Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Three Arguments That Refute the Trinity

I have been debating with some Trinitarians online and it has gotten nowhere. After three days, and some getting out of hand, I have left the conversation. I have been reminded of what I was like before I became a true Christian Witness and what I have worked so hard to change. We need to strip off the "old personality with its practices and clothe [our]selves with the new personality." (Colossians 3:9-10) Doing this is very hard, even more so when that "old personality" comes to the surface--but it is essential that we ignore any urges it gives us.

Talking to Trinitarians can be hard. We may feel they disregard crystal-clear Scriptures that disprove the Trinity, wanting to stick to their traditions handed down to them and continue to "make the word of God invalid." (Mark 7:13) Verses such as John 14:28; 20:17; 1 Corinthians 11:3; 2 Corinthians 1:3 and Hebrews 9:24 seem to close the case against the Trinity. They just won't accept these!

This made me realize: Individual verses may not always have the desired effect. Sometimes we need to reason with them on certain points, like Paul did with the Thessalonian Jews. (Acts 17:1-3) With this in mind, I decided on three points that need to be reasoned upon:

1. Can God be tempted?
2. Can God walk among sinful humans?
3. Can God die?

Let us look at these in-depth later. First, we need to see exactly what the Trinity is.

What is the Trinity?

There are many conflicting ideas of what the Trinity is. The most popular one is this: There exists God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Yet, there are not three God's but one God. Each is co-equal and co-eternal, none of them having a beginning or an end.

Throughout the centuries there have been many ideas on how to explain the Trinity. Some say water, ice, and water vapor (an update of the "water-ice-fire" theory) are all different forms of the same water, using this to illustrate the relationship of the ones in the Godhead. Others will contradict such reasoning and say that even though God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit area all one, they can appear separately. The water-ice-vapor theory does not allow that.

One chart that has been getting passed around a lot is this shown below.

This graph says that the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the holy spirit, and the holy spirit is not the Father and yet they are all God and they are all the same! Is it any wonder why the "Holy Trinity" is deemed a mystery (incomprehensible in the Athanasian Creed) that no one can understand? Ask: If Jesus said that the Jews "worship what [they] know" yet history proves that the Jews never believed in the Trinity*, then does that mean that Jesus' statement is false?-John 4:22

The truth is, it is as one encyclopedia says, "neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament."** No, the Trinity is not a Bible teaching. How do we know? Let us answer each of the questions presented in the outset.

Can God Be Tempted?

The disciple James said of God: "When people are tempted, they should not say, 'God is tempting me.' Evil cannot tempt God, and God himself does not tempt anyone." (James 1:13, New Century Version) This is obvious that God cannot be tempted because God is without sin. The very idea that God can sin is blasphemy. He does no unrighteousness. (Deuteronomy 32:4) Nobody, not even Satan the Devil, can make God sin.

If Christ was God, the same would apply to him. Nothing would ever be able to tempt the Lord. However, some may point to this Scripture in an attempt to prove that Jesus was never tempted, "He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth." (1 Peter 2:22) No, Jesus Christ did not sin at all; that is not what I am trying to imply. Christ was a perfect man throughout his entire life. Is the fact that he did not sin enough to prove that, like God, he could not be tempted? Let us look at an account in the Gospel of Matthew.

"Then Jesus was led by the spirit up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, then he felt hungry. Also, the Tempter came and said to him: 'If you are a son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.' But in reply he said: 'It is written, "Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth."'

"Then the Devil took him along into the holy city, and he stationed him upon the battlement of the temple and said to him: 'If you are a son of God, hurl yourself down; for it is written, "He will give his angels a charge concerning you, and they will carry you on their hands, that you may at no time strike your foot against a stone."' Jesus said to him: 'Again it is written, "You must not put Jehovah your God to the test."'

"Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him: 'All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.' Then Jesus said to him: 'Go away, Satan! For it is written, "It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service."' Then the Devil left him, and, look! angels came and began to minister to him."-Matthew 4:1-11

Now, if Christ was the God that cannot sin, why would the devil even bother to tempt him? The Scripture does not say that Jesus was led into the wilderness so that the devil could try to tempt him, but we are told this happened so that the devil could tempt him.

Some may say, "Even though the devil tried to tempt him, it didn't work. Jesus immediately denied the offers made." Yes, Jesus did immediately deny the temptations but is this enough to prove that he is the God that could not be tempted, or at least that the possibility stands?

No! God cannot be tempted, but Jesus was! We know that Jesus was tempted at some point in his life because the Scriptures say, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin." (Hebrews 4:15, New International Version) That is not something that can happen with God.

When we understand this about Jesus, the following account makes more sense. "And as he [Jesus] was going out on his way, a certain man ran up and fell upon his knees before him and put the question to him: 'Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?' Jesus said to him: 'Why do you call me good? Nobody is good, except one, God.'" (Mark 10:17-18) Why would the Lord say this if he was a perfect man? (Hebrews 7:26) Well, the main difference between God and Jesus is that Jesus could be tempted while God can never be tempted.

After looking at the first question, "Can God be tempted?", we see that Trinitarian beliefs on Jesus as God would cause a contradiction between Hebrews 4:15 and James 1:13. It would do well to rid yourself of any belief that causes a contradiction in Scripture.

Can God Himself Walk Among Sinful Humans?

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Think of the prophet Isaiah. Knowing he was a sinner, he did not feel worthy of being in God's presence. Look at this account:

"In the year that King Uzziah died I, however, got to see Jehovah, sitting on a throne lofty and lifted up, and his skirts were filling the temple. Seraphs were standing above him. Each one had six wings. With two he kept his face covered, and with two he kept his feet covered, and with two he would fly about. And this one called to that one and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of armies. The fullness of all the earth is his glory.' And the pivots of the thresholds began to quiver at the voice of the one calling, and the house itself gradually filled with smoke.

"And I proceeded to say: 'Woe to me! For I am as good as brought to silence, because a man unclean in lips I am, and in among a people unclean in lips I am dwelling; for my eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of armies, himself!'

"At that, one of the seraphs flew to me, and in his hand there was a glowing coal that he had taken with tongs off the altar. And he proceeded to touch my mouth and to say: 'Look! This has touched your lips, and your error has departed and your sin itself is atoned for.'"-Isaiah 6:1-7

Isaiah's sinful nature made him ashamed of being in Jehovah's presence. However, the prophet saw Jehovah for a reason. Jehovah had a mission for him. The meeting, though, could not proceed until after Isaiah's sins had been atoned for. This is a prime example of the point that Jehovah cannot have dealings with sinful humans.

Furthermore, we needed a reconciliation with God. We were once enemies of God and needed to be reconciled to Him--and a person only needs to be reconciled to another if they have separated themselves from that person. So we were separated from God. That is why the Bible says, "For if, when we were enemies, we became reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, now that we have become reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only that, but we are also exulting in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." (Romans 5:10-11) We were only reconciled to Jehovah God through Jesus Christ, His Son.

To get a better picture of all of this, let us go back to the days of the Israelites. It was known that Jehovah would walk through the camp of the Israelites by means of an angel.* (Leviticus 26:12) However, there were certain requirements that the Israelites had to live up to for that privilege. For example, the Israelite camp had to be holy, with nothing indecent seen in it. If they sinned, Jehovah would leave it.-Deuteronomy 23:14

At one time, when the entire nation of Israel was still God's chosen people, he had no problems casting them off when their sin became too much. (Ezekiel 23:5, 9, 11, 28) Sin and God do not mix. The Bible clearly teaches, "For you are not a God taking delight in wickedness. No one bad may reside anytime with you." (Psalm 5:4) You can turn that around and say that God may not reside with anyone bad at any time.

But Christ was a different story. He came to earth as a man and lived among us. "So the Word became flesh and resided among us." (John 1:14) Isaiah tells us that Jesus allowed himself to be hit and spit upon. (Isaiah 50:6) Christ, not Jehovah God Himself, walked among us! Remember, Jehovah is "holy, holy, holy." (Isaiah 6:3) The original word rendered holy means "clean". So Jehovah is a clean God. On the contrary, we have on dirty garments, spiritually speaking. God had to use a perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ, so that we could 'wash our robes and make them white in the blood of the lamb.'-Revelation 7:14

Truly, it was not until we were clean in God's eyes that we could have a reconciliation with Him. Yes, "God...reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of the reconciliation, namely, that God was by means of Christ reconciling a world to himself." (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) Before that reconciliation, Christ's death, we were separated from God. If God Himself had come to earth, it would mean that the reconciliation had already taken place. If two people are not speaking to each other, they only speak to one another again after they have been reconciled. So Christ could not have been God or he could have never come to reconcile us to him.

If you believe Christ is God, you have a contradiction between Psalm 5:4 and John 1:14. You should try to change your belief. You should rid yourself of any belief that causes a contradiction in Scripture.

Can God Die?

Truly, this last question is the most important. Is it possible for God to die? The Bible says no. "Are you not from long ago, O Jehovah? O my God, my Holy One, you do not die." (Habakkuk 1:12, See Box Below) The Bible makes it clear that the true God is immortal.

The Following is Supplementary Information

"You do not die" or "We do not die"?

Many Bibles say one of two different things at Habakkuk 1:12. What are some of these things that are said in each translation?

"We Will Not Die"

"My God, my Holy One, we will not die." (NIV)

"O LORD, my God, my Holy One? We will not die." (NASB)

"O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die." (ESV)

"You Do Not Die"

"My Holy One, You will not die." (HCSB)

"O my God, my Holy One, you do not die." (NWT)

"My God, my Holy One, you will never die." (TNIV)

Why do different Bible translations say different things? Well, simply put, different manuscripts say different things! Is there anyway to tell which ones are right? Yes!

In the past, a group of scribes (people that copied the Bible) took it upon themselves to copy the Bible--and "fix" the texts! These men removed anything that could be considered blasphemous in regard to God and put an alternate rendering that was "less blasphemous". Habakkuk 1:12 was not the only text changed by these scribes.

Look at two other verses changed by these scribes so that Jehovah will not be looked down upon or blasphemed. One Scripture says this: (Genesis 18:22) "At this point the men turned from there and got on their way to Sodom; but as for Jehovah, he was still standing before Abraham." (Correct Version) "Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the LORD." (Altered Version) The scribes changed this because they thought it was disrespectful to Jehovah to have Him standing before Abraham, so it was changed so that Abraham was standing before Jehovah.

One other change is this: (1 Samuel 3:13) "For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them." (Correct Version) "For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them." (Altered Version) The scribes changed this because the idea of anyone blaspheming God was utterly heinous to them. So they changed the text to say that Eli's sons cursed themselves and not God.

The very idea that God could die offended the scribes so they changed the text, just like the two examples above.** What it really comes down to is which rendering makes more sense in light of the context. Does the context of the Scriptures surrounding Habakkuk 1:12 and contained in Habakkuk 1:12 show that Habakkuk was saying that God could not die?

Remember that Habakkuk is speaking to Jehovah, describing Him. He first tells Jehovah that He is from long ago. Then the prophet tells Him that He cannot die. Next Habakkuk tells Jehovah that He is too pure to look on badness. Since the entire context is describing Jehovah, it would be awkward if the subject changed from Jehovah to the Israelites and then back to Jehovah. Uniformity demands that the text say Jehovah cannot die. Context does not allow any other way.

The scribes went even further in another thing they did, not just changing a few Bible verses. They actually replaced the Name of Jehovah with the Hebrew word for "Lord" 134 times. All of the other times they just put a note under each occurrence of the Name to remind readers to say "Lord" instead of "YHWH".

The oldest and most reliable manuscripts show the original rendering of Habakkuk 1:12, Genesis 18:22, 1 Samuel 3:13 and the other Scriptures, and also show God's Name in all the places it is supposed to occur.

Speaking of Jehovah, the Bible says: "Even from time indefinite to time indefinite you are God." (Psalm 90:2) This Scripture states that He will always be God, He will continue to live forever as God. Being "to time indefinite" shows that Jehovah will never die.

What about Jesus? Jesus died. "Jesus shouted and then died." (Mark 15:37, Contemporary English Version) In fact, Jesus told the congregation in Smyrna that he was the one "who was dead." (Revelation 2:8, Holman Christian Standard Bible) Paul echoes similar words in one of his letters. (Romans 14:9) Yes, Jesus was fully dead. He was not alive. Now, if Jesus was God, then Habakkuk 1:12 would be contradicted which said that God cannot die!

Further, Jesus was dead for three days and was resurrected. "God raised him up from the dead." (Acts 3:15) If Jesus, being God, was actually dead, how did he raise himself up? If he was able to raise himself up then he wasn't really dead. And that presents a problem. "The Son of Man came...to give his soul [life, NIV] a ransom in exchange for many." (Matthew 20:28) "Christ was offered once for all time to bear the sins of many." (Hebrews 9:28) "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us...we have been declared righteous by his blood." (Romans 5:8-9) Jesus had to have been dead or else we are not saved from our sins. And if he was God and raised himself up, he was not truly dead. Do you see the problem?

Jehovah is incorruptible, immortal. Jesus died. The Son is not God Almighty. Continuing to believe this presents a problem in Scripture too big to ignore. There can be no contradiction between two Bible texts, in this case Habakkuk 1:12 and Mark 15:37. It is always best to rid yourself of any belief that causes a contradiction in Scripture.

What Will You Do Now?

You have a choice. The Bible is one harmonious book. It clearly teaches that Jehovah and Jesus are not the same. You can choose to ignore that or accept it. Hopefully you accept it. What if you have read all of this and still cannot see the lack of logic in the Trinity teaching?

There is someone who does not want people to see the truth about the Trinity doctrine. He is called the "god of this world" and he has veiled the minds of the unbelievers so that the "glorious gospel of Jesus Christ...should not shine unto them." (2 Corinthians 4:4, King James Version) Only when "there is a turning to Jehovah" is the veil taken away.-2 Corinthians 3:16

The Trinity is doctrine promoted by Satan which has its roots in many ancient false religions. It is something that is hard to break away from but necessary. But you have to continue to tell yourself that it would be dishonest to hang on to a belief that you know to be false and, even worse, causes numerous contradictions in Scripture. You can beat the impulse to hang on to a false teaching. With prayer to Jehovah, the true God, you can get help to start on the way of the Truth!


For further information see the brochure, Should You Believe in the Trinity? published by Jehovah's Witnesses

*The Encyclopedia Americana, Vol. XXVII, p. 294L

**The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. X, p. 126

*For the references that it was actually an angel in the camp instead of God Himself, please see Exodus 23:20-23. Also compare times when Jehovah was spoken of as doing something but it was revealed that it was an angel: Genesis 18:1-3; 19:1, 15, 18; Exodus 3:1-5

**A full list of altered Scriptures: Genesis 18:22; Numbers 11:15; 12:12;
1 Samuel 3:13; 2 Samuel 16:12; 20:1; 1 Kings 12:16; Jeremiah 2:11; Ezekiel
8:17; Hosea 4:7; Habakkuk 1:12; Zechariah 2:12; Malachi 1:13; Psalm 106:20;
Job 7:20; 32:3; 2 Chronicles 10:16; and Lamentations 3:20.19.

Monday, March 30, 2009

"Keep Watching The Ministry...That You Fulfill It"

I just had my Special Day Assembly yesterday and appreciated it greatly. The theme was taken from Colossians 4:17 and was, "Keep Watching The Ministry...That You Fulfill It." I greatly enjoyed this assembly. I at first thought that it was going to be more of the same but I can tell that a lot of thought was put into it, how could it be made different then past assemblies?

The brothers succeeded greatly on this assembly. I just wanted to share some Scriptures that stood out to me while there, some of these I have read many times but touched me in a different way then normal.

"Deliver those who are being taken away to death; and those staggering to the slaughter, O may you hold them back. In case you should say: 'Look! We did not know of this,' will not he himself that is making an estimate of hearts discern it, and he himself that is observing your soul know and certainly pay back to earthling man according to his activity?"-Proverbs 24:11-12

"I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who imparted power to me, because he considered me faithful by assigning me to a ministry, although formerly I was a blasphemer and a persecutor and an insolent man. Nevertheless, I was shown mercy, because I was ignorant and acted with a lack of faith. But the undeserved kindness of our Lord abounded exceedingly along with faith and love that is in connection with Christ Jesus. Faithful and deserving of full acceptance is the saying that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am foremost. Nevertheless, the reason why I was shown mercy was that by means of me as the foremost case Christ Jesus might demonstrate all his long-suffering for a sample of those who are going to rest their faith on him for everlasting life."-1 Timothy 1:12-16

"Concerning this very salvation a diligent inquiry and a careful search were made by the prophets who prophesied about the undeserved kindness meant for you. They kept on investigating what particular season or what sort of season the spirit in them was indicating concerning Christ when it was bearing witness beforehand about the sufferings for Christ and about the glories to follow these. It was revealed to them that, not to themselves, but to you, they were ministering the things that have now been announced to you through those who have declared the good news to you with holy spirit sent forth from heaven. Into these very things angels are desiring to peer."-1 Peter 1:10-12

Again, it was a very good assembly. If you haven't been, you will enjoy it. If you have and you want to listen to it again, you can go here and download it.

"May Jehovah bless you and keep you. May Jehovah make his face shine toward you, and may he favor you. May Jehovah lift up his face toward you and assign peace to you."-Numbers 6:24-26

Saturday, March 28, 2009

But Your Bible's Been Changed! Pt. 2

For centuries people have heard that allegation. It was said of the King James Version when that first came out--and that wasn't the first. People even said it of the Latin Vulgate.

Sometimes there is a basis for saying something like this. For example: The Message Bible, the Clear Word Bible, and the Book of Yahweh have text that was changed to support certain beliefs. It is not uncommon to see that. Yes, people are sometimes warranted in saying that.

In the first part, we looked at the Textus Receptus and the King James Version, with a focus on 1 John 5:7-8 (although that is not the only added verse in that Bible) but now we will look at Sacred Name Bible's. What are these types of Bible's? Let us see.

Sacred Name--Sacred Bible?

Another movement that is gaining widespread popularity lately is the Sacred Name Movement. On the surface, this movement has a very admirable goal: Glorify the Name of Jehovah and the Name Jesus Christ. But there is a catch--Jehovah and Jesus are not to be used. Instead Yahweh and Yeshua (or a derivative thereof) are to be used. Some even go so far as to only use יהושע (Hebrew for Jesus) or יהוה (Hebrew for Jehovah) and pronounce them as they see fit.

On the market today there are many Sacred Name Bibles including the Zikarown Say'fer, Hebraic Roots Bible, The Scriptures Bible, Holy Name Bible, Restored Name King James Version, Book of Yahweh, and others. All of these have a noble purpose: To magnify the Name of God and Christ. But have they gone too far?

Honor or Dishonor?

How can a Bible that uses God's name dishonor it? Is that even possible? I will not answer that question, I will only present facts for you to review.

Not all Sacred Name groups have the same beliefs. Some feel there is no problem saying God or Elohim, some say that it is wrong to use Elohim and alright to say God and vice versa. Why do they feel this way?

Many people today are starting to speak out against the words God and Lord. They say that these refer to pagan God's and were words applied to Jehovah later by others, whether these "others" were the Israelites or some separate peoples. Take for example, "Baal", the name of a pagan deity. In reality, Baal really means Lord and some people claim that to say Lord Yahweh is to say Baal Yahweh, in effect saying that Baal is Yahweh and Yahweh is Baal. Is this reasonable?

No one in the world is trying to say that Jehovah's name is Baal. The only reason Lord is still widely used is because of the meaning in English. No one relates Baal and Lord in their mind when they say Lord in regard to the Most High El Shaddai.

We also need to consider that there are many titles used for Yahweh that are also used in reference to others. God, Father, Lord, etc. I'm sure you can think of some. Just because these titles are used by other things--pagan deities or not--does not automatically disqualify it for use in reference to Jehovah.

Jesus--Derived Etymologically From Zeus?

The same argument is used in reference to Jesus Christ. Some people believe that the name "Jesus" is taken from the Greek god, Zeus, and that when people use or call on the name of Jesus they are actually calling on the name of Zeus.

We will not focus on this false allegation except to say that it is false. One website puts it this way:

"Some sacred name people teach this false doctrine; some do not. Regardless of the position an individual Sacred Name person may take, this fact remains: a large segment of the movement still believes this lie. Promoting the Jesus = Zeus myth to new converts is an easy way to get them away from saying the name of Jesus. It gives them a reason to look down on, even hate, the name of Jesus. The teachers of the movement use this lie as an appeal to the need many people have to possess esoteric knowledge which gives them a superiority over others...[However], not all sacred name people believe the name Jesus is derived from the name Zeus. It is, after all, a lie. It has no foundation in any legitimate research. The teaching is rejected by some; it should be rejected by all sacred name people. This teaching is the product of the fertile imaginations of sacred name teachers.

The name Jesus is not derived from Zeus. That is all that needs to be stated on that.

Lord, God, Yahweh

Can Sacred Name groups go overboard in their mission to elevate God's Name? Read from one Sacred Name Bible:

"In the beginning Yahweh created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth became without form and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of Yahweh was hovering over the face of the waters. And Yahweh said: 'Let there be light."-Genesis 1:1-3Book of Yahweh

The translators of the Book of Yahweh have replaced "God" with Yahweh in this chapter. Many Sacred Name groups believe that "God" and "Lord" are both pagan terms so whenever the text says one of those two words they replace it with Yahweh in their Bibles many times. There is no proof that Yahweh was used in Genesis One at all but there is proof that many times the Bible says "Yahweh" in the text a group of scribes called the Masorates would sometimes change it with God or Lord. They could argue that every time God and Lord occurs this is what happened.

People do let their beliefs dictate how they translate a certain passage. When a verse can be translated two different ways they will translate that verse the way they want to. The NWT, NIV, NRSV, and many, many other Bibles have done this. It is not always wrong when the translator translates a verse the way it was supposed to read, even if they are biased in that direction.

The Book of Yahweh and other Sacred Name Bibles do this. Does it mean they are wrong? You decide.

Friday, March 27, 2009

But Your Bible's Been Changed! Pt. 1

For centuries people have heard that allegation. It was said of the King James Version when that first came out--and that wasn't the first. People even said it of the Latin Vulgate.

Sometimes there is a basis for saying something like this. For example: The Message Bible, the Clear Word Bible, and the Book of Yahweh have text that was changed to support certain beliefs. It is not uncommon to see that. Yes, people are sometimes warranted in saying that.

In this two part analysis, we will look at two different types of Bible that people attack. Bibles translated from the Textus Receptus (focusing on the King James Version) and Sacred Name Bible's. What reasons do they have for attacking these Bibles? Are these reasons valid? Let us see.

King James Only, Please! Original Texts On the Side!

One movement that has been getting remarkably louder in this day and age is the King James-Only Movement. The people who support this movement each have different opinions as to why it is the only version to be used. I want to focus on the one that I find most ridiculous--The King James Version is inspired of God!

Actually, this falls into about three different categories. 1) That the Textus Receptus is inspired, 2) That the King James Version is inspired, and 3) The King James Version is New Revelation. This last group is what we will attempt to analyze. These people even say that all ancient Greek manuscripts can be "corrected" by using the King James Version!

There are many verses in the King James Version that are not to be found in many other Bibles. One example is 1 John 5:7-8. This verse says, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth*, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." (King James Version) Scholars today generally agree that this is an interpolation, or later addition to the text. KJV-Only supporters in this category will not agree.

Where did 1 John 5:7-8 come from? If we see its history that will answer a lot of questions.

The Comma Johnneum

This interpolation, called the Comma Johanneum, is non-existent in any writing of the early church "fathers" until about the fourth century. It was quoted for the first time in the Latin Homily Liber Apologeticus**. Dr. Daniel B. Wallace said in an article about this:

"Apparently the gloss arose when the original passage was understood to symbolize the Trinity (through the mention of three witnesses: the Spirit, the water, and the blood), an interpretation that may have been written first as a marginal note that afterwards found its way into the text."[1]

All in all, the Comma appears in only about eight ancient Greek manuscripts, and none of the very authoritative due to their late date. If the Comma Johanneum were authentic, it would appear in all manuscripts.

Dr. Bruce Metzger, after commenting on the Comma's absence in most Greek texts, says:

"(2) The [Comma Johanneum] passage is quoted in none of the Greek Fathers, who, had they known it, would most certainly have employed it in the Trinitarian controversies (Sabellian and Arian). Its first appearance in Greek is in a Greek version of the (Latin) Acts of the Lateran Council in 1215.

(3) The passage is absent from the manuscripts of all ancient versions (Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Arabic, Slavonic), except the Latin; and it is not found (a) in the Old Latin in its early form (Tertullian Cyprian Augustine), or in the Vulgate (b) as issued by Jerome ... or (c) as revised by Alcuin..."[2]

So, according to Metzger, the Vulgate (as issued by Jerome) did not contain the Comma. Later copies of the Vulgate did contain the Comma after it was written in, the first time being about the year 800 C.E. These were then back-translated into Greek, making some late, ancient Greek manuscripts contain the Comma. This oldest Greek manuscript, as well as four others, only have the Comma in the margin as an alternate reading.

With all of this evidence at hand, King James Only followers will still say that the Comma Johanneum is supposed to be in the Bible! I have had the privilege of talking to a few of them. They will not see any reason at all. They want to rely on the Textus Receptus and all of its flaws. Now, therefore, it will be beneficial to look at the Textus Receptus as a whole. What is its history?

The Textus Receptus

The Textus Receptus is a Greek translation made by a man named Erasmus. At the same time that Erasmus was making a new Latin New Testament, he started work on a Greek New Testament. It is generally thought that he made these two at the same time to show that a Latin translation was superior to a Greek translation. He even said that the Greek MSS of the time were corrupted and wrongly rendered by careless scribes and copyists.

The first edition of the Greek New Testament by Erasmus was rushed and therefore had many errors. Regardless, it proved a success and a reprint had to be made. In this second edition, all of the errors were edited out. Further, in many places, Erasmus actually changed the Greek text to match the Latin text!

The third edition of the Textus Receptus is where the first addition of the Comma Johanneum can be found. The Comma was only added because one Greek edition of the New Testament contained it, and this having been translated from the Latin!

The third edition of the Textus Receptus was then viewed as authoritative and many other Greek New Testaments by other people added the Comma Johanneum. From these, the King James Version was translated. Obviously, the Textus Receptus was a very distorted Bible translation. That is why most do not use this translation as a basis today. And since the King James Version is based off of the Textus Receptus, it is not a good translation either. Documented historical evidence shows that the King James Version cannot and is not inspired of God or even the best on the market.

The King James Version, nor any other Bible based on the Textus Receptus, can be the best translation.

*The bold text is the interpolation.

**Authorship unknown. Probably written by Priscillian of Ávila or his close follower, Bishop Instantius.


[1] The Comma Johanneum and Cyprian

[2] Textual Commentary (2nd edition), pg. 648

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Are We Really "Walking by Faith"?

As Jehovah's Witnesses, we know what the Bible says. We know what God's plans are for the future, what His will is for man, and what regulations He wants us to follow. We try our hardest to follow these commands. And that is good.

However, put ourselves in the shoes of the rich, young ruler. As we talk to Jesus Christ, and he says to us "Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother", would we answer just as the ruler did? "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth on." (Mark 10:19-20) Just as the rich, young ruler thought, would we think the same way? I have followed the Law, what else do I need?

Jesus makes a good point to this man. To the ruler, these are regulations he has always worked to keep, relying on his own strength. His faith in God did not tell him that he cannot perfectly keep them. He fell into the same trap as the Israelites. Paul says, "Israel, although pursuing a law of righteousness, did not attain to the law. For what reason? Because he pursued it, not by faith, but as by works." (Romans 9:31-32) Many, though not even close to all, Jehovah's Witnesses follow the "law of the Christ" in exactly the same manner. We look at it and try to accomplish this "by works". How many of us have ever prayed, "Jehovah, help me keep your laws. I cannot do it on my own?"

This type of prayer is not uncommon. Jesus said in his model prayer for us to ask Jehovah, "Do not bring us into temptation." (Matthew 6:13) We know that Jehovah does not tempt anyone at all. (James 1:13) So this phrase cannot mean that. What it truly means is that Jehovah protect us from temptation. We are to ask for Jehovah to keep us from sinning.

This is echoing the words of Hezekiah when he said, "Cause me to tread in the pathway of your commandments, for in it I have taken delight. Incline my heart to your reminders, and not to profits. Make my eyes pass on from seeing what is worthless; preserve me alive in your own way." (Psalm 119:35-37) We have to beg Jehovah to help us to keep His commandments.

Now, I am about to quote a very familiar passage from Scripture. Read it with spiritual eyes and see how you can apply it through faith, not works.

"Now an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus, saying, 'Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' [Jesus] said to him, 'What is written in the law? How do you understand it?' The expert answered, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.' Jesus said to him, 'You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.' But the expert, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?' Jesus replied, 'A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him up, and went off, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, but when he saw the injured man he passed by on the other side. So too a Levite, when he came up to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan who was traveling came to where the injured man was, and when he saw him, he felt compassion for him. He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him, and whatever else you spend, I will repay you when I come back this way.' Which of these three do you think became a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?' The expert in religious law said, 'The one who showed mercy to him.' So Jesus said to him, 'Go and do the same.'"-Luke 10:25-37, New English Translation

The admonition of the Apostle Paul is this: "Keep walking by spirit and you will carry out no fleshly desire at all." (Galatians 5:16) Jehovah will give us His holy spirit if we ask for it. In turn, Jehovah, by that same holy spirit, will help us to keep "the law of the Christ". All this is only possible if we seek to accomplish this by faith and not by works.

As we ponder all of this do we feel that we need to follow the words of Zephaniah again, as we did when we were new to this spiritual walk? "Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, who have practiced His own judicial decision. Seek righteousness, seek meekness." (Zephaniah 2:3) Remember, Zephaniah is speaking to those people who have already "practiced [Jehovah's] own judicial decision" and followed it.

Stop walking with Jehovah in the Truth by works and walk with Jehovah in the Truth by faith. Only then can you truly know what it is like to serve Jehovah.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What Jehovah's Witnesses Believe

This is a list of some of the most important beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses as presented in the Bible. I like to tell people that what we believe is surprisingly similar, though not completely identical to the Nicene Creed. While we believe that many things that are not true were added to the altered version of the Nicene Creed, things that were truth were added as well.

The things from the Nicene Creed that we believe, with the further additions added later presented in italics, are: "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds...by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy [Spirit] of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; he was [impaled] for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end...And in the Holy [Spirit]...who proceedeth from the Father...we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen."

NOTE: This list is not exhaustive
There is one God, the Father, whose Name is Jehovah. He has existed eternally and will exist for eternity. He is the Creator.-Isaiah 44:6; Exodus 3:15; 6:3; Psalm 90:2; Revelation 4:11

The Bible is the unerring Word of God, completely perfect as we have it today and entirely inspired of Jehovah.-1 Thessalonians 2:13; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Jesus Christ is the perfect Son of God who existed in Heaven before he came to earth as an infant. He is also King of the Kingdom of God. We can only be saved by putting faith in his name.-1 Peter 2:22; Matthew 16:16; John 1:1-3; Philippians 2:5-8; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 4:12

Jesus Christ is not equal to God. He and Jehovah are not part of the Trinity. Jesus is a created being who is subordinate to the Father and does everything that Jehovah tells him.-John 14:28, 31; Mark 10:17-18; 12:29; Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14; John 5:19

The holy spirit is not God but is only God's power that He uses.-Job 33:4; Matthew 12:28; Luke 11:20
Only a "Little Flock" of "144,000" are going to receive heavenly life. These will rule as Kings and Priests alongside Jesus Christ.-Luke 12:32; Revelation 14:1-3, Revelation 5:9-10

A majority of faithful mankind will have the wonderful privilege of living on a perfected earth forever.-Psalm 37:11, 29; 72:16; Proverbs 2:21; Micah 4:1-4; Matthew 5:5; Revelation 21:4

Jesus Christ will come with his angels to destroy all the wicked on the earth. In the end, Satan and the demons will be destroyed for eternity.-Psalm 37:10; Proverbs 2:22; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 19:11-19; 20:10

The dead are not conscious of anything. They are just "asleep".-Ecclesiastes 9:5; Ezekiel 18:4, 20; John 11:11-14

The vast majority of those who have died--including your loved ones--will be resurrected by Jesus Christ back to the earth.-John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; Revelation 20:11-13

Hell is not a real place. "Everlasting Fire" only signifies eternal destruction.-Jude 7; Revelation 20:14

Saturday, March 21, 2009

You Are Invited to the Kingdom Hall!

Kingdom Hall's are places of worship used by Jehovah's Witnesses. There, we go together for Bible instruction, spiritual refreshment, and up-building association with just a few members of our precious Christian brotherhood. While there are more then seven million active Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide, we get to visit with a few of our spiritual brothers and sisters each week. You can experience this, too!

What is a Kingdom Hall?

A Kingdom Hall is normally a simple building built by Christian volunteers. They are modestly yet beautifully decorated on the outside with with constant tending to keep it from becoming overgrown, messy, or littered. A sign close to the road clearly identifies the Kingdom Hall.

On the inside we have two back rooms where student talks are held separate from the main meeting hall. There is also a small room where elders, pioneers [full time evangelists], or others meet when needed. As you walk through it you will find a mens and a womans bathroom. Also, you can find a children's room where a parent can retire to so that they can see to any needs related to child care.

Off in one corner of the modest lobby is the literature counter. Here members and non-members alike can request certain books of interest or place special orders for a number of items. These are normally maintained by Ministerial Servants [equivalent of Deacons] or other qualified brothers who show spiritual maturity and a willing spirit.

The main hall of all Kingdom Halls is a large auditorium that can seat from 100 to 200 people. There is a sound booth in the back and a podium on the front where the speaker gives his Bible discourse.

There are no images or idols throughout the Kingdom Hall, only modest decorations. In the Kingdom Hall I attend we have plants and beautiful pictures throughout and two areas for "Lost and Found" items. There is also an information board with any announcements or letters. The Hall is cleaned and maintained by Christian brothers and sisters.

What Happens at the Kingdom Hall?

In one recent issue of our main religious journal, The Watchtower: Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom, there is a great article speaking of the Kingdom Hall. It says:

"In harmony with these Scriptural precedents, [Scriptures such as Deuteronomy 31:12 and Hebrews 10:24-25] Jehovah's Witnesses meet together at their Kingdom Halls twice a week. The meetings help attendees to appreciate, understand, and apply Bible principles. Where possible, the program is the same worldwide and each meeting has its own spiritual objective. Before and after the meetings, those who attend enjoy an "interchange of encouragement" by means of upbuilding conversations."-The Watchtower, February 1, 2009, p. 20, pp. 5

There is nothing intimidating about the meetings that take place at the Kingdom Hall. On Sunday (or Saturday depending on the number of congregations that meet at the Kingdom Hall) we have a public discourse that features a selected Bible topic of interest to those in our area and regular members. That is then followed by a study out of our Watchtower magazine. This is a question and answer based format where individual members of the congregation put in their thoughts about the article or any information they got out of it.

On a different day of the week for each congregation worshiping in the same Kingdom Hall, we have the Congregation Bible Study, currently being conducted out of the book, Keep Yourselves in God's Love, we have the Theocratic Ministry School, which trains members of the congregation in speaking and presenting the Bible message, and the Service Meeting, which gives helpful information that can be used in our public ministry.

Each meeting begins and ends with "heartfelt spiritual song" and prayer with another kingdom song dividing the various meetings. (Ephesians 5:18-19) Each song is based on a Scripture from the Bible. There are no collections taken throughout the meeting. For those who wish to donate there are marked boxes in the lobby where donations can be discreetly given. Donating is not and should not be done "grudgingly or under compulsion". Members give only what "each one...has resolved in his heart."-2 Corinthians 9:7

What Visitors Think

One young man said of his experience at the Kingdom Hall, "It was a delightful place to be. I was so surprised by how friendly the people were and how interested they were in me." Another young visitor said, "The meeting was very interesting! It was easy to follow along." A person in Japan said, "I must admit that when I attended my first meeting with Jehovah's Witnesses, I felt a little out of place. Even so, I came to appreciate that these people are normal. They really tried to make me comfortable."

A good friend of mine that I met when he attended the Kingdom Hall who no longer lives in the area was thrilled at how loving and kind the brothers and sisters were. He continued to come back and eventually began to go out in the field ministry. This was all due to an article that he read in a copy of The Watchtower regarding the Kingdom Hall!

Yes, there are many benefits that can be earned by attending the Kingdom Hall. No one ever leaves feeling left out, isolated, or ignored. In fact, in one country a Caucasian man who committed a hate crime against an African-American was told by the judge that his sentence would be that he had to attend a predominately African-American church for six weeks. The first week he attended the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses and yet for the next five weeks attended another church not associated with Jehovah's Witnesses. Why?

When the judge asked the man why he only attended the Kingdom Hall once and attended the other church for the rest of the time the man said, "The people at the Kingdom Hall wouldn't leave me alone. So many different people came up to me before and after the service saying hi, asking my name, and trying to have conversation with me. I just wanted to be left alone. At the other church that I went to no one spoke to me so I kept going." When asked his opinion of African-Americans he said that they were not bad, changing his mind largely in part to his experience at the Kingdom Hall!

Never will you feel weird at a Kingdom Hall. We try to make you feel warmly welcome and take a sincere interest in you as a person. Our prayer is that you enjoy it so much the first time that you want to return. We want to meet you and so invite you to experience worship at the Kingdom Hall. May you enjoy it so much that when you are invited back you feel the same way as King David who said, "I rejoiced when they were saying to me: 'To the house of Jehovah let us go.'"-Psalm 122:1

To find the Kingdom Hall nearest you go to: This page or write to the appropriate address. We look forward to seeing you!

For more information on the Kingdom Hall visit this page.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What About...John 5:18?

"On this account, indeed, the Jews began seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath but he was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God."-John 5:18

To many, this verse is telling them exactly what they want to hear: Jesus Christ was making himself equal to God. Is that verse really valid proof in support of the Trinity? Let us see.

First, we must understand, who was saying that Jesus Christ was equal to God? Was it Christ himself? No. The unbelieving Jews were saying that. Let us follow the same steps that we always follow. First, the context.

"After these things Jesus found him in the temple and said to him: 'See, you have become sound in health. Do not sin anymore, in order that something worse does not happen to you.' The man went away and told the Jews it was Jesus that made him sound in health. So on this account the Jews went persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things during Sabbath. But he answered them: 'My Father has kept working until now, and I keep working.' On this account, indeed, the Jews began seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath but he was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God.

"Therefore, in answer, Jesus went on to say to them: 'Most truly I say to you, the Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing. For whatever things that One does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father has affection for the Son and shows him all the things he himself does, and he will show him works greater than these, in order that you may marvel.'"-John 5:14-20

When we examine this closely, where in the verse does it say that Jesus was making himself equal to God? Nowhere! The words that Jesus really said were, "My Father has kept working until now, and I keep working." There is not one statement by Jesus in that verse where he is making himself equal to his Father.

Look at the verse again, though. Jesus did say "the Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds that Father doing." That is not the statement that someone makes if they are truly equal to someone else. The Jews began to reason wrongly on this. Why?

Obviously, the statement made by Jesus angered the Jews but there was nothing in that statement that was warranting death. Perhaps the Jews were only exaggerating the statement so they could have a reason to kill him. Unfortunately, that reasoning is based off a "what if" and so we have to really delve deep into the Bible. Remember that, though. The Jews were notorious for exaggerating things.

At the beginning, when Jehovah God brought the Jews out of Egypt, He instituted the Sabbath Day. During this day He said that no work was to be done neither was anyone to buy or sell. This was a day of rest and worship.

By the time of Jesus, the religious leaders had made the Sabbath a pain to follow. They said that no work whatsoever was to be done. For example, if a man fell and broke his arm on the Sabbath, a doctor was not allowed to mend it until the day after the Sabbath. Even killing a fly or flea was forbidden as hunting! [1] Jesus knew that this was severe exaggeration of the Sabbath Law. This account shows the unreasonableness of the religious leaders demands.

"After departing from that place he went into their synagogue; and, look! a man with a withered hand! So they asked him, 'Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath?' that they might get an accusation against him. He said to them: 'Who will be the man among you that has one sheep and, if this falls into a pit on the sabbath, will not get hold of it and lift it out? All considered, of how much more worth is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do a fine thing on the sabbath.' Then he said to the man: 'Stretch out your hand.' And he stretched it out, and it was restored sound like the other hand."-Matthew 12:9-13

When the Pharisees saw this, what was there reaction. "But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against him that they might destroy him." (Matthew 12:14) The Pharisees wanted to stone Jesus because he healed a mans hand on the Sabbath! Notice, too, he didn't say even touch the man, he only spoke to him. The Jews even had a saying, "The sins of everyone who strictly observes every law of the Sabbath, though he be an idol worshiper, are forgiven." [1] This was contrary to Jehovah's Law. He specifically said that anyone who broke the Sabbath was to die! So, the Jews were certainly capable of exaggeration. That is another false conclusion in John 5:18. The Jews also thought that Jesus was breaking the Sabbath. So, in one verse, John draws out two false conclusions the Jews came to. This should present a problem. If the Jews were right in believing that Jesus was claiming equality with God then they must have also been right in claiming that Jesus broke the Sabbath. However, they were not.

The last thing that we will look at is whether or not Jesus Christ claimed to be equal to God. When we make a thorough search, we cannot find one such account. John 10:30 doesn't work. However, a few Scriptures are adequate proof that Jesus never claimed to be God.

The first Scripture was spoken by Jesus himself. He said, "You heard that I said to you, I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going my way to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am." (John 14:28) Some people argue that the Father Jehovah is greater then Jesus because Jesus was limited by his human form. Does this line of reasoning work? No.

The Trinity teaching says that the Father is fully God, the Son is fully God, and the holy spirit is fully God. In fact, many people can be heard to say that Jesus was "fully God/fully man" while on earth. In effect, these people contradict themselves.

Is there any indication that Jesus was inferior to the Father before his descending from heaven? Yes. We read in the Old Testament: "He himself calls out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God and the Rock of my salvation.’" (Psalm 89:26) These words were spoken by Jesus before his human birth. Further words by Jesus reveal that he was created by the Father, thus proving his inferiority before his birth.-Proverbs 8:22-26

Perhaps the most revealing verse as to the inferiority of Christ before and after he was a human is told us by the Apostle Paul. He says:

"Have this mind in you, which was also in Mashiyach Yahshua [or, Messiah Jesus]: who, existing in the form of Yahweh, counted not the being on an equality with Yahweh a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the stake. Wherefore also Elohim highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; that in the name of Yahshua every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth."-Philippians 2:5-10, Zikarown Say'fer Bible

Before Jesus (or, Yahshua as this translation has it) was born as a human he was inferior. In clear words Paul said that "although [Jesus] existed in the form of God, [he] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped." {New American Standard Bible) Jesus did not even try to grasp something that he did not have. Other translations mistranslate that word "grasped" to things like "cling", "grasped or retained", as if there are two alternate renderings, and "be used for His own advantage." (The Message, The Amplified Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible) These three translations mistranslated the original Greek word used by Paul here. They are trying to read something into the text that is just not there. It is okay, though. Paul clear this up later.

Regarding Jesus after he ascended to heaven the Bible says, "But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God." (1 Corinthians 11:3) As I always ask after reading this verse, "How is it that God is the head of Christ in the same way that Christ is the head of man if Christ is God? If Christ is God and yet God is his head, then we are Christ because he is our head!" I have never had a Trinitarian come up with an answer, normally they only bring my attention to another Scripture. This verse presents a real problem for them.

The last Scripture that has a bearing on this subject says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort." (2 Corinthians 1:3) So, even after Jesus is resurrected, the Bible clearly states that he is inferior to the Father.

Scriptures such as John 5:18 can superficially seem to present a problem but upon further examination they really do not. In the eyes of the Jews, Jesus was making himself equal to God by calling God his own father. However, the Jews were known to exaggerate little things and make them very big things. They did it more then once on the night of Jesus' death.

The conclusions drawn by apostate Jews is not an adequate basis for making any statement. If we did then Jesus was a blasphemer and a law-breaker. What should really guide our understanding is what the Bible says. May we all endeavor to do that.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Is there Life After Death?

*This is not a real Watchtower article and the question and answer format should not be taken seriously. Please do not get offended. This is just me trying to make it a little more fun.*

"Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul."-Genesis 2:7

Very few religions do not believe that there is no life after death. It is certainly plausible, since no scientific machine can measure or detect something like that. It has to be taken by faith. And surely, Jehovah God can make a soul--if we actually have one--continue to live after death. He says, "Look! All the souls--to me they belong. As the soul of the father so likewise the soul of the son--to me they belong." (Ezekiel 18:4) If all the souls belong to Jehovah, then it is undoubtedly true that He can cause anything to happen.

2 However, we must first ask some questions: What is the soul? Are the soul and spirit the same? Does the Bible teach that a person lives on after death? What is the final end? These question are very important if we want to answer the first, Is there life after death?

What Is the Soul?
3 Many teach that the soul is an immaterial life that lives inside our body with us. It is completely identical to us--because it is us--and it retains all of our memories, personality traits, and emotions that we possessed during our real life. Most people believe that when we die, our soul goes to heaven to live with God.

4 Of course, we want to see what the Bible says on this matter. According to the Bible, what is the soul? Well, the Hebrew word rendered soul is Ne'phesh and the Greek word rendered soul is Psykhe'. Both of these words carry the exact same thought. As used in the Scriptures, they both show the word soul to be a person, animal, or the life that a creature lives. Furthermore, the way that English term is used today refers to something immaterial, invisible, and immortal. In contrast, the original language words always refer to that which is material, visible, and mortal.

5 With these type of definitions applied to these words, it may surprise many to learn the truth about the soul. This is the truth: You, as a living, breathing person, are a soul. The Bible says of the first man, Adam, "Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul." (Genesis 2:7) It was not until the man received the breath of live that he became a soul, not received a soul. The Bible in other places says that the soul eats and has blood.-Leviticus 7:18; Jeremiah 2:34

6 In regard to animals the Bible says, "Let the waters swarm forth a swarm of living souls and let flying creatures fly over the earth upon the face of the expanse of the heavens...let the earth put forth living souls according to their kinds, domestic animal and moving animal and wild beast of the earth according to its kind." (Genesis 1:20, 24) Yes, we see that even animals are living souls. The same word is used at Genesis 1:20, 24, ne'phesh, for animals as that used in regard as humans. The soul of the human and the soul of the animal are no different.

Are the Soul and Spirit the Same?
7 While the Hebrew and Greek words for soul are ne'phesh and psykhe', the words for spirit in Hebrew and Greek are different. The word for spirit in Hebrew is ru'ach and the Greek word is pneu'ma. Basically, both these words mean breath, wind, or spirit.

8 What the Bible teaches about the word "spirit" is essential to consider when answering the above question. For example, Psalm 104:29 says, "If you take away their spirit, they expire, and back to their dust they go." Jesus' half brother, James, says, "As the body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." (James 2:26) So the spirit is essential to life. Without it, we would not be alive.

9 Go back to the first man, Adam, again. The original Greek word for spirit, ru'ach, is used in regard to him. Remember, the Bible says, "God proceeded to...blow into his nostrils the breath [ru'ach] of life." What was the effect? Adam "came to be a living soul." (Genesis 2:7) The man did not receive the soul of life but the spirit of life. Without the spirit going into him, the soul, the life, the man, would not have existed. The man needs that spirit of life to live--to be a soul. That is why the Bible says, "Do not put your trust...in the son[s] of earthling man...his spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish." (Psalm 146:3-4) Spirit leaves the man and the soul, or man, dies--he goes back to the dust.

Does the Bible Teach That A Person Lives On After Death
10 So, if the spirit goes out, does that mean that the man lives on after death? The Bible does say: "Then the dust returns to the earth just as it happened to be and the spirit itself returns to the true God who gave it." (Ecclesiastes 12:7) If the soul does not return to heaven, does that mean that the spirit does?

11 First, we need to reason on this. When Jehovah blew into Adam the 'spirit of life' and he became a living soul, did God breath into Adam a particular spirit made specifically for that man, a spirit that contained his personality traits? Because if the spirit that goes back to God is an individual with all the memories, personality traits, and emotional responses that the living soul had, then God would have to give each person an individual spirit that contained a predisposed makeup.

12 Second, look back at Psalm 146:3-4. When the living soul dies and the spirit returns to God the verse says that "his thoughts do perish." The spirit has no thoughts--it is only a force that keeps our heart beating, our brain working, and our body responding. So when Ecclesiastes 12:7 says that the spirit returns to the God who gave it, it means that God remembers us.

13 What may surprise many is what the Bible teaches about the eventuality of man. Wise King Solomon was inspired by Jehovah to write something. He said, "There is an eventuality as respects the sons of mankind and an eventuality as respects the beast, and they have the same eventuality. As the one dies, so the other dies; and they all have but one spirit, so that there is no superiority of the man over the beast, for everything is vanity. All are going to one place. They have all come to be from the dust, and they are all returning to the dust."-Ecclesiastes 3:19-20

14 The spirit of man suffers the same fate as the spirit of the beast. They each just go away. The man, in this respect, is no different then the animal. We all know what happens to an animal when it dies. It no longer exist. Think about this. If a dog tried to battle a lion, the lion would win out. The lion is better then a dog. However, if the lion was dead, the dog is better off. (Ecclesiastes 9:4) Humans are no different then that dog. Even though a lion would win in battle against a human, a dead lion is not better then a live human. In the same way, a dead human is no better off then a live dog--or a dead dog. They are both equally dead.

15 The Bible also teaches this truth: the soul dies. To the prophet Ezekiel Jehovah said, "The soul that is sinning--it itself will die." (Ezekiel 18:4, 20) To reiterate that point, when we look back to the first man and his eventual fate, we see this point clearly. After Adam sinned he was told, "In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return." (Genesis 3:19) Jehovah did not tell Adam that he would go to Heaven or Hell when he died but that he would go back to the same state that he was in before. He would die and turn back to dust.

16 The real clincher of the matter is this extremely clear Scripture. Ecclesiastes 9:5 says, "For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all." So neither the soul nor the spirit continue after death. We, as a soul, cease to exist and the spirit, or life force, goes out, causing our thoughts to perish. We are not immortal. That is why the Bible says that Jesus Christ is "the one alone"--in relation to humans--"having immortality." (1 Timothy 6:16) That is why we need to feel the same way as the Psalmist David: "Into your hand I entrust my spirit."-Psalm 31:5

What Is the Final End
17 When asked about the resurrection by people who did not believe in it, Jesus said, "As regards the resurrection of the dead, did you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’? He is the God, not of the dead, but of the living.'" (Matthew 22:31-32) Some might point to this verse and say, "See! Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not dead! They must be in heaven with God! All of your arguments are useless!" But the Gospel writer Luke sheds light on that. He continued Jesus' words: "He is a God, not of the dead, but of the living, for they are all living to him." (Luke 20:38) That brings us to our concluding point.

18 Death is going to be done away with. Paul, after quoting Isaiah 25:8 saying "The saying will take place that is written: 'Death is swallowed up forever', then turns and quotes Hosea 13:14, taunting death because it cannot hurt man anymore. (1 Corinthians 15:54-55; Revelation 21:3-4) Yes, one day death will be done away with! Yet, there is more! Those who have died will return to life. Jesus taught this. He said, "Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out." (John 5:28-29) Paul and John also both taught a resurrection.

19 Paul wrote, "I have hope toward God, which hope these men themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous." (Acts 24:15) John said, "And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened...and the sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Hades gave up those dead in them." (Revelation 20:12-13) Yes, millions and perhaps billions of people who have lived and died will return from the grave and have a hope of living forever on a paradise earth.-Psalm 37:11, 29

20 We can thank Jehovah for his wonderful provision. He does not torment people in hell for eternity and he doesn't rip us from the people we love forever. He also doesn't keep us in the dark on this subject. When we say, "Jehovah, into your hands we entrust our spirits" we can be confident that He knows exactly what to do with them. If you would like to learn what the Bible says further on this subject and many other subjects, write to the appropriate address or send a request by electronic correspondence. Any Jehovah's Witness in your area would be happy to help you!

Study Questions
1, 2. (A) Why is it plausible that something could live on after death? (B) What questions will be considered in this article?

3. What is the basic teaching about the soul?

4. (A) What are the original language words that are translated into soul? (B) What does the English translation of these words bring to mind, but what connotation do they actually carry?

5. What is the truth about the soul and what Bible Scriptures point this out?

6. Is the original language word translated "soul" in regard to animals the same as the word translated "soul" for humans? Explain.

7. What are the original language words for "spirit" and what basic meanings could they have?

8. Why is spirit essential for life?

9. (A) How do the circumstances surrounding Adam help defend the notion of the spirit being the life-force? (B) How is Psalm 146:3-4 help to clear things up?

10. What question does Ecclesiastes 12:7 raise?

11. What question does the idea of a conscious spirit bring up and how can this be reasoned upon?

12. What further way does Psalm 146:3-4 help us to see that neither the soul nor the spirit is conscious?

13, 14. (A) What eventuality befalls both man and animal and what happens to each when this occurs? (B) What illustration from the Bible can be used to clarify and strengthen this point?

15. (A) Does the soul die? Explain. (B) What did Jehovah promise would happen to Adam after he sinned and where is Adam now?

16. Does the Bible say that we are immortal? Is anyone immortal?

17. (A) What did Jesus claim about Jehovah in regard to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? (B) How does Luke clarify what Jesus actually meant?

18, 19. (A) What will one day happen to death, 'the last enemy'? (B) What words of Jesus, Paul, and John show that death is not the end?

20. Why can we be thankful to Jehovah and what can we be confident of?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Prophecies Regarding Our Lord Jesus

*And it must occur in that day that there will be the root of Jesse that will be standing up as a signal for the peoples. To him even the nations will turn inquiringly, and his resting-place must become glorious.-Isaiah 11:10*

Prophecy-Descendant of Abraham:
Utterance-Genesis 17:6, 19
Fulfillment-Matthew 1:2-16; Luke 3:23-34

Prophecy-Descendant of Isaac:
Utterance-Genesis 17:19; 21:12
Fulfillment-Matthew 1:2-16; Luke 3:23-34

Prophecy-Descendant of Jacob:
Utterance-Genesis 28:10, 14
Fulfillment-Matthew 1:2-16; Luke 3:23-34

Prophecy-Descendant of Judah:
Utterance-Genesis 49:10
Fulfillment-Matthew 1:2-16; Luke 3:23-34

Prophecy-Descendant of David:
Utterance-Isaiah 11:1
Fulfillment-Matthew 1:2-16; Luke 3:23-34

Prophecy-Come 69x7 (483 Years) After Temple Rebuilt:
Utterance-Daniel 9:24-26
Fulfillment-Luke 3:15

Prophecy-Born of a Virgin:
Utterance-Isaiah 7:14
Fulfillment-Matthew 1:20-23

Prophecy-Born in Bethlehem Ephrathah:
Utterance-Micah 5:2
Fulfillment-Matthew 2:4-7

Prophecy-Anointed with holy spirit:
Utterance-Isaiah 61:1-2
Fulfillment-Luke 4:18-21

Prophecy-Prophet like Moses:
Utterance-Deuteronomy 18:15, 18
Fulfillment-Acts 3:20-22

Prophecy-Naphtali; Zebulun see Light:
Isaiah 9:1-2
Fulfillment-Matthew 4:13-16

Prophecy-Herod kills children:
Utterance-Jeremiah 31:15
Fulfillment-Matthew 2:16-18

Prophecy-Called out of Egypt:
Utterance-Hosea 11:1
Fulfillment-Matthew 2:13-15

Prophecy-Speak only parables:
Utterance-Psalm 78:2
Fulfillment-Matthew 13:13, 34-35

Prophecy-No sin:
Utterance-Isaiah 53:9
Fulfillment-2 Peter 2:22

Prophecy-Priest forever:
Utterance-Psalm 110:4
Fulfillment-Hebrews 5:6

Prophecy-Enter Jerusalem on donkey:
Utterance-Zechariah 9:9
Fulfillment-Matthew 21:1-11

Prophecy-Enter temple with authority:
Utterance-Malachi 3:1
Fulfillment-Matthew 21:12

Prophecy-Betrayed by friend:
Utterance-Psalm 41:9
Fulfillment-Matthew 26:21, 47-49

Prophecy-Betrayed for 30 silver pieces then used to buy field:
Utterance-Zechariah 11:12-13
Fulfillment-Matthew 26:15; 27:3-7

Prophecy-Disciples Scattered:
Utterance-Zechariah 13:7
Fulfillment-Matthew 26:31, 56

Prophecy-False witnesses used at trial:
Utterance-Psalm 27:12
Fulfillment-Matthew 26:59-60

Prophecy-Hated without cause:
Utterance-Psalm 69:4
Fulfillment-Matthew 26:59-60

Prophecy-Spit upon and struck:
Utterance-Isaiah 50:6; Micah 5:1
Fulfillment-Matthew 26:67-68

Prophecy-Gamble for garments:
Utterance-Psalm 22:18
Fulfillment-Matthew 27:35; John 19:33-34

Prophecy-Thirsty and given vinegar to drink:
Utterance-Psalm 22:15; 69:21
Fulfillment-John 19:28; Matthew 27:34

Prophecy-No bones broken:
Utterance-Psalm 34:20
Fulfillment-John 19:33, 36

Utterance-Psalm 16:10
Fulfillment-Matthew 28:5-6; Acts 2:24, 27

Prophecy-Sit at God's right hand:
Utterance-Psalm 110:1
Fulfillment-Acts 7:55; Hebrews 1:3

Isaiah 53:1-12
53:1-Not believed in-John 12:37-38
53:2-Undesired-Mark 6:3; Luke 9:58
53:3-Rejected-John 1:11; 7:5
53:4-Carried our sicknesses-Matthew 8:16-17
53:5-Death atone for all sins-Matthew 20:28; John 1:29
53:6-Sheep without shepherds; Errors on him-1 Peter 2:24-25; 3:18
53:7-Silent before accusers-Matthew 27:12-14; Mark 14:61
53:8­-Tried and condemned-John 19:12-16
53:9-Buried with rich-Matthew 27:57-60; John 19:38-42
53:10-Resurrected by God-Acts 2:24; 3:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
53:11­-Bear sins of others-1 John 2:2
53:12-Die sacrificial death-Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Did Adam and Eve Repent of Their Sin?

I was speaking to two local Mormon missionaries recently who told me that after the Fall of Adam and Eve, they repented, were forgiven, baptized, and Adam became a priest. When I asked for a Biblical reference for this they said that it wasn't in the Bible. However, they pointed to their Scripture The Pearl of Great Price, book of Moses 5:5-12; 6:55-65.

Does the Bible support this?

After doing research, I realized that first, if an event this important had actually occurred, the Bible would have definitely spoken of it. Second, if Adam had been forgiven the Bible would not continually speak of him negatively. Third, the Bible record actually disproves this! How?

At Genesis 5:21-24 the Bible says, "And Enoch lived on for sixty-five years. Then he became father to Methuselah. And after his fathering Methuselah Enoch went on walking with the true God three hundred years

. Meanwhile he became father to sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch amounted to three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch kept walking with the true God. Then he was no more, for God took him."

How does this disprove this particular belief? First, no one else is said to walk with the true God until Noah. Second, this was such an important thing that the Bible mentions it twice in the same area! Third, Adam was alive when Enoch was alive! Just consider.

Adam died at 930 years of age. (Genesis 5:5) He had Seth at 130 years. Seth had his son, Enosh, at 105. This would make Adam 235 years old. Enosh had his son, Kenan, at 90. Adam would be 325. Kenan had Mahalalel at 70. Adam would be 395. Mahalalel had Jared at 65. Adam would be 460. Finally, Jared had Enoch 162. Adam would 622. Enoch died at the age of 325. This would put Adam at 947, if he had not died 17 years earlier. In fact, Adam was still alive when Noah's father was Lamech was still alive. Obviously, Lamech was not serving God. (Genesis 4:23-24; 5:6-27) The only person that was said to worship the true God in all that period was Enoch.

Some may object and say that Genesis 4:26 proves that people were worshiping the true God. This verse says, "And to Seth also there was born a son and he proceeded to call his name Enosh. At that time a start was made of calling on the name of Jehovah."

"Obviously," some may object, "Either Seth or Enosh started to worship the true God, and that goes together perfectly with what the Pearl of Great Price says of Enosh in Moses 6:13." That seems like a valid objection. But when you do extra research, you find that it really isn't. In fact, it shows that the author of the book of Moses read the Bible, misinterpreted that Scripture in the exact manner in which I just explained it (I can't really judge, until I did the research a couple of months ago, I was under the same impression). How is this a misinterpretation?

This verse does not mean what it appears to mean. Leading scholars of Biblical Hebrew show us that the original words in that verse carry a bad connotation. When it says that a "start was made of calling on the name of Jehovah" the Hebrew says that they called on this Name profanely. In fact, translators should really translate it "began profanely calling on the name of Jehovah" or "then profanation began in calling on the name of Jehovah." In fact, the Jewish Targum says of this verse that they began making idols and called the idols Jehovah. The Insight on the Scriptures says that they may have even started claiming that they were Jehovah or that they called other men Jehovah and approached those to worship Him. They also could have used His name on their idols.

Even if this verse did not indicate a beginning of false worship and did mean that people began to worship Jehovah it still contradicts the fifth and sixth chapters of the book of Moses. These chapters say that Adam and Eve repented before the days of Seth and Enosh and continued to worship Jehovah for the rest of their lives. However, Genesis 4:26 says that it wasn't until the days of Enosh that a start was made of calling on the Name of Jehovah. Either way it is presented, we can see that Adam and Eve did not repent, or if they tried, Jehovah did not accept that. If they had of and their repentance had been accepted, the Bible would surely indicate that.

Are Christians Under the Mosaic Law?

Many religions today teach that Christians must obey the Mosaic Law in its entirety except the animal sacrifices. They point to Hebrews 9 to back that up.

"When Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come to pass, through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, he entered, no, not with the blood of goats and of young bulls, but with his own blood, once for all time into the holy place and obtained an everlasting deliverance for us. For if the blood of goats and of bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who have been defiled sanctifies to the extent of cleanness of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of the Christ, who through an everlasting spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works that we may render sacred service to the living God?"-Hebrews 9:11-14

In the Mosaic Law, the Israelites were commanded to observe the Passover. On the day that the Passover was instituted to memorialize, the Israelites were to take an unblemished, young lamb and slaughter it. Then they were to put some of its blood on their doorposts. This would make the angel of death pass over their houses as he went through the city, slaughtering the firstborn.-Exodus 12:21-23, 43-49

Furthermore, Jehovah laid down a specific set of sacrifices that the Israelites were to perform. (Leviticus 4:1-6:14) If at any time the Israelites failed to do this, they were guilty of their sins. They could only find relief in the repetition of these sacrifices.

All of this changed when Jesus Christ came. Speaking prophetically of the Messiah, the prophet Daniel tells us, "And he must keep the covenant in force for the many for one week; and at the half of the week he will cause sacrifice and gift offering to cease." (Daniel 9:27) In clear, crystal language, Daniel lets us know that the Messiah is going to end the need for sacrifices. Was this something that New Testament writers knew?

Paul knew it. "Indeed, Christ our passover has been sacrificed." (1 Corinthians 5:7) Christ was the last passover sacrifice that needed to be offered. And even more then that he performed the ultimate sacrifice, making the need for all other sacrifices to stop. This is explained at Hebrews 9:11-12. Read that again.

However, did the coming of Jesus only make the requirement of animal sacrifices cease or did he make the entire Mosaic Law invalid? Let us start out with one major point of the Mosaic Law that many people point to: The Sabbath Day.

Is Celebrating the Sabbath Necessary?
Many Christian denominations still celebrate the Sabbath Day. Among these are Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, Messianic-Christian groups, and various Restored-Name groups. A smattering of individual churches throughout Christendoms denominations celebrate the Sabbath, too. So we must ask, is it necessary?

The NT writers didn't think so. One of them, Paul, said, "Therefore let no man judge you in eating and drinking or in respect of a festival or of an observance of the new moon or of a sabbath; for those things are a shadow of the things to come, but the reality belongs to the Christ." (Colossians 2:16-17) Paul gave us a major indicator that the Sabbath was not mandatory. True, Paul said that these things were a conscious matter, it was up to each individual to decide if he wanted to continue to observe the Sabbath. He did warn, though, that undue emphasize on the celebrating of the Sabbath was detrimental.

"But now that you have come to know God, or rather now that you have come to be known by God, how is it that you are turning back again to the weak and beggarly elementary things and want to slave for them over again? You are scrupulously observing days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that somehow I have toiled to no purpose respecting you." (Galatians 4:9-11) This was a reproof. The celebrating of the Sabbath was called "weak" and is an indication that a Christian has started to regress, or 'turn back', to this form of slavery under the Mosaic Law.

One other reasoning point to mention to these people who continue to believe that the Sabbath is binding is this: Why do they make such an effort to celebrate the Sabbath day but completely neglect the Sabbath year as mentioned at Leviticus 25:3-4? If they refuse to work, buy, or sell on Friday (Muslims), Saturday (Seventh-Day Adventist), or Sunday (Mormons), depending on which day they believe the Sabbath originally fell on, then why do they not quit their jobs every seven years as required? Are they scared that God will not completely provide? Why not mention that next time someone says that the Sabbath is necessary? The Scriptures show that it isn't.

Are Christians Required to Observe the Mosaic Law?
There is one Scripture that people who believe in following the Mosaic Law point to. It is Romans 3:31, which says in the International Standard Version, "Do we, then, abolish the law by this faith? Of course not! Instead, we uphold the law." Other translations, instead of saying "uphold" say things like "establish" (NASB, NWT, KJV), "support" (God's Word Translation), and "make it clear that the law is important" (Bible in Basic English). All of these, besides the ISV, leave it open for interpretation. The ISV is the only translation that supports this belief.

Since normal religious people can interpret this verse to say anything they want, we should really look to the authorities. What do they say?

"'We establish the law'--Both the authority, purity, and the end of it; by defending that which the law attests; by pointing out Christ, the end of it; and by showing how it may be fulfilled in its purity."
-Wesley's Notes

"The sinner establishes the law in its right use and honour by confessing his guilt, and acknowledging that by it he is justly condemned. Christ, on the sinner's behalf, establishes the law by enduring its penalty, death."
-Scofield Reference Notes

"Believers are not left to be lawless; faith is a law...The law is still of use to convince us of what is past, and to direct us for the future. Though we cannot be saved by it as a covenant, yet we own and submit to it, as a rule in the hand of the Mediator."
-Matthew Henry's Commentary

All of the above Scholar notes show that Romans 3:31 is not a good basis for saying that we are still under the Law of Moses. However, in the end, scholars are not as authoritative as God's Word. Despite Romans 3:31, does the Bible teach that Christians are still under the Mosaic Law?

Paul answers that question by saying, "For Christ is the end of the Law, so that everyone exercising faith may have righteousness." (Romans 10:4) When the Law Covenant was in effect, the way to be declared righteous was by following the commands in the Law. Now that it is abolished we are declared righteous by our faith.

Paul expressed this in even clearer language to the congregation in Ephesus when he said, "By means of his flesh [Christ] 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; 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." (Ephesians 2:15-16) The Law did not reconcile us to God, only the death of our Lord Jesus was able to accomplish that. That is probably what Paul had in mind when he said that it was by undeserved kindness that we were saved and not works.-Ephesians 2:8-9

In the end, the abolition of the Law was necessary. Why? "A man is declared righteous, not due to works of law, but only through faith toward Christ Jesus...because due to works of law no flesh will be declared righteous." (Romans 2:16) The Mosaic Law was necessary for its time. It was full of regulations that showed what was wrong and what was right in the eyes of Jehovah. However, when someone did not follow the Law perfectly they sinned, plain and simple, and the works of the Law were not enough to pass over that. This was a weakness of the Law.

In the book of Hebrews, Paul spoke plainly about the weaknesses of the Law. Since many of the laws were prophetic of the Messiah, they were not able to fulfill the way the Messiah did. In fact, "the Law has a shadow of the good things to come, but not the very substance of the things." (Hebrews 10:1) The weakness of the Law was due to the fact that it was only prophetic, a shadow of the things to come but not the things themselves. Due to this, "there occurs a setting aside of the preceding commandment on account of its weakness and ineffectiveness. For the Law made nothing perfect."-Hebrews 7:18-19

The view that many took was that since the Law was gone the sins that were forbidden in the Law were now alright to practice. For this reason, Paul wrote to the Romans, "For sin must not be master over you, seeing that you are not under law but under undeserved kindness. What follows? Shall we commit a sin because we are not under law but under undeserved kindness? Never may that happen!" (Romans 6:14-15) No, the idea that it is alright to sin because the Law was forbidden is wrong. If we sin because of that we are letting sin get the mastery of us. The main thing that we must remember is even though we are not under the old Law, we are under a new law. The Law of the Christ, a much more superior law then the one given to Moses.-Galatians 6:2

Knowing all of this should not make us more prone to sin or make us think that the Law is not important. Our concluding Scripture should make us have respect for that Law and show us that we should still abide by the principles therein. "I would not have come to know sin if it had not been for the Law; and, for example, I would not have known covetousness if the Law had not said: 'You must not covet.'" (Romans 7:7) The fact that there are so many wonderful principles embodied in the Mosaic Law should make us want to learn what it says and how we, people who abide by the Law of the Christ, can apply it in our lives.


Other Scriptures Showing Christians Are Not Under The Law
Romans 7:6
Galatians 3:19
Galatians 3:23-25
Galatians 5:18

Other Scriptures Showing Weakness Of Mosaic Law
Galatians 2:16
Galatians 3:11-13