Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Response to a Jehovah's Witness

Below is my video response to THIS VIDEO from a JW on YouTube.  If anyone is interested in aspects relating to the Watchtower's two-class theology, I think you'll enjoy this:



23 comments:

Reformed Apologist said...

Didn't know of your site but saw hits on mine that came from yours. I look forward to familiarizing myself w/ your site.

Kyle said...

Interesting discussion , and points you have made Mike , actually the Bible Students really hit the nail on the head with this one . You rightly stated that there will be unbelievers on earth during the Millenium , this will be the worlds first opportunity to respond to the gospel and it will be the church - those who respond to the call to become sons and daughters of God durring the gospel age (From the time of Christ to Armageddon) and who are sealed , who will reign over the earth at that time ...it is then that the invitation in Revelation 22 is extended to the world in general "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

"The Divine Plan of The Ages "gives a detailed , clear and concise explanation to many of the questions raised .

Also see for a discussion I found helpful on the 1000 year reign and its purpose


http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2011/01/is-the-day-of-judgment-something-to-look-forward-to-or-to-dread/

Kyle said...

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

This is one scripture among many that indicates that the body of Christ will receive life in Heaven and not on earth .

However location is not what is important , Christs rule will extend through all of creation visible or invisible no part of the universe will be exempt from his rule , his Kindom will encompass the entire universe including our Earth .

Mike Felker said...

Hey Kyle, thanks for your comments. I'm not convinced that John 14:1-4 supports the notion of Christians going to heaven. In fact, I think it supports the opposite. One of these days i'd like to write a detailed article on this text since it seems to come up so often.

Anonymous said...

Just some random thoughts before I go reply to Mark Hunter on the blood issue for the 100th time.

John 14:1-4 seems to imply Jesus returning to a place he had been, infact, he terms it "home", the "house" of his Father. John 3:13 says Jesus descended from heaven.

I know 1 Cor 15 is discussed in this video, but I don't think verses 47,48 are mentioned. Seems to make clear that the anointed become spirits, much like their Lord, Jesus. Why, to enter heaven.

Lastly, 1 Thess 2:12 the Saints, or anointed are being called to God's Kingdom. Isa 66:1, Jehovah himself says that the heavens are his throne. 2 Kings 8:27 explains that not only is he in Heaven, but that the Earth could not contain him.

Hence, God's residing with mankind in Revelation 21 must mean something different than how you see it. (I'm just guessing you use that in your defense that the Saints don't go to Heaven)

The Apologetic Front said...

@Anonymous,

I agree that Jesus goes to heaven according to John 14, but I don't agree that this teaches that Christians will go to heaven.

There is nothing in 1 Cor. 15 that teaches that Christians or Christ has an immaterial body. In fact, I think it teaches the opposite.

You interpretation of 1 Thess. 2:12 assumes that "kingdom" = heaven. Would you also see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets as going to heaven since Luke 13:28 says they will be "in the kingdom of God?"

I agree that Is. 66:1 and 2 Kings 8:27 teach that Jehovah is in heaven. But this doesn't rule out the possibility that He will dwell with man one day.

Why would Revelation 21 mean something different than what it says: New Jerusalem "comes down out of heaven from God." What else would it mean? Even if its figurative; it would be figurative language in describing the opposite of what the WT believes.

Anonymous said...

With regards to 1 Thess 2:12, if God is in heaven and he calling the Saints to his Kingdom, logic would put them in heaven. Anything else would be an assumption where as the scriptures plainly say this.

But does heaven=kingdom? No, however Luke 1:32,33 says Jah will give Jesus the throne and there will be no end of his kingdom, which connects nicely with Heb 1:8. So the Kingdom is in Heaven with the Father.

"I agree that Is. 66:1 and 2 Kings 8:27 teach that Jehovah is in heaven. But this doesn't rule out the possibility that He will dwell with man one day."

Again, you are the one now assuming. With God, anything is possible, but this is unlikely as no human can see God and yet live.

But New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven and directing attention to the Earth, ruling over the Earth, that is what the Bible says.

The Apologetic Front said...

Why would this put the saints in heaven? This assumes that the kingdom is limited to a location in heaven. I think there is good reason to believe that the kingdom will literally be on this earth for the reasons I mentioned in the video.

As to your second paragraph, I agree that the kingdom is in heaven with the father. But if the kingdom will be spatially located on this earth, then you'd have to contextually determine that ones who are "in" the kingdom will be in heaven or on earth.

I'm not so sure what is difficult about God dwelling with man. Didn't God's glory fill the temple on several occasions in the Old Covenant days? I would imagine this would be happening on the new earth, but on a much greater scale.

All in all, I don't see anything in what you said which would determine that some Christians will live forever in heaven.

Anonymous said...

The Kingdom is established in the Heavens and I don't think you disagree with this thought.

You next say that the Kingdom will be literally on the Earth. Why do you think that exactly. There is nothing to imply this in John 14.

2 Cor 5:1 says that "if our earthly house should be dissolved, we are to have a building from God...everlasting in the heavens". That seems to agree with John 14, since we established too that the Father was in the Heavens.

If you are a citizen of the USA, where do you live? Canada? Mexico? You may visit those places, but the USA would be where you reside, hence Phil 3:20 says their "citizenship exists in the heavens". Who is talking in this verse Mike?

The Apologetic Front said...

@anonymous

I don't disagree that the kingdom is currently in heaven. But the reason I think the kingdom will literally be on this earth is because that is exactly what Daniel 2:35 states:

"But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”

I think this fits nicely with Matthew 6:10 where Jesus said, "your kingdom come." Come to where?

“Then the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”
(Revelation 11:15)

Anonymous said...

So, based on the scripture at Dan 2:35, do you believe that the Kingdom will all be on the Earth or will some of it stay in Heaven?

The Apologetic Front said...

Well I don't think the kingdom actually leaves heaven, but actually encompasses all of heaven and earth. And since Jesus will rule on this earth (Acts 3:21), I think that alone is good reason to believe that the kingdom will be here. But yes, I think Daniel 2:35 is in full support of this as well.

Anonymous said...

So do you think that this is how God started it in Eden with Heaven and Earth, Angels coming to and fro between? Or has God's purpose or plan changed?

Isn't there a distiction between those who would get to live on Earth as a prize and those who get to go to Heaven as a prize in Matt 5? How do you read?

I am the first Anonymous. I posted 2nd on the JW/secret book comments.

The Apologetic Front said...

I don't know anything about "angels coming to and fro between." So i'm not sure where you're getting that from.

And no, God's purpose has not changed: it is still for redeemed man to live forever on the new earth.

Where does Matthew 5 speak of going to heaven?

Anonymous said...

Matt 5:3 says the Kingdom of the Heavens would belong to those who are aware of their spiritual need. You know that. And then in vs 5 says the mild tempered would receive the Earth. Seems like two different things, actually, it says two different things.

When I said "angels coming to and fro", I didn't mean it was a verse. But from the way you are presenting your case, heaven and earth inter-mingle. So, Jesus could come down from heaven to the Earth. He wouldn't be limited to Heaven, that's what you said and then anointed with him.

It just reminded me of Satan in Job 1:7. It seems in that verse that it was not a good thing for an angel to be hanging out on the Earth. Same with regards to the wicked angels in Noah's day.

Those are just simple reasons why I don't believe the annointed receive their heavenly reward mentioned at Heb 3:1, (which as I have also shown is the case based on just two scriptures, John 14 & 2 Cor 5:1) and then they return to the Earth. That would be unreasonable.

The Apologetic Front said...

I agree with what Matthew 5:3 says, but why do you think inheriting the kingdom means "going to heaven?" Matthew 8:11 says that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be in the kingdom of heaven. Does that mean they are going to heaven? Also, the sheep in Matthew 25:34 are said to inherit the kingdom. Does this mean they are going to heaven?

Inheriting the kingdom and inheriting the earth mean the same thing, which is why Abraham and his seed are said to be "heirs of the world." (Rom. 4:13)

And again, I don't know anything about "heaven and earth inter-mingling." I never stated such. But yes, Jesus can and will come to earth to rule and reign with His followers. And as far as I know, heaven is heaven and earth is earth. Since the Bible doesn't speak of angels coming to earth after the second coming, i'm not inclined to speak of things where the Bible is silent.

As far as the anointed returning to earth, its not my position that they ever left earth. The heavenly gift is something one receives while on earth, which is why Abraham can inherit the "heavenly city" while still on earth (Heb. 11:16).

Anonymous said...

Mike, about inter-mingling, you said "New Jerusalem "comes down out of heaven from God". So where are they coming down from? And where are they going to? Who is New Jerusalem?

The last question is the most important.

The Apologetic Front said...

The text says, "out of heaven from God," so that is where they are coming from. As far as what this means, I am inclined to think that this is referring to what follows after Christians "meet the Lord in the air." (1 Thess. 4:17)

Where are they going? Since Abraham and his seed are "heirs of the world" (Rom. 4:13) and they are coming "down out of heaven," it seems reasonable to infer that they are going to earth.

New Jerusalem includes all who will live forever on the new earth.

Anonymous said...

Mike, you said "As far as the anointed returning to earth, its not my position that they ever left earth" which you then followed up by agreeing that they come down out of Heaven from God.

Clearly there is a problem with your argument with Matthew 8:11 that says that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be in the kingdom of heaven.

Does this mean they are going to heaven? No it doesn't. Matt 11:11 explains "Among those born of women there has not been raised up a greater than John the Baptist; but a person that is a lesser one in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he is."

Is Abraham, Isaac or Jacob greater than John the Baptist?

New Jerusalem is Christ's bride, the anointed. (2 Cor. 11:2, Eph 5:27, Rev 21:2)

They way to Heaven had not been opened to these men as Jesus had not yet died. But by Jesus' blood, going to Heaven would be a hope for Christ's followers, the 144,000. Heb 10:19, Heb 9:8, Heb 9:24.

Those faithful men will be on Earth, but the Saints go to Heaven. That's what they believed, that's why I believe.

There are two classes.

The Apologetic Front said...

@anonymous,

Obviously, I agree that they "come down out of heaven from God," since this is what the text explicitly states. But you seemed to have missed where I explained this in connection with 1 Thess. 4:17. Do a search for "heaven" in the book of revelation and tell me if it is always in reference to God's dwelling.

As for Matthew 8:11, I think the problem is with your theology because the text explicitly states that they will be "in" the kingdom of God. Will they or will they not?

Matthew 11:11 is a contrast of ages. Clearly, the resurrection and full establishment of the kingdom has not taken place. So yes, in this age, there is none greater than John. But of course, in the age to come, all these ones will be greater than John.

As for Heb. 10:19, 9:8, 9:24, please show me where in any of these texts it says "going to heaven would be a hope for Christ's followers." Apparently, you missed Hebrews 11:16 where Abraham is said to inherit the heavenly city. Will he be in heaven to?

Anonymous said...

Just because you deny all the evidence presented about heavenly ruling by the saints doesn't mean you are correct.

Infact, your only argument that has any merit against all the scriptures I have cited is "well, what about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, are they in Heaven since they inherit the Kingdom?". And you know my answer to that one.

Your theology is way off Mike. The reason New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven from God is because they are in the heavenly kingdom, literally! You keep asking, "where does it say they literally go to heaven?" or "where does it say heaven would be the hope of the saints?", just read 2 Tim 4:18, it can't say it any clearer than that.

David did not ascend to the heavens and neither did Abraham, Isaac or Jacob.

Anonymous said...

I forgot something else I wanted to comment on. I like how you like to decide on the literalness of Revelation. Like, when heaven is used and so forth. But you take the vs. about God residing with man as literal all the while the Bible explicitly says that cannot happen because of his glory.

So let me correct another of your wrong views. New Jerusalem does not come down literally, but they turn their attention to the Earth, because they are in Heaven as the New Creation. It is similar to how God did not come down to free Israel from Egypty, but turned his attention to the issue. (Gen 50:24)

The Apologetic Front said...

@Anonymous,

Would you mind then explaining Matthew 8:11/Luke 13:28, since this is apparently my only argument that has any merit?

If NJ is literally in heaven on the basis of Rev. 21:2, then why can't it be that they literally "come down out of heaven from God?" You seem to want to pick and choose what you want to be literal, but can provide no exegetical basis for your choice. And the text mentions nothing about "turning their attention" to the earth.

As for God dwelling with men, what about Ezek. 37:26-28, 1 Kings 8:11, 2 Chronicles, 5:14-6:1 and others like these? Is it possible that the new earth will have this reality on a much grander scale?

I agree that David, Abraham, Isaac or Jacob ascended to heaven. But if Luke 13:28 says they will be "in" the kingdom of God, I do wonder how you deal with this text.