QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
05/02/15 Response to several visitors who ask us to respond to other websites.
05/01/15 Didn’t the Jews believe in living forever on earth?
On May 2, 2015, and on several other occasions, we received inquiries that can be summarized as follows:
“I saw a comment on another website about you. Are you going to respond?” OR “I saw a video on youtube.com that I think you should respond to. Are you going to?” OR “You should do start a Facebook page, or a get on social media. Many people need to hear what you are saying.” OR “I want to be a part of the ministry, what should I do?” And things like these.
We thank each of our visitors for their inquiries. And while we responded to each of them privately, it seems we are repeating the same things over and over. So we want to respond publicly, combining all our private responses, for those who may have similar questions who have not written us yet.
We know that our website is occasionally mentioned by others, and that some of those comments are not favorable. But it is not our desire to randomly interject ourselves into another person’s ministry. We interjected ourselves into the ministry of the Governing Body only because we were a part of their community. We were once members of the Watchtower organization and so we view our communications with them as a work in readjusting those within our own circle. We view individuals who start their own ministry as quite a different matter. However, if such a person chooses to writes to us directly with their concerns or objections, we will, of course, respond, just as we had hoped the Governing Body would have done when we contacted them.
We know that many people do not want to engage us directly. They would much rather share their thoughts with their intimate circle or with those who look to them for direction. They certainly have the right to espouse whatever they want to on their own sites, and so we do not interfere.
We are emphatic that we do not want to become a governing body over anyone. While we welcome questions and will respond, we do not engage in debates. People are free to accept or reject our responses. We do not hold ourselves out as the sole source of truth or the leaders or masters over anyone’s faith. We are engaging in this ministry in response to the leading of the spirit within us. What we write is a reflection of where we are spiritually. Others may be led to promote the original teachings of Jesus in another media or another fashion. If so, we say, Amen!
We know that many, many of our visitors around the world have taken some of the ideas presented on any one of our three websites and begun their own ministry. Occasionally, they report their successes or challenges to us, and some of those reports are posted to our sites. But none are obligated to do so.
From the very beginning, we encouraged spiritual freedom from the oversight of men, including ourselves. We want our brothers and sisters to freely and authentically respond to the witness of the spirit within them. That is how one grows spiritually. When one subjects themselves to another, they can only grow up to the stature of their teachers and no further.
That is one of the problems we see in the Watchtower organization. Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed only to grow up to the extent of the writings done at the direction of the Governing Body. And if they exceed the Governing Body in knowledge, or understanding or works, such individuals are counseled to wait on the Governing Body and not share it with the congregation, but to keep such knowledge confidential. As a result, there are thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses who are spiritually stifled, frustrated and suffering from a form of depression that they do not clearly understand. In many cases, this manmade restriction on their spirit is the source of their distress.
Jesus did not have that view. He said his followers would do greater things than he did. (John 14:12) He commanded his followers to let their own light shine. Accordingly, it is our hope that our audience grow past us, beyond us, to the height of their personal ability wherever that takes them. So instead of living in the light of others, we encourage all our visitors to live by the light you are providing and the world will be a much brighter place. We are pleased to have had a hand in freeing many of our brothers and sisters from mental bondage and servitude to men and into the freedom of the sons of God!
We encourage everyone to follow the leading of the spirit in how they respond to the plain and open teachings of Jesus. Remember, these teachings are not ours. They are the original teachings of Jesus as contained in the Bible which is in the public domain. So we hold no copyrights to them or how to apply them. And if you want to use our articles in your ministry (which articles we do hold a copyright to), just ask. In practically every instance where others have asked to use our materials, we have given permission. We only ask that our website address appear on any reproductions indicating our website as the source.
So if you see a need to engage others on their websites, or to start you own website, or to introduce the plain teachings on your media pages, or to produce your own videos, or to engage in any other ministry endeavor, we say, Amen! Everyone has their own gift or special skill that allows them to stake our a unique place in the field of God. We will be happy to provide any assistance if we can, but such endeavors are your own ministry, your own place in the field under cultivation. So pick and spot and be about the Father’s business!
And if you are so inclined, feel free to share your experiences with us and we will post them for the upbuilding of the brotherhood of faith sons who honor the original, authentic, actual, plain and open teachings of Jesus.
On May 1, 2015, we received the following inquiry:
“You talk a lot about the heavenly hope for Christians. But didn’t the Jews believe that they would live forever on earth? Wouldn’t that mean there is an earthly hope for some?”
To the author, thank you for your email. This is a very good question because Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that the Jews did believe that, and that forms the basis for their doctrine of the earthly hope – that millions of people will not be in heaven with the Christ, but will remain behind to live forever on earth, based on the writings of the Hebrew prophets.
But the Hebrew prophets did not promote such a belief. They did write about a time in the future when the earth would be continuously inhabited by righteous people who will experience an abundance of peace and joy, such as Psalms 46:9; Psalms 67:6; 72:16; Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 35:1, 6, 7; Isaiah 65:21-23. All of these scriptures can, and will, be fulfilled for mankind in general. However, none of these verses indicate that the individual would live on earth forever. See The Destiny of Man.
To emphasize this point, there is one verse within the above scriptures that is noticeably absent from most discussions about living forever on earth. Notice this verse:
“No more will there be an infant from that place who lives but a few days, Nor an old man who fails to live out his days. For anyone who dies at a hundred will be considered a mere boy, And the sinner will be cursed, even though he is a hundred years of age.” – Isaiah 65:20
Here, the prophet acknowledges that individuals will have a longer life span, perhaps a few hundred years, but he will eventually “live out his days” and “die.” Also, the fact that one may live over a hundred years, does not mean that he will escape death. So the prophet Isaiah surely did not believe in living forever on earth.
We also have the words of apostle Paul to the Hebrew Christians, showing that the Hebrew patriarchs, and those who came after them, hoped they would be in heaven:
“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed in going out into a place he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, although not knowing where he was going. By faith he resided as an alien in the land of the promise as in a foreign land, and dwelt in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the very same promise. For he was awaiting the city having real foundations, the builder and maker of which [city] is God.”
– Hebrews 11:8-10
What city is that? Paul continues:
“In faith all these died, although they did not get the [fulfillment of the] promises, but they saw them afar off and welcomed them and publicly declared that they were strangers and temporary residents in the land. For those who say such things give evidence that they are earnestly seeking a place of their own. And yet, if they had indeed kept remembering that [place] from which they had gone forth, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they are reaching out for a better [place], that is, one belonging to heaven. Hence God is not ashamed of them, to be called upon as their God, for he has made a city ready for them.”
– Hebrews 11:13-16
These scriptures show that even the Jews did not hold the belief of living forever on earth. This doctrine is unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the various offshoots from them. This doctrine arose due to an error in trying to interpret prophecies. See Proving Ourselves Worthy of the Christ. In spite of all scriptural evidence to the contrary, and the absurdity of the doctrine as demonstrated in the series, The Cherished Earthly Hope, the earthly hope continues to be perpetuated today because of the stubbornness of the Governing Body and their refusal to admit that the organization made a gross error, negatively affecting the eternal prospects of millions!
Hopefully, as our brothers and sisters among Jehovah’s Witnesses begin to read the Bible for themselves, without the interpretations of the Watchtower organization, they will realize the futility of the earthly hope, and begin to fix their minds on the only hope leading to everlasting life – the heavenly hope of spirit adoption that was foreordained for mankind from the founding of the world. (Ephesians 1:3-5)