Posts Tagged ‘Blood Transfusions’

PRETERISM PART “2”

June 23, 2018

Matthew Chapter 24, Past or Future?

There are strikingly profound similarities between the eschatology of Jehovah’s Witnesses and that of Full Preterism.   Both groups claim: (1) Christ has already returned; (2) they know the year of His return; (3) they know the location of His return, and finally (4) they have evidence of His return.  

The Watchtower teaches that Christ returned in 1914 while the Preterists teach that Christ returned in A.D. 70.  Both groups assert that the Second Coming of Christ was invisible; while He failed to physically return, His arrival was seen through the manifestation of an historical event (the outbreak of World War I in 1914 proving that the Gentile Times had ended for the Watchtower, and the desolation of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 for Preterists).  This kind of rhetoric reminds me of what Christ warned His disciples of: 

“If therefore they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go forth, or, Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.”  Matthew 24:26. 

The words of Christ need to be read by both groups.  Those who claim to know of His whereabouts, and or know when He was going to return, all speak with a lying tongue. As Christ continues the conversation concerning His return, His statement was crystal  clear: 

For just as the lightening comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:27. 

The words of Jesus Christ at Matthew 24: 26-27 forewarn the coming of men or women who will claim knowledge of His whereabouts or return.  Unfortunately, many will ignore this warning, and will believe the teachings of man over the words of God the Son.  

Among the Body of Christ, we all have our own opinions regarding the subject of Pre, Mid, or Post Tribulation views.  However, Full Preterists (also called Covenant Eschatology or Transmillennialism) believe that the prophecies in Matthew 24 and Revelation were largely or completely fulfilled in the past, hence the latin word preter, which means “past.” 

According to Full preterists, AD 70 saw the culmination of the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist, the Abomination of Desolation, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the restoration of all things; in other words, all biblical prophecy has seen fulfillment.  Ironically, former Full Preterists call Full Preterism heresy.  

Although Partial Preterists are not as extreme in their beliefs, they do mirror the Full Preterist position that the books of Daniel, Matthew and Revelation (with the exception of the last 2 or 3 chapters) have all seen complete fulfillment by AD 70.  The belief system of Partial Preterists are not the focus of this article, but because they hold to the same Book of Matthew position, they too come under scrutiny.  However, that said, it is my understanding that their system of belief includes the denial of the rapture and the millennium, and their use of hermeneutics for Revelation are throughly inconsistent. Those topics will be covered in future articles.  

My book “The Bible vs The Watchtower … YOU Decide …” was written using the authority of Scripture to refute Watchtower beliefs.  This article will be no different.  We will examine the Full and Partial Preterist claims that the Book of Matthew saw complete fulfillment by AD 70, i.e., Matthew Chapter 24 past or future?  However, this article will not be all inclusive.  My primary focus is the physical return of Jesus Christ.  

Our opening verses: 

“ And Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.  And He answered and said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things?  Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down.’  And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’’ Matthew 24: 1-3

As this is interpreted, the entire context must be kept in mind.  Jesus Christ is dealing with issues pertaining to Israel, exclusively, and not to the church.  The Olivet Discourse is the rejection of the Messiah and the disciplining of Israel (Matthew 23), and the questions of the disciples pertain only to Jewish concerns.

The disciples knew nothing (at this point) about the church age.  In His answer, Jesus spoke of things that involved the Jewish people, such as the Sabbath (Matthew 24:20), those living in Judea (Matthew 24:16), the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15), the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14), and the presence of false prophets (Matthew 24:11), which would be a problem for Israel (false teachers would be a problem for the church).  In light of this, we should not see the church age in the Olivet Discourse, even as some have in Matthew 24:4-8.  

Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum Th.D., and the Second Advent of Christ

“The second coming of Christ does have a major precondition that must be met before Christ will return to establish the Messianic Kingdom.  What this condition is can be deduced from five passages of Scripture.  The first passage is Leviticus 26:40-42 … Moses predicted how, because of disobedience to God’s revealed will, the Jews would be scattered all over the world.  According to the New Testament, this came as a direct result of the rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus.  

By verse 39, the world-wide dispersion is a fact.  Up to this point, Leviticus 26 has been fulfilled.  In verse 42, Moses states that God has every intention of giving Israel all the blessings and promises of the Abrahamic Covenant during the Messianic Kingdom.  It is first necessary for them to fulfill the condition of verse 40: … they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers.  

Something to notice is that the word iniquity is in the singular and that it is specific.  There is one specific iniquity committed by the fathers and continued by them which Israel must confess before she can begin to enjoy all of the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant. 

The second passage is Jeremiah 3:11-18.  In verses 14-18, Jeremiah describes the blessings which God has in store for Israel in the Messianic Kingdom.  It will be a time of tremendous blessing and restoration for the Jewish people when the kingdom is established by their Messiah.  However, all of these blessings are conditioned by verse 13 where they must acknowledge or confess one specific iniquity which they committed against Jehovah their God.  

The third passage is in the Book of Zechariah.  Chapters 12-14 are a single unit of thought containing one prophecy God gave the prophet.  Chapter 13 speaks of the national cleansing of Israel from their sin.  Chapter 14 describes the second coming of the Messiah (vv. 1-15) and the establishment of the kingdom (vv. 16-21).  However, the cleansing of Israel followed by the second coming of Christ and the Messianic Kingdom are all conditioned on Zechariah 12:10. 

“And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.” Zechariah 12:10

Before Israel will receive the cleansing of her sin, and before Christ will return to establish His kingdom, Israel must first look unto the One whom they have pierced and must plead for His return.  Once they do this, then, and only then, will they receive their cleansing and begin to enjoy the blessings of the Messianic Age.  

The fourth passage is in Hosea five.  The One who is doing the speaking throughout the chapter is God Himself, and God is still speaking in verse 15: 

“I will go and return to My place, Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face: in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”

There are certain presuppositions behind the understanding of this verse.  Before anyone can return to a place, he must first leave it.  In this passage God states that He is going to return to His place.  God’s place in heaven.  Before God can return to heaven, He must first leave it.  God left heaven at the incarnation when He became a man, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.  Then, because of one specific offense committed against Him, He returned to heaven at the ascension from the Mount of Olives.  This verse further states that He will not come back to the earth until the offense that caused Him to return to heaven is acknowledged or confessed.  

The national Jewish offense committed against the person of Jesus is not, as so many people think, in killing Him.  The actual killing of Christ was done by Gentile, not Jewish, hands.  He was condemned and sentenced by a Gentile judge.  He was crucified by Gentile soldiers.  All this is ultimately irrelevant, for regardless of Jewish acceptance or Jewish rejection, Jesus would have had to die anyway to become the sacrifice for sin.  The national offense of Israel was in the rejection of His messiahship.  According to this verse, only when this offense is acknowledged or confessed will Christ come back to the earth.  

The fifth passage is in Matthew 23 which contains Christ’s denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees, the Jewish leadership of that day, for leading the nation in the rejection of His messiahship.  He was still speaking to them in verses 37-39:  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!  How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.  Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!  For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!  Matthew 23: 37-39.

Speaking to the Jewish leadership, Christ reiterated His original desire to gather them if they would only accept Him (v. 37).  Because of their rejection of His messiahship, in place of being gathered they are going to be scattered.  Their house, the Jewish Temple, will be left desolate and will be destroyed with nothing remaining (v. 38).  He then declares that they will not see Him again until they say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord (v. 39).  This is a quotation of a messianic Psalm, Psalm 118:26.  

Jesus will not come back to earth until the Jews and the Jewish leaders ask Him to come back.  Just as the Jewish leaders led the nation to the rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus, they must some day lead the nation to the acceptance of the Messiahship of Jesus.  This, then, is the twofold basis of the second coming of Christ: Israel must confess her national sin and then plead for Messiah to return, to mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son.  Until these two things happen, there will be no second coming.’” Israelogy: The Missing Link In Systematic Theology, by Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Th.M., Ph.D., pp. 781-784.

By the use of Scripture, Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s expertise in Hebrew / Old Testament prophecy reveals the reason Christ has yet to appear.  Without regurgitating Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s insights, it’s no wonder we have yet to see lightning flashing from the east to the west as Christ predicted — the conditions to His return have not yet occurred.  But wait, there is more. 

Scripture teaches us that God’s word never returns to Him empty.  If then, as Full Preterits dogmatically assert, Christ returned in AD 70, when in human history did the Prophetic Scriptures Dr. Fruchtenbaum enumerate materialize?  When exactly did the passages of Scripture below come to fruition? 

For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!  Matthew 23:39.

“And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.” Zechariah 12:10.

“BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.  Even so, Amen.” Rev. 1:7.

and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with great power and glory.” Matthew 24:30.   

To bring us into the 21st Century for a moment, His physical appearance alone would create a journalistic frenzy.  It would be all over the newspapers and television networks across the world.  Why can I say this?  Because of how the New Testament Greek words describe His Second Coming, and what those words literally mean.  

Although I am not qualified to interpret the Greek words themselves, Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D., a Greek scholar, absolutely is.  According to Dr. Zodhiates, the words used to describe the Second Coming of Christ are as follows: 

The word translated ‘coming’ is parousia, which basically means ‘presence’ or arrival.  In Hellenistic Greek it was used to designate the visit of a ruler.  The word parousia is used in Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39; I Cor. 15:23; 16:17; II Cor. 7:6,7; 10:10; Phil. 1:26; 2:12; I Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; II Thess. 2:1, 8, 9; James 5:7,8; II Pet. 1:16; 3:4, 12; I John 2:28.  

The specific meaning of parousia is made clear in I Thess. 4;15 where it is defined as the time when the Lord shall come out of heaven (I Thess. 1:10). At that time the dead who are believers will rise first, and those who are believers and are alive will be changed and be caught up in the air by Jesus Christ.  

Apokalupsis is another Greek word speaking of the return of Christ. There is yet a third word used which is related to the Second Coming of the Lord and that is epiphaneia which means, ‘a manifestation.’ In Ancient Greek, it was used especially of the appearing of the gods and also the manifestation of divine power and providence in extraordinary events.  In the N.T. it is used of the appearing of the manifestation of Jesus Christ on earth (II Thess. 2:8; I Tim. 6:14; II Tim. 1:10; 4:1,8; Tit. 2:13.  These are the only references in the N.T. of the word epiphaneia. The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible – by Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. 

The Greek words describing the return of Christ paint a picture of illuminating clarity.   In other words, the whole world will see His physical return.  His arrival will be like the flashing of lightning from east to west: “For just as the lightening comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:27.

But wait, there is more, still.   

Dr. Walter Martin was the author of “The Kingdom of the Cults.”  In his book, under the heading “The Physical Return of Christ,” refuting the Watchtower interpretation of the Greek word parousia, paragraph 3 reads: 

“these arguments are another example of the half-truths used by Jehovah’s Witnesses to lead people astray.  To begin with, Thayer, who is esteemed reliable in the field of scholarship, clearly states on page 490 of his Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament that parousia, especially in the New Testament, refers to the second coming of Christ in visible form to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up the kingdom of God. … The physical return of Christ is the ‘blessed hope’ of Christendom (Titus 2:13), and the language used to portray its visible certainty is most explicit.  In Titus 2:13 the Greek word epiphaneia (‘appearing’) is more correctly translated ‘manifestation’ or ‘visible’ from phanero, ‘to make manifest, or visible, or known.’” (pp. 152-153)

Walter Martin then says, “The language is self-explanatory.  When the Lord returns with His saints, “every eye shall see Him” (Matthew 24:30, cf. Revelation 1:7). 

This brings me to the next passage of Scripture, which is important because it is the go-to text of Full and Partial Preterists when pushing their position: “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” Matthew 24:34.

Dr. Zodhiates analyzes this Scripture as follows:  

“The signs mentioned in Matthew 24:4-14 can be misconstrued because they are general in character.  But the signs given in verses 15-28 are specific and discernible.  Then in verse 29 the sun, the moon, and the stars will be involved, signs that immediately follow the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation.  These signs point clearly to Christ’s appearance on earth.  In the same way, the fig tree, when ‘its twigs get tender and its leaves come out’, points to summer’s approach.

Jesus said that if we are alert when we ‘shall see all these things’ take place, we will then ‘know’ (from gingko [1097], to experientially know) that the coming of the Lord is ‘near’ (eggus [1451], at the very doors.  The adjective eggus is relative and should be contrasted to heko (2240), to be here, to arrive (2 Pet. 3:10).  ‘These things’ refers to the sensational heavenly disturbances referred to in verse 29.  Through these visible events, the Lord will knock at the doors of people’s hearts.

Jesus concluded His teaching with these words, ‘Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.’ When the sun and moon are darkened and stars fall from the skies, Jesus advised us to realize that the end is near.  These events will take place in rapid succession.  

In general, Jesus taught that the generation that ‘see[s] all these things’ (v. 33) will not pass away without witnessing the completion of all the events prophesied. ‘All these things’ were typically fulfilled in the forty years from A.D. 30 to 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed.  Jerusalem’s destruction was a sign for believers to prepare for the rapture of His church and parousia.  Typical fulfillment of prophecy enhances imminence – the nearness of the Lord’s return.  

Imminence in these verses refers to Christ’s coming in judgment after the Tribulation period and is aimed squarely at unbelievers; as Paul says, ‘Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief’ (1 Thess. 5:4).’” Exegetical Commentary on Matthew, by Spiros Zodhiates, pp. 411-412.

In light of the analysis by Dr. Zodhiates and his expert knowledge of New Testament Greek, illuminating the literal meanings of the words describing Christ’s physical return, Preterists are unable to scripturally reconcile their claim that the Matthew 24:34 “generation” of A.D. 70 ran concurrently with the arrival of Christ.  On the other hand, Dr. Zodhiates’ “typical fulfillment” analysis is contextually sustainable. 

There is but one last passage of Scripture I’d like to focus on because it, too, involves this event.  It is found at Matthew 24:21: “for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.” 

“The words ‘great’ and tribulation,’ occurring without definite articles, should be taken generically, introducing us to a special kind of tribulation.  Such” translates a form of the relative pronoun hoios (3634), such a one.  The contrast that follows is between this and every other tribulation.  This will be the severest.  

To this time’ translates heos (2193), until this time. The last phrase, ‘no, nor ever shall be,’ begins with the negative oude (3761), ‘but not.’  This is a contrasting compound conjunction of the two negatives ou (3756) and me (3361) combined as an intensive combination, meaning absolutely not, never at any time.  The intensive negative means that this tribulation will be absolutely unprecedented.  Exegetical Commentary on Matthew, by Spiros Zodhiates, p. 401.

Here Dr. Zodhiates also helps us to understand the literal meanings of the Greek words describing the Great Tribulation.  The phrase “no, nor ever shall be” helps us understand that this event of horror will be unparalleled to anything in human history.  The carnage will be so vast that if not stopped no flesh would survive.

“Full preterism is a small but tenacious movement within some fundamentalist circles.  But the concerned Christian should not allow its size to fool him: it is also a theologically dangerous movement.” Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.D.

“Full preterism is not just another eschatology. It affects other aspects of systematic theology as well. Theology is systematic. That is, it draws upon the whole of the Bible. Rather than utilizing individual texts in isolation from one another, it attempts to relate various portions to one another, to coalesce the varied teachings into some type of harmonious or coherent whole.” Christian Theology (Erickson, Millard J., Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990) p.21.

Despite the failures of both our forefathers and contemporary Christians, the truth of God about last things still stands. One day Christ will return to sum up all things. The dead will rise, Christ will sit as judge, and every human will be examined and consigned to his or her eternal home either in heaven or in hell. These tenets are the stuff of true Biblical eschatology.” The Day and Hour: Christianity’s Perennial Fascination with Predicting the End of the World (Atlanta, GA: American Vision, Inc., 2000) Gumerlock, Francis X.

Summary

My goal in writing this piece was simple — to discuss and analyze whether Matthew Chapter 24 agrees, or disagrees, with Full and Partial Preterists that Christ returned invisibly in A.D. 70.  

Full Preterism attempts to force a square peg into a round hole.  It could also be said that it places the cart before the horse, because before we experience the physical arrival of Christ, certain prophecy must be fulfilled.  

Dr. Fruchtenbaum presented 5 passages of Scripture (4 Old Testament and 1 New Testament) demonstrating what must take place prior to the return of Jesus Christ (Leviticus 26:40-42; Jeremiah 3:11-18; Zechariah  Chapters 12-14; Hosea 5; Matthew 23: 37-39), but none of these events have been fulfilled. 

Dr. Zodhiates presented the literal meanings of Greek New Testament words used to describe the physical return of Jesus Christ.  When Christ does return, His appearance will be so spectacularly revealing that not a soul on earth will miss it.  His Matthew Exegetical Commentary also interpreted Greek New Testament words describing the Great Tribulation, which demonstrate that this event will be so severe and catastrophic, it will be absolutely unprecedented in the history of mankind. No future battle or carnage of destruction will parallel this horrific event.  So if it had already occurred, everyone would certainly know it. 

Conclusion

In lieu of all the unfulfilled prophecies which must take place prior to His return, our insight into the literal meanings and their applications of Greek words used describing His arrival, placed alongside the cataclysmic Great Tribulation’s unparalleled human carnage to any past, present or future war in human history, Preterists are faced with a conundrum.  How can they possibly reconcile their claim that Christ already returned and the Great Tribulation already occurred? 

Although Preterists are faced with a problem with their interpretation of Scripture, the Bible is crystal clear.  There is no ambiguity.  There is no escaping the logical conclusion of which Dr. Zodhiates refers (A.D. 70 was only a “typical fulfillment” of Matthew 24).  To insist that Christ returned in A.D. 70, invisibly, is as credible as the Watchtower’s claim that Christ returned invisibly in 1914.  Therefore, and as demonstrated above, the Bible categorically repudiates Full and Partial Preterism eschatology on their Matthew 24 position. 

Athiestism v. Jesus Follower

April 12, 2017

Hello, Cochise here.

Many ex JW’s leave the Watchtower; become Atheist.  Stimulating Debate: Two Doctors discuss the issue of Atheism vs. Following Jesus … on opposing sides.

Enjoy … This is a lengthy  discussion.

The Evolution Position Falls To Utter Absurdity

April 12, 2017

Hello, Cochise here …

Christians often struggle with evolutionists.  The 45 minute video, below, will end that struggle!

 

God Bless All of Us!!

Your brother in The Lord,

Cochise Pendleton

 

 

 

Salvation

January 2, 2016

How Do You Get It and Can You Lose It?

Our salvation presupposes truly genuine repentance. Therefore, we should never speak of salvation as our sole decision, but rather as God’s acceptance of a truly repentant sinner. This article will biblically demonstrate God’s formula for salvation, man’s occupation working for God’s gift, and whether His gift can be lost.

Let us begin by reading what the Watchtower has to say on the issue of salvation.

March 2015 WT

Do you believe that “these words are faithful and true”? Then, learn more about Jesus Christ, and exercise faith in him. If you do, you will gain Jehovah’s approval. Not only will you experience his rich blessing now but you will gain the hope of life eternal in the earthly Paradise, where “death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.”

17 The hope of everlasting life on a paradise earth. “The wages sin pays is death,” says Romans 6:23. The same verse adds: “But the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.” In Chapter 3 of this book, we discussed the blessings of the coming earthly Paradise. (Revelation 21:3, 4) All those future blessings, including life everlasting in perfect health, are made possible because Jesus died for us. To receive those blessings, we need to show that we appreciate the gift of the ransom.

19 How, then, can you demonstrate that you appreciate God’s gift of the ransom? To begin with, get to know the Great Giver, Jehovah. (John 17:3) A study of the Bible with the aid of this publication will help you to do that. As you come to know Jehovah, your love for him will deepen. In turn, that love will make you want to please him.

20 Exercise faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. Regarding Jesus, it is said: “The one who exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life.” (John 3:36) How can we exercise faith in Jesus? Such faith is not shown by words alone. “Faith without works is dead,” says James 2:26. Yes, true faith is proved by “works,” that is, by our actions. One way to show that we have faith in Jesus is by doing our best to imitate him not just in what we say but also in what we do.—John 13:15.

In a nutshell, the Watchtower purports that works are necessary to receive God’s blessings, and that their magazine is required reading for true understanding of Scripture. In essence, the Watchtower implies that the Originator of language does not possess the skill to adequately communicate His message, and that our Infinite God needs His finite creation (the Watchtower) to interpret. That said, we find an interesting parallel of this in the book of Genesis. There, Eve was approached by an interpreter of God’s Word. She believed the interpreter and spread the false information to Adam, leading to the original sin. The lesson learned: Listen and obey God’s Word above all else.

Watchtower dogma teaches that works are needed to experience blessings from God, and also also teach that salvation is not guaranteed. When I was a member of the Watchtower, I was taught that I had to work, wait, and hope. Yes, hope that I was saved. There was no guarantee.

How Is Salvation Received

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

God is crystal clear. He promises us that anyone believing in His Son will not perish and will have eternal life. He does not specify any other requirement or condition (e.g., reading the Watchtower is not a prerequisite).

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-10

God said His gift of salvation is not of ourselves. What does that really mean … “not of ourselves”? The Author of Scripture makes it abundantly clear that He means “not as a result of works.” That is, any effort, job, performance, task, exertion, or activity on our part. Our Lord extends His gift of salvation to mankind because He loves us. The gift is free but came at great cost. His grace alone saves us through our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Nowhere in Scripture does God teach that giving His gift is contingent upon works, labor, meeting attendance, going door-to-door, reading the Watchtower magazine, or any of the man-made rules outlined by the Watchtower.

God is not fickle (bouncing from one side to another on a whim). He is not arbitrary or capricious (given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior). His formula for our salvation has already been communicated in Scripture: “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9) In other words and as I have already said, reading the Watchtower magazine is not part of God’s formula for salvation. God does not need an interpreter. His Word is crystal clear. The Bible provides His formula for Salvation, with all the instructions included.

Salvation Described

The salvation that comes through Christ may be described in three tenses: past, present, and future. When people believe in Christ, they are saved: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved …” Acts 16:31 … We are also in the process of being saved from the power of sin: “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.” Romans 8:3 … Finally, we shall be saved from the very presence of sin: “And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.” Romans 13:11

As I said before, our LORD is not fickle, arbitrary or capricious. Our salvation is not contingent upon what we give God. Our eternal salvation was His gift to us before we were even born. I just love the words of Paul below:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 35, 38, 39

I highlighted the words “nor any other created thing,” because they refer to any man-made thing, such as the Watchtower. Their created theology of lies, deception, craftiness, cunning and pretense remind me of the character in the Garden of Eden. This guardian of Adam and Eve (the devil) lied and contradicted his Creator (you know the story). The Watchtower is nothing more than the offspring of the devil.

Scripture quoted by the Watchtower with the intent to contradict, mislead or misrepresent what the Bible is actually communicating is a much rehearsed and skilled practice. The devil has taught them well. The Bible, however, contradicts Watchtower “truths” regarding His formula for salvation:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-10.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” John 4:24

Can Salvation Be Lost?

Nowhere in God’s inspired Word do we find any hint that our salvation, once received, is in jeopardy of being lost or taken away. Some do not believe this by pointing to the example of Judas Iscariot. He, being one of the chosen, is proof positive (so they say) that salvation is not eternally secure. Let us look into this line of thinking.

Jesus in John 17:12 said:

While I was with them, I was keeping them in Thy name which Thou has given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

The Scripture to be “fulfilled” was the following:

Even my close friend, in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.” Psalm 41:9

Scholar Sprios Zodhiates affirms the position that Judas’ salvation was never lost because he was never saved in the first place (Never Truly Regenerated; Never Truly Born Again): “The son of perdition was always lost. He was never saved.” (The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible pg. 1593, by Dr. Spiros Zodhiates)

Once someone has repented and is accepted by God (truly regenerated; born again), nothing in heaven or on earth (ourselves included) could separate us from our love for Jesus Christ.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 35, 38, 39

Conclusion

Scripture teaches us that God’s plan to save the mankind is twofold: (1) His Love & Grace (2) our faith placed in His Son, Jesus Christ. There are no other qualifications. Man’s participation in God’s salvation formula is restricted to his or her individual acceptance of God The Son. In other words, works are never a prerequisite for salvation; works cannot save us; they are only a by-product. Works become a by-product as evidence of our newly-regenerated heart, not the other way around.

As for losing salvation, this is not found anywhere in Scripture. If God accepts someone who He is not able to keep to the very end, then Christ has failed and that is impossible.  Scripture teaches us that God’s gift of salvation is eternally secure:

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know you have eternal life.” 1John 3:13

NEW JERUSALEM

January 17, 2015

The Eternal Home of The Church

Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3

This article will not be an exhaustive piece, but it will give you an overall picture of our future heavenly residence. Unlike my previous articles which compared Watchtower doctrine to Scripture, here I will focus exclusively on the text and will not discuss the Watchtower’s view. With help from Dr. J. Vernon McGee, B.D. Th.M. Th.D, the words of Christ and Scripture concerning our future heavenly residence will be brought into focus. I chose Dr. McGee as my source because of his credentials, but also for his entertaining manner of delivery and unique teaching skills. This entire article is virtually word-for-word out of Dr. McGee’s book, “Man’s Fascination With The Future On Prophecy.” The page number(s) will be noted after each quotation, and I have replaced the Scripture quotations with the New American Standard version, rather than the King James version:

“The fourteenth chapter of John was given by our Lord in the Upper Room, and He introduces something that is entirely new. The first part of the chapter was given to a man to cushion the shock of failure that was to come into his life. Also it was to comfort and put down the fears of this little band of apostles across whose pathway the shadow of the Cross had fallen. Sin was knocking at the door in the Upper Room, demanding it’s pound of flesh. These men were frightened men, and our Lord was speaking to their hearts. He begins by saying, Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. (John 14:1)

He is putting, as essential, faith in Himself along with faith in God – which, of course, is the thing that makes a Christian today. I was in a hospital visiting a Christian friend, and after I had prayed with him, the man who was in a bed across the room called to me, ‘Preacher, will you pray for me?’ I went over and talked to him and asked, ‘Are you a Christian?’ ‘Well, yes, I believe in God.’ ‘That does not make you a Christian,’ I said, ‘it simply means that you are not an atheist.’ Then I gave him this verse. ‘Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.’ Our Lord begins with His men on that plane, and He continues.

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

What is the Father’s house? When you go out tonight, look up into the vaulted sky above you, and you will see the Father’s house. That is His house. Our Lord said, ‘In My Father’s house are many moni, many abiding places, many place to live.’ …

Then He says, I go to prepare a place for you.

This place is different from any other in His universe – ‘I go to prepare a special place for you.’ It is a prepared place for prepared people. The One who was the carpenter of Nazareth down here about two thousand years ago is at this moment preparing a place up yonder for those who are His own. Have you ever wondered about that place He is preparing? Do you wonder what it is like? We are going there some day, and we shall live there eternally.

Then He makes the statement,

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:3

As far as I know, this is the first time in the Word of God where it mentions that He is going to take someone off the earth out into space. You will not find that in the Old Testament at all. God did not promise anyone in the Old Testament that He would take him off this earth to a place called heaven. The hope of the Old Testament saints was that there might be a heaven down here on this earth, and that is what I understand the expression, the Kingdom of Heaven, to mean – the reign of the heavens over the earth, the day when this earth becomes a heaven. That is the hope of the Old Testament.” (Pgs 235-238)

“ … The glorious hope of the church is the coming of our Lord Jesus to take us into space to that home He has prepared.

Now, where is that place? What kind of place is it? I turn to the only chapter I know of in the Word of God where there is a description of it, the twenty-first chapter of the Book of Revelation.

As we look at this chapter, I shall not try to make a comprehensive study, but rather I shall make a few suggestions that may intrigue you into probing deeper into this fascinating subject. I believe that if Christians were more interested in the place to which they are going, they would be more concerned about the way in which they are living down here.

If you have read Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, which is actually the experience of Bunyan himself, you will notice that when he got up out of the Slough of Despond and started out, the hope that he had from the beginning was this: ‘I am a pilgrim, and I am on the way to the Celestial City.’ And when he would fall down, he would always get up, brush himself off and say, ‘I am a pilgrim on the way to the Celestial City.’ And when he was incarcerated in Doubting Castle, the key that unlocked the doors and set him free was this promise. When he had mountains to climb, when the way was difficult and discouraging and it seemed as though he would not make it, he got his mind and his heart fixed on that Celestial City.

I believe there are many believers today who have lost sight of this city. They have become discouraged along the way. I say to you, friend, that this world is only a camping place for the night. We all are here temporarily – we are merely pilgrims down here on this earth. We are on the way to the Celestial City. We are on the way to the New Jerusalem. The thing that would encourage the hearts of many today would be to know a little about this place to which we are going.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. Revelation 21:1

John here tells us that God is going to trade in this old earth and the old heaven on a new model. He is going to get a new earth – not get rid of earth entirely but merely get a new one. He calls attention to only one great change in His new earth: there will be no more sea. That which covers three-fourths of the earth’s surface today will be entirely removed. What a tremendous population can then be put on the earth! Someone asked the other day, when I made the suggestion of the population explosion that will probably take place during the Millennium, ‘Where in the world will they go, when we don’t even have room today?’ May I say to you that there will be three-fourths more surface on earth, plus the fact that the curse of sin will be removed from the earth so that it will produce as it never has before. You will be able to find a parking space in that day; there will be plenty of parking spaces! That appeals to me, because we need more parking space in Southern California, and if we could use the Pacific Ocean, we would have the problem solved!” (Pgs 239-240)

Greek scholar Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D in his book, “The Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible” (pg 1696), further explains Revelation 21:1: “Here we have the description of a new heaven and a new earth. The word ‘new’ in Greek is rendered by the word kainos (2537) which means ‘qualitatively new’ and not simply another earth and another heaven. Since our resurrection bodies will be changed, so will the environment in which these new bodies will live.”

“But these are things that concern the earth, and we are not an earthly people. We are to leave this earth. The things that interests us is what John sees in the next verse:

And I saw the holy city new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, make ready as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2

Now, this is the first time the New Jerusalem comes into view. The question is asked, ‘Is it in existence before this?’ I do not know, but I rather think that at the Rapture the church will be brought to this place. I believe this city is to be our permanent home. I think that during the Millennium it will be a matter of commuting back and forth from the earth to the New Jerusalem. Yet the New Jerusalem does not come into view until this point because now eternity opens up and reveals the eternal home of the church.

Notice that the city is a holy city. The inhabitants have been made holy in Christ and in no other way. He is there. That makes it a holy city.

The new Jerusalem is in contrast to the old Jerusalem down here on the earth, and it is coming down from God out of heaven.

Now there are men today – better men than I – who believe that the New Jerusalem comes to the earth. I never have been able to see that, I cannot move it that far. I think it comes out into space, and it comes, apparently, within sight of the earth.

The loveliest thing that God could say about it is that it is prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. … Thus God uses the figure of a bride to characterize this city. It is a thing of exquisite beauty.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them. Revelation 21:3

The New Jerusalem is the temple for the universe of God. This will be the place, apparently, where Israel and the gentile nations of the earth will come to worship. They will come to worship and then return to their homes on the earth.” (Pgs 240-241)

and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things things have passed away. Revelation 21:4

“The second thing that makes the New Jerusalem a wonderful city is ‘there shall be no more death.’ No death. That makes it different from any city I have heard of down here. There will be no cemeteries, there will be no undertakers. … No more death. Would you like to go to a place like that? … What a wonderful place this will be!

And then it says, ‘neither sorrow, nor crying, nether shall there be any more pain.’ All the hospitals will be closed, doctors and nurses will be out of a job, ‘for the former things are passed away.’ Then we come to something that is quite wonderful:

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Revelation 21:5

I love that. Would you like to start all over again? I want to make a confession. I never have been the preacher that I have wanted to be. I never have preached the sermon that I longed to preach. I honestly never have been the man that I have wanted to be. I have not attained, really, my ambition. I have not reached my goal in life. I never have been the husband that I have wanted to be, and I never have been the father that I have wanted to be. As I come to this place in life and look back, I have regrets. I would like to go back and do things differently. And God is going to let me! He says to my heart, ‘In that city, McGee, I make all things new.’” (Pgs 242-243)

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and hight mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. Revelation 21:10, 11

“The jasper stone is evidently similar to our diamond. The city from the outside looks like a diamond. I like to think of its being the wedding ring of the church. It will be like a diamond flashing out through God’s vast universe. I believe it will be the most beautiful thing that you have ever seen because the twelve foundations, which would be the outer surface, are all precious stones through which the light passes. Varied hues and tints from a galaxy of rainbow colors:

Jasper – perhaps the blue diamond
Sapphire – opaque with a greenish or yellowish color
Chalcedony – perhaps green
Emerald – green
Sardonyx – white and yellow
Sardius – red
Chrysolite – golden lustre
Beryl – sea green, aqua
Topaz – greenish yellow
Chrysoprase – golden green
Jacinth – violet
Amethyst – purple or rose red

The presence of the primary colors suggests that every shade and tint is reflected from this city. A rainbow that appears after a summer shower gives only a faint hint of the breathtaking beauty of the city of light. I believe it will be the most thrilling sight in the world to see this city. Nothing in all God’s universe will compare to it.” (Pgs 244-245) [Revelation 21:19-20 identify the stones.]

And the city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. Revelation 21:16

“It is fifteen hundred miles long, fifteen hundred miles wide, and fifteen hundred miles high. Some men have concluded that it will be a cube; others see it as a pyramid. It is difficult to conceive of either a cube or pyramid project out in space. Cubes and pyramids are appropriate for earthly buildings. I cannot believe that, since God has made everything in space globe-shaped, He would make this square. I do not say this in a dogmatic fashion, for there are many fine Bible students who disagree with me, but I believe that the New Jerusalem is a sphere and these measurements that Scripture gives are the dimensions on the inside of the sphere, a cube within a crystal-clear sphere. I took this problem in solid geometry to a man in the field of theoretical engineering. He worked it out for me and came up with a sphere that is slightly larger than our moon. The diameter of the moon is about 2,160 miles, and that of the New Jerusalem sphere is about 2,600 miles. We live on the outside of the planet called earth, but if my theory is correct, our eternal home will be within the planet called the New Jerusalem.” (Pg 244)

And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. Revelation 21:23

“The New Jerusalem will be independent of the sun and moon for light and life. What a contrast to the earth which is utterly dependent upon the sun and the moon. The sun and moon may even be dependent upon the Celestial City for power to transmit light, since the One who is the source of light and life will dwell within the city. Neither will light be furnished by the New Jerusalem Light and Power Company. The One who is light will be there, and the effulgence of His glory will be manifested in the New Jerusalem unhindered.” (Pg 245)

“The New Jerusalem will be the center of the universe. All activity and glory revolve about this city. The nation of Israel and the gentile nations of the earth will walk in the light of it and bring to it their glory and honor. They will not live in the city but will come, as the priests of old came to the holy place in the tabernacle and temple, for the purpose of worship. There will be no need to bring a blood sacrifice, for the Lamb is there in person.

And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. Revelation 21:22

This city has no temple because it is a temple – God is there and Christ is there. It is the holy place, if you please, because Christ is present. That is the thing that makes it such a wonderful place. The Lord Jesus said,

for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:2-3

We are to be with Him throughout eternity. That, after all, will make it heaven – Christ will be there.

Many folk ask, ‘Will I know my loved ones in heaven?’ We shall certainly know our loved ones in heaven. As Dr. G. Campbell Morgan said years ago when someone asked that question of him, ‘I do not expect to be a bigger fool there than I am here, and I know them here.’ Yes, we shall know our loved ones in heaven.” (Pg 246)

“I hope you will want to go to this city. Someone may ask, ‘Well, how do you get there?’ That brings us back to where we started.

When our Lord was talking to His men in the Upper Room, He said, ‘And you know the way where I am going’ (John 14:4). Sitting there was one of His disciples, a man who had a question mark for a brain, Thomas. This man had doubts. He raised questions about everything and he always saw a dark side of things. He really was not a very pleasant fellow to have around, and I do not know why our Lord called him. In fact, I have never figured out why He called any of them – who would want Simon Peter, Thomas, Andrew, James, or John? All of them were problem children, every one of them. But I am glad He called them because if He will use them there is still hope for me and there is hope for you. This man Thomas is a doubter. He says, ‘Wait a minute, Lord. You say that we know where You are going and we know the way. We don’t!’

Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way. John 14:5

I am glad he was there. He raised my question – he save me from having to ask it.

Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. John 14:6

My friend, Jesus is the way to the Celestial City. He has gone before us, and He is preparing an eternal home for all of us who have become children of God through faith in His name.” (Pgs 247-248)

Conclusion:

Our Lord Jesus Christ went away to prepare our eternal home in heaven. The Author of Scripture describes this heavenly abode in beautiful detail. The Apostle Paul reminds us all that death is only the beginning and our heavenly home is much preferred over our earthly residence … “we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8

Blood Transfusions

December 20, 2014

Does The Bible Prohibit Blood Transfusions?

The purpose of addressing this particular subject is to allow the Bible to answer the question: “Does The Bible Prohibit Blood Transfusions?” The Watchtower declares that Jehovah forbids blood transfusions. While the Watchtower policy changes from time to time, one fact remains — their membership fears the Organization’s wrath if they accept a blood transfusion. Therefore, I wish to bring biblical clarity to this topic.

First and foremost, we never want to oppose God’s Inspired Word. His Word is absolute and non-negotiable. With that in mind, we look at whether the Bible forbids life-saving blood transfusions, as the Watchtower suggests.

The Organization insists that God’s Word condemns human to human blood transfusions. They base this upon the supposed authority of Acts 15:29. But does this Scripture actually affirm their position, or is the Organization improperly isolating one Scripture from its surrounding context and creating a man-made doctrine?

Acts 15:29 states as follows:

“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.”

When interpreting an isolated Scripture (those pulled out of their original context), its primary source must be examined. Understanding the surrounding context is the key to unlocking the meaning of the text. Therefore, a variety of questions must be asked:

(1)    What is the historical event?
(2)    Who is the passage speaking to?
(3)    Why was the content necessary?
(4)    How does it apply to me?

By asking these types of questions, we discover the true purpose of the message being delivered. This, in turn, reveals the actual meaning of the isolated scripture being quoted. So let us apply these questions to Acts 15:29:

1.     What is the historical event?

The Gentiles were accepting Christ, and certain Jews were demanding that the Gentiles become circumcised and be directed to observe the Law of Moses, as seen below at Acts 15:1, 3, 5:

verse 1: “And some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’”

verse 3: “Therefore, being sent on their way by the Church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren.”

verse 5: “But certain ones of the sect of the Pharisees who have believed, stood up, saying, ‘It is necessary to circumcise them, and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.’”

As we see from these beginning verses of Acts 15, a wonderful thing was happening — Gentiles were being saved by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We also see how certain Christian Jews (a sect of the Pharisees) became annoyed. The Christian Jews were telling these new Gentile believers that their salvation was contingent upon being circumcised. They also said that these Gentiles needed to observe the Law of Moses.

2.    Who is the passage speaking to?

The apostle Peter answers this by refuting the words of this certain sect of the Pharisees:

“And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, ‘Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the words of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.’” (Acts 15:7-11)

Peter’s words help us to appreciate that “through the grace of the Lord Jesus” we are saved. He also points out that these Christian Jews were “placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear.” There was no need to circumcise these new Gentile believers in order for them to receive salvation — simply accepting Christ was enough. [As a side note, this reminds me of the yoke of the Watchtower. Their yoke of rules improperly make salvation contingent upon behavior, as if accepting Christ alone is not sufficient.]

3.    Why was the content necessary?

The content was necessary because of the spiritual weakness of some Jewish believers. So James recommended this at Acts 15:19:

“Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.”

Acts 15:22-29 is what the Holy Spirit decided upon, with the final resolution set forth in verses 28 and 29:

“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: “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.”

The context of Acts 15 and the final resolution of the council are very specific and abundantly clear. This sect of Christian Jews wanted the new Gentile believers to follow certain aspects of the Law of Moses; however, since we are no longer under the Law (which was replaced with Grace), the Jerusalem Council only imposed certain restraints. One of those was the blood issue.

Now in order to fully understand the application of Acts 15:29, we must look to the original blood restriction under the Law of Moses. In other words, what kind of blood was the Mosaic Law referring to:

Leviticus 17:13-16:

“So when any man from the sons of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, in hunting catches a beast or a bird which may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.’ And when any person eats an animal which dies, or is torn by beasts, whether he is a native or an alien, he shall wash his cloths and bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening; then he will become clean.” [Emphasis added.]

Even prior to the Law of Moses, Jehovah similarly instructed Noah:

Genesis 9:2-4

“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the terror of you shall be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.’”

Now that we have examined the entire context of Act 15, thereby shining God’s light of truth over our subject, the interpretation of Acts 15:29 becomes evident. The Law of Moses prohibited the eating of animal blood. The Bible is totally silent on accepting human blood. Even Orthodox Jews have no problem with human-to-human blood transfusions.

To add to this, Greek scholar Dr. Spiros Zodhiates comments on Genesis 9:8-17 (Hebrew Greek Study Bible, pg. 14):

“Throughout history God has dealt with man through covenants or agreements. Later the Jews regarded this covenant between God and Noah as the basis of the relationship between God and all mankind, but the covenants with Abraham and with Moses at Mount Sinai were seen as forming the basis of God’s special relationship with Israel. Some believe that the stipulations laid on the Gentiles in Acts 15:20,29 find some of their source here in the covenant between God and Noah. In spite of the fact that the distinction between clean and unclean animals existed (Gen. 7:2), God allowed the eating of any plant or animal. The only restriction was the eating of animal blood, for that is where the life of the animal resided (Gen. 9:4). Later Israel was forbidden to eat not only blood but also the flesh of certain animals. The Lord removed the clean-unclean distinction from food altogether (Mk. 7:15; Acts 10:15). [Emphasis added.]

As you can see, Dr. Zodhiates affirms the animal blood restriction. Human blood was not the topic under the Law … His conclusion is in complete harmony with Scripture, unlike the Watchtower’s position.

Jehovah’s Word fails to lend any support to the Watchtower’s human blood doctrine, so we are left to wonder. Since God’s word is absolute and non-negotiable, who gave the Watchtower permission to add human blood to the text? The Author of Scripture certainly did not. If Jehovah meant to include human blood in the restriction, He would have said so. Since His restriction was limited only to animal blood, why does the Watchtower continue to masquerade this doctrine in the name of Christianity? Whatever the answer, it is abundantly clear that the Watchtower’s man-made blood doctrine is nothing more than that … man-made. The Inspired writings of Scripture reveal that the Watchtower dogma on this topic goes beyond God’s Inspired Word.