Share with a Jehova’s Witness – Questions answered

I received a comment in one of my blog post which I would like to share and give my opinion on it. Be blessed.

 

Question

I’m sorry but Jesus said the dead know nothing and that the wages of sin is death this was the 1st lie told by satan “you surely will not die” there is no comfort or torment after death “the dead are asleep in the grave” you are not judged upon death but come judgement day otherwise what would be the point of judgement day if we all went to heaven or hell when we died?

 

My response to ‘the dead know nothing’ and ‘the dead are asleep’

Jesus is not quoted in scripture saying the dead know nothing. We know Him to confront death and raise people from it. He wakes them up because they are asleep. They are asleep because they shall arise when Jesus returns. As to how this will happen because their bodies will have rot or even turned to dust under the ground, God only knows. However, this gives us a clear picture that this kind of sleep Jesus is talking about is not the ordinary sleep we know.

John 5:28 – 29 says, ‘Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment’. We know it will happen because Jesus has said it. However, I want us to note that when God created man He put two ingredients together; dust and the breath of life. Then man became a living soul. This is according to Genesis 2:7. The tricky part about this formula is that the living soul does not get completely fused to the dust with the breath of life, the two can and do separate.

If the body and the breath of life are fused together, then whatever happens to the body would also happen to the soul. If for example the body gets its legs cut off, the soul would also have the legs cut off. Similarly, if the body gets asleep, the soul would sleep with it. We know that this is not true because when a person has a vision, the full body get to function with all its body parts even when they are not active in the physical body. That is why we believe that there will not be any cripple, the blind and impurity of any kind in Heaven.

Take the case of John who according to reliable historical sources was blind at the time of receiving a vision in the Island of Patmos. His eyes saw the things he writes about in the book of Revelation, he personally declares that he saw these things and give details fit for a person with a good eyesight. This to me tells me that the body and soul are not fused together.

Taking the case of Jesus on the cross, He declared that the criminal on the right will be with Him in Paradise that very night. We know that the bodies of Jesus and that of the criminal had assumed the stated of death a few moments later, yet the appointment was set in a different place, not in the graves. We believe that they indeed met in Paradise that very day just as Jesus declared. Furthermore, 1 Peter 3:18-20 tells us that it was during the three days when His body was in the grave that He preached to lost souls.

Paul in II Corinthians 5:6-8 brings to picture the concept of being present and that of being absent in the body. This in itself tells us that the soul can be absent or separated from the body, temporarily or permanently. In the verse he says that we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. There is absolutely no mention of the concept of sleeping.

When Saul had an encounter with Christ, he became blind (Acts 9:8). In verse 12, the Bible says that in a vision he saw Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight. At this time he was physically blind, yet his souls could see.

When Stephen was stoned to death, his prayer was, ‘Lord Jesus, please welcome me!’ (Acts 7:59). In verse 55, we learn that Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit. His prayer therefore could not be theologically wrong. He prayed for something that exists and would help him escape the situation he was in. If the case of a lengthy sleep was true he could have prayed thus, ‘Lord please give me a peaceful sleep’.

At the transfiguration, the Bible tells us that Moses and Elijah appeared talking with Jesus. This is because their souls were not fused with their earthly bodies and therefore wouldn’t have appeared there. I do notice that Moses was buried by God in the land of Moab and that Elijah was taken in a chariot of fire. However, this does not mean that they could have manifested in earthly bodies. We all know that earthly bodies wear out and therefore couldn’t in a recognizable state after such a long time in Bible history.

 

My response to the wages of sin is death

This calls for clear understanding of this kind of death Jesus was talking about because everybody dies, not just the sinners whose wages is death. Animals die too, yet they have no religion to observe. Death goes beyond the grave. The book of Revelation talks about the second death and links it to sinners. Revelation 21:8 give examples of sins whose wages are the second death, they are, “The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars…” and it continues to say, “…their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death”. In Revelation 2:11, the Bible gives the solution to escaping this second death. It’s not a representation of something else but a real place of soul dwelling. The second death is unique to people. Therefore, it is true that the soul that sins shall die.

 

My response to Judgment

Judgement is a public activity where all facts are brought to the table for discussion to exercise justice for the victim. Thus a necessary activity to support the fact that God is just.

Judgement comes immediately because it is necessary to determine whether one goes to Hides or Paradise. These are waiting places for the souls we already have discussed about in preceding sections. Paradise can be likened to a king’s garden in the surroundings of a palace. When you are in Paradise, you may have not gotten inside the palace itself but you are in the premises, enjoying the warmth of the place. In this garden you are waiting for the king to call you in at his best known time. On the other hand, Hides can be likened to a prisoner in custody waiting for trial. The only difference in this case would be that the judgment is already set and there is no lawyer to intervene. Hebrews 9:27 says, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment“. There is no mention of a stop-gap time or anything but judgment after death.

We must be cognizant of the fact that ‘time’ is not a factor to God. What we may think to mean different times in our limited minds may mean something else in God’s ways. However, I do believe that when all people get resurrected at Jesus’ return, final judgment will take place. The second judgement will determine Heaven or Hell.

I believe this shed some light yet I encourage people to study the Bible prayerfully and do some research on their own because there is nobody to blame for failing to make it to Heaven when you die.

Be blessed.

 

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About Musawenkosi Dube

I’m a believer in Jesus Christ. It has been revealed to me through the study of the Word of God, teachings of other men of God and testimonies that God has given us His grace just so we can share it among ourselves in the process leading each other to God. I invite you to learn who our God is with me in this blog…be blessed!

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