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Watchtower Missionaries

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For a home-spun religion whose origin is relatively recent, the Watchtower Society has done pretty well for itself. Beginning with one man shortly after the American Civil War, it currently numbers approximately 8.2 million followers spread out in approximately 118,000 congregations worldwide.

My first encounter with a Watchtower Society missionary (a.k.a. Jehovah's Witness) occurred in 1969. At the time I was young and inexperienced; and thus assumed that the hewer of wood, and hauler of water coming down my dad's driveway was a typical Christian.

But when I talked this over with an elder; he became alarmed; and urged me to read a little book titled "30 Years A Watchtower Slave" by William J. Schnell; whom the Society at one time demonized as an agent of Satan. I would not be surprised if it still does.

After getting my eyes opened by Mr. Schnell's book, I was afterwards steered towards another book titled "Kingdom Of The Cults" by Walter Martin. No doubt the Society demonizes Mr. Martin too.

Around late 1980, my wife and I attended a series of lectures sponsored by a local church titled "How To Witness To Jehovah's Witnesses". The speaker (call him Pete) was an ex Witness who had been in the Watchtower Society system for near three decades and was an area manager before terminating his association with the Society; so he knew the twists and turns of its doctrines pretty good.

Pete didn't train us to hammer the Society's missionaries in a discussion because even if you rebuttal them scripture for scripture, they will not give up on the Society. Their mind's unflinching premise is that the Society is right even when it appears to be totally wrong.

Later on, I read a book titled "Why I Left The Jehovah's Witnesses" by Ted Dencher. I also read and studied the Society's little brown book titled "Reasoning From The Scriptures".

From all that vetting, study, and training I quickly discovered that although the Watchtower Society uses many of classical Christianity's standard terms and phrases, those terms and phrases mean something entirely different in the Witness mind than what you'd expect because the Society has re-defined the meanings of those terminologies.

So your first challenge in coping with a Watchtower Society missionary is to scale the language barrier. That by itself is an Herculean task because you'll not only be up against a tangle of semantics, but also a Jumanji of twisted scriptures, double speak, humanistic reasoning, rationalizing, and clever sophistry.
Raymond Victor Franz was a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses from October 20, 1971 until his removal on May 22, 1980, and served at the organization's world headquarters for fifteen years, from 1965 until 1980.

Mr. Franz resigned, and stated that the request for his resignation, and his subsequent dis-fellowshipping, resulted from allegations of apostasy.

Following his departure, Mr. Franz wrote two books relating his personal experiences with the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and his views on Jehovah's Witness teachings.

One of his books is called "Crisis Of Conscience". It's a bit expensive in print form, but as of today's date could be heard audibly for free on YouTube and/or as a free pdf download; and is somewhat reviewed on Wikipedia.

Mr. Franz's book is a helpful aid to people wondering if they made the right decision leaving the Society's fold. It's also helpful for people thinking about becoming a Jehovah's Witness but not too sure whether they'd be making a really big, life-changing mistake.

The Watchtower Society will never accept classical Christianity's teaching that Jesus Christ is Yhvh incognito simply because the Society's undying premise is that it is impossible for someone to exist as a spirit being and a human being simultaneously.

According to the premise: Yhvh's spirit existence would have to be terminated before He could become a human existence; and I can easily guarantee that nobody is ever going to convince the Society otherwise unless they first prove that the Word of John 1:1-4 is impervious to death. In other words; in order to prove to the Society that it's possible for a spirit being to exist as a human being simultaneously, it is necessary to prove to the Society that the Word is an everlasting life; which is a kind of life that cannot die. Fortunately it's very easy to do because the apostle John did that part for us.

1John 1:1-2 . .That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have viewed attentively and our hands felt, concerning the word of life, (yes, the life was made manifest, and we have seen and are bearing witness and reporting to you the everlasting life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us,)

The Greek word for "everlasting" in that passage is aionios (ahee-o'-nee-os) which essentially means perpetual; viz: without interruption.

The Word's human existence as per John 1:14 was as a mortal life and thus easily slain on the cross; but seeing as how the Word's spirit existence as per 1John 1:1-2 is an everlasting life, then it's impossible for the Word's spirit existence to be slain at all, let alone on the cross.

According to the Bible; Adam arrived on the earth as an organic mortal, and that's it; nothing more. But the Word arrived on the earth as not only an organic mortal, but also as an everlasting spirit in whom is the power of life (John 1:4, John 5:26, 1Cor 15:45).

Seeing as how the Word is an everlasting life then it was, and it is, impossible for the Word to strip himself of his spirit existence seeing as how everlasting life is impervious to death.

Yhvh cannot interrupt His existence as God because Yhvh is an everlasting life (Gen 21:33, Rom 16:26). In the same manner, the Word cannot interrupt his existence as the Word because the Word is an everlasting life too. (John 5:26, 1John 1:1-2)

The Word may have temporarily divested himself of his glory when he came to the earth to live and die as a human being, but he did not, and could not, divest himself of his spirit existence because in order to do that, he would have to die; which is an impossibility for everlasting life. If that were not so, then it would be possible to assassinate Yhvh. In point of fact, it would even be possible for Yhvh to commit suicide.

Precisely how a non mortal being can exist simultaneously as a mortal being is one of mysteries of Christianity that have to be accepted on faith because the human mind is just too limited to get it.

NOTE: The human mind is produced by a 3-pound lump of flabby organic tissue, and not even all three of those flabby pounds are devoted to cognitive processes. On top of that, 60% of that tissue is fat; yet the Watchtower Society actually believes that it's fatty, flabby little organic mind is able to comprehend the complexities of somebody as supernatural as the Word while it cannot even comprehend something as natural as the infinity of space.

Were John Q and/or Jane Doe Watchtower Society missionary to be asked if they believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, I can assure you they would answer in the affirmative. However, what you may not know is that you and they would not be speaking the same language as the conversation would be talking about two very different processes that go by the same name. In other words: you would find yourself thrown off by semantic double speak.

The classical Christian understanding of Christ's resurrection is common throughout the gospels; viz: his dead, crucified body was restored to life as per John 2:19-22.

"Jesus said to them: Break down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Therefore the Jews said: This temple was built in forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days? But he was talking about the temple of his body. When, though, he was raised up from the dead, his disciples called to mind that he used to say this; and they believed the Scripture and the saying that Jesus said."

You see, if Jesus' dead, crucified body had not been restored to life, that entire passage would be easily proven false. But according to the Watchtower Society's way of seeing things; Christ's dead, crucified body didn't return to life at all; and here's why.

In Watchtower Society theology, an angel named Michael volunteered to come to the earth to die for humanity's sins. But in order to do so; he had to relinquish his angel existence to become a human existence seeing as how in Society theology it is impossible for someone to exist as a spirit being and a human being simultaneously. However, when Michael expired, he didn't go completely out of existence. Instead, his "life force" remained intact and was transferred to a human form.

"the transferal of the life of his firstborn Son from the spirit realm to earth. Only in this way could the child eventually born have retained identity as the same person who had resided in heaven as the Word." (Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971, p.920)

"He had to become a perfect man and yet not lose his continuity of life. His life-force was not to be extinguished but would be transferred to the ovum of the virgin girl, Mary." (Watchtower magazine, 2-15-82, p.7)

But Michael's existence as a human being was only temporary. When his human form passed away on the cross, the Society claims that God transferred Michael's life force back into his angel form thus restoring him to his former spirit existence; leaving the corpse of his human existence in a permanent state of decease.

NOTE: The Society teaches that death terminates existence; but apparently not entirely because the Society also believes that at death, an angel's life force was transferred to another form-- in Michael's case, from a spirit form to an organic form; in effect, preserving a portion of Michael's existence so it could be re-transferred later when God went about restoring Michael to his former existence.

It could be argued that Jesus lives on in the body of an angel; but that wouldn't be true seeing as how Jesus' life force was Michael's to begin with.

The Society has to accept the obvious fact that their doctrine implies that Jesus Christ was never really fully human, rather, he was an amalgam of angel and human seeing as how it was the life force of an angel that kept Jesus' human body alive.

In other words: the Society's Jesus wasn't an organic man in the normal sense, rather; he was an organic angel; because when you get right down to it; the nature of one's life force is what determines the nature of their existence. That's easily seen in the very first chapter of Genesis wherein all the various creatures were given a life force pertinent to the nature of their species.

NOTE: The Society maintains that Michael's crucified human form had to stay dead so he could be an angel again. But that's not the only reason the Society gives for keeping Michael's human remains perpetually deceased. An additional explanation is given on page 237 of the April 15, 1963 issue of the Watchtower magazine; where it's stated:

"If Jesus were to take his body of flesh, blood, and bones to heaven and enjoy them there, what would this mean? It would mean that there would be no resurrection of the dead for anybody. Why not? Because Jesus would be taking his sacrifice off God's altar."

There is a really, really big flaw in the Society's theology; and that's Michael's human remains. In order to confirm that his crucified human body stayed dead, the Society is going to have produce it. A piece of evidence of that significance can't be allowed to just slip through a crack unnoticed as if it makes no difference. As Carl Sagan once said: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Staff Member
Thanks for sharing.
Interesting claims for sure.

It leaves me curious on how they communicate the period between the resurrection and the ascension? Was it the spiritual/angelic body that was eating, seen and recognized by etc. with the Apostles?

If so, then that would mean that they also believe that they'll be recipients of Angel Bodies upon the resurrection that is identified as "Glorified" in Philippians 3:21.

Nice quote from Sagan, but in that respect it wouldn't it depend on what one see as "Extraordinary"? :smile:
It leaves me curious on how they communicate the period between the resurrection and the ascension? Was it the spiritual/angelic body that was eating, seen and recognized by etc. with the Apostles?
They claim that the angel Michael's post resurrection appearances to his friends were done in a "materialized" body, i.e. a fully functioning avatar that duplicated his crucified human body in every detail, including the wounds made by the spear and the nails.

If so, then that would mean that they also believe that they'll be recipients of Angel Bodies upon the resurrection that is identified as "Glorified" in Philippians 3:21.
Some of the Witnesses expect to be restored to life in a human body and some to a spirit body.

Nice quote from Sagan, but in that respect it wouldn't it depend on what one see as"Extraordinary"
Sí Señora
Staff Member
They claim that the angel Michael's post resurrection appearances to his friends were done in a "materialized" body, i.e. a fully functioning avatar that duplicated his crucified human body in every detail, including the wounds made by the spear and the nails.
Avatar. Nice way of expressing it. :smile:

Some of the Witnesses expect to be restored to life in a human body and some to a spirit body.
Thanks for shaking my memory. I do remember that from my 2 year study under them as a teenager.

Sí Señora
:smile: In my case it should be Si Señor

Rom 8:9 . .You are in harmony, not with the flesh, but with the Spirit, if God’s spirit truly dwells in you.

That passage informs the Watchtower Society's elite class of 144,000 anointed Witnesses that they are in harmony with the Spirit; seeing as how it's alleged that the anointed class has God's sprit truly dwelling in them.

At the same time; it informs the non-anointed class of Witnesses that they are in harmony, not with the Spirit, but with the flesh; and that is not a good thing seeing as they that are in harmony with the flesh are Jehovah's adversaries; unwilling to either please Him or comply with His wishes. If John Q and Jane Doe non-anointed Witness don't know this; then all I can say is: they've got some catching up to do.

Rom 8:8 . . So those who are in harmony with the flesh cannot please God.

There's more.

1John 2:26-27 . .These things I write you about those who are trying to mislead you. And as for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to be teaching you; but, as the anointing from him is teaching you about all things, and is true and is no lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in union with him.

In a nutshell: the anointed class is allegedly able to remain in union with Christ on their own by means of the one-on-one spiritual guidance that the anointing provides them. Seeing as how the non-anointed class doesn't have access to either the anointing or the anointing's one-on-one spiritual guidance; they therefore are incapable of remaining in union with Christ on their own.

That, coupled with their resistance to God as per Rom 8:8, leaves John Q and Jane Doe non-anointed Witness in a defenseless spiritual condition; vz: they are susceptible to deception by means of clever sophistry, semantic double speak, and humanistic reasoning.

There's more yet:

Non anointed Witnesses sincerely believe they don't need the anointing because they obtain their spiritual instruction from anointed leaders. However, according to 1Cor 2:12-14, non anointed Witnesses will neither listen to, nor accept, instruction from an anointed teacher because a physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know them, because they are examined spiritually.

FYI: "physical man" is the Watchtower Bible's language for non anointed people. Here's the way that non anointed people are described with language from a classical version of the Bible.

"We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."

Therefore; if non anointed Witness are receiving and accepting spiritual instruction from their leaders, it's only because their leaders are just as non anointed as they are, i.e. it is an actual, real-life case of the blind leading the blind..
Staff Member
I'd say it's just slightly convoluted!
Yet each has what is acceptable to them.
Heaven/Spirit or New Earth/Flesh!

1Tim 2:5 . . For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus.

On page 1129 of the Watchtower publication Aid To Bible Understanding a mediator is defined as one who interposes between two parties at variance to reconcile them: an intercessor.

Here's a question that someone wrote in to the "Questions From Readers" section of the April 01, 1976 issue of Watchtower magazine, asking:

Is Jesus the mediator only for anointed Christians? (a.k.a. the 144,000)

The answer given in the magazine is YES.

The magazine's answer is corroborated on page 1130 of Aid To Bible Understanding where it says that the 144,000 are the only ones who have the mediator; a.k.a. Jesus Christ. (1John 2:1)

Intercession for non-anointed Witnesses is accomplished on the coattails of the 144,000; viz: Jesus Christ is an indirect, second party mediator for the rank and file via their affiliation with the Watchtower Society.

It's sort of like buying insurance from Allstate. The company doesn't sell direct; its business is conducted through brokers. In essence, that's what the Society presumes itself: Jesus Christ's mediation brokerage.

So then; when a Jehovah's Witness either defects or is dis-fellowshipped, it breaks the pipeline to the mediator that he enjoyed within the Society's fold; and he right quick loses all contact with God; and finds himself in grave danger of the Tribulation.

Bottom line: According to Watchtower Society theology; it is impossible for non-anointed people to be on peaceful terms with God apart from affiliation with the Society's anointed class, a.k.a. the faithful and wise steward.

In other words: Christ's mediation as per 1Tim 2:5 is accomplished via a chain of communication that begins with Christ's association with the faithful and wise steward; and from thence to the rest of humanity. Removing the faithful and wise steward from the chain cuts humanity off from Christ; thus leaving them with no way to reconcile with God.

Below is the text of Col 1:16-17 quoted verbatim from the Watchtower Society's New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures ©1969.

"Because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist."

Note that the word "other" is in brackets. This alert readers that "other" is not in the Greek manuscript; viz: the Society's editors took the liberty to pencil it in; which gives the impression that God's son was His first creation; and thereafter, His son created everything else.

One day, a pair of Watchtower missionaries came to my door consisting of an experienced worker and a trainee. I immediately began subjecting the trainee to a line of questioning that homed in on the Society's rather dishonest habit of penciling in words that go to reinforcing it's line of thinking.

I had him read the Society's text of Col 1:16-17 and then pointed out that the word "other" is in brackets to alert him to the fact that "other" is not in the Greek manuscript. The experienced worker corroborated my statement.

I then proceeded to have the trainee read the passage sans "other". It comes out like this:

"By means of him all things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all things and by means of him all things were made to exist."

The trainee's eyes really lit up; and he actually grinned with delight to discover that Col 1:16-17 reveals something quite different than what he was led to believe.

Had I pressed the attack; I would have pointed out to the trainee that the Society is inconsistent with its use of the word "other" by failing to pencil it into John 1:3 in order to make it read like this:

"All [other] things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one [other] thing came into existence."

Now; as to tampering with Paul's letters, and forcing them to mean things they don't say in writing; this is what Peter has to say about that.

2Pet 3:15-16 . . Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given him also wrote you, speaking about these things as he does also in all his letters. In them, however, are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unsteady are twisting, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Untaught people are oftentimes self-taught; and were the Society's missionaries to check into ol' Charles T. Russell's rather ignoble past; they'd find that "self-taught" pretty much describes the origin of their theology.

NOTE: The 1984 revised version of the New World Translation omits brackets around the word "other" in Col 1:16-17. However, it's readily seen from the Watchtower Society's Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures that "other" is nowhere to be found in the Greek text.

Col 1:15 . . He is the firstborn of all creation

The Watchtower Society has appropriated that verse as evidence that God's son (Col 1:13) was the first thing that God ever created.

However, the New Testament Greek word for "firstborn" in that verse is prototokos, which never means created first; no, it always means born first. The correct Greek word for created first is protoktistos.

The average Watchtower Society missionary doesn't know the difference; and no doubt would care little for it anyway. To some of them; born first and created first are essentially one and the same. But are they the same? No. Birthing requires a parent while creating requires a craftsman. Birthing produces progeny while crafting produces projects. God's son wasn't a project; no, he's progeny. For example: Adam was a project while Adam's3 son Seth was progeny; viz; Adam was crafted from dust, while Seth was a multiple of his father.

However, though "firstborn" normally indicates the one born first; it doesn't eo ipso refer to birth order. It can also refer to hierarchal order too, and as such is sometimes bestowed upon a younger sibling; e.g. Jacob and Esau3 (Gen 25:23) Manasseh and Ephraim (Gen 48:13-14) and Reuben and Joseph. (Gen 49:3-4, 1Chr 5:1)

The rank of firstborn can also indicate a national position; for example when God sent Moses to confront Pharaoh, He instructed Moses to say:

"Israel is my son, my firstborn." (Ex 4:22)

There was a time when David held the rank of God's firstborn (Ps 89:20-27). However, David's supremacy was limited to the earth. The supremacy of God's son includes not only the earth; but the entire cosmos will all of its forms of life, matter, and energy.

Col 1:17 . . He is before all things

The koiné Greek word translated "before" is pro (pro); a primary preposition meaning "fore", i.e. in front of, prior; for example: forefront; which Webster's defines as the most important part or position; viz: the foremost part or place; for example:

Rev 3:14 . . And to the angel of the congregation in Laodicea write: These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God.

The koiné Greek word translated "beginning" is arche (ar-khay') which means, among other things, chief (in various applications of order, time, place, or rank). Arche also means a commencement; for example:

John 1:3 . . All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.

In other words: Col 1:17 isn't saying that God's son came along before anything else, rather that he's preeminent, which Webster's defines as having paramount rank, dignity, or importance.

Q: One translation of John 1:18 says that Jesus is the only-begotten god; while another translation says Jesus is the only begotten son. Which translation is correct?

A: Either one will do because, biologically speaking, they're both saying the very same thing. But for clarity's sake; let's assume that "only-begotten god" is correct. What are the ramifications of that?

Well; according to John 17:3 it suggests that the only true god's offspring is the only true god; otherwise he'd be a false god; which is about as possible as my offspring being a false human. In other words; like always begets like. If the only true god were to reproduce, His offspring would be more of His own kind just as when I reproduce, my offspring is more of my own kind. Get my drift? When I reproduced, I didn't beget a coyote or an armadillo.

John 1:18 implies that when the only true god begot a son, He begot more of Himself; viz: He begot a god that's of the species the only true god. It's either that or the only true god begot a species of god not of His own kind; rather, a species of god of another kind; which would be like me begetting a species of human not of my own kind, but a species of human of an alien kind.

OBJECTION: At John 17:3, Jesus identifies his Father as the only true God, and himself as the one sent by the only true God. How can the one true God take command and rule the one true God?

RESPONSE: This is very easy to resolve; but first I should explain something.

God created only one Adam; viz: there is only one true Adam. Ergo: any, and all, of the one true Adam's progeny are the one true Adam too because Adam life is the only kind of human life that the one true Adam was capable of reproducing.

Gen 5:3 . . Adam lived on for a hundred and thirty years. Then he became father to a son in his likeness, in his image, and called his name Seth.

In other words: Seth was, in all respects, just as much the one true Adam as his biological father because the one true Adam didn't create his son, no; Seth came into being via reproduction rather than creation.

By the same token, if the one true god were to reproduce, He would produce more of Himself just as when Adam reproduced, he produced more of himself; viz: if the one true god were to reproduce He would produce a paternal extension of the one true god just as when Adam reproduced he produced a paternal extension of the one true Adam.

As of the date and time of this writing, the world population was approximately 7.52 billion people. Those people were not 7.52 billion true Adams. No, they were only one true Adam. If you can grasp how 7.52 billion of Adam's progeny are one true Adam, then you can grasp how God and His progeny are not two true gods; but one.

However; though God's son is a reproduction of the one true god, he is a son; and it's a widely-known biblical fact that sons are inferior in rank to their fathers. It's written into one of the Ten Commandments.

Ex 20:12 . . Honor your father

John 8:49 . . I honor my Father

The challenge for John Q and Jane Doe hewer of wood and hauler of water is to satisfy themselves, beyond a shadow of sensible doubt, that the Son is in no possible way the one true god's progeny; otherwise they are stuck with the inescapable conclusion that Jesus Christ is a paternal extension of the one true god.

Stay with me as I reinforce this concept.

Heb 1:10-12 . . You at the beginning, O Lord, laid the foundations of the earth itself, and the heavens are the works of your hands. They themselves will perish, but you yourself are to remain continually; and just like an outer garment they will all grow old, and you will wrap them up just as a cloak, as an outer garment; and they will be changed, but you are the same, and your years will never run out.

Within the context of the first chapter of the letter to Hebrews, the wording of that passage unmistakably speaks of the Son.

However, within the context of Psalm 102; nearly identical wording unmistakably speaks of Jehovah.

NOTE: A similar comparison can be made with John 12:40-41 and Isa 6:1-10

No man has seen God at any time (John 1:18. 1John 4:12) nor heard His voice (John 5:37). Plus, God abides in light that no man has seen nor can see (1Tim 6:15). So; here's what I posit: every place in the Old Testament where Jehovah interacts with humans, it is the Son; viz: Jehovah and the Son are one and the same person.

Now, we have to expect that the Watchtower Society is fully prepared to rebuttal my posit. But that's alright; the public is entitled to a second opinion.

John 20:17 . . Be on your way to my brothers and say to them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.

Q: If Jesus is God Almighty, as classical Christianity insists, then how can he have a god? Does God worship God?

A: I have yet to encounter the language of John 20:17 in reverse, viz: I have yet to see a passage in the Bible where God refers to His son as "my God".

In other words: there is a definite hierarchy in the divine relationship just as there is a definite hierarchy in human relationships. Though all members of a human family are equally human, they are not all equal in rank; some are superior and some are subordinate.

For simplicity's sake; it helps to think of "God Almighty" as a species. In that respect when God Almighty begot a son, He begot a God Almighty son because that's the only kind of offspring that a God Almighty can engender; just as when humans beget a son, they beget a human son because that's the only kind of offspring that humans can engender.

Now, we can volley back and forth with the JWs, countering each other's verses with more verses: verse after verse; but I can just about guarantee that us and they will both be chasing our tails and getting nowhere unless we approach the Son's relationship to his Father from a biological perspective; which is a perspective that just about anybody with even a cursory knowledge of the birds and the bees can understand with ease.
Thought And Consciousness

How does the human brain, a 3-pound lump of flabby organic tissue, produce the phenomena of memory, consciousness, individuality, and self awareness? Why do humans have a sense of justice, of fair play, and a desire for revenge? Why do humans prefer to be right rather than wrong? Why be right and/or wrong at all? Why do humans want their lives to count for something? From whence do humans get their feelings of guilt? Why aren't humans amoral like the other creatures? Butterflies are free, why aren't we?

Those kinds of questions cannot be answered on a physical level. There has to be an element to human life that is above and beyond an organic explanation.

The Watchtower Society interprets the passage below to substantiate its doctrine that people cease to exist when they pass away.

Ps 146:4 . . His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; In that day his thoughts do perish.

The Hebrew word for "thoughts" in that passage is 'eshtonah (esh-to naw') which means: thinking.

Unfortunately, Ps 146:4 is the only place in the entire Old Testament where 'eshtonah appears so we can't compare its uses in other contexts.

According to Webster's the word "thinking" is ambiguous with quite a variety of meanings to choose from; including, but not limited to: concerns, anticipations, conceptions, opinions, imaginations, visualizations, ideas, epiphanies, plans, schemes, fantasies, arguments, deliberations, and the like.

For example: consider all those people who perished in the World Trade Center, in the Japan and Indonesia tsunamis, and the Haiti earthquake. None of them woke that day planning on it being their last on earth. No, on the contrary; they had people to see, places to go, and things to do: but before the day ended; whatever was on their minds lost its importance-- their priorities went right out the window and became no more significant than green cheese on the moon.

All their plans, their dreams, their schedules, their appointments, their schemes, their problems, their ambitions, their loves, and their aspirations went right down the tubes as they were suddenly confronted with a whole new reality to cope with.

So then, an alternative to the Watchtower Society's interpretation is that people don't cease to exist when they die. Their cognitive processes don't stop working; no, Ps 146:4 only means that whatever was on their minds before they passed away is now null and void.

Take for example Michael Jackson. While working on a new world tour, Jackson died in his sleep. As a result; his tour wrapped on the spot.

When my eldest nephew was paroled from prison, he quit drinking, and began going to college with the goal towards becoming a counselor. For 2½ years all went well. His parole officer was happy, and he was on track and getting good grades. My nephew's future looked assured. And then on the morning of Sept 25, 2015, he dropped dead to the floor of natural causes.

My nephew's passing was a terrible disappointment to everybody; but actually we all kind of expected it. He was grossly overweight, had high blood pressure and high cholesterol, rarely exercised, and smoked. But the point is; my nephew's dream ended just as abruptly as flipping a light switch. And all of our hopes for his success ended the same way.

"His spirit goes out" refers to the breath of life as per Gen 2:7. It's entrance into a human body springs it to life (Jas 2:26). In other words: the breath of life isn't just a life force; no, the breath of life is quite sentient: it's the core of one's existence as a being; and it doesn't come from the dust of the Earth; no, it comes from God; and when people die, their breath of life returns to God. (Ecc 12:7)

As to what He does with it? well; that's the bone of contention between classical Christianity and the Watchtower Society. In their mind's eye, Solomon is the afterlife expert; while in classical Christianity's judgment, Christ's savvy trumps Solomon.

Luke 11:31 . .The queen of the south will be raised up in the judgment with the men of this generation and will condemn them; because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, but, look! Something more than Solomon is here.

Col 2:3 . . Carefully concealed in him are all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge.
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