JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES - Ask Your Preacher

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JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

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What's In The Blood?

Monday, June 19, 2017
Leviticus 3:17, along with other similar passages, forbids believers to eat any blood.  The Jehovah's Witnesses don't accept blood transfusions and won't eat meat with blood in it for this reason.  My question is: how can you eat blood if blood is liquid… isn't it?  And also, someone said in order to eat something, you have to digest it.  You don't digest blood transfusions, right?  So what exactly does Leviticus 3:17 mean?

Sincerely,
Blood Donor

Dear Blood Donor,

It is possible to eat blood if it is prepared as a dish (i.e. blood sausage, blood pie, etc.); however, it would be wrong to do so (see "Blood In The Pudding" for New Testament teachings on that subject).  This verse, however, doesn't address why Jehovah's Witnesses don't accept blood transfusions.  The reason JW's don't get blood transfusions is because "the life is in the blood" (Deu 12:23).  They improperly apply an Old Testament teaching that dealt with eating to a medical treatment in the world of the New Testament.  Christians are not under the Old Testament law (Gal 3:23-25).  The Old Testament still provides many faithful examples and principles, but its specific laws have been nailed to the cross (Col 2:14).  The Old Testament law has faded away and been replaced by the perfect law of liberty in Christ (Jas 1:25).  Read "Out With The Old?" for further details on the place of the Old Testament in the life of a christian.

Stake Out

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
I got into a pretty heated argument the other day with my girlfriend.  She is a Jehovah’s Witness, and I am a christian.  I was talking about the day Jesus died, and I mentioned the cross.  She, in turn, began to tell me that all christians got the translation wrong and that it was actually a stake.  I'm not looking to settle a score, but I would like to know some insight on this subject if you could help.  Thanks and keep up the good work!

Sincerely,
Feeling A Little Cross

Dear Feeling A Little Cross,

The Greek word is ‘stauros’, and it means ‘stake, post, or cross’.  The word can mean any of those three things depending upon the context.  Like many words in English, Greek words often require context to give the specific definition.  In the case of Jesus’ crucifixion, the word ‘cross’ is appropriate because the context tells us they nailed Him to it (Jhn 20:25, Lk 24:40)… a historically verifiable technique used by Romans for crucifixion upon a cross.

Down With Denominationalism

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
In your opinion, is there a right denomination?  I have attended several different types of churches: Baptist, Church of Christ, Non-Denominational.  I’ve talked to Jehovah Witnesses and listened to Catholics on TV.  They all teach something different, but I am not looking for a place that offers their own thoughts.  I just want to know what God wants me to know.  I have been so confused by all these different teachings; I am unsure of what to believe.  Now, I like ya'll; so far you are the only ones that haven't completely confused me or contradicted the Bible.  How can I find a church like how you teach?  I want to go to church so bad, but after I attend for a little while, I notice some churches will start to say things completely different from what my Bible teaches.  And I am left wondering what to believe anymore.  Any help?

Sincerely,
An Honest Soul

Dear An Honest Soul,

The denominational world is confusing… exactly the opposite of God’s church (1 Cor 14:33).  The term ‘denomination’ comes from the idea that a church believes that it is a subgroup of a larger religious body.  Lutherans worship and teach differently than Episcopalians, Catholics, Presbyterians, etc., but they all believe themselves to be christians – this is wrong.  Jesus said that there is only one path to heaven (Matt 7:14).  Denominationalism teaches that how you act and worship are matters of opinion, but Jesus said that how you act and worship are matters of truth (Jhn 4:24).  The only way to avoid denominationalism is to find a congregation that simply teaches what the Bible says – no creeds, no opinions, no personal agendas.  If we truly love Christ, we will follow His commandments (1 Jn 5:2).

Everything a church does (worship, membership, how they teach to be saved, how they spend their money, even their name) needs to have Bible verses backing them up (1 Tim 3:15).  A church needs to be able to explain the reasons for why they do what they do (1 Pet 3:15).

Our congregation here in Monroe goes by the name ‘Monroe Valley church of Christ’ because ‘church of Christ’ is a Biblical name for a congregation (Rom 16:16).  We worship by singing (Col 3:16), studying the Bible (1 Tim 4:13), praying (2 Thess 3:1), taking communion (only on Sundays – Acts 20:7), and taking up a collection (also only on Sundays – 1 Cor 16:1-2).  We teach that you must hear God’s Word (Rom 10:17), believe God’s Word (Jhn 3:16), repent of your sins (Mk 6:12), confess Jesus as your Savior (Lk 12:8), and be baptized to be saved (Acts 2:38, 1 Pet 3:21).  We do all these things because they are practices found in the Bible.  As you said, you don’t want to go to a church that offers their own thoughts – you want God’s thoughts.

There are other congregations like ours scattered across the country and the world.  Most of them use the name ‘church of Christ’, but then again, many churches that use that name aren’t faithful.  A Bible name for a church isn’t enough to make it faithful.  We have helped others, like yourself, looking for New Testament Christianity find faithful congregations in their area by contacting other preachers and christians that we know.  We’d be happy to do the same for you.  If you feel comfortable, just let us know what general area you live in, and we will try and get you in touch with a congregation that lives like your Bible reads (our e-mail is askyourpreacher@mvchurchofchrist.org).  It is frustrating, confusing, and exasperating to deal with denominationalism.  Thanks be to God that there is a better option!

Outgoing Souls

Monday, November 21, 2016
When you die, do you go straight to heaven, or do you stay in the grave until Judgement Day?  I have asked this question to other people before, and well, some responses I get from them seem not completely as the Bible says.  I have asked several different denominations.  Then are only 144,000 going to heaven?  If so, what happens to the rest of us?

Sincerely,
#144,001

Dear #144,001,

When a christian dies, they go immediately to Paradise and await the day of Judgment, the day when our eternal heaven is created.  Jesus said that angels immediately carry faithful souls off to Paradise (Lk 16:22, Lk 23:43), and the wicked are immediately sent to torments (Lk 16:23).  Both Paradise and torments are part of Hades (‘Hades’ means ‘the unseen place’).  When you die, your spirit is separated from your body and goes to Hades (Jas 2:26).  On the Day of Judgment, all the souls will be emptied out of Hades (1 Thess 4:14), and all the bodies will be removed from the graves (1 Thess 4:16).  On that great Day of Judgment, every soul shall be judged (Heb 9:27).  After that judgment happens, this earth will be destroyed, and a new, heavenly, spiritual world will be created for the saints to live in eternally (2 Pet 3:12-13).  On that great day, every righteous person will be allowed to dwell in heaven eternally (not just 144,000 people – those who say that only 144,000 will get to go to heaven are grossly misinterpreting Rev 14:1.  Jesus came to pay for the sins of the whole world – Jhn 3:16).

Heaven Sent

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
     I was told that there are two salvations: one in heaven and one on earth. Some chosen christians will go to heaven, and the others will stay on a paradise Earth after the millennium and when all evil has ended.  Is this true?

Sincerely,
Making Reservations

Dear Making Reservations,

No, that isn’t true.  What you are talking about is a popular teaching of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but it isn’t a biblical teaching.  There was an earthly paradise; it was called the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:8).  Mankind was cast out of that paradise because of sin (Gen 3:22-24).  We are told that the next paradise faithful people see will be a heavenly paradise.  Jesus referred to Paradise as a place that God’s people will see once they die (Lk 23:43).  Paul refers to Paradise as existing in heaven, not on Earth (2 Cor 12:2-4).  Eventually, this world will be totally destroyed by intense heat (2 Pet 3:10-13), and this earthly age will pass away and be replaced by a spiritual one for all eternity (1 Cor 15:49-54).  Jhn 14:2-4 says that we will dwell where God dwells (heaven) and that even now, Jesus is preparing a place for us.  Matt 24:35 says that heaven and earth will pass away – unlike God’s Word.  When the Judgment Day comes, the faithful will go to heaven.  There will be no earthly paradise.

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