fellow accused me of being the Antichrist!
We also hear from folks who have begun questioning the Society because some incident has triggered their thinking mechanism at last. Their questions are the first step out of bondage. One is not allowed to ask honest-hearted questions without being accused of being “disloyal.”
Others have drifted away or run away in disgust from the Watchtower Organization, and begun searching for something to replace it. They struggle with issues that would never cross the mind of anyone else. Still, Christians should be prepared to deal with such ones. Here are some sample questions and how we might answer them. There are word-for-word questions received recently.
1. We are still trying to find the religion that is teaching the truth about Jesus Christ. There are so many religions that claim to be teaching the true Jesus Christ, but we know that they are not all teaching the truth about Jesus Christ according to the Bible.
- Answer: First off, you need to realize that you have been programmed by the Watchtower Society to believe that God uses only one group, and all the rest are wrong. While fellowship with like believers is important, the true body of Christ is made up of all who truly love and serve Him and are saved by His grace. Many different churches and denominations teach the true Jesus Christ of the Bible, truly man and truly God. You need to find a fellowship within this group of churches teaching the true Jesus Christ.
- Their differences are usually superficial—different music, different styles of preaching, etc., but not different doctrines on Christ. A key question to ask anyone is “Do you believe Jesus Christ is Almighty God manifest in the flesh?” If they say “yes,” you are in good company. If they hesitate or try to explain away any part of that statement, watch out—they are off track somehow. Try different Churches and choose one where you are comfortable. It will be hard at first, but worth it in the end.
2. Why does it seem like the Bible contradicts itself in many places?
- Answer: The operative word here is “seem.” These “contradictions” can be answered by several good books on the market, probably available at your local Christian Book Store. Ask a clerk to point them out or order a book for you which deals with these apparent discrepancies. They are only on minor items anyway, not on major doctrines central to the faith. Try not to get caught up in “majoring on the minors,” rather get grounded on the fundamentals of the faith.
3. Most religions teach that the soul doesn’t die, and yet Ezekiel 18:4 says, “Behold all souls are mine as the soul of the Father, so also the soul of the son is mine. The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
- Answer: Here again, cult definitions can be stuck in our brains so we sometimes misdefine words. This is the case with the word “die.” A person influenced by the cult doctrine of soul sleep (like Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, etc.) automatically think “annihilate” or “out of existence” when they hear the word “die.”
- However, that is not what the biblical word “die” means. Death to our human flesh (to die) is not death to our spirits and souls. Also, the terms “spirit” and “soul” are not strictly interchangeable in the Scriptures, and sometimes this causes confusion. This is a long subject, which will require further study on your part, but these words of Jesus sum it up. After death, there are two destinations, both of them eternal. Human death is not the end. Jesus said, “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). So, our soul will spend eternity somewhere. We need to decide where ours will reside, with Jesus or apart from Him.
3. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 says, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first.” If the soul doesn’t die and they go to heaven, why does the Lord need to come and resurrect the dead in Christ?
- Answer: Many scholars believe the resurrection of the saved occurs at this time of Jesus’ coming, not before. We know that God has a place where believers waited long centuries until Christ rose as the “firstfruits of the resurrection.” We also know they were conscious and not “asleep” (soul sleep) or waiting to be re-created from God’s memory after being annihilated, thereby being “clones” of their true selves, as Jehovah’s Witnesses teach. We know believers in three locations must bow the knee to Jesus, as Philippians 2:10 says, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of those who are in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth.”
- Knees can’t bow under the earth in worship to Jesus if they’re not conscious! All the promises of the resurrection will happen in God’s timing, not ours, but we know we can trust Him.
- Incidentally, the fact that Jesus comes “With the voice of the Archangel” doesn’t mean He is an Archangel, as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists teach. He is not a “shout” or a “trumpet” just because He comes WITH a shout and a trumpet. Jesus comes WITH the voice of the Archangel. He is not any kind of an angel Himself.
4. The Bible says that King David was a man after God’s own heart. So when he died he would have gone to heaven, wouldn’t he? But the Bible says that David is not ascended into the heavens in Acts 2:34. Please explain this.
- Answer: 1 Corinthians 15 speaks of the resurrection and its order. Verses 21-23 say, “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming.” David could not precede Christ into heaven, but once Christ rose from the dead as the “firstfruits,” then David’s turn would come along with all the faithful ones who were waiting for this event, in God’s timing. Wherever they were, they were conscious and capable of worship as we considered in question 3.
5. We are also struggling with Christmas and Easter. The religion we were in taught that Christmas and Easter are of pagan origin...Christmas has so many lies in it, like Christ was born on December 25th—no one knows when Jesus Christ was born. And Easter has lies in it too. Revelation 21:8 says liars will have part in the Lake of Fire. Why keep days that have lies attached to them? Please explain.
- Answer: You are right, Christmas is contaminated with Santa Claus, etc., and Easter is contaminated with the Bunny and eggs. We do not know the exact day Jesus was born. We do not want to be found following paganism, or lying.
- Having said that, do we then just ignore major Bible events that honor Christ because “pagans” have inserted their customs into our celebrations? Or, do we celebrate the great events of Christ’s birth and resurrection from the dead, staying true to the Bible, but ignoring the pagan customs?
- Each one must make his own decision. Since the angels rejoiced and sang and celebrated at the birth of Christ, we can choose to set aside one day a year and do the same. The December 25th date also comes close to the Jewish feast of Chanukkah, and this is probably the reason the ancient church adopted that date to celebrate Christ’s birth. Also, it was a convenient time for an agricultural society who were otherwise engaged in other seasons.
- Martin Luther introduced the Christmas tree according to tradition to symbolize not only the tree Jesus died on, but the tree of life referred to in Revelation. The lit candles on the branches showed Christ was the light of the world.
- Pagans always chopped the tree down and decked it with silver and gold and worshipped it. The Christmas tree has never been worshiped yet in a Christian home!
- The glorious fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is another reason to celebrate minus the pagan trappings.
- Romans 14:5 says, “One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind.” So, you choose for yourself. Let your conscience be your guide. Let’s not let these things divide the body of Christ.
Christians, these are valid questions, and you should prepare yourselves to give good Biblical responses to those who ask. We hope this article helps you.