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Thursday, November 26, 2009

What is Hell as mentioned in the Bible?

It is generally thought that life of some kind, in some form, continues after death. And "hell" is thought of as a fiery place of punishment for sins. But is this really so?

First, the word "hell" is found in many Bible translations. But in the same verses, other translations read "the grave," "the world of the dead," etc.

And contrary to the common misconceptions concerning death - the Bible tells us that a person does not have a soul, but rather IS a soul. Genesis 2:7 says that Adam "came to be a living soul". He did not receive a soul; he was a soul—a whole person. And Ezekiel 18:4 says that when a person dies, that soul dies.

At Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10, the condition of the dead is made clear:

"The dead know nothing . . . In the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom." (NIV)

Hope for the dead

The Bible provides a hope for those who have died to a life in paradise:

"The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus'] voice and come out." (John 5:28, 29) The Bible says: "There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous." (Acts 24:15)

Click on any of the following links to view:

What is the Definition of Hell?

Why is there confusion as to what the Bible says about hell?

Do wicked and upright people go to hell?

Does anyone ever get out of the Bible hell?

Does the Bible indicate whether the dead experience pain?

Does the Bible indicate that the soul survives the death of the body?

Articles Concerning Hell and Death:

What Really Is Hell?

What Has Happened to Hellfire?

Is Death Really the End?

A Closer Look at Some Myths About Death

Will the Dead Live Again? - The Resurrection A Glorious Prospect

Groups Archives:

"Hell is a Woman" ('Reasoning')

"The Resurrection" ('Reasoning')

Why is there confusion as to what the Bible says about hell?

"Much confusion and misunderstanding has been caused through the early translators of the Bible persistently rendering the Hebrew Sheol and the Greek Hades and Gehenna by the word hell. The simple transliteration of these words by the translators of the revised editions of the Bible has not sufficed to appreciably clear up this confusion and misconception."—The Encyclopedia Americana (1942), Vol. XIV, p. 81.

What is the definition of Hell?

The word "hell" is found in many Bible translations. In the same verses other translations read "the grave," "the world of the dead," and so forth. Other Bibles simply transliterate the original-language words that are sometimes rendered "hell"; that is, they express them with the letters of our alphabet but leave the words untranslated. What are those words? The Hebrew she'ohl´ and its Greek equivalent hai´des, which refer, not to an individual burial place, but to the common grave of dead mankind; also the Greek ge´en·na, which is used as a symbol of eternal destruction.

Despite this, both in Christendom and in many non-Christian religions it is taught that hell is a place inhabited by demons and where the wicked, after death, are punished (and some believe that this is with torment).

Does the Bible indicate whether the dead experience pain?

Eccl. 9:5, 10: "The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all . . . All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power, for there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol,* the place to which you are going." (If they are conscious of nothing, they obviously feel no pain.) (*"Sheol," AS, RS, NE, JB; "the grave," KJ, Kx; "hell," Dy; "the world of the dead," TEV.)

Ps. 146:4: "His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts* do perish." (*"Thoughts," KJ, 145:4 in Dy; "schemes," JB; "plans," RS, TEV.)

Does the Bible indicate that the soul survives the death of the body?


Ezek. 18:4 clearly states: "The soul that is sinning—it itself will die." ("Soul," KJ, Dy, RS, NE, Kx; "the man," JB; "the person," TEV.)

The Bible does speak of the spirit, or life-force. This also is referred to in the Bible as being in humans and in animals. (Gen. 6:17; 7:15, 22)

Ecclesiastes 3:18-22 shows that men and animals die in the same way: "they all have but one spirit, so that there is no superiority of the man over the beast,". In other words, they both have the same spirit, or life-force.

This indicates that the spirit that is mentioned that is associated with the soul is not some disembodied consciousness of a newly desceased person. Rather the scriptures indicate that it is impersonal.
"Although the Hebrew word nefesh [in the Hebrew Scriptures] is frequently translated as `soul,' it would be inaccurate to read into it a Greek meaning. Nefesh . . . is never conceived of as operating separately from the body. In the New Testament the Greek word psyche is often translated as `soul' but again should not be readily understood to have the meaning the word had for the Greek philosophers. It usually means `life,' or `vitality,' or, at times, `the self.'"—The Encyclopedia Americana (1977), Vol. 25, p. 236.

Does anyone ever get out of the Bible hell?

Rev. 20:13, 14, KJ: "The sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell* delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire." (So the dead will be delivered from hell. Notice also that hell is not the same as the lake of fire but will be cast into the lake of fire.)
(*"Hell," Dy, Kx; "the world of the dead," TEV; "Hades," NE, AS, RS, JB, NW.)

Do wicked and upright people go to hell?

The Bible says that the wicked go to hell:

Ps. 9:17, KJ: "The wicked shall be turned into hell,* and all the nations that forget God." (*"Hell," 9:18 in Dy; "death," TEV; "the place of death," Kx; "Sheol," AS, RS, NE, JB, NW.)

The Bible also says that upright people go to hell:

Job 14:13, Dy: "[Job prayed:] Who will grant me this, that thou mayst protect me in hell,* and hide me till thy wrath pass, and appoint me a time when thou wilt remember me?" (God himself said that Job was "a man blameless and upright, fearing God and turning aside from bad."—Job 1:8.)

(*"The grave," KJ; "the world of the dead," TEV; "Sheol," AS, RS, NE, JB, NW.)

Acts 2:25-27, KJ: "David speaketh concerning him [Jesus Christ], . . . Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,* neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." (The fact that God did not "leave" Jesus in hell implies that Jesus was in hell, or Hades, at least for a time, does it not?) (*"Hell," Dy; "death," NE; "the place of death," Kx; "the world of the dead," TEV; "Hades," AS, RS, JB, NW.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

What Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe Regarding Physical And Heavenly Afterlives? The 144,000?

Contrary to many misconceptions, the Bible shows that there is no immortal spirit but instead, the Bible says that the condition of the dead is one of inactivity - likened to a deep sleep.

“The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

“He breathes his last breath, he returns to the dust; and in that same hour all his thinking ends.” (Psalm 146:4) - The New English Bible

However, through examples and scriptural promise, God has provided a hope of a resurrection for dead loved ones. This hope includes dead loved ones being resurrected to a paradise here on earthJehovah's Witnesses look forward to living in this future paradise earth.

Another kind of resurrection is referred to in the Bible, one to life as a spirit person in heaven. How many will go to heaven? According to Revelation 14:1, the apostle John says: “I saw, and, look! the Lamb [Jesus Christ] standing upon the Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.” John went on to say that "the hundred and forty-four thousand...have been bought from the earth." (Rev. 14:3)

The vast majority of mankind, however, have the prospect of being resurrected in the future to life in Paradise on earth.

Learn more:

Jehovah’s Witnesses—Who Are They? What Do They Believe?

Frequently Asked Questions About Jehovah’s Witnesses

What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe?

Questions Often Asked by Interested People

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why Don't Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in the Trinity?

Nowhere in the Bible is it mentioned that Jesus ever claimed to be God. Rather, he specifically called the "Father...the only true God." (John 17:1-3; Also see John 20:17; 2 Corinthians 1:3 and 1 Corinthians 8:6)

Nowhere in the Bible does it conclusively say that Jesus is God. Instead, the Bible repeatedly refers to Jesus as the "son of God". Because the Bible describes Jesus as the second oldest and second most important person in the universe, the Bible calls Jesus:

the "only-begotten Son" of God. (John 1:14; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9)

"the first-born of all creation". (Colossians 1:15)

"the beginning of God's creation". (Revelation 3:14)

The Bible shows that Jesus is subordinate to God: "The head of the Christ is God." (1 Corinthians 11:3) Jesus himself said: "The Father is greater than I." (John 14:28)

Concerning the supposed third person of the Trinity, nowhere in the Bible is the Holy Spirit called "God, the Holy Spirit." Instead, the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is not a person, but rather is God's active force. Even many trinitarian scholars will admit this.

Not only does Biblical and historical evidence clearly not support the Trinity, but Historian Will Durant said that

"Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. . . . From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity."

And Arthur Weigall stated that

"Nowhere in the New Testament does the word `trinity' appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord; and the origin of the conception is entirely pagan." - The Paganism in our Christianity, pp. 197, 198.

Some look to a few selected Bible texts as "proof" of the Trinity. However, not even so much as one of these "proof texts" says that the Father, Jesus, and the holy spirit are one in some mysterious Godhead and, very often, the true meaning of such a text is clarified by the context of surrounding verses.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Why Do Jehovah's Witnesses "Abstain From Blood"?

A close examination of the wording used at Acts 15:28, 29 shows how important it is for Christians to "abstain from blood":

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these ESSENTIALS ['these necessary things' - RSV]: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell." -Acts 15:28, 29 (NASB)

The wording of the scriptures here does not indicate that this is a relatively unimportant commandment. It says it is "ESSENTIAL".

This command went as far back as Noah:

God said: "Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood." (Gen. 9:4) RSV; Moffatt

Andrew Fuller, viewed as "perhaps the most eminent and influential of Baptist theologians," wrote:

"This, being forbidden to Noah, appears also to have been forbidden to all mankind; nor ought this prohibition to be treated as belonging to the ceremonies of the Jewish dispensation. It was not only enjoined before that dispensation existed, but was enforced upon the Gentile Christians by the decrees of the apostles, Acts XV. 20. . . . Blood is the life, and God seems to claim it as sacred to himself." - The Complete Works of the Rev. Andrew Fuller (1836), p. 751.

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Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe that only they will be saved?

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that many will be saved who are not now Jehovah's Witnesses.

Jehovah's Witnesses would have no reason to engage in their preaching work if they did not believe that there wasn't any hope for others. They are certain that God's mercy will extend to many kinds of people. At Acts 24:15, the apostle Paul stated that God is going to resurrect even "the unrighteous."

Notice this quote from the 2000 publication, Jehovah’s Witnesses—Who Are They? What Do They Believe?, Questions Often Asked by Interested People, as found at the Official Website of Jehovah's Witnesses:

"Do you believe that you are the only ones who will be saved?

"No. Millions that have lived in centuries past and who were not Jehovah’s Witnesses will come back in a resurrection and have an opportunity for life. Many now living may yet take a stand for truth and righteousness before the “great tribulation,” and they will gain salvation. Moreover, Jesus said that we should not be judging one another. We look at the outward appearance; God looks at the heart. He sees accurately and judges mercifully. He has committed judgment into Jesus’ hands, not ours.—Matthew 7:1-5; 24:21; 25:31."

(Additional information can be found in the 08 11/1 Watchtower article p. 28 entitled: Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe That They Are the Only Ones Who Will Be Saved?)

Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe that their religion is the only right one?

Today, a prevalent view is that there are many acceptable ways to worship God. However, the Bible does not agree. Eph. 4:5 says that there is, "one Lord, one faith." Jesus said: "Not everyone saying to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will." (Matt. 7:21; see also 1 Cor. 1:10)

Jesus showed that only a minority would be right. He said: “Narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it.” (Matt. 7:13, 14) The outcome of the Flood proved that Noah and his family were the only ones who had the right religion. History shows that Jesus and his disciples were the only ones in their day practicing right religion.

The Scriptures constantly refer to the body of true Christian teachings as "the truth," and Christianity is spoken of as "the way of the truth." (1 Tim. 3:15; 2 John 1; 2 Pet. 2:2) Because Jehovah's Witnesses base all of their beliefs, their standards for conduct, and organizational procedures on the Bible, their faith in the Bible itself as God's Word gives them the conviction that what they have is indeed the truth. So their position is not egotistical but demonstrates their confidence that the Bible is the right standard against which to measure one's religion. They are not self-centered but are eager to share their beliefs with others.

Learn more:
Search the Entire Content of Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site

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Official Jehovah's Witnesses Web Site, On-line Publications and Public Information

Contact Your Local Jehovah's Witnesses

FAQs from the Authorized Site of the Office of Public Information of Jehovah's Witnesses

Questions Often Asked By Interested People

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Don't Other Religions Besides Jehovah's Witnesses Also Follow The Bible?

Many use the Bible to some extent. But do they really teach and practice what it contains?

1) In most of their Bible translations they have removed the name of the true God thousands of times.

2) Their central concept of God himself - the trinity doctrine - is rooted in pagan sources and was developed in its present form centuries after Bible writing was completed.

(3) Most other religion's belief in immortality of the human soul as the basis for continued life is not taken from the Bible; it has its roots in ancient Babylon.

(4) The theme of Jesus' preaching was the Kingdom of God, and he sent his disciples out to talk personally about it; but the churches today seldom mention that Kingdom and their members are not doing the work of preaching "this good news of the kingdom." (Matt. 24:14)

Learn more:

Search the Entire Content of Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site

Search the INDEX to the Official Jehovah's Witnesses Web Site

Official Jehovah's Witnesses Web Site, On-line Publications and Public Information

Contact Your Local Jehovah's Witnesses

FAQs from the Authorized Site of the Office of Public Information of Jehovah's Witnesses

Questions Often Asked By Interested People

Friday, November 13, 2009

What Impact Have Jehovah's Witnesses Had on Civil Liberties in The United States?

NEWS ARTICLE: "Jehovah’s Witnesses have been a fixture at the Supreme Court, arguing for rights that are now guaranteed to all Americans."

Jehovah's Witnesses Official Media Website: Jehovah's Witnesses' Contributions to the Community

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FAQs from the Authorized Site of the Office of Public Information of Jehovah's Witnesses

Questions Often Asked By Interested People

What does it mean to be a "Witness for Jehovah"?

"The original-language words translated "witness" provide insight into what it means to be a witness for Jehovah. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the noun rendered "witness" (`edh) is derived from a verb (`udh) meaning "return" or "repeat, do again." Regarding the noun (`edh), the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says: "A witness is one, who by reiteration, emphatically affirms his testimony. The word [`edh] is at home in the language of the court." A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language for Readers of English adds: "The orig[inal] meaning [of the verb `udh] prob[ably] was `he said repeatedly and forcefully.'"

"In the Christian Scriptures, the Greek words rendered "witness" (marìtys) and "bear witness" (mar·ty·reìo) also had a legal connotation, although in time they took on a broader meaning. According to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, "the concept of witness [is used] both in the sense of witness to ascertainable facts and also in that of witness to truths, i.e., the making known and confessing of convictions." So a witness relates facts from direct personal knowledge, or he proclaims views or truths of which he is convinced." - Proclaimers; p. 12 &13

Learn more:

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Questions Often Asked By Interested People

Are Jehovah's Witnesses an American religion?

The modern-day history of Jehovah's Witnesses began with the forming of a group for Bible study in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., in the early 1870's. At first they were known only as Bible Students, but in 1931 they adopted the Scriptural name Jehovah's Witnesses. (Isa. 43:10-12) Their beliefs and practices are not new but are a restoration of first-century Christianity.

The location of their world headquarters in the United States has helped to make it possible to print and ship Bible literature to most parts of the world. But the Witnesses do not favor one nation over another; they are found in almost every nation, and they have offices in many parts of the earth to supervise their activity in those areas.

But is it important where Jehovah's Witnesses began their modern-day history?

Consider this example: Jesus as a Jew was born in Palestine, but Christianity is not a Palestinian religion. The place of Jesus' human birth is not the most important factor to consider. What Jesus taught originated with his Father, Jehovah God, who deals impartially with people of all nations. -John 14:10; Acts 10:34, 35

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why Don't Jehovah's Witnesses Vote, Pledge Allegiance Or Support The Military?

"In reply Jesus said to him: `It is written, "It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service."' - Luke 4:8

Jesus also said, "They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” (John 17:15, 16) Separateness from the world is important because Satan is this world’s ruler. Christians would not want to become part of a world that is under his control. -Luke 4:5-8; John 14:30; 1 John 5:19

This also included Jesus avoiding the world’s politics. Jesus explained why by saying: “My kingdom is no part of this world." (John 18:36) So true Christians would follow Jesus' example and remain separate from the world, only being loyal to God’s heavenly Kingdom.

The apostle Paul did write that Christians should “be in subjection to the superior authorities [political rulers], for there is no authority except by God.” -Romans 13:1-7. However, subjection to political rulers is to be relative, not unlimited. When there is a conflict between God’s laws and man’s laws, those who serve Jehovah are to obey His laws.

Concerning this, notice what the book On the Road to Civilization—A World History says of the early Christians:

“Christians refused to share certain duties of Roman citizens. The Christians . . . felt it a violation of their faith to enter military service. They would not hold political office. They would not worship the emperor.” When the Jewish high court “positively ordered” the disciples to stop preaching, they answered: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men.” -Acts 5:27-29.

It is a fact of ancient and modern-day history that in every nation and under all circumstances true Christians have endeavored to maintain complete neutrality as to conflicts between factions of the world. They do not interfere with what others do about sharing in patriotic ceremonies, serving in the armed forces, joining a political party, running for a political office, or voting (See below video). But they themselves worship only Jehovah, the God of the Bible; they have dedicated their lives unreservedly to him and give their full support to his Kingdom.

Learn more:Search the Entire Content of Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site

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Questions Often Asked By Interested People

Why do the Witnesses call repeatedly even at homes of people who do not share their faith?

Why do the Witnesses call repeatedly even at homes of people who do not share their faith?

Jehovah's Witnesses do not force their message on others. But they know that people move to new residences and that the circumstances of people change. Today a person may be too busy to listen; another time he may gladly take the time. One member of a household may not be interested, but others may be. People themselves change; serious problems in life may stimulate an awareness of spiritual need. (Isaiah 6:8, 11, 12)

The message that the Witnesses proclaim involves the lives of people, so they want to be careful to miss no one. (Zeph. 2:2, 3) Their calls are motivated by love - first for God, also for their neighbor. (Mt. 22:37-39)

Learn more:

Search the Entire Content of Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site

Search the INDEX to the Official Jehovah's Witnesses Web Site

Official Jehovah's Witnesses Web Site, On-line Publications and Public Information

Contact Your Local Jehovah's Witnesses

FAQs from the Authorized Site of the Office of Public Information of Jehovah's Witnesses

Questions Often Asked By Interested People

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why do Jehovah's Witnesses preach from house to house?

Also see: "Preaching".)

Jesus told his followers to "make disciples of people of all the nations," and he set the example by "journeying from city to city and from village to village, preaching and declaring the good news of the kingdom of God." -Matthew 28:19, 20; Luke 8:1

The apostle Paul too, taught in public places, in the marketplace, and from house to house. (Acts 20:20) Jehovah's Witnesses follow Jesus' and Paul's examples.

Jesus’ true followers preach that God’s Kingdom is mankind’s only hope. Jesus foretold: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) Instead of encouraging people to look to human rulers to solve their problems, true followers of Jesus Christ proclaim God’s heavenly Kingdom as the only hope for mankind. (Psalm 146:3) Jesus taught us to pray for that perfect government when he said: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matthew 6:10) God’s Word foretold that this heavenly Kingdom “will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms [now existing], and it itself will stand to times indefinite.” - Daniel 2:44.

The message that the Witnesses proclaim involves the lives of people, so they want to be careful to miss no one. (Zeph. 2:2, 3) Their calls are motivated by love - first for God, also for their neighbor. (Mt. 22:37-39)

Interestingly, a conference of religious leaders in Spain noted this: "Perhaps [the churches] are excessively neglectful about that which precisely constitutes the greatest preoccupation of the Witnesses - the home visit, which comes within the apostolic methodology of the primitive church. While the churches, on not a few occasions, limit themselves to constructing their temples, ringing their bells to attract the people and to preaching inside their places of worship, [the Witnesses] follow the apostolic tactic of going from house to house and of taking advantage of every occasion to witness." - El Catolicismo, Bogotá, Colombia, September 14, 1975, p. 14

Other religions have acknowledged the Christian obligation to preach in public places and from house to house, although this is often left to a limited group of missionaries or clergy to fulfill... not every member.

Learn more:

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Questions Often Asked By Interested People

What beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses set them apart as different from other religions?

(1) Bible: Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God, and instead of adhering to a creed based on human tradition, they hold to the Bible as the standard for all their beliefs.

(2) God: They worship Jehovah as the only true God and freely speak to others about him and his loving purposes toward mankind. Anyone who publicly witnesses about Jehovah is usually identified as belonging to the one group—“Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

(3) Jesus Christ: They believe, not that Jesus Christ is part of a Trinity, but that, as the Bible says, he is the Son of God, the first of God’s creations; that he had a prehuman existence and that his life was transferred from heaven to the womb of a virgin, Mary; that his perfect human life laid down in sacrifice makes possible salvation to eternal life for those who exercise faith; that Christ is actively ruling as King, with God-given authority over all the earth since 1914.

(4) God’s Kingdom: They believe that God’s Kingdom is the only hope for mankind; that it is a real government; that it will soon destroy the present wicked system of things, including all human governments, and that it will produce a new system in which righteousness will prevail.

(5) Heavenly Life: They believe that 144,000 spirit-anointed Christians will share with Christ in his heavenly Kingdom, ruling as kings with him. They do not believe that heaven is the reward for everyone who is “good.”

(6) The Earth: They believe that God’s original purpose for the earth will be fulfilled; that the earth will be completely populated by worshipers of Jehovah and that these will be able to enjoy eternal life in human perfection; that even the dead will be raised to an opportunity to share in these blessings.

(7) Death: They believe that the dead are conscious of absolutely nothing; that they are experiencing neither pain nor pleasure in some spirit realm; that they do not exist except in God’s memory, so hope for their future life lies in a resurrection from the dead.

(8) Last Days: They believe that we are living now, since 1914, in the last days of this wicked system of things; that some who saw the events of 1914 will also see the complete destruction of the present wicked world; that lovers of righteousness will survive into a cleansed earth.

(9) Separate From The World: They earnestly endeavor to be no part of the world, as Jesus said would be true of his followers. They show genuine Christian love for their neighbors, but they do not share in the politics or the wars of any nation. They provide for the material needs of their families but shun the world’s avid pursuit of material things and personal fame and its excessive indulgence in pleasure.

(10) Apply Bible Counsel: They believe that it is important to apply the counsel of God’s Word in everyday life now—at home, in school, in business, in their congregation. Regardless of a person’s past way of life, he may become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses if he abandons practices condemned by God’s Word and applies its godly counsel. But if anyone thereafter makes a practice of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, drug abuse, drunkenness, lying, or stealing, he will be disfellowshipped from the organization.

(The above list is an excerpt of Reasoning From the Scriptures p.199-200, and briefly states some outstanding beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses but by no means all the points on which their beliefs are different from those of other groups.)

For an even larger list provided by the Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site, click here.

For many more details about Jehovah's Witnesses' beliefs, click on any of the following:

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Questions Often Asked By Interested People

Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Christian religion?

Many dictionaries define "Christian" as someone who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or who follows the religion based on his life and teachings.

(Also see: The Bible’s Viewpoint - What Does It Mean to Be a Christian?; WBTS)

Jehovah's Witnesses do believe in Jesus and follow his teachings. They believe that Jesus is extremely fact he is the second most important person in the universe next to God Himself. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that no salvation occurs without Christ, that accepting Christ's sacrifice is a requirement for true worship, that every prayer must acknowledge Christ, that Christ is the King of God's Kingdom, that Christ is the head of the Christian congregation, that Christ is immortal and above every creature, even that Christ was the 'master worker' in creating the universe.

So yes, by every genuine definition, Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians. Even disinterested theologians and secular dictionaries acknowledge that Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian religion. In fact, Jehovah's Witnesses are a true restoration of first-century Christianity.

The reason that some falsely accuse Jehovah's Witnesses of not being Christians is because they use an artificial, trinity-specific definition of the term "Christian" which excludes anyone who does not believe that Jesus is God Himself, rather than the Son of God.

Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that Jesus is God Himself. Rather, they believe just as the Bible describes Jesus - as the "Son *OF* God".

Nowhere in the Bible is it mentioned that Jesus ever claimed to be God. Rather, he specifically called the "Father...the only true God." (John 17:1-3; Also see John 20:17; 2 Corinthians 1:3 and 1 Corinthians 8:6)

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus is God. Instead, the Bible repeatedly refers to Jesus as the "son of God". Because the Bible says that Jesus' "origin is from of old, from ancient days" (Micah 5:2), the Bible shows Jesus was created by God. Jesus is:

the "only-begotten Son" of God. (John 1:14; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9)

"the first-born of all creation". (Colossians 1:15)

"the beginning of God's creation". (Revelation 3:14)

The Bible shows that Jesus is subordinate to God: "The head of the Christ is God." (1 Corinthians 11:3) Jesus himself said: "The Father is greater than I." (John 14:28)

For much more, see:

Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Sect or a Cult?

The word 'cult' generally has a negative connotation. It is for this reason that people who hate Jehovah's Witnesses use this word to try and denigrate them. And uninformed people simply repeat what they have been told.

Many relatively recent, memorable cults follow a living human leader, and often their adherents live in groups apart from the rest of society.

But Jehovah's Witnesses base all of their beliefs, their standards for conduct, and organizational procedures on the Bible.

The link below leads to an article that highlights these differences:
Secret Societies—How Great the Threat? Secrecy in the Name of the Lord
"True religion in no way practices secretiveness. Worshipers of the true God have been instructed not to hide their identity or to obscure their purpose as Jehovah's Witnesses."

Note these comments from Reasoning From the Scriptures, p.202, when considering the question, "Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Sect or a Cult?":

"Some define sect to mean a group that has broken away from an established religion. Others apply the term to a group that follows a particular human leader or teacher. The term is usually used in a derogatory way. Jehovah's Witnesses are not an offshoot of some church but include persons from all walks of life and from many religious backgrounds. They do not look to any human, but rather to Jesus Christ, as their leader.

"A cult is a religion that is said to be unorthodox or that emphasizes devotion according to prescribed ritual. Many cults follow a living human leader, and often their adherents live in groups apart from the rest of society. The standard for what is orthodox, however, should be God's Word, and Jehovah's Witnesses strictly adhere to the Bible. Their worship is a way of life, not a ritual devotion. They neither follow a human nor isolate themselves from the rest of society. They live and work in the midst of other people."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jehovah - Importance of Name

Jehovah - Importance of Name

The Israelites used the only personal name of God profusely (in prayer, and respectfully in everyday language [see end note] - see King David's words, for example). We are instructed in scripture to call upon that name and to invoke it.

There is nothing wrong with also calling him 'Father,' but to completely ignore the name, as much of Christendom has, is scripturally wrong.

Ex. 3:15 -

"Jehovah ... This is my name for ever; this is my title in every generation."- NEB.

Jehovah, .... This is My name forever, and this is My memorial from generation to generation. - LITV (Green)

"Jehovah, ...This is My name forever and by this I am to be remembered through all generations." - MLB.

"Jehovah ... This is my eternal name, to be used throughout all generations." - LB.

"Jehovah, ....This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." - Darby.

"Jehovah, .... this [is] My name--to the age, and this My memorial, to generation--generation." - Young's.


1 Chron. 16:8 -

"O give thanks unto Jehovah, call upon his name; Make known his doings among the peoples." - ASV.

"Give thanks to Yahweh, call his name aloud, proclaim his deeds to the peoples [among the nations- NAB (1991); MLB; GNB; world - LB]." - NJB.

"Give thanks unto Jehovah, call upon his name; Make known his acts among the peoples." - Darby.


Is. 12:4 -

"And in that day shall ye say, Give thanks unto Jehovah, call upon his name, declare his doings among the peoples, make mention that his name is exalted." - ASV.

"And, that day, you will say, Praise Yahweh, invoke his name. Proclaim his deeds to the people [nations, RSV, NRSV, MLB, NAB (1991), GNB; worldLB], declare his name sublime." - NJB.

"call his name aloud." - JB.

"And in that day shall ye say, Give ye thanks to Jehovah, call upon his name, declare his deeds among the peoples, make mention that his name is exalted." - Darby.


Zeph. 3:9 -

"For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of Jehovah, to serve him with one consent." - ASV.

"Yes, then [the last days] I shall purge the lips of the peoples, so that all may invoke the name of Yahweh." - NJB, c.f. JB.

"For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of Jehovah, to serve him with one consent." - Darby


Joel 2:26, 32 -

"And ye ... shall praise the name of Jehovah your God .... And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered." - ASV.

"You will ... praise the name of Yahweh your God .... All who call on [invoke- REB & NEB] the name of Yahweh will be saved" - JB & NJB.

"And ye shall ... praise the name of Jehovah your God, who hath dealt wondrously with you: .... And it shall be that whosoever shall call upon the name of Jehovah shall be saved" - Darby.


Jer. 16:19, 21 -

"O Jehovah [YHWH] ... unto thee shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Our fathers have inherited nought but lies ... and they will know that my name is Jehovah [YHWH]." - ASV.

"and they shall know that My name is Jehovah." - KJIIV & MKJV.

"Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know my hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is Jehovah." - Darby.


Zech. 13:9 -

"They shall call upon my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, Jehovah is my God." - ASV.

"They shall call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, It is My people, and they shall say, Jehovah is my God." - KJIIV.

"They shall call on my name, and I will answer them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, Jehovah is my God." - Darby

[Notice the parallelism: "They shall call upon my name" is paralleled with "Jehovah is my God."]


Ezek. 39:7 -

"And my holy name will I make known ... and the nations shall know that I am Jehovah" - ASV.

"... and no longer allow my holy name to be profaned; and the nations will know that I am Yahweh" - NJB.

"I will not suffer my holy name to be profaned any more: and the nations shall know that I [am] Jehovah, the Holy One in Israel." - Darby.


Ps. 83:16-18

"Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, [O YHWH]. let them be put to shame and perish .... that men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH [YHWH], art the most high over all the earth." - KJV.

"Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name .... Let them be ashamed and troubled forever; yea, let them be put to shame, and lost; so that men may know that Your name is JEHOVAH, that You alone are the Most High over all the earth." - MKJV.


Ps. 135:13 -

"Thy name, O Jehovah, endureth forever; Thy memorial name, O Jehovah, throughout all generations" - ASV.

"Thy name, O Jehovah, is for ever; thy memorial, O Jehovah, from generation to generation." - Darby.

"O Jehovah, your name endures forever" - LB.


We are to know and use Jehovah's name, but we must not misunderstand how extremely important it is to Him (and to us). One of God's Ten Commandments, for example commands:

"You shall not misuse the name of Yahweh your God, for Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses his name." - Ex. 20:7, NJB [cf. NRSV, NIV, NEB, REB, GNB, NLV, ETRV].

God certainly didn't say, "Don't ever use my Holy Name"! By direct Bible statements and commands and by the clear, thousand-fold repeated examples of all the prophets of God in the OT we know that God's Holy Name must be known and used by his people - for all generations. Instead, this Scripture shows the extreme importance of that name (would God really punish anyone who deceitfully misuses his name if that name weren't extremely important?) and that it must be used in a manner that shows its great importance.

Notice how two of the most-respected, "orthodox," trinitarian Bible study publications address this extremely important issue:

"Of primary significance is the name of Yahweh [or Jehovah] which he himself made known in his revelation (Gen. 17:1; Exod. 3:14 [and 3:15]; 6:2...). One of the most fundamental and essential features of the biblical revelation is the fact that God is not without a name: he has a personal name [Jehovah or Yahweh], by which he can, and is to be, invoked." - p. 649, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol. 2, Zondervan, 1986.

And the New Bible Dictionary, Tyndale House Publ., 1984, after telling us on p. 812 that God changed his previously external relationship with mankind by revealing his PERSONAL NAME to his people and thereby established with them "the highly personal relationship to a God who has given his people the liberty to call him by name [Yahweh or Jehovah]," further states:

"The name of God is described as his holy name more often than all other adjectival qualifications [titles, descriptions, etc.] taken together. It was this sense of the sacredness of the name that finally led to the obtuse [dull-witted, stupid] refusal to use  Yahweh, leading as it has done to a deep loss of the sense of the divine name in [English-language Bibles]." - p. 813, section d.

Also, the trinitarian Today's Dictionary of the Bible (Bethany House, 1982) says:

"Jehovah, the special and significant name (not merely an appellative title such as Lord [or God]) by which God revealed himself .... The Hebrew name Jehovah is generally translated [in most English Bibles] by the word LORD printed in small capitals to distinguish it from the [honest] rendering of the Hebrew Adonai and the Greek Kurios, which are also rendered "Lord" but in the usual type." - p. 330.

Even trinitarian translator and scholar Jay P. Green writes in the Preface of his The Interlinear Bible:

"The only personal name of God that belongs to Him alone was rendered Jehovah or, in its shortened form, Jah. We preferred the transliteration JHWH (thus Jehovah) over YHWH (or Yahweh) because this is established English usage for Bible names beginning with this letter (e.g., Jacob and Joseph). - p. v, Baker Book House, 1982.

LITV (Green) - Malachi 2:2; 3:16 "If you will not hear, and if you will not set it on your heart to give glory to My name, says Jehovah of Hosts, then I will send the curse on you, .... Then those fearing Jehovah spoke together, each man to his neighbor. And Jehovah gave attention and heard. And a Book of Remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Jehovah, and for those esteeming His name. - Literal Translation Version.

ASV - Ezekiel 39:6, 7 "And I will send a fire on Magog, and on them that dwell securely in the isles; and they shall know that I am Jehovah . And my holy name will I make known in the midst of my people Israel; neither will I suffer my holy name to be profaned any more: and the nations shall know that I am Jehovah." - American Standard Version.

Bracketed information [ ] and emphasis have been added above.


End Note:

We see that in the very first section of the Jewish Mishnah (Darby's translation) the decree that "a man should salute his fellow with [the use of] the Name [of God]," the example of Boaz (Ru 2:4) then being cited. - Berakhot 9:5.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Creation - Links to Information

Click on any of the following links to view:

CREATION - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

CREATION (Insight-1 pp. 526-547; Watchtower Online Library)

Does God really exist? (Search For Bible Truths)

UNIV - (Universe - The "Impossible" Universe) (Search For Bible Truths)

Could life have occurred spontaneously? ("Impossible" Creatures) (Search For Bible Truths)

Was the 'artificial life' breakthrough recently announced by scientists prove 'abiogenesis'? (Search For Bible Truths)

The "coincidences" of extra protons, and the very small mass difference between a neutron and proton, etc. (Search For Bible Truths)

"The Universe's basic properties are uncannily suited for life. Tweak the laws of physics in just about any way and life as we know it would not exist..." (Excerpt from Discover, 12/08; Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

The "Just Right" Status of the Gravitational Force (Search For Bible Truths)

Does Science Contradict the Genesis Account? (Search For Bible Truths)

Why Do Some Scientists Believe in God? (Search For Bible Truths)

How did Moses know that the universe had a beginning when Einstein did not? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Are things that seem to be at odds with the Bible's account really in contradiction to what the Bible says? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

What is the Big Bang Theory? (Search For Bible Truths)

If Jehovah is a God of order, why are chaotic occurrences observed in the universe? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Is the Earth really only 10,000 years old? (Search For Bible Truths)

Were the creative "days" in Genesis literal 24 hour periods? (Search For Bible Truths)

What are The Meanings Of The Words Translated "created" In Genesis 1:1 And "make" in Genesis 1:16? (Y/A; Esp. Bar Enosh's response)

Did God Use Evolution to Create Life? (Search For Bible Truths)

How was it that "all things were made through (Jesus)"? (John 1:3) (Search For Bible Truths)

How is Man Made in God's Image? (Gen. 1:26) (Search For Bible Truths)

Why did God make us? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Why did God give men nipples? Or is this evidence against Creation? (Search For Bible Truths)

Creation Reveals God's Glory (Pastor Russell)

UNIV - (Universe - The "Impossible" Universe)

The "Impossible" Universe

A. The Impossible Beginning

B. Impossible "Coincidences"

C. Impossible Creatures

D. Impossible Earth

A. The Impossible Beginning

There are two major rational possibilities to explain the beginning of our "impossible" universe: Either a creator who has always existed brought it into being, or, the universe has always existed and by some natural cyclic process keeps renewing itself.

The only theory that provides an acceptable answer for many scientists is one that excludes a creator. So, although it is no more difficult to imagine an intelligent being who has always existed than to imagine a highly complex, decaying universe that has always existed, these scientists have produced a theory of a "closed universe." This theory is that there is a cycle of "beginnings" and "endings" for the universe that continues forever. (The idea, apparently, is that it's easier - at least emotionally, for many - to believe in a universe that has always existed [and always will] than to believe in an intelligent creator who has always existed.)

There is strong evidence for the Big Bang theory (or something similar) that approximately 13.7 billion years ago the universe started in a compressed ball of matter (or energy) which exploded out in all directions (and is still expanding today in all directions away from that original point), cooled, and formed the galaxies, stars, planets, etc. that we know today.

The closed universe theory includes the Big Bang Theory. Starting with the Big Bang, then, these theorists say the universe will continue to expand and cool until, after trillions of years (or so), the stars have burned out, and the gravity of all the remaining matter left in that expanding universe slows and then stops the expansion.

At this point the remaining dead matter of the entire universe will begin to pull together again (because of the internal gravity of the whole mass) and eventually compress to a point where the terrific gravitational pressure will generate so much heat and energy that a new Big Bang will be produced. Then, say these theorists, a new universe will arise like a phoenix from the "ashes" of its previous existence, and the cycle will thus continue forever.

The one necessity these scientists have not been able to verify is the amount of matter remaining in the universe. A certain minimum is required to produce enough gravity to stop the universe's runaway expansion. If there is not enough matter, they admit, the universe must have come into being, once for all time, in a Big Bang and, left to itself, will cool, die, and expand forever (an open universe). This scenario, to most reasonable people, demands a creator, an initial cause!

But scientists have been able to confirm the existence of less than 10% of the matter required to "close" the universe! They have produced some incredible ideas to try to account for the "missing" matter but no real evidence. (See note concerning "dark matter" in appendix.)

But, even IF there were enough matter left in the universe to cause it to stop its rapid expansion and begin to contract, we would STILL not have a "closed universe".
Consider the research of Sidney Bludman, a physicist at the University of Pennsylvania. (See Science `84 - July/August, pp. 7, 10.) Bludman has calculated what would happen IF there were enough matter still left in the universe to eventually stop the expansion and cause a contraction.

Instead of "bouncing" back in a new Big Bang as some physicists have previously speculated, Bludman's calculations
"show that the universe already has too much entropy—that is, far too much of its energy has dissipated into an unreclaimable form—to have enough useful energy left for a bounce."

Now consider what happened during the Big Bang and for billions of years thereafter:
Whether the "Big Bang" started as an incomprehensible ball of energy, some of which was converted into the matter of the universe in the process, (which fits well into my concept of the Creator's method) or whether it started as a big ball of matter which (through tremendous gravitational forces) produced an incomprehensible amount of energy isn't really important.

The same formula developed by Einstein shows the seemingly infinite amount of energy required in the Big Bang and the incomprehensible amount of energy being produced by the billions of billions of stars even today. Much of this energy has been lost as far as a "closed universe" is concerned. The tremendous heat and light has dissipated (and is dissipating today) by the conversion of the universe's matter into energy.

The Big Bang itself lost a tremendous amount of matter from the system as dissipated energy, and 13.7 billion years (or more) with billions of billions of stars converting their masses into energy has lost a tremendous amount more!

("To better understand the elusive nature of antimatter, we must back up to the beginning of time.

In the first seconds after the Big Bang, there was no matter, scientists suspect. Just energy. As the universe expanded and cooled, particles of regular matter and antimatter were formed in almost equal amounts.

But, theory holds, a slightly higher percentage of regular matter developed [?] -- perhaps just one part in a million -- for unknown reasons. That was all the edge needed for regular matter to win the longest running war in the cosmos.

'When the matter and antimatter came into contact they annihilated, and only the residual amount of matter was left to form our current universe,' Share says." - "The Reality of Antimatter" By Robert Roy Britt Senior Science Writer posted: 07:00 am ET - 29 September 2003.)

So, even IF one Big Bang left enough matter to close the universe once, it would not be able to reach that critical density required for a new Big Bang. But even IF it did, somehow, it is obvious that the process could not possibly have gone on forever! The amounts of matter/energy lost in each theoretical cycle are incomprehensibly large, but even if only a teaspoonful were lost each time it could not have lasted forever until now! (How many times can you keep making a new candle from the wax drippings of the old one?)

As physicist Bludman puts it:
"the universe is converting matter to energy so fast, that even if there is plenty of matter available [now], there won't be enough energy left for another big bang in 30 billion years." - Popular Mechanics, Dec. 1984, p.24.

In addition, astrophysicists have discovered an incredible number of clusters, groupings, and complex lattice-like structures of galaxies extending many hundreds of light-years in length. All of this structure is unexplainable to scientists. They say the Big Bang was extremely smooth and uniform, according to the background radiation it left behind. But such a smooth, uniform beginning, left to itself, should not have led to such massive and complex structures at this point in time. Noted astrophysicist Margaret Geller of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, admits she cannot begin to understand what she sees. Gravity alone cannot account for these amazing structures. "I often feel," she admits, "we are missing some fundamental element in our attempts to understand this structure."

Andre Linde, one of the originators of the popular inflationary version of the Big Bang theory, admits that there is simply no way (for non-Creationists) to account for the most fundamental and important question of all, "Explaining this initial singularity - where and when [and how] it all began - still remains the most intractable problem of modern cosmology."

Someone brought this universe into existence once, probably about 13.7 billion years ago, and carefully, meticulously intervened throughout its growth to ensure its present characteristics. That Someone has always existed, but this universe has not, and, without His intervention, this universe will die in trillions of years (or so). There cannot be a self-existent cycle of energy-bleeding universes for all eternity.

B. Impossible "Coincidences"

There is another problem for anti-creation scientists concerning the beginning of our universe. Science `84 explains,
The universe is figuratively balanced on a knife-edge. Suppose ... that the density had been a little too high in the beginning. Then, according to Einstein's general relativity, the universe would never have gone anywhere. The gravitational attraction of one particle for another would have quickly brought the expansion to a halt and the universe would have collapsed back into a point—more of a `Big Burp' than a Big Bang.
Suppose, on the other hand, that the density had been a little too low in the beginning. Then there would have been no problem with a Big Burp. In fact, the universe would have continued to expand forever—but so rapidly that particles of matter never would have been able to catch each other. Stars and galaxies never would have formed. We wouldn't be here to worry about it.

... the early universe must have started out very close to a certain critical density of matter. The problem is that it had to be absurdly close. Princeton University physicists Robert H. Dicke and P. James E. Peebles, who were the first to discuss the problem in 1979, calculated that the real density must have differed from the critical density by less than one-quadrillionth of one percent ....

THIS CAN'T BE COINCIDENCE. - p. 50, January/February, 1984 issue.

Expanding on these scientific observations, Science Digest stated:
Something strange, it seems, is happening to the universe. In the words of British astronomer Fred Hoyle, it is as though somebody had been `monkeying around' with the laws of nature. And not only Hoyle but an increasing number of other scientists are baffled by a string of apparent `accidents' and `coincidences' so long that it cannot be dismissed. At the heart of the mystery lies the discovery that many of the familiar structures of the physical world—atoms, stars, galaxies, and life itself—are remarkably sensitive to the precise form in which the fundamental laws of physics manifest themselves. So sensitive are they that the slightest shift in nature's parameters would bring about a catastrophic change in the organization of the cosmos. It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature's numbers to make the universe work properly.

Consider, for example, the structure of atomic nuclei. The atom's protons and neutrons are bound tightly together within its nucleus by a strange cohesive force. But what would happen if this force were not so strong? A reduction of only a few percentage points would mean that the simplest composite nucleus, deuterium's—consisting of a single proton and a neutron glued together—would come unstuck and fly apart.

In that case, the sun, which uses deuterium in its fuel chain, would be in severe difficulties, as would most other stars. But if the nuclear force were very slightly stronger, an even worse catastrophe would ensue. As physicist Freeman Dyson has pointed out, it would then be possible for two protons to stick together....
If this strong-force condition had obtained when the Big Bang occurred, when all the cosmic material was highly compressed, such proton `marriages' would have proliferated, initiating a runaway nuclear reaction that would have denuded the universe of free protons, which are the nuclei of hydrogen. Without hydrogen there would be no stable stars that, like the sun, use hydrogen as their fuel.

Astrophysicist Brandon Carter has discovered yet another touch-and-go aspect of stellar structure. The life of a star is one long struggle between gravity, which tries to crush it, and the forces of electromagnetism, which supply the support that keeps the star from collapsing. The appearance of a star depends on a subtle and improbable balance of the numbers that characterize the strength of the force of gravity and that of electromagnetism. A truly minute shift would turn all stars into either blue giants or red dwarfs.

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? [emphasis by Science Digest writer] .... Scientists are aware that if the catalog of `happy accidents'—of which I have given only a sample—had not worked out so propitiously, we should not be around to comment on the fact. Any old universe won't do—it has to be a well-organized job. - Science Digest, October 1983, p. 24.

And other "coincidences" are constantly being discovered. Take the type of planets to be found in a star system. For higher life forms to survive on an earth-type planet there must be other planets. Specifically there must be a giant with the mass of our Jupiter at the proper distance from the life-bearing planet.
... from its safe distance of half a billion miles [too far away to threaten the earth], Jupiter appears to have been Earth's guardian angel: it has protected our fragile, life-bearing globe from a deadly barrage of comets. 
George Wetherill, a planetary scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington D.C., reached this conclusion after simulating the birth of solar systems on a desktop computer. In every simulation he ran, rocky planets similar in size to Earth assembled from small chunks of debris orbiting near the central star. Larger, gaseous planets formed farther out, along with scads of icy comets zinging around in eccentric orbits.

As long as one of those gaseous planets has the mass and gravitational pull of Jupiter, Wetherill found, most of the comets never get the chance to collide with one of the inner planets. .... In systems lacking Jupiter-size planets, however, the small inner worlds are relentlessly bombarded. Without a full-size Jupiter, Wetherill estimates, Earth would have been struck by comets at least 1000 times more often, and catastrophic impacts of the kind that probably exterminated the dinosaurs would have occurred every 100,000 years or so instead of every 100 million.

`It may well be that if Jupiter weren't there, we wouldn't be here either,' says Wetherill. - p. 15, July 1993, Discover.

C. Impossible Creatures

(For a more detailed discussion see the 15 July 1978 Watchtower.)

There are at least 5 pitfalls to the evolutionary theory for the beginning of life.

1. There is simply no real evidence to support the speculation that the earth's atmosphere once had the necessary gases in the right proportion to start the chain reactions that most evolutionists believe led to spontaneous life production.

2. If such an atmosphere did exist at one time, and if the proper amino acids were produced, they would have been destroyed by the same source of energy that split the methane and water vapor in the first place. Dr. D. E. Hull wrote in the May 28, 1960, scientific magazine Nature:

"The conclusion from these arguments presents the most serious obstacle, if indeed it is not fatal, to the theory of spontaneous generation. First, thermodynamic calculations predict vanishingly small concentrations of even the simplest organic compounds. Secondly, the reactions that are invoked to synthesize such compounds are seen to be much more effective in decomposing them."

And John Horgan wrote in a 1991 Scientific American magazine:

"Laboratory experiments and computerized reconstructions of the atmosphere ... suggest that ultraviolet radiation from the sun, which today is blocked by atmospheric ozone, would have destroyed hydrogen-based molecules in the atmosphere ..... Such an atmosphere [carbon and nitrogen] would not have been conducive to the synthesis of amino acids and other precursors of life."

3. The odds against hundreds of thousands of "left-handed" amino acids (as are found in living things) coming together out of an original equal mix of "left-handed" and "right-handed" has been compared to a man making two kinds of bricks, red and yellow. After he has made a pile of millions of red and yellow bricks all mixed together he takes a gigantic steam shovel and scoops several hundred thousand bricks out of the pile, and, by chance, every one of them is a red brick! In the same way, by chance, every one of the hundreds of thousands of amino acids forming the simplest one-celled organism we need as the first life form must be "left-handed."

4. The different kinds of amino acids of our first living, reproducing organism must not only come together in the right kind and amount, they must also link together in the correct order. So the huge steam shovel must not only scoop up all red bricks (left-handed amino acids), but also accidentally drop them somehow each into its proper spot!

5. A cell membrane is extremely complex, made up of sugar, protein, and fatty molecules. It is essential for a living cell. But there is no plausible explanation how even the fats in the complex membrane could have originated by themselves (p.145, The Origin of Life, Bernal)!
To find the final overall odds for a chain of events leading up to a single result you must multiply the odds of each event. For instance, if Robin reaches into a hat that has one white marble and two black ones, there is one chance in three that she will draw the white one. However, if she is presented with two hats each containing one white marble and two black ones the odds multiply not add. Even though there are only 6 marbles altogether, the two events total up to odds of 1 out of 9 (not 1 out of 6). 1/3 x 1/3 = 1/9.

If there had been 3 marbles (1 white and 2 black) in each of three hats the odds would be 1 out of 27 (1/27) that she would draw the three white marbles (1/3 x 1/3 x 1/3 = 1/27), and so on.
So by multiplying the odds of the different events (considering only the chances of getting the right number and order of left-handed amino acids together as would be found in the simplest theoretically possible self-reproducing organism) we find the odds to be one out of 10 to the 79,360th power (1 followed by 79,360 zeros). It would take about 20 pages just to write the zeros for this number!
Remember, these are only the odds for the somehow already-formed amino acids accidentally coming together in the right kinds and right order. It ignores the odds of the universe accidentally forming in the first place, a planet of just the right type with just the right composition being found in exactly the right position relative to the right type of star, and all the other myriad "accidents" leading up to this point and all the myriad "accidents" after it (such as the right mixture of elements actually coming to life and functioning and reproducing, etc.)

Yes, these are just the odds for the already-made ingredients getting together properly (like Randy putting all the already man-made parts of his wrist watch into a sack and shaking them together into a whole watch). And there's only one chance out of a number so huge (1 followed by 79,360 zeros) that it would take 20 pages just to write its zeros!!
Dr. Emil Borel, an authority on probabilities, says that if there is less chance for something to happen than 1 in 10 to the 50th power (1 followed by 50 zeros), then it will never happen, no matter how much time is allowed! That number (1 followed by 50 zeros) can be written in barely over one line on this page:


Actually, the odds for natural evolution are so incredibly poor that even noted evolutionists admit that it is virtually impossible, but they believe it anyway, because the only alternative (creation) is so repugnant to them.

Famed evolutionist Julian Huxley said:

"A little calculation demonstrates how INCREDIBLY IMPROBABLE the results of natural selection can be when enough time is available." When discussing the odds that a horse could have evolved from earlier animals through chance alone he referred to "the FANTASTIC ODDS against getting a number of favorable mutations in one strain through pure chance alone," and then added: "A thousand to the millionth power ... when written out, becomes the figure 1 with three million [zeros] after it; and that would take three large volumes of about five hundred pages each, just to print! Actually this is a meaninglessly large figure, but it shows what a degree of improbability natural selection has to surmount .... One with three million [zeros] after it is the measure of the unlikeliness of a horse—the odds against it happening at all. No one would bet on anything so improbable happening."

Notice that Huxley has only considered the odds starting with an already existing animal. He also assumes that the theory of evolution is a proven fact. The odds he cites are only for one simple, (but already living, reproducing) organism changing into a different more complex one over millions (or even billions) of years. Nevertheless, because the only alternative (a Creator) is emotionally unacceptable to him, Huxley then says: "Yet it has happened." - Awake!, 22 March 1973, p. 23.

Nobel Prize-winning biologist Dr. George Wald admits the same thing:

"One only has to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are—as a result I believe, of spontaneous generation."

This belief in the impossible by evolutionists is mainly because they don't want to believe in the alternative.

Biologist D. H. Watson once said: Evolution is

"universally accepted not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible." - Doctors Wald and Watson are quoted in The Watchtower, 15 July 1978, p.7.

These impossible odds, admitted by notable evolutionists, again take into account only a very small range of "impossible" and "accidental" events in the examination of the evolution chain. There are literally thousands of other "impossible" events that must be multiplied in to get a true picture. We have already examined a few of them in the first part of this paper. There is one more we will look at.

What do you think the odds are for the "accidental" fine tuning of the Earth's climate?

D. Impossible Earth

Science `83, July/August, p.100: "The climate of the Earth has varied considerably over time .... Yet what puzzles many scientists is not that the climate varies but that it has remained as stable as it has.
"The Earth, they point out, is quite literally poised between fire and ice. Consider, for example, what would happen if we somehow moved the Earth slightly closer to the sun.

"As the oceans grew warmer, more and more water vapor would begin to steam into the atmosphere ....

"In the end our planet would become a twin of unfortunate Venus, the next planet inward to the sun: a gaseous, dry searing hell, its surface covered with clouds, oppressed by a massive atmosphere of carbon dioxide, and hot enough to melt lead.

"Suppose, on the other hand, we moved the Earth further out from the sun. As the planet grew colder, glaciers would grind [toward the equator].... In the end, the Earth would gleam brilliantly—but its oceans would be frozen solid.

"Thus, the climate is balanced precariously indeed—so precariously that many geologists now believe that tiny, cyclic variations in the Earth's orbit, known as the Milankovitch Cycles, were enough to have triggered the ice ages.

"But geologists ... assure us that the oceans of the earth have remained .
warm and liquid throughout its 4.6 billion-year history

"Perhaps this is a lucky accident—after all, if the Earth had not formed at just the right distance from the sun to have liquid oceans, we would not be here to worry about it. But the astrophysicists point out that things aren't quite that simple.
"The sun [as must ALL stars of this life-supporting type] they say, ... is inexorably getting hotter with age. In fact, it is about 40 percent brighter now than when the Earth was born. So how could the climate possibly stay constant? If the Earth is comfortable now, then billions of years ago, under a colder sun, the oceans must have been frozen solid. But they were not. On the other hand, if the oceans were liquid then, why has the sun not broiled us into a second Venus by now?"

The Science `83 article concludes that if continuation of life on the Earth depended on an "accident" that has been

"followed by a remarkable fine-tuning of its atmosphere to a warming sun, then the hopes of finding other intelligence in the universe must be slim indeed."

On the contrary, it appears to me that the "accident" and the "remarkable fine-tuning" over billions of years provide evidence of another, much higher intelligence.

Here, then, is a very brief summation of a very few of the things that the "orthodox" anti-creation scientist has to believe just naturally, accidentally happened.

Somehow exactly the right amount of matter was compressed into a ball to just exactly the right critical density which set off a tremendous explosion. This explosion (the Big Bang) sent all matter (then an unbelievably hot ball of plasma, or superhot "gas") blasting out in all directions. This gas, as it began to cool, somehow began to clump together in areas. These clumps (due to their own gravity) compressed until galaxies, stars, and planets finally formed.

Somehow there has always been just enough matter to cause the expanding universe to stop expanding and then close and reach critical density time after time forever, in spite of the fact that incredible amounts of matter must be lost (in the form of energy) each time!

Somehow in this particular universe the Earth (and possibly other planets) had just the right mixture of gases in its atmosphere so that somehow just the right kinds of amino acids formed (at least 20 different kinds). Somehow just the right kind and amount of energy at the right time and right spot (which somehow did not also decompose them as it should have) helped form these amino acids. Somehow hundreds of thousands of only the left-handed amino acids came together at exactly the right spots in exactly the right order.

Somehow several hundred different chains of left-handed amino acids then joined together, and then somehow this collection of chains came to life! And somehow these now-living, joined-together chains began to function (take in food, excrete waste, etc.) and reproduce!
This theoretical first and simplest life form then somehow changed into ever more complex higher life forms over a few billion years. For this to happen we had to have a planet of the right size and chemical composition revolving around a special type of a star (which has somehow been allowed to form because of an incredibly precise balance between basic forces). And somehow this planet has had to maintain precisely the right temperature and climate despite the ever-increasing heat and light from that star for billions of years!

The odds against this chain of events are so high that there has never been enough paper (or trees to make the paper) to write all the zeros required to express it!!
Even if a person can't see the high probability of the existence of a creator, he must see the distinct possibility of a creator vs. the impossible materialistic belief in a long chain of extremely improbable "coincidences".

Recently two prominent British scientists, sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, admittedly were `driven by logic' to conclude that there MUST be a Creator. `It is quite a shock,' said Wickramasinghe, a professor of applied mathematics and astronomy. The Sri Lankan-born astronomer explained: `From my earliest training as a scientist I was very strongly brainwashed to believe that science cannot be consistent with any kind of deliberate creation. That notion has had to be very painfully shed. I am quite uncomfortable in the situation, the state of mind I now find myself in. But there is no logical way out of it.'

Though Wickramasinghe and Hoyle continue to believe that evolution controls the development of life forms, their calculations of the odds against life itself starting spontaneously moved the professors to write: `Once we see ... that the probability of life, originating at random is so utterly minuscule as to make it absurd, it becomes sensible to think that the favourable properties of physics on which life depends are in every respect "deliberate,"' or created.

Professor Wickramasinghe also said: `I now find myself driven to this position by logic. There is no other way in which we can understand the precise ordering of the chemicals of life except to invoke the creations on a cosmic scale .... We were hoping as scientists that there would be a way round our conclusion, but there isn't.'" - Quoted in The Watchtower, 1 Dec. 1981, p. 15.

Most scientists would agree with the idea expressed by "Occam's Razor." Occam's Razor is the concept that (1) the best theory is the one which properly answers the most questions, and (2) if more than one theory answers all the questions then you must choose the simplest one as the best theory.

Not only does the closed universe/evolutionary/"happy accidents" theory not answer all the questions, it even raises many new unanswered questions. It also is far from simple.
The creation concept, however, answers all the questions in the simplest possible way. The only difficulty is believing in an intelligence that has always existed and which we cannot see. Is this more difficult than believing in a universe that has always existed and a cyclic system of universe formation which we not only have not seen but which is provably impossible (because of the tremendous loss of matter each time) and a chain of such highly improbable events as to be absolutely statistically impossible?

It truly is an impossible universe if you deny its Creator!

"For since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking...." - Romans 1:20-21, RSV.



Material to be analyzed, rewritten, and perhaps included in section A. "The Impossible Beginning":

"During such experiments [with `atom smashers', or accelerators], physicists confirmed a theory that seemed unbelievable when it was first put forth: every particle of matter has an equivalent particle made of a weird substance called antimatter. In effect, antimatter is a mirror image of ordinary matter. Now that the first such antimatter particles have been discovered inside accelerators, scientists have suggested that there may be vast regions out in space, perhaps even whole galaxies, made up entirely of antimatter. If such an antimatter galaxy were to bump into a galaxy made of ordinary matter, like our Milky Way, the two would totally annihilate each other in a cataclysmic explosion." - p.45. And, "Another explanation was that quasars might be created by the annihilation of matter and antimatter. Such an encounter could be far more violent than conventional nuclear reactions because all the matter and antimatter involved would be converted into energy." - p.106, Quasars, Pulsars, and Black Holes, Frederick Golden, Pocket Book Edition, 1977.

* * * * *

"About 15 billion years ago an infinitesimally small infinitely dense and hot point of energy erupted in a titanic explosion that created all of space and time and matter and energy - we call it the Big Bang.

"Packets of energy called photons raced through the early universe. Photons are massless, neutral particles that travel at the speed of light and carry electromagnetic energy, such as sunlight. In a sense the universe at this point was light.
"The photons' energy depended on the temperature of the universe. Although the temperature had cooled a lot since the inception of the universe less than a millionth of a second before, it was still enormously hot - hundreds of times hotter than a detonating hydrogen bomb. At these temperatures, matter emerged as elementary particles when photon collided with photon. Einstein's famous equation [E = MC2] beautifully documents this early era when energy and matter flowed back and forth interchangeably. This was also when other massless packets of energy such as neutrinos sprang into existence. But unlike photons, neutrinos very rarely interact with matter.
"The photon collisions produced particles such as electrons, protons, and neutrons. They also produced antiparticles [antimatter] - bits of matter with the same mass but the opposite electrical charge. (The antiparticle of the negatively charged electron, for example, is the positively charged positron.) When photon smashed into photon, it created particle and antiparticle PAIRS shooting off in different directions. Once separated, the particles lasted but instants before each collided with its antiparticle, whereupon the particles annihilated one another and set two photons flying free again.
"All the while the universe was expanding, cooling, and losing energy. The four presently known physical forces appeared - gravity, electromagnetic, and the weak and strong nuclear forces. At one critical moment the universe cooled enough to switch off the free interchange between photons and particles. In one final, annihilating burst the universe turned almost all its protons, neutrons, and electrons into light. This was truly momentous, for today's universe of matter very nearly disappeared forever in that instant. Only a slight overabundance of particles relative to antiparticles allowed particles to win out - and our present universe to exist." - August 1988, Astronomy, p. 81.

(So, "everything" was in existence, although in total, fluidic chaos, and then there was light!! - Gen. 1:1-3)
Although we know (from the basic theory itself as well as from countless observations of the production of antimatter within `accelerators' or `atom smashers') that equal amounts of matter and anti-matter are produced at the same time, the universe now contains extremely little, if any, anti-matter.

"Every second, millions of high-speed particles - mostly protons - arrive on Earth from thousands of trillions of miles away [every "corner' of the universe]. For over 20 years now, physicists have been monitoring these transient samples of the galactic and extragalactic environment, and the evidence is that not one of those cosmic rays started its journey as an antiparticle [anti-matter]." - Science Digest, p.36, Feb. 1985.

Scientists, then, are forced to believe that there were equal amounts of matter and anti-matter formed in the "Big Bang." They also know that within a fraction of a second the anti-matter was gone and only matter was left. To help them accept this "impossibility" [impossible without an intelligent designer/creator] they have had to assume that some "Original Flaw" caused the destruction of slightly more anti-matter than matter. So they speculate that this "flaw" [or "unknown Force"] somehow caused an overabundance of "one part in 10 billion excess of matter over antimatter." That relatively infinitesimal bit of excess matter that makes up our universe today, then, is all that exists of the initially enormous production of mass/energy. In other words, 20 billion times the amount of matter now existing was initially produced (as matter/anti-matter) and annihilated itself in matter/antimatter collisions! This kind of "impossible" universe certainly could not possibly keep on "recycling" by closing and renewing itself forever (or even more than once)!

"Dark Matter"

Many anti-Creation scientists have tried to "find" enough matter to "close" the universe by speculating on the amount of "Dark Matter" or matter that "must" be out there "somewhere" which we simply cannot detect. This speculation has "manufactured" an immense amount of "dark matter" through theoretical speculation only. Even so, this invented "invisible matter" still hasn't been quite enough to provide a "closed universe." But we find now that real evidence has shown much of this speculative "dark matter" to be in actuality much smaller than previously theorized.

Science News, Vol. 136, August 5, 1989, p. 84, tells us:

"But new observations indicate astronomers have overestimated by about a factor of 10 the amount of `dark' matter - mass hidden from view because it does not radiate at any observed wavelength - in the M96 galaxy group that contains the unusual ring. In addition, statistical analysis of 155 other small galactic groups suggests scientists have similarly misjudged the amount of dark matter in these systems...."
"...several astronomers say the revised estimates fit with other observations indicating the heavens hold only enough total mass to generate a relatively weak gravitational tug."

Strangely enough, the August 1989 issue of Scientific American reveals another recent study of a similar nature with similar results. Under the title "Pride and Prejudice" (pp. 16,17) this article tells us:

"Current cosmological prejudice requires that the universe be flat - just balanced between a universe doomed to recollapse [closed] and one destined to expand forever [open]. The cosmos, however, does not appear to be swayed by prejudice. ...the latest evidence [suggests] either that the universe will expand forever or that the bulk of its mass is hidden in exotic, undetected particles."

The article further states,

"All theoretical nucleosynthesis studies show that to produce the observed amounts of helium and deuterium the baryon [protons and neutrons formed by the `big bang'] density must be much less than the critical value, the density to transform the universe from open (ever expanding) to closed (doomed to recollapse)."

The article concludes:

"the two-standard-deviation lower limit to the baryon density of the universe is about 2 percent of the critical density, and the upper limit is about 10 percent.

"These numbers are not new but support previous claims that the universe cannot be closed by baryons alone. Theorists who claim that the universe is exactly flat are, once again, forced to invoke nonbaryonic matter to do the trick."

Our knowledge of the "dark matter" is further increased by a report in the November 1989 Discover magazine. This article tells us that in addition to the motion observed due to the overall expansion of the universe, "our Milky Way and the 20 or so other galaxies that make up the Local Group are all streaming through space at about 370 miles per second." The article explains that this movement is because "the Local Group must be streaming toward a huge mass - a Great Attractor."

"It consists of two dense superclusters - clusters of galaxy clusters - that are centered on a region 150 million light-years from Earth, in the direction of the constellations Hydra and Centaurus." - p. 20.

"The estimated density of the Great Attractor, however," this article concludes, "is so large that its very existence has called the cold-dark-matter theory into question. `The problem,' says MIT astrophysicist Edmund Bertschinger, `is that if perturbations are this large on large scales, they should be even larger on smaller scales. Galaxies ought to be more clustered than they are.' In other words, if enough time has elapsed since the Big Bang for galaxies to coalesce into huge attractors, there shouldn't be so many galaxies still floating in loose clusters; they should all be tightly bunched. At the very least, according to the cold-dark-matter theory, attractors should be rare. But the observations of Scaramella and other astronomers suggest they're not.

"All this makes theoreticians anxious, says Bertschinger - but not anxious enough to throw out cold dark matter. `Even if we were eager to abandon our theories,' he says, `we don't have good guidance for where to turn next.'" - p. 23.

He might as well have concluded: "And how could anyone but a `creationist' actually believe that the universe came into being in a single flash - out of nothingness? Impossible! Non-`creationists' must believe in an eternal, self-existent universe perpetually renewing itself."

Of course there must be some matter in the universe that can't be seen from earth, and measurements which examine the effects of gravity within galaxies and galaxy clusters bear this out according to an article in the December 1989 Astronomy magazine. However, similar measurements used for the entire universe show there simply is not nearly enough total matter (whether "dark" or not) to close the universe.
Science News tells us in its Jan. 20, 1990 issue that Gregory D. Bothun of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and his research team have data measurements which indicate the universe will never stop expanding on its own.

"Bothun, working with Margaret J. Geller and John P. Huchra of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., determined the velocity of a group of galaxies located on the `surface' of a huge bubble embedded in the so-called Great Wall.... Bothun's measurements show that the gravitational force exerted by the Coma cluster attracts the galaxies on the bubble surface, pulling them off course from the Universe's expansion. The strength of that attraction depends on how much the rest of the mass in the universe pulls the bubble galaxies away from the cluster. By calculating the Coma contribution, Bothun and his colleagues deduce that `the mean mass density' of the universe is less than one-third that required to reverse its outward expansion." - Science News, p. 45.

And Astronomy Magazine concludes:

"If the universe is closed, space of great distances should be curved. Cosmological tests for curvature - such as measurements of the mass and luminosity of nearby-versus-distant elliptical galaxies and counts of galaxies of various magnitudes in a given direction in the sky - consistently indicate a flat or open universe. So far, no measurements have implied a closed universe.
"This goes against what Parker calls a `prejudice' among astronomers for a closed universe. Although there are theoretical reasons to support this more philosophically satisfying concept, the problem is in finding enough mass to close the universe.
".... astronomers have measured galaxies and galaxy clusters and know [by the observable effects of the gravity within these structures] that matter is missing, but they can't identify it. In the case of the universe, however, `you measure and you find it's not there. But you want to believe it's there.'" - p. 119, Astronomy, December 1989.

* * * * *



"Using over 15 million test particles to trace the motion of mass through the universe, Bahcall and Cen [astronomers at Princeton University] looked at how matter clustered in their computer model. They found that their model best reproduced observed clustering by galaxies only for low densities, around 25 percent of the critical density. Their result is consistent with several other observable cosmological quantities, such as the recent Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite's discovery of fluctuations in the microwave background radiation.

"More importantly, they also found that models with a density near the critical density are inconsistent with clustering observations. They can construct flat [stable, neither expanding forever nor ultimately collapsing] universe models that agree with individual observations, but these models violate other constraints such as the COBE results or cluster frequency." - pp. 20,21, Astronomy, February 1993.


Worse yet, at the time of this update [Sept. 2003], it has been determined by measurements that the universe is not only not slowing its expansion, IT IS ACCELERATING!!!
For more, see: