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IS YOUR HOPE BIBLE-BASED?
AUTHOR: Brown, David L.
PUBLISHED ON: April 24, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN

                      IS YOUR HOPE BIBLE-BASED?
          Questions and reflections for Jehovah’s Witnesses

                              FOREWORD

                  FOR THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESS READER

          The apostle Peter told the Christians in his day:

  “But  sanctify the Christ as Lord in your hearts, always ready  to
make a defense  before everyone that demands of you a reason for  the 
hope  in  you,  but  doing so together with a mild temper  and  deep 
respect.”  (1 Peter 3:15)

The  reason this brochure has been written is to  humbly  challenge 
you  to  consider  whether your hope is  really  based  on    the 
Bible.  The defense  you give of the “reason for the hope in you”  –
is  it  really  Scriptural?  We  ask  you to  follow  this  advice 
of    the    best-selling  Watchtower publication,  The  Truth  That
Leads to Eternal  Life (page 13):

“We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but
also what is taught by any religious organization with  which
we may be associated.  Are its teachings in full harmony with
God’s  Word, or are they based on the traditions of men?  If
we  are  lovers of the truth, there is nothing to  fear  from
such  an  examination.  It should be the  sincere  desire  of
every one of us to learn what God’s will is for us, and  then
to do it.-John 8:32.”-(1981 revised edition; emphasis ours)

                              FOREWORD
                    FOR THE NON-WITNESS READER

Those  who  are  unfamiliar  with  the  teachings  of    Jehovah’s 
Witnesses  regarding  their  hope  of salvation  may  need  a  little
explanation  about  what they believe.  The Witnesses  believe  only
144,000 will receive the call to be with Christ in heaven.  The  rest
of faithful mankind have  a different  hope, everlasting life here on
earth.  Only those who  claim to  be of  the  144,000  (now estimated
to  be  under 9,000 of  the  over  3,395,000  Witnesses  world-wide) 
believe  they  are  born-again or are now God’s sons.  Over  99%  of
the  Witnesses believe they will live on  a Paradise  earth.    They
never hope to be with Christ or go  to  heaven. Verses  that speak of
a “great crowd” or “other sheep” are  applied  by them  to this group
with an earthly hope (Revelation 7:9; John  10:16). Since  the  year
1935, almost all those  becoming  Jehovah’s  Witnesses profess  this
earthly  hope.  Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe that  all of  God’s
people  who  died  before  the outpouring of  the  Holy  Spirit  at
Pentecost  have only  the earthly hope.  This means that  all  those 
who  served  God in Old Testament times will live on earth and  never 
go  to heaven. 

The  Witnesses  believe  that  those with the  heavenly  hope  are 
now justified  and made God’s children.  They also believe that those 
with  the earthly hope only receive a partial justification  for  now
and  will only  become God’s sons after the Millennium.  Those  with 
the  earthly  hope  will never be born-again.  They  also  are  not
entitled to  partake of  the bread and wine at the Witnesses’  annual 
Memorial  (Communion).  The 1987 Memorial attendance was  8,965,000. 
Only 8,808 partook of  the bread  and  wine.  Most congregations  of
Jehovah’s  Witnesses  had  no partakers.

Unless  otherwise  indicated, all Scripture citations are  from  the 
1984  edition  of the New World Translation of the  Holy  Scriptures, 
published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.

                          ONE HOPE OR TWO?

Ephesians  4:4-6:  “One body there is, and one spirit, even  as  you 
were called  in the one hope to which you were called; one Lord,  one 
faith, one  baptism,  one God and Father of all persons, who is  over 
all  and through all and in all.”

What  Bible  verse  specifically  states  there  are  2  hopes  for
Christians?

                              EVERYONE?

1  John 5:1:  “Everyone believing that Jesus is the Christ  has  been
born from God.”

Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah (the Christ)?

                DO YOU WANT TO ENTER GOD’S KINGDOM?

John  3:5,7:  “Jesus  answered: `Most truly I say  to  you,  Unless 
anyone  is  born  from water and spirit, he  cannot  enter  into  the
kingdom of God.  Do not marvel because I told you, You people must be
born again.'”

                    DO YOU HAVE FAITH IN CHRIST?

Galatians  3:26:    “You are all, in fact, sons of God  through  your
faith in Christ Jesus.”

Have you been born again as one of God’s children?

          ARE YOU IN HARMONY WITH THE FLESH OR THE SPIRIT?

Romans  8:5-8:    “For those who are in accord with  the  flesh  set 
their  minds  on the things of the flesh,  but those in  accord  with
the spirit on the things of the spirit.  For the minding of the flesh
means  death,  but the minding of the spirit means  life  and  peace;
because  the minding of the flesh means enmity with God,  for  it  is
not  under subjection  to the law of God,  nor,  in fact, can it  be. 
So those who are in harmony with the flesh cannot please God.”  Read
on:

Romans 8:12,13:  “So,  then, brothers, we are under obligation,  not
to  the  flesh to live in accord with the flesh;  for if you live  in
accord  with  the  flesh  you are sure to die; but  if  you  put  the
practices  of the body to death by the spirit, you will live.”  Read
on:

                      ARE YOU A SON OR A SLAVE?

Romans  8:14-17:    “For all who are led by God’s spirit,  these  are
God’s sons.  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear 
again,  but  you  received a spirit of adoption as  sons,  by  which
spirit we  cry out:  `Abba, Father!’  The spirit itself bears witness
with  our  spirit that we are God’s children.  If,  then,  we  are 
children,  we are also heirs:  heirs  indeed of God, but joint  heirs
with  Christ  provided  we  suffer together that  we  may  also  be
glorified together.”

Are  you in harmony with the Spirit?  Are you led by  God’s  Spirit? 
If  so,  are you one of God’s sons?  Or, are you still a  slave  to
sin?  If a son, then you are also a joint heir with Christ!  Compare:

Galatians  4:6,7:  “Now because you are sons,  God has  sent  forth 
the  spirit  of his Son into our hearts and it cries  out:  `Abba, 
Father!’  So,  then,  you are no longer a slave but a son;  and if  a
son, also an heir through God.”

                      HAVE YOU RECEIVED CHRIST?

John  1:12,13:  “However,  as many as did receive him,  to  them  he
gave  authority  to  become  God’s  children,  because  they  were
exercising faith in his name;  and they were born, not from blood  or
from a fleshly will or from man’s will, but from God.” 

Have  you  exercised faith in Christ’s name?  Have  you  received 
Him?  Have you been born from God and become one of  His  children? 
Physical  life begins with birth.  Spiritual life also begins with  a
birth. 

          ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB IN THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM?

    Matthew  8:11,12:    “But  I tell you that  many  from  eastern 

Isaac  and Jacob in the kingdom of the heavens;  whereas the sons  of
the kingdom will be thrown  into  the  darkness outside.”

Jesus  is  clearly speaking of something in the future.  (“Many  … 
will  come.”)  Should we view this as merely figurative?  The  March
15,  1962 Watchtower,  pages 191 and 192, argues that Abraham  stands
for  Jehovah God,  Isaac stands for Jesus Christ, and  Jacob  stands
for  the  144,000  (see  also page 28  of  the  September  1,  1978
Watchtower).  They  say  this is  all that will be in  the  heavenly
kingdom.  However, such a view  is inconsistent with  Jesus’  words. 
For “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” are not the only ones in the  heavenly
kingdom!  “With” them will be “many  from eastern  parts and  western
parts”!  That  would be many more  than  just  Jehovah,  Jesus  and
144,000 resurrected humans.  The December  1,  1986 Watchtower,  page
9, relates some of the context of Jesus’ words:

“`The  sons  of the kingdom .  .  .thrown into  the  darkness
outside’  are natural Jews who do not accept the  opportunity
offered first to them of being rulers with Christ.  Abraham,
Isaac,  and Jacob represent God’s Kingdom arrangement.  Thus
Jesus is relating how Gentiles will be welcomed to recline at
the  heavenly  table,  as it were,  `in the  kingdom  of  the
heavens.'” (Emphasis ours; ellipsis in text)

The  context  of  Matthew  8:11,12  (when  a  Gentile  army  officer
manifested  his  faith)  makes it clear Jesus is  referring  to  the 
fact  that  many Gentiles  would come into the Kingdom.  Considering
that  many Gentiles `from  the East and from the West’ would  recline
with  Abraham,  Isaac, and  Jacob’  in  the heavenly  Kingdom  makes 
the  Watchtower  Society’s interpretation  improbable.    Besides, 
Jesus  uses  similar  words  in another  sermon  as  recorded at Luke
13:28,29.    There  He  speaks  of “Abraham and Isaac and  Jacob  and
all  the prophets” with people from the East, West, North  and  South
also  reclining at the table in the Kingdom.  If Abraham, Isaac,  and
Jacob are figurative, who do “all the  prophets” symbolize?  Really,
can’t we just accept Jesus’ words at face value?

    Hebrews  11:16 (speaking of Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob):  “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.”  (Compare Hebrews
12:22,23; 13:14).

                12,000 and 144,000-LITERAL OR SYMBOLIC?

Revelation  7:4-8  speaks  of 144,000 sealed from the  12  tribes  of
Israel.  12,000  are  to  be  sealed from each tribe.  On pages  12 
and  13  of Commentary on the Letter of James (published in 1979  by
the  Watchtower Society) we are told:

“Since  natural Israel consisted of 12 tribes,  it  logically
follows that spiritual Israel would be spoken of as having 12
tribes to show that it was a complete spiritual nation,  with
no  part or tribe missing.  There is no  numerical  imbalance
within  spiritual  Israel, for the Bible book  of  Revelation
symbolically  reveals that an equal  number-12,000-is  sealed
from every tribe. (Rev. 7:4-8)” (Emphasis ours)

If the number 12,000 from each tribe is symbolic, wouldn’t the  total
be symbolic also?  If the number 144,000 is literal, shouldn’t  there
be  12 literal groups of 12,000 comprising the 144,000?  To  say  the
12,000  is symbolic  and  the  total  144,000  is    literal    is 
inconsistent.    (Interestingly,  most  Jehovah’s  Witnesses  would
interpret  the  numbers 12,000  and 144 elsewhere in  the  book  of
Revelation  to  be  symbolic,  as  at  Revelation  21:16,17.)  Bible
commentators differ whether the numbers 12,000 and 144,000 should  be
understood  literally  or  symbolically,  but  it  is  obvious  the
numbers should be considered both literal  or  both symbolic.

                WHERE DO THE GREAT CROWD SERVE GOD?

Revelation  7:9,10,15:    “After these things I saw,  and  look!  a
great  crowd,  which no man was able to number,  out of  all  nations
and tribes and  peoples  and tongues,  standing before the throne and 
before  the  Lamb,  dressed  in white robes;  and  there  were  palm
branches  in  their  hands.  And they keep on crying  with  a  loud
voice,  saying: `Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated  on  the
throne, and to the Lamb.  That is  why they are before the throne of
God;  and they are  rendering  him sacred  service day and  night  in
his  temple [Greek: naos]; and the  One seated  on  the  throne  will
spread his tent over them.”  Compare  this with:

Revelation  7:11:    “And all the angels were  standing  around  the
throne  and the elders and the four living creatures,  and they  fell
upon their faces  before  the throne and worshiped God.”  In the same 
vision  the angels,  elders,  and 4 living creatures are also said to
be before the throne.  Where are they?  In heaven or on the earth?

                OUTER COURTYARDS NOT PART OF “NAOS”

What  does it mean when it says the “great crowd” worship  God  “in 
his  temple”?  Doesn’t that indicate they will be  in  heaven?  The
Watchtower Society says the “great crowd” worship God in a particular
location  in  God’s  temple.  According to  the  August  15,  1980
Watchtower,  page  15,  the  “great crowd”  worship  in  the  outer
courtyards of God’s temple – the Court of the Gentiles (the  nations)
–  which  they  say  represents  earthly  worshipers,  not  heavenly
worshipers.  Consider,  please,  how  the  rest  of  the  book  of
Revelation shows us how the Greek word naos (“temple”)  is used:

Revelation  11:1,2:    “And a reed like a rod was given  me  as  he 
said: `Get  up and measure the temple sanctuary [Greek:  naos] of God
and the altar  and  those worshiping in it.  But as for the courtyard 
that  is outside  the temple sanctuary [Greek: naos], cast it  clear
out  and  do  not  measure it, because it has  been  given  to  the
nations, and they will trample the holy city underfoot for  forty-two
months.'”

In  the New World Translation the same Greek word naos is  translated 
as “temple” in Revelation 7 and as “temple [sanctuary]” in Revelation 
11.  (The  Watchtower  Society’s  Kingdom  Interlinear  Translation
translates  it  both  times  as  “divine  habitation.”)    Why  the
difference?  Evidently the Society  does not want to admit that  the
“great  crowd” worship  in  the heavenly  sanctuary.  Instead,  they
try to divide God’s temple  into  2 areas.  The  Society  says  the
inner  temple  area  (closest  to  the sanctuary) represents  heaven. 
They  say the outer courtyards  represent earthly  worshipers.  That
is  why  the Society teaches  that  the  great crowd worship  in  the
outer  courtyards of the temple – the Court of  the Gentiles,  as  in
King Herod’s temple. However, Revelation 11:1,2  argues  persuasively 
against  the  idea that the  outer  courtyards  would  be included in
the  naos.  It says the the courtyard given to  the  Gentiles  (the
nations)  is “outside the naos,” outside the temple.  In  fact,  the
Greek  word  naos always refers to God’s heavenly  temple  in  every 
other  place it appears in the book of Revelation!  (Naos  occurs  in
the  Greek text  at  Revelation  3:12;  7:15;  11:1,2,19*;  14:15,17; 
15:5,6,8*; 16:1,17; 21:22*.)
( *  “Naos” occurs twice in these verses.  The NWT translates some  of
these simply as “sanctuary.”)

                    THE GREAT CROWD IN HEAVEN?

Revelation  19:1:  “After these things I heard what was  as  a  loud 
voice  of  a  great crowd in heaven.  They said:  `Praise  Jah,  you
people!    The salvation  and  the glory and the power belong to  our 
God.'”  Compare Revelation 7:9,10.  Notice the similarity in wording
between Revelation 19:1 and Revelation 7:9,10 (quoted on page 4).

Some  say  the  “great crowd” here are angels.  However,  why  would 
angels ascribe salvation to God?  The angels that sinned will not  be
saved  (2 Peter 2:4).  The faithful angels do not need salvation.

                    SOME OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED:

                    “WHAT ABOUT THE NEW EARTH?”

Revelation  21:1,2:  “And I saw a new heaven and a new  earth;  for 
the former  heaven and the former earth had passed away,  and the sea
is no more.  I  saw also the holy city,  New Jerusalem,  coming down
out  of  heaven  from God and prepared as a bride  adorned  for  her
husband.” 

Traditional  Christianity affirms there will be both a new heaven and
a  new  earth.  Revelation chapters 21 and 22 seem to indicate  there 
will  be  some  sort of uniting of heaven and earth, when  the  New 
Jerusalem descends  from  heaven.  (We are not told exactly how  this 
uniting  of heaven and earth will take place.  Nor do we  know  what
sort of physical changes  may be required.)  This is what some  call
“the final  state.”  George Eldon Ladd writes:

“The final state of the Kingdom of God is a new heaven and  a
new  earth ([Revelation] 21:1ff.)  This expresses a  theology
of  creation  that  runs  throughout  the  Bible.The  Old
Testament  prophets picture the Kingdom of God in terms of  a
redeemed earth (Isa.  11:6-9; Joel 3:18; Amos 9:13-15).  This
is  described in terms of a new heaven and new earth even  in
the  Old  Testament  (Isa.  65:17;66:22).  .  .  However,  a
fundamental  theology  underlies  these  expectations,  even
though they must be clarified by progressive revelation: that
man’s  ultimate  destiny  is an earthly  one.  .  .  The  New
Testament  does  not  outstrip  this  theology,  although  it
reveals more than the Old Testament does by showing that  the
newness  of  the eternal order is much more radical than  God
had  disclosed  to  the  prophets.Jesus  spoke  of  the
regeneration of the world (Mt.  19:28), and Paul spoke of the
redemption of the created order (Rom.  8:20-21).” A  Theology
of the New Testament, by George Eldon Ladd.  Published by Wm.
B. Eerdmans, 1974.  Page 631.  (Emphasis ours)

Revelation  5:10:  “You have made them to be a kingdom and  priests 
to  serve  our  God,  and  they will  reign  on  the  earth.”  (New 
International  Version)    The  New  World  Translation  has  “reign 
over”  which  is  a possible translation,  but not the most  literal
translation.    However,  the  Kingdom Interlinear  shows  the  basic
meaning  of the Greek word  here is  “upon.”  Initially,  Christians
will worship God in His  temple  in heaven (Revelation 7:9,15; 19:1). 
After  that, in the final state,  the saints  (holy ones) will  reign
upon the earth, when the  New  Jerusalem descends  from heaven.  That
is described in detail in chapters 21  and 22 of Revelation.

                “WHO WILL THE HOLY ONES RULE OVER?”

-To which we respond with this question-

              WILL YOU BE OUTSIDE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM?

Revelation  5:10  (quoted  in  the section above) says  the  holy 
ones  (saints)  will reign.  Some claim this means  the  holy  ones 
must  have subjects.  However,  take  time  to read the  description
of  the  final state in Revelation chapters 21 and 22 and it  becomes
obvious that  the New  Jerusalem is the home of the redeemed.    What
of those outside the city?  Carefully consider this passage:

Revelation  22:14,15:    “`Happy  are  those  who  wash  their  robes 
[compare  Rev. 7:14], that the authority to go to the trees  of  life
may  be theirs and  that they may gain entrance into the city by  its 
gates.    Outside are  the dogs and those who practice spiritism  and
the  fornicators  and the  murderers and the idolaters  and  everyone
liking and carrying on  a lie.'”  What  is your hope?  Do you  hope
`to gain entrance  into  the city,’ or will you be outside with those
judged by God? 

Does  the  fact  the  holy ones (saints)  reign  mean  they  must 
have subjects?  Compare this passage:

1  Peter 2:9,10:  “But you are `a chosen race,  a royal  priesthood, 
a  holy  nation,  a people for special possession,  that  you  should
declare abroad  the  excellencies’ of the one that called you out  of 
darkness into his wonderful light.  For you were once not a  people,
but  are  now God’s people;  you were those who had  not  been  shown
mercy, but are now those  who  have been shown mercy.”

The  early  Christians  that  Peter wrote  to  were  already  a 
“royal  priesthood”  at  that time.  Since they were called  royalty, 
did  that mean  they  ruled  over others?  Or, is the  emphasis  on 
the  glories Christians  share  in because of their position in union 
with    Christ?  (Compare  Ephesians  2:4-7  where  Paul  says  that
Christians  in Ephesus had been  `raised  up and seated  together  in
the  heavenly places  in  union with  Christ.’)  Christians  already
share  royal  blessings.  However, this  doesn’t  indicate  that 
they  rule  over  others.  Nor  is  that  indicated  at  Revelation
5:10. 

Anthony  Hoekema  gives a possible additional meaning for the  reign 
of the holy ones:

“One  might  wonder  over whom these  glorified  saints  will
reign,  since  all  human  beings  on  the  new  earth  will
participate  in  this reigning.  Perhaps the best  answer  to
this  question is that this will be a reigning over  the  new
creation.  Man will now be able to fulfill in a perfect  way
the  mandate to have dominion over the earth which  he  could
only  fulfill imperfectly on the present earth.  In the  life
to  come, in other words, man will for the first  time  since
the fall rule the earth properly.”  The Bible and the Future,
by  Anthony A. Hoekema.  Published by Wm. B. Eerdmans,  1979. 
Page 283.  (Emphasis ours)

So  it  is not a question of who the holy ones rule over,  but  of 
what  they  rule over.  In discussing the description of  the  New 
Jerusalem  given  in  Revelation chapter  21,  Hoekema  adds  these
interesting points (on page 285 of the above-mentioned book):

“The  fact that the names of the twelve tribes are  inscribed
on the twelve gates (v.  12) and that the names of the twelve
apostles  are  written  on the  twelve  foundations  (v.  14)
suggests that the people of God on the new earth will include
believers  from both the Old Testament covenant community and
from the church of the New Testament era.”

              “JOHN THE BAPTIST WON’T BE IN HEAVEN!”

Some  interpret  Jesus’  words at Matthew 11:11  to  mean  John  the 
Baptist will not be in the heavenly kingdom.  Is this so?

Matthew  11:11:    “Truly I say to you people,  Among those  born  of
women there  has not been raised up a greater than John the  Baptist; 
but  a person  that is a lesser one in the kingdom of the heavens  is 
greater than he is.”

Some  say  this  means  that one who will  be  `least’  in  the 
heavenly  kingdom  will be greater than John the  Baptist.  However,
Jesus uses the present  tense  here: “is,” not `will be.’  Jesus  was
not  speaking  of  future  destinies  in  this  verse.    He  was 
speaking  about  current blessings.  While at times the Kingdom  is
spoken  of  as future,  it  is also spoken of as  present.  (Compare
Colossians  1:13 where it says  God has  “transferred”  [past  tense]
Christians into the Kingdom.  See  also Matthew  12:28;  Mark  10:15;
Luke  17:20,21.)    Jesus  inaugurated  the  Kingdom.    John  the
Baptist had no part in that, except  to  introduce Jesus.  So  those 
who would be following Jesus (and thus  be  in  the Kingdom) would be
greater (more privileged) than John, who did not  get involved  with
Jesus’  ministry.  This  verse says  nothing  about  John’s  final
position. 

              “JESUS HAS `OTHER SHEEP,’ EARTHLY SHEEP!”

John  10:16:  “And I have other sheep, which are not of  this  fold;
those  also  I  must bring,  and they will listen to my  voice,  and
they  will become one flock, one shepherd.” 

Traditional  Christian belief has been that these other  sheep  are 
the  Gentiles  (starting  in  the  first  century)  who  would  join 
Jewish  believers  and  form one body of believers.  Some  say  that 
Jesus  was  prophesying  an  earthly class to be formed  nearly  two 
thousand  years later.  Let’s read something in the next chapter:

John  11:49-52:    “But a certain one of them,  Caiaphas,  who  was 
high  priest that year,  said to them:  `You do not know anything  at
all, and you  do not reason out that it is to your behalf for one man
to die  in behalf  of  the people and not for the whole nation to  be 
destroyed.’  This, though, he did not say of his own originality; but
because  he was high priest that year, he prophesied that  Jesus  was
destined  to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but  in
order  that the children of  God  who  are scattered about  he  might 
gather  together  in  one.” 

In  the  very  next chapter John speaks of the  Jewish  nation  and 
others  `not  of  that  nation,’ who  would  be  gathered  into  one. 
Wouldn’t it  be more  likely  that these Gentiles would be the  other 
sheep?  (Compare Ephesians 2:11-22.)

              “ONLY A `LITTLE FLOCK’ GOES TO HEAVEN”

Luke  12:32:  “`Have no fear, little flock, because  your  Father 
has approved of giving you the kingdom.'”

True, Jesus’ words above indicate those inheriting the Kingdom  would
be  few.  Yet, that doesn’t limit that “little flock” to  a  specific
number, like 144,000.  Compare:

Matthew  7:13,14:  “`Go in through the narrow gate;  because  broad 
and  spacious  is  the road leading off into destruction,  and  many 
are  the ones  going in through it; whereas narrow is the  gate  and 
cramped  the road  leading  off  into  life,  and few  are  the  ones 
finding  it.”  God’s people are still a minority in this world,  even
as in Jesus’ day.  (Please also see Luke 13:23-30.)

                      SOME FURTHER THOUGHTS:

              DID THE PASSOVER PICTURE THE MEMORIAL?

1  Corinthians 5:6-8:  “Your cause for boasting is not fine.  Do  you
not  know that a little leaven ferments the whole lump?  Clear  away
the old leaven,  that  you  may be a new lump,  according as you  are
free  from ferment.  For,  indeed,  Christ  our  passover  has  been 
sacrificed.  Consequently,  let us keep the festival,  not with  old
leaven,  neither with  leaven of badness and wickedness,  but  with
unfermented cakes  of sincerity and truth.” 

To  be sure,  there are a few differences between the  Passover  and 
the Memorial.  (Such is usually the case between shadow and reality.) 
Yet,  Paul  ties  together  the  old Passover  festival  with  the 
Christian celebration  of the Lord’s Supper (Communion).  After all, 
the  Lord’s Supper  was instituted at the time of the  last  Passover
Jesus had  with his disciples (Luke 22:15).

                    WHO PARTOOK OF THE PASSOVER?

Exodus  12:43-49  explains  that all  circumcised  worshipers  of 
Yahweh  celebrated  the  Passover, not just  the  priestly  Levite 
tribe.    Even alien  residents who had joined themselves  to  Israel
were to  celebrate it:  “And in case an alien resident resides as  an
alien  with  you and he will  actually  celebrate  the  passover  to
Jehovah,  let  there  be  a circumcising  of  every  male  of  his. 
First then he may  come  near  to celebrate  it;  and he must  become
like  a native of the land.  But  no uncircumcised  man may  eat  of
it.  One law is to exist for  the  native and for the alien  resident
who  is  residing  as an alien in your  midst.”  (Exodus  12:48,49;
compare 2 Chronicles 30:25-27)

The  Society  likes  to compare their “two  classes”  of  Christians 
(their 144,000  with a heavenly hope and their `great crowd’ with  an 
earthly  hope) to the natural circumcised Israelites  (picturing  the
144,000)  and those aliens who converted to be worshipers of  Jehovah
(picturing  their `great  crowd’  class).  This sort of typology  is 
inconsistent.    The Society  teaches  that the `great  crowd’  class
cannot  partake  of  the bread and wine at the Lord’s Supper and  yet
even  the alien residents in Israel partook of the Passover!  (Isn’t
it more likely that the natural Jews and proselytes in ancient Israel
picture  that in the Church  today both Jews and Gentiles would  make
up one body of worshipers to God?)

                        “UNLESS YOU EAT. . .”

John  6:53,54:  “Accordingly Jesus said to them: `Most truly I  say 
to  you,  Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and  drink  his 
blood,  you  have no life in yourselves.  He that feeds on  my  flesh
and  drinks my  blood has everlasting life, and I shall resurrect him
at  the  last day.'”

Surely  Jesus  had  in mind the symbol of the  Lord’s  Supper  when 
He  commanded Christians to eat and drink his flesh and blood.  They 
could  not  understand  His words until later (Compare  John  6:60-
66).    Like  another  of Jesus’ statements, this one  could  not  be 
fully  understood  until  after what He was  referring  to  occurred 
(Compare  John  2:18-22). Of course, the `eating’ and  `drinking’  of
Jesus’  flesh  and  blood refers to our believing  in  Him  as  God’s
sacrifice  for us (John 6:29,33,35,40). There can be no  doubt  Jesus
knew  He  would institute the Memorial as the  fulfillment  of  the
Passover  and had that in mind when He  said  these words.  So,  the
question  remains: Where is the scriptural basis to  say  that  most
Christians  today should not eat the bread or drink the  wine at  the
Lord’s Supper?

                    DO YOU FOLLOW JESUS’ COMMAND?

1  Corinthians 11:23-25:  “For I received from the Lord that  which 
I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he
was going to be handed over took a loaf and,  after giving thanks, he
broke  it  and said:  `This means my body which is  in  your  behalf. 
Keep  doing this  in remembrance of me.’  He did likewise  respecting
the cup  also, after he had the evening meal, saying: `This cup means
the new covenant by virtue of my blood.  Keep doing this,  as  often
as you drink it, in remembrance of me.'”

Where  does the Bible indicate that millions of people should  refuse 
to  partake  of  these emblems starting with the year  1935?    Have 
Jesus’ words been superseded?  If so, on what Biblical command?

                WHEN DO WE PROCLAIM CHRIST’S DEATH?

1  Corinthians 11:26:  “For as often as you eat this loaf  and  drink
this  cup,  you  keep proclaiming the death of  the  Lord,  until  he
arrives.”

Do you proclaim His death at the Lord’s Supper?

                      OLD COVENANT-NEW COVENANT

The  Society claims that only the 144,000 “anointed ones” are in  the
New  Covenant  (April  1,  1979 Watchtower,  page  31).Since  their 
`great  crowd’  class are not in the New Covenant (they only  benefit 
from  the New  Covenant  by their association with these  144,000), 
they  cannot partake of the emblems of the Memorial.  However, all of
ancient  Israel  were  in  the  old  Covenant  –  both  the  natural
circumcised Jews  and  the proselyted aliens.  Both these  groups had
the    same  promises,  the  same  responsibilities,    the    same 
blessings  (Exodus  12:49;  Leviticus 19:33,34).  So, where is the
precedent to say not all Christians today are in the New Covenant?

        BEING IN THE NEW COVENANT MEANS FORGIVENESS OF SINS

Hebrews 10:15-17:  “Moreover, the holy spirit also bears witness  to
us  for  after it has said:  `This is the covenant  that  I  shall 
covenant toward  them after those days,’ says Jehovah.  `I will  put
my  laws  in their  hearts,  and  in  their  minds I  shall  write 
them,’  it  says afterwards:  `And I shall by no means  call  their
sins and their lawless deeds to mind anymore.'” 

Are you yet in sin?  Or, have your sins been forgiven?

                      IS CHRIST YOUR MEDIATOR?

1  Timothy 2:5,6:  “For there is one God,  and one mediator  between
God and men,  a man,  Christ Jesus, who gave himself a  corresponding
ransom  for  all  – this is what is to be witnessed to at  its  own 
particular times.” 

To  be consistent with their theology the Society has had  to  teach
that Jesus  Christ is the mediator for only the 144,000.  They teach
He  is not  the  mediator  for the `great crowd’  class  (See  April 
1,  1979 Watchtower,  page  31;  compare  also page 10 of the  1986 
publication Worldwide  Security  Under the “Prince of Peace”.)  After
all,  if  the great  crowd are not in the New Covenant  they  cannot
have  a  mediator.  However,  didn’t all Israel have Moses  as  the
mediator of the Old Covenant, both the natural circumcised Israelites
along  with  the foreigners who joined themselves  to  Israel?  What
Scriptures explicitly teach that most of God’s people today would not
have Christ as their mediator?

              `THOSE IN CHRIST HAVE NO CONDEMNATION’

Romans  8:1,2:  “Therefore  those in union with Christ Jesus  have 
no  condemnation.  For  the law of that spirit which gives life  in 
union  with Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and  of
death.”

(The  New  World  Translation expands “in Christ”  to  “in  union 
with Christ.”)  Those  in union with Christ (or, in Christ)  do  not 
stand condemned  before God.  The next verses of Romans 8 (vs.  3-17) 
clearly  show  that those who are in union with Christ are those  who 
are  God’s sons.  Do you feel condemned before God?  Are  your  sins
forgiven?  Are you right with God?  Are you in Christ?

John  5:24:  “Most  truly  I say to you,  He that hears  my  word 
and believes  him that sent me has everlasting life,  and he does not 
come into judgment but has passed over from death to life.”  Have you
passed over from death to life, escaping God’s judgment?

The February 15,  1986 Watchtower,  page 13,  gave new  understanding
to the phrase “in union with Christ” (referring to John 17:20,21):

“So,  today,  both groups,  the heavenly and the earthly, are
“in  union with the Father and the Son”-at full  accord  with
them in accomplishing God’s work.  Jesus prayed,  `That they
may all be [at unity], just as you, Father, are in union with
me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union
with  us.’  This oneness is not limited in meaning  to  joint
heirship,  for obviously Jesus’ disciples do not  become  any
“body  of Jehovah” or “joint heirs with Jehovah.”  They  are
`in union’ in that they show oneness of cooperation, being of
one  heart  and mind with both Jehovah and  Christ,  as  they
witness  to  the world of mankind.”  (Brackets  and  emphasis
theirs)

    Before this time the expression “in union with Christ” was always 
used  in  reference  to  the 144,000.  (See,  for  example,  Life
Everlasting  in Freedom of the Sons of God [1966],  pages  102,  109,
110, 143-146.)  Now the Society applies it also to the `great  crowd’
class.  The  Watchtower article quoted above cited  John  17:21  and
applied  it to both those with the heavenly hope and those  with  the
earthly  hope.    Yet,  compare what Jesus prayed in  the  next  few
verses:

John  17:22-24:    “Also, I have given them the glory that  you  have
given  me,  in order that they may be one just as we are one.  I  in
union  with them and you in union with me, in order that they may  be
perfected  into one…Father,  as to what you have given me,  I  wish
that,  where I am, they  also may be with me,  in order to behold  my
glory  that  you  have given  me.”  Jesus  prayed  that  those  who
would be in union  with  Him would be with Him in glory one day.  Is
that your hope? 

2  Corinthians  5:17:    “Consequently, if anyone is  in  union  with
Christ,  he is a new creation; the old things passed away, look!  new
things  have  come  into  existence.”  Those  in  Christ  are  new
creatures  in  Christ.  Another way to put it is that they are  new-
born.  Their old selves have died  (along  with  their sin) and  they
have  started  the  road  anew.  (Romans  6:2-11)  Is that  true  of
you?  Have you died to sin?  Are  you now alive in union with  Christ
as  a new creation, reborn as a child  of God?  If not, are  you  now
condemned before God?

                      PARTIAL JUSTIFICATION?

Romans  5:1,2:    “Therefore,  now  that  we  have  been  declared 
righteous  [“justified,” Kingdom Interlinear] as a result  of  faith, 
let  us  enjoy peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through
whom also we have gained  our approach by faith into this  undeserved
kindness  in which we now  stand;  and  let us exult,  based on  hope
of the  glory  of  God.” 

The  words “declare righteous” or “justify” occur many, many  times 
in the New Testament, particularly in Paul’s writings.  Those who are
made  right  with  God are justified.  In the  December  1,  1985 
Watchtower,  pages  8-18,  the  Society argues  that  most  of  God’s
servants receive only a partial justification for the present.  (This
includes  Old  Testament servants  of  God.)  The  144,000  receive 
complete  justification  now.  However, consider these verses:

Romans  4:2,3,6,7:    “If,  for  instance,  Abraham  were  declared
righteous  as a result of works,  he would have ground for  boasting; 
but  not  with  God.  For  what does the  Scripture  say:  `Abraham
exercised  faith  in  Jehovah,  and  it  was  counted  to  him  as
righteousness.’.  . .Just as David also  speaks  of  the  happiness 
of  the  man  to  whom  God  counts righteousness  apart from works: 
`Happy  are those whose lawless  deeds have been pardoned  and  whose
sins have been covered.'”

Galatians  3:8,9:    “Now the Scripture, seeing in advance  that  God
would declare people of the nations righteous due to faith,  declared
the  good news beforehand to Abraham,  namely:  `By means of you  all
the  nations will  be  blessed.’  Consequently those who  adhere  to
faith  are  being blessed together with faithful Abraham.”

True,  the  Old  Testament  servants of God lived and  died  before 
the  coming  of Christ.  Yet,  according to Revelation  13:8  Jesus 
was  the `Lamb  that was slain from the founding of the world.’  Paul
at  Romans 3:25  and  26 explains how God could forgive people  even 
before  Jesus gave  His  life  for  us.  Where is the  Bible  verse 
that  says  their salvation  is any different than ours?  Where  does
the  Bible  speak  of different  types  of  justification?    Where
does  it  speak  of  partial justification?  On the  contrary,  the
early  Christians  at  Galatia  were told  they  were  being  blessed
together with Abraham, not apart from him.

                    ARE YOUR SINS FORGIVEN NOW?

Surprisingly,  the  Society teaches that it is only the 144,000  who
now  experience  complete forgiveness of sins.  The rest  of  God’s 
servants  must  wait  until the Millennium.  The  January  1,  1987
Watchtower, page 30 says:

“While  the  small group selected to be taken to heaven  have
had their sins forgiven from Pentecost of 33 C.E.  onward and
thus already enjoy the Jubilee,  the Scriptures show that the
liberation  for believing mankind will occur during  Christ’s
Millennial  Reign.  That will be when he applies to  mankind
the benefits of his ransom sacrifice.” (Emphasis theirs)

Where  do  “the Scriptures show” that most of God’s  servants  will 
not have their sins completely forgiven until during the  Millennium? 
Where does the Bible say God only partially forgives?

              ON WHOSE MERIT WILL YOU STAND BEFORE GOD?

Isaiah  64:6:  “All of us have become like one who is unclean,  and
all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a
leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”  (New  International
Version)

Yet,  the  Society  teaches  that  most  of  mankind  will  be 
declared righteous at the end of the Millennium, as a result of their
own  merit.  We  are told on page 400 of Life Everlasting in  Freedom
of the Sons  of God (1966):

“Jehovah God will justify, declare righteous, on the basis of
their own merit all perfected humans who have withstood  that
final, decisive test of mankind.”  (Emphasis ours)

The  only way anyone will stand before God is through the  blood  of 
the  Lamb!  Not  by one’s own  merit  (Revelation  7:14;  Ephesians
2:8,9).

                    A FEW PERSONAL QUESTIONS. . .

                DO YOU HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE, NOW?

John  3:36:    “He that exercises faith in the Son  has  everlasting
life; he  that  disobeys  the Son will not see life,  but the  wrath 
of  God remains upon him.”

John  3:18:  “He that exercises faith in him is not to  be  judged. 
He that  does not exercise faith has been judged already,  because he 
has not exercised faith in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.”

John  5:24:  “Most  truly  I say to you,  He that hears  my  word 
and believes  him that sent me has everlasting life,  and he does not 
come into judgment but has passed over from death to life.”

1  John 5:13:  “I write you these things that you may know  that  you
have  life  everlasting,  you  who put your faith in the name of  the 
Son  of God.”

                        DO YOU HAVE THE SON?

1  John  5:11,12:  “And this is the witness given,  that God  gave 
us  everlasting life, and this life is in his Son.  He that  has  the
Son  has this  life;  he  that does not have the Son of God does  not 
have  this life.”

                  DOES CHRIST DWELL IN YOUR HEART?

Ephesians  3:17:  “to have the Christ dwell through your  faith  in 
your  hearts  with  love;  that  you may be rooted  and  established 
on  the foundation.”

Galatians  4:6,7:  “Now because you are sons,  God has  sent  forth 
the  spirit  of  his Son into our hearts and  it  cries  out:  `Abba,
Father!’  So then,  you are no longer a slave but a son;  and  if  a
son, also an heir through God.”

John  14:23:  “In answer Jesus said to him: `If anyone loves  me,  he
will observe my word,  and my Father will love him, and we shall come
to him and make our abode with him.'”

Does  Christ dwell in your heart?  Are you a son or a slave?    Has
the  Father  and  the Son made their abode in  you?    Do  you  have 
everlasting life?  Do you have the Son?  Or, are you still in slavery
to sin?

                  WILL YOU ACCEPT HIS INVITATION?

Revelation  3:20:  “Look!  I am standing at the door  and  knocking. 
If  anyone  hears my voice and opens the door,  I will come into  his 
house and take the evening meal with him and he with me.”

Matthew  11:28:    “Come to me,  all you who are toiling  and  loaded
down, and I will refresh you.”

John  14:14:  “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I  will 
do it.”  (New International Version.  Compare the literal Greek word 
for  word portion of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation:  “If  ever
anything you should ask me in the name of me this I shall do.”)

                            CONCLUSION

A  Christian  is  someone personally united  to  the  Lord  Jesus 
Christ.  All  Christians share the “one hope” spoken of at  Ephesians
4:4.    This hope  is  to someday be with Christ where He  is  (John 
17:20,24).    In fact, Christ Himself is “our hope.” (1 Timothy  1:1) 
Paul’s message  to the  Gentiles  was  `Christ in you, the  hope  of 
glory.’  (Colossians  1:27,28)  This relationship  with  Christ  is
described  in various  ways.  When  we come into God’s family we  are
said  to  be  re-born  as  His  sons  and  daughters  (John  3:3,5). 
Previously  we were slaves to sin.  Now  we have been adopted as  His
children  (Rom.  8:14-17).  This happens when we  receive  Christ  by
faith  into  our  hearts  and allow God’s Spirit  to  work  in  us, 
leading  us into all truth (John 1:12; Eph. 3:17;  Gal.  4:4-7;  John
16:13).  No longer are we dead in sin (Rom. 6:2); we are  alive  in
Christ!  (Rom. 6:4-6; Eph. 2:1,5-7)  Our walk with Christ should  be 
a daily  walk.  Yet,  we must not forget those  special  times  when 
we  remember  how He gave His body and blood to redeem  us-at  great
cost  to  Himself.  How glad we are to proclaim His  death  at  the
Lord’s  Supper, for  His loving sacrifice of Himself means  that  we
might have  life  (1 Cor. 11:26; John 6:53,54).  Knowing that  Christ
has  paid the full price for  our sin, we do not try to add  to  that
perfect  price.  Rather,  we gladly  `live no longer for  ourselves,
but  for  Him who died for us  and was raised again.’ (2  Cor.  5:14;
compare  Ephesians 2:8-10)  Knowing God loves His children  reassures
us  when  we  fall or are uncertain.  “Let  us  then  approach  the 
throne of grace with confidence, so  that  we  may receive mercy  and
find  grace  to  help us in our time of need.”  (Hebrews  4:16,  New
International Version)  Dear reader, if you do not have  this  “peace
of  God that excels all thought” please accept Jesus’  invitation  to
give you this rest when you do as He said:  “Come to me!”    (Matthew
11:28,29;  Philippians  4:7)  Take Him at His word.  Men  may  fail 
you, but He will never disappoint you! (Romans 3:4; 9:33)

(The above material, plus further appendices on the meaning of “naos”
as  well  as the memorial supper, is available in printed  form  from
Alpha  and Omega Ministries, P.O. Box 47041, Phoenix AZ, 85068.  The
booklet is entitled “One Hope or Two?”  It was written by Dave Brown)

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