Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.


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and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

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Monday, 25 April 2016

Jehovah's Witnesses Belief About Death Erroneous

There is a great deal of interest and comment regarding the death of the musician known as Prince and his connection with the cult known as Jehovah's Witnesses.
One of their belief is that the body must be cremated within one week of his death.

There are many other unorthodox beliefs which this cult espouses. It is worth remembering that the doctrine of eternal punishment was one of two doctrines that Charles Taze Russell, the founder of Jehovah's Witness, refused to accept when he was among the Presbyterians and Congregationalists in his early years.
The teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses on the subject of death and the after life is but perpetuating  Charles Taze Russell's prejudice against the Word of God. 

The Jehovah’s Witness position on death and hell
They believe that:
1. Death ends personal existence. Death is both the end of life and the cessation of personal existence and consciousness. When a person dies they totally cease to exist.

2. There is no immaterial soul or spirit which continues to exist after the death of the body. They do not believe that Adam possessed a soul. To them he was just a soul and nothing more. Something which an animal has as well. 

To a Jehovah’s Witness the ‘soul’ refers to the person or the life that a person or animal possesses. The ‘spirit’ denotes the life-force that is in each of the body cells of both humans and animals. It is not to be confused with the soul. The soul is the life enjoyed by a living entity, the spirit is the force or energy that empowers and sustains that living entity.

3. There is no after-life. As there is no immortal soul or spirit which leaves the human body at death so there is no ‘intermediate state’ where the dead retain existence and consciousness awaiting the resurrection. Animals and humans go to the same place. Since animals do not have an after-life then neither do humans.

4. There is no eternal, conscious, punishment of the wicked. If there is no immortal soul or after-life there cannot be a place of conscious, eternal, punishment. The word ‘hell’ only refers to the grave or the final extinction of the wicked. Those who go here cease to exist. They will not experience any suffering in their punishment but will simply by annihilated. 

Are these beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses supported by the Word of God? 
1. Does death end personal existence? The body of every human being go back to the dust from whence they came when they die. However, human beings are more than dust. God first created Adam's body out of the dust of the ground and then breathed into Him and He became a living soul.
Death in the Word of God is never a ceasing to exist. Death in Scripture is a separation. Physical death is the separation of body and soul. Eternal death is the separation of body and soul and spirit from God for all eternity. 

Death is described as ‘sleep’, 1 Thessalonians 4:14. This argues against the Jehovah’s Witness position. Those who sleep do not cease to exist. When the body sleeps it is at rest but the real person is still conscious.

2. Is there no immaterial soul or spirit? Adam did possess a soul. We all are more than a soul. This can be simply proven to be true. The Lord Jesus makes a difference between the soul and the body, Matthew 10:28: And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Therefore, you can kill the body without killing the soul. While the body may be killed the soul still exists. Only the Lord can destroy both soul and body. The soul and body must be different parts of our constitution.

3. Is there no after-life? According to Hebrews 9:26 there is: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. There are saints who are now conscious in heaven and worship the Lamb in the midst of the throne. There are lost souls who are conscious in hell.

4. Is there no eternal, conscious, punishment of the wicked? There is a place of conscious and eternal, punishment therefore the soul of the wicked does survive eternal death and there is an after-life. As pointed out before death in the Bible does not mean annihilation but rather separation. 

The same terminology is used of the wicked being conscious in hell as the redeemed being conscious in heaven: Revelation 20:10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. These all are said to be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 

In Revelation 22:5 the saints are said to reign with Christ for ever and ever: And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

It is exactly the same phraseology in both verses. What is true of the one, by way of consciousness, must be true of the other. The saints are conscious in heaven and enjoy the bliss of that place. The wicked are conscious in hell and endure eternal punishment and torment.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have a great problem with Luke 16:19-31 
In this portion the Saviour speaks of the rich man opening his eyes in hell and Lazarus being carried into Abraham’s bosom. They argue that this is a parable and that the expressions of torment, fire, etc. are not to be understood literally but figuratively and that of life on earth. They do not accept that it refers to any existence beyond the grave for the wicked, even though the portion records that before the rich man opened his eyes in hell being in torment he had died!

As also shown by the verses in the Book of the Revelation this is an unsound and erroneous interpretation as it doesn't agree with the rest of Scripture. 

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