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5 years ago  ::  Dec 16, 2012 - 7:49AM #31
weberhome02
Posts: 3,398

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†. 1Pet 3:17-20 . . For it is better to suffer because you are doing good, if the will of God wishes it, than because you are doing evil. Why, even Christ died once for all time concerning sins, a righteous person for unrighteous ones, that he might lead you to God, he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit. In this state also he went his way and preached to the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient when the patience of God was waiting in Noah's days, while the ark was being constructed, in which a few people, that is, eight souls, were carried safely through the water.


One popular theory regarding the "spirits in prison" is that they were off-reservation angels that somehow mated with women to produce a curious species of hybridized human beings called Nephilim. That theory seems to me the least tenable since Christ died to ransom his fellow men from the wrath of God rather than angels. And anyway, according to Mtt 25:41 the fate of fallen angels is set in concrete so preaching to them would be futile.


It's far more likely that the spirits in prison are the remains of antediluvians who drowned in the Flood. That being the case, then Christ would have preached to them not after they were dead, but while the ark was under construction; viz: the spirit state in which Christ preached to the people in Noah's day would have been the one identified below.


†. Gen 6:3 . . After that Jehovah said: My spirit shall not act toward man indefinitely


Jehovah's spirit of course doesn't act towards men via close encounters of a third kind; but rather through inspired men; e.g. Abel (Luke 11:50-51), Enoch (Jude 1:14), and Noah (2Pet 2:5).


It seems very logical to me that Jehovah's spirit as per Gen 6:3, and Christ's spirit state as per 1Pet 3:18 are speaking of the same spirit. In point of fact, in every major English translation of 1Pet 1:10-12, the spirit of Christ was active in all the prophets. It's not too difficult to understand why the Watchtower Society would not want that to be true.


My explanation of course creates snags for Witness minds because the Watchtower Society's sophists have managed to persuade them that human existence is entirely physical; and I guess it just never occurs to them the Society's fictioneers might actually be fairly easy to debunk by people who know the Bible better than they do.


Objection : Christ had yet not been 'put to death in the flesh' back in Noah's day while the ark was under construction.


Christ has always existed as spirit. He didn't have to die to get like that.


†. 1Cor 15:45 . . It is even so written: "The first man Adam became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.


When did Adam become a living soul? Answer: at birth. When did Christ become a life-giving spirit? Answer: at birth.


Here's the trick to it:


The Watchtower Society's theologians refuse to believe it is possible for someone to exist as spirit and as flesh both at the same time. So they theorize that the Word of John 1:1-4 had to give up its spirit existence in order to take on human existence. What's wrong with that theory? Well; according to 1John 1:1-2 the Word of John 1:1-4 is an everlasting life; which is a species of life that's impervious to death; ergo: it's impossible for the Word to be taken out of existence. So when it took on human existence, the Word remained in spirit existence too. If that were not true, then it would be possible to take Jehovah out of existence because He too is an everlasting life.


Objection : verse 18 of the 1Peter 3 scripture that you quoted describes a sequence of events: "Why, even Christ died once for all time concerning sins, a righteous person for unrighteous ones, that he might lead you to God, he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit."


It's all too easy for the undisciplined mind to change the words "in the" to "as a" like this: made alive as a spirit. No he wasn't made alive as a spirit; but rather, in the spirit.


Jesus has always been alive in the spirit; he has never yet died in the spirit-- in point of fact, he cannot die in the spirit because according to 1John 1:1-2, the Word of John 1:1-4 is an everlasting life; which is a species of life that's impervious to death. If it were possible for the Word to die in the spirit, then it would be possible for Jehovah to die in the spirit because He too is an everlasting life.


Jesus was alive in the spirit from day-one of his human existence.


†. 1Cor 15:45 . . It is even so written: "The first man Adam became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.


In other words; the nature of the Word's existence did not change when it came into the world as a human being.


You know; some people seem to think Paul's writings are easy to understand simply because their Bibles are translated into a language they speak, and their IQ is substantially above Forrest Gump's. But not so. Peter said Paul's writings are anything but easy to understand (2Pet 3:15-16) and I find it exceptionally ludicrous that a non spirit-born, non spirit-anointed door to door prophecy monger would attempt to convince me otherwise as if they were infallible and speaking for God ex cathedra when according to 1Cor 2:11-16 they can neither relate to God, nor can they even comprehend God's thoughts because the physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know [them] because they are examined spiritually.


Jesus defined the physical man as someone who has not yet undergone spirit birth.


†. John 3:6 . .What has been born from the flesh is flesh, and what has been born from the spirit is spirit.


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5 years ago  ::  Dec 24, 2012 - 12:02PM #32
weberhome02
Posts: 3,398

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†. Heb 5:7-9 . . In the days of his flesh Christ offered up supplications and also petitions to the One who was able to save him out of death, with strong outcries and tears, and he was favorably heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered; and after he had been made perfect he became responsible for everlasting salvation to all those obeying him


The "perfection" Christ obtained by means of his suffering is directly related to his priesthood rather than his personal conduct.


†. Heb 5:10 . . Because he has been specifically called by God a high priest according to the manner of Melchizedek.


In order for a priest to be effective, he has to be a man of understanding.


†. Heb 5:1-3 . . For every high priest taken from among men is appointed in behalf of men over the things pertaining to God, that he may offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal moderately with the ignorant and erring ones since he also is surrounded with his own weakness, and on its account he is obliged to make offerings for sins as much for himself as for the people.


Christ of course could do no wrong of his own; but he was put through the wringer so he'd have a taste of what us mere mortals face every day of our lives.


†. Heb 4:15 . . For we have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in all respects like ourselves, but without sin.


Hence, the purpose of the suffering that the Son endured was for a far different purpose than the chastisement which the Father's lesser sons are put through at Heb 12:5-11 since according to 1John 3:9 and Col 2:9 it was, and it still is, impossible for God's son to ever be unholy, or unrighteous, or disobedient. In other words; the Son didn't learn to be obedient; rather, he experienced what it's like to obey God as a human being. For Jesus obedience is second nature because according to John 1:1-14, the Son is a god; but the rest of us are mere mortals. Obedience isn't a piece of cake for the rest of us; it's an effort.


It's one thing to empathize and say you feel your fellow man's pain; but in order to truly sympathize with his pain; you've got to go through it yourself. It's exactly that which makes Jesus the perfect choice for high priesthood in heaven because the things he suffered made him a "merciful" high priest; in other words: sensitive-- an high priest that's truly one of us instead of a disconnected jurist from another world.


During America's dust bowl era in the 1930's, the Federal Farm Security Administration sent out an educated young lady named Sonora Babb to counsel migrant farm workers out west. Nobody trusted her until they found out she grew up in the so-called No Man's Land of the southern great plains. Sonora wasn't just another indifferent stuffed-shirt bureaucrat. She was one of them and it made all the difference in rapport.


This information is of course quite useless to the great crowd because only the Society's 144,000 anointed Witnesses have direct access to the Mediator. In other words: non-anointed Witnesses are barred from boldly approaching the throne of grace depicted at Heb 4:16; and if you don't believe me look it up for yourself in the "Questions From Readers" section of the April 1, 1979 issue of The Watchtower Magazine and/or on page 1129 of the Watchtower publication: Aid To Bible Understanding.


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5 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2012 - 10:55AM #33
weberhome02
Posts: 3,398

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†. John 1:14 . . So the Word became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father; and he was full of undeserved kindness and truth.


The ancient Greek word from which "of undeserved kindness" is derived is charitos; which itself is derived from charis.


"undeserved kindness" isn't a translation of the word charis; it's actually the Watchtower Society's proprietary opinion of what they think that word ought to mean. It's literal meaning is graciousness.


Witnesses are being robbed of viewing some very pleasant aspects of the only-begotten son's personality by interpreting charis to mean undeserved kindness because graciousness says wonderful things not only about the flesh that the Word became; but also about the father from whom the Word came.


To begin with; Webster's defines "graciousness" as kind, courteous, inclined to good will, generous, charitable, merciful, altruistic, compassionate, thoughtful, cordial, affable, genial, sociable, cheerful, sensitive, considerate, and tactful.


Cordial stresses warmth and heartiness


Affable implies easy approachability and readiness to respond pleasantly to conversation or requests or proposals


Genial stresses cheerfulness and even joviality


Sociable suggests a genuine liking for the companionship of others


Generous is characterized by a noble or forbearing spirit; viz: magnanimous, kindly, and liberal in giving


Charitable means full of love for, and goodwill toward, others; viz: benevolent, tolerant, and lenient.


Altruistic means unselfish regard for, or devotion to, the welfare of others; viz: a desire to be of service to others for no other reason than it just feels good to do so.


Tactful indicates a keen sense of what to do, or say, in order to maintain good relations with others in order to resolve and/or avoid unnecessary conflict.


Here's a couple of passages from the NWT where the Society's translation committee had the decency to let charis speak for itself instead of butting in to tell people what they think it ought to mean.


†. Col 3:16 . . Keep on teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, praises to God, spiritual songs with graciousness


†. Col 4:6 . . Let your utterance be always with graciousness.


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5 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2013 - 8:51AM #34
weberhome02
Posts: 3,398

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Here's the common translation of Luke 23:43


"I tell you the truth; today you will be with me in paradise.


Here's the Watchtower Society's translation


"Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise."


The reason that the Society's translation differs from just about every other translation is because of their understanding of John 20:17, which reads like this:


"Jesus said to her: Stop clinging to me. For I have not yet ascended to the Father."


Paul wrote of a paradise in the celestial regions called the third heaven (2Cor 12:2-4). Clearly Jesus did not go there when he died because of his prediction at Mtt 12:40 that he would instead be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights rather than up in the sky.


Now one thing obvious about the Lord's tomb is that it was located on the surface of the earth rather than its interior; indicating to me that his visit to the heart of the earth was accomplished in a spirit form rather than a physical form.


When Jonah died, he visited the heart of the earth too: a place that he depicted as the bottoms of the mountains (Jonah 2:6). Since Jesus compared his own burial and resurrection to that of Jonah's, and since Jesus is intrinsically a righteous man (1John 3:5) then I think it's reasonable to insist that the netherworld place to which Christ and Jonah and Abraham went consists of very pleasant accommodations in contrast to the infernal region where the rich man of Luke 16:19-31 is a resident.


Paradise then, consists of at least two distinct locations: a celestial location and a netherworld location. Put into perspective: the celestial location can be compared to one of WalMart's full service stores, and the netherworld location can be thought of as one of WalMart's neighborhood stores. Regardless of any given store's size, its services, or its location; they're all WalMart.


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