Anyone reading this blog knows that I have taken an interest in the Jehovah Witnesses. They deny that Christ is God. They are tricky in their denial, but there are scriptural verses that show Jesus is God.
I believe that most Jehovah Witnesses would agree that God is our master, owner, and who we are primarily responsible to. I believe that owner and master denote the same meaning as well. For if you own someone, you are their master; and if you are a person’s master, you own them. Just look at 1 Corinthians 6:10 “You are not your own, for you were brought with a price. So glorify God in your body”. It is clear that God bought us, through his son Jesus’ death. In doing this, he becomes our owner. Jude makes it clear that Jesus is our only Master and Lord (Jude 1:4). Thus, we must believe either scripture contradicts itself or Jesus is God. The only acceptable answer for a Christian is that Jesus is God! A Jehovah Witness may respond that God bought us and they gave us to Jesus. The problem with this is that we exist for God (1 Corinthians 8: 6) and we can only have one master according to Jesus himself, Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Jesus is saying that God is our master. So, we serve the God-man Jesus Christ who is Lord, Master, Man, and God!
As a young Christian, I was used to having entertainment all around me. Because of this, it was shocking to hear some theologians dismiss entertainment. Leonard Ravenhill’s statement, “Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy. And because there is not enough joy in the house of God, we want entertainment.” echoed in my mind for a long time. At first, I thought this was absurd. However, I realized that it was likely this man knew of a joy from God that was worth more than entertainment. I now have learned that godly Christians have often held views similar to this. Take a look at what Blaise Pascal has to say,
“All great amusements are dangerous to the Christian life; but among all those which the world has invented there is none more to be feared than the theatre. It is a representation of the passions so natural and so delicate that it excites them and gives birth to them in our hearts…So we depart from the theatre with our hearts so filled with all the beauty and tenderness of love, the soul, and the mind so persuaded of its innocence, that we are quite ready to receive its first impressions, or rather seek an opportunity of awakening them in the heart of another.” ( Pascal, Pensees, Section 1, point 11)
Although the theatre he was talking about has lost momentum, it has been replaced by the movie theater, which is perhaps more dangerous: subtle messages may affect our soul more deeply than we realize, strange ideas of love has certainly been adopted by the masses, and we often lose focus of our Lord unnecessarily when movies numb the mind. This is not to say watching movies is always wrong, but on the whole, I think it should be a rarity in the Christian life.
Today we celebrate the resurrection of the God-man Jesus Christ! In this wonderful tradition we see victory over death and hope for now and the future. This belief isn’t without some challenges though. Jehovah Witnesses believe that Christ was raised with a spiritual body. This is what their website says, “Jesus’ own words showed that he would not be resurrected with his flesh-and-blood body. He said that he would give his “flesh in behalf of the life of the world,” as a ransom for mankind. (John 6:51; Matthew 20:28) ” They are arguing that Jesus’s flesh could not be given for a ransom if he kept his flesh after death. I think it is clear this is not a strong argument. He could give his flesh in the sense of dying in it. Then he could be restored in flesh after sacrificing it. More importantly there are verses that clearly show he rose in flesh and blood. Check out Like 24:39, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” Jesus went to some lengths to show his disciples that his resurrection wasn’t one of a spirit body, but a physical one. In this we can conclude He has indeed risen in flesh!
Many Christians hold the belief that God is outside of time. They hold this beliefs in part because of tradition. More importantly, some argue that if God were within time then time would be his master and God can have no masters. There are perhaps more reasons for this belief such as considerations from simplicity, but It isn’t clear to me how that works. Either way, I believe this belief is false. My reason for this is both philosophical and theological. I will only dwelve into the theological here. Hebrews 9:25-26 says, “Nor was it to offer himself (Jesus) repeatedly… for then he would suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world.” If God was timeless, then he would see everyday as the same day. Everything would be on a constant repeat. Which means everyday Jesus both died and rises. Yet here it is clear he suffered once for all. Thus, God cannot be timeless. In addition, Jesus said He does not know the day the return will begin. But it is very unclear how He could not know if it is literally happening before his eyes. Thus, we have two good scripturally based reason to deny a timeless conception of God.
2 Corinthians 10:5
We all have thoughts. We all thoughts we wish we didn’t have. We all have thoughts that bring joy. Each of us has a duty to cultivate our thoughts as well. As a farmer cultivates his garden; thoughts must have fertile ground, bad ones must be pulled out, and good ones trimmed to produce better thoughts.
Our thoughts might be the hardest thing, at first, to take captive to Christ. It is much like a circus up there, where we don’t even know what will come next. The elephants might as well walk properly as stampede, the juggler may catch torch or set the whole place on fire. But this is our circus. Our place to control. We must be like a sheriff, that when any thought steps out of line, we immediately arrest it and place it before Christ. How long will improper thoughts last when brought before the throne of Christ? Whether lust, envy, malice, of slothfulness, each will either straighten up or be eliminated before the one the earth obeys.
Even if a thought were to break free from its prison per se. Our job is to lock it right back up. It doesn’t matter how many times it escapes, we must place it where it belongs.
There is another way to make sure improper thoughts stay captive to Christ. Which is to keep the mind on things if the Spirit. Who wants to think about selfishness when the glory of our Lord is being dishonoured, or lost people are sitting on thin ice about hell? Even better when we see people’s live transform that they walk in the newness of life. This is part of the reason why one of the psalmist said, “my eyes are awake before the watches if the night, that I may meditate on your promise”. Which promise? Does not matter. Mediation on any of God’s promises is a good thing. Sure, there are probably some better than others, but we will naturally gravitate towards them in due time. He understood that thinking about God’s word, promises, ways , was not only glorfiyig to God, but set himself free as well.
Nehemiah 13:2 ” Yet our God turned the curse into a blessing.”
This is a story headline which God continues to repeat. He can turn any diastser into a blessing. In the ultimate scheme He turned the biggest cursed into the largest blessing- Jesus dying on the cross. Oh, that the infinite should taste death is strange enough. But he became sin for us, cursed on a tree, that is unfathomable. From this curse, we reap the best fruit — eternal life in the present.
The eternal life in the present is much more than waiting for heaven. It is heaven on earth. Each of us, or most, have a struggle which feels like a curse. Something that haunts us everyday, taunts our very being. I believe that God wants to turn each of these cursed into a blessing. One, to know the graciousness of God to those whom seek Him. Two, to be a blessing who struggle in like affliction. Three, that God may be glorified in healing us. God has always intended to heal his people if they would turn from their evil ways.