What is monotheism?
Strict monotheism is not Biblical monotheism because it allows no room for others to be called gods. Strict monotheism is what abounds today, there can be no one that can wear the title "god" and if they do they are false gods. This view, though, was not held by the Jews and early Christians.
In Biblical monotheism one worships and serves only one Almighty God. There are NO other gods that can be worshipped. Additionally, the Scripture shows there are beings that can wear the title of "god" but are not gods in toto.
Almighty God gives them (or allows them) a position and authority to do his will; act as his agents (or simply rule with great power). Angels are called gods so are human judges called "gods" [Psalms 82: 1,6; John 10:33-36 ] but are not worshiped as gods [Rev. 22:8-9].
They have the title "gods" bestowed upon them by the only One who is Almighty God because they act as his agents. They are invisible representatives of him. They deliver messages to humans for Him. They exercise great power and authority, granted to them by the Almighty God.
Application of this label, this title, to Jesus no more makes Jesus equal to Jehovah than it made Moses equal to Jehovah when applied to him, nor the judges equal to Jehovah when applied to them, nor the angels, when applied to them.
For in the Hebrew biblical world - there is only one exclusive recognition and exaltation of one source of all power, all authority, and all creativity above all other sources of power, authority, and creativity which are themselves dependent upon that one single source. From that one source, all other things owe their very existence. That is the description of the biblicaly presented "monotheism".
The Word is a created being [ colossians 1:15 “The firstborn of all creation“] created long before any other thing . Because all other things were created through and by him. The Word is called the only begotten son because Jesus is not merely God's unique or incomparable Son but also his "only-begotten Son," meaning descended from God in the sense of being produced by God alone.
This is confirmed by apostolic references to this Son [see above] and as "the One born [form of gen·na´o] from God" (Col 1:15; 1Jo 5:18), while Jesus himself states that he is "the beginning of the creation by God."-Re 3:14.
Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting but, as shown by the Scriptural references above the Word/Jesus had a beginning, he was a creation just like every other creation. To believe the trinity, is like saying that God created himself.
Jesus said in prayer: "Father, . . . this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." (John 17:1-3, RS; (Most translations here use the expression "the only true God" with reference to the Father. NE reads "who alone art truly God." He cannot be "the only true God," the one "who alone [is] truly God," if there are two others who are God to the same degree as he is, can he? Any others referred to as "gods" must be either false or merely a reflection of the true God.)
1 Cor. 11:3, RS: "I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God." (Clearly, then, Christ is not God, and God is of superior rank to Christ. It should be noted that this was written about 55 C.E., some 22 years after Jesus returned to heaven. So the truth here stated applies to the relationship between God and Christ in heaven.)
Peter, when speaking of Jesus to the Jewish Sanhedrin said: "God exalted this one [Jesus] . . . to his right hand." (Acts 5:31) Paul said: "God exalted him to a superior position." (Philippians 2:9)
If Jesus had been God, how could Jesus have been exalted, that is, raised to a higher position than he had previously enjoyed? He would already have been an exalted part of the Trinity. If, before his exaltation, Jesus had been equal to God, exalting him any further would have made him superior to God.
How important is the TRUTH to you? FALSE AND MISLEADING information has been around since the Garden of Eden when a wicked spirit decieved Eve by his smooth, cunning and deceptive trap. What has transpired since, has been a fight for the right of supremacy of the universe.
Jehovah, the God of creation, has laid out for us not only the history and motivation of the battle, but the finale, his triumph over the usurper.
Satan, the wicked spirit creature who has disrupted the peaceful purpose of creation, has inspired no such timeline for success of his wicked plot.
There is, however, a prophecy that is meaningful for those who are truly interested in the original purpose and outcome of Jehovah God.
The Christian Greek Scriptures lay out the ensuing millennia - from the first century until the end of demonic interference eternally. The penmen, of the Greek Scriptures, were quite accurate in their foretelling that following the apostolic era, that the early church would suffer an institutional apostasy, which would last until the “last days”, during which time a restoration of the original model, would unfold.
The best text related to this issue was the data provided by Jesus himself, at Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-43, which starts off as follows:
"Jesus told them another parable: "The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner's servants came to him and said, "Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?" "An enemy did this", he replied. The servants asked him, "Do you want us to go and pull them up?" "No", he answered, "because while you are pulling the weeds, you root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned, then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn." (NIV)
Not wanting to allow for a variety of future interpretations of the above parable, Jesus himself, explained it in 13:36-43 as follows: "Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field". He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world [kosmos], and the good seed stands for the sons of the Kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his Kingdom everything that causes sin, and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear."
Jesus explains that while he was on earth he, the “Son of Man”, spread a specific message, "the seed of wheat", that resulted eventually in the formation of a body of original followers and/or co-workers, "the wheat". However, when his co-workers, the faithful apostles and their principal associates died, or "went to sleep" [death is compared to a type of sleep in over 700 places in the Hebrew and Christian Greek Scriptures], an enemy, the Devil, over-sowed the body of believers with others, "the weeds", who were not of the same ilk as the original community once was – resulting in a contamination, a negative infusion that proved to compromise that which was established by Jesus and his first followers.
As noted in the parable, it is only during "the end of the age", the time of the end, the last days, in which one would see a harvesting that would bring together once again the wheat, but now separate from the weeds – indeed, the call made at Revelation 18:4, for his people, to get out.
Interestingly, the koine Greek word translated as "weeds" is "zizanion" which is a kind of darnel, the bearded type, which significantly resembles wheat in “appearance”, but only in appearance [Matthew 7:15-23] – a degenerate wheat.
Also interesting regarding zizanion, it is not until the time approaching harvest, that the zizanion becomes visible – and it does so because unlike wheat, it puts forth little black seeds at maturity, which become visible, and if eaten, can be deadly. It is the fruit, or "seeds" of this plant, which make it distinguishable from the true wheat.
The reason why Jesus chose this particular plant by word becomes obvious - the zizanion represented individuals "planted" by oversower into the developing Christian institution. Who would claim to be genuine Christians, genuine "wheat". According to the little parable, this poisoned and contaminated version of “Christianity” would be allowed to persist until the time of the end at which time a separating would transpire, i.e., the restoration.
The author of 2 Peter states that just as Israel was infected with religious apostasy, so should the Christian Church expect the same – “However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among you. These very ones will quietly bring in destructive sects and will disown even the owner that bought them, bringing speedy destruction upon themselves. Furthermore, many will follow their acts of loose conduct, and on account of these the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively. Also, with covetousness they will exploit you with counterfeit words. But as for them, the judgment from of old is not moving slowly, and the destruction of them is not slumbering." (2 Peter 2:1-3) (NW)
He not only predicted the institutional apostasy but mentioned its impact on people at large - "on account of these the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively".
Many individuals observing the less than commendable record of the Christian institutions would fail to distinguish genuine Christianity from apostate Christianity, and would, as expected, speak quite disparagingly of it. This interim form of Christianity would leave a "bad taste in the mouths" of many, not the least of which, being Jesus.
In Paul’s last meeting with the elders at Ephesus likewise warned of the coming apostasy and added that it would involve elders themselves, some of the very leaders of the communities, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and days with tears." (Acts 20:29-31) (NIV)
In his second letter to the Thessalonians he specifically put down speculations about the imminence of Christ's second coming and reminded them that the complete institutional apostasy must occur first, before Jesus’ return, “But relative to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and our gathering together to meet Him, we beg you, brethren, not to allow your minds to be quickly unsettled or disturbed or kept excited or alarmed, whether it be by some [pretended] revelation of [the] Spirit or by word or by letter [alleged to be] from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has [already] arrived and is here. Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first - that is, unless the [predicted] great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come - and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition)." (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3) (AB)
Non-Christian theology into institutionalized Christianity.
From later period doctrines of three gods in one in the third through fourth centuries CE, to doctrines of everlasting punishment established in the fourth century CE, to acceptance of other Pagan based beliefs, such as an immortal soul of man, celibacy, infant baptism, pagan symbols, traditions, holidays, observances, et al.
History itself, and the lack of evidence of such in the biblical texts themselves, confirm the entrance of these, and the modification and twisting of so many other teachings of Jesus himself, and the beliefs of the original Hebrew peoples.
The author of John, recorded the closing of the Christian era and the emergence of this apostate Christianity – the infiltration of the weeds, "Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; and they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know. I write to you not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it; and know that no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus if the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also." (RSV).
What better denial of the existence of the son, than to claim there was no son at all, but merely God himself, incarnate, today called not the “Son of God”, but tellingly backwards, as “God the Son”.
Interestingly, according the bible texts themselves, during this period, Cerinthus, Simon Magus, Basilides and others introduced corrupted views about Jesus and God and their relationship to each other – the apostasy was formally begun – its fruits to be seen in the next few thousand years, and especially clear in our own day.
A few telling observations: "Membership in the church was not sectional, but universal. Christians were not classed variously according to special views of doctrine or church polity. There was nothing in the early church comparable to modern denominational divisions... This resulted in doctrinal harmony in the church. There were, it is true, certain troublemakers who disturbed the church, but they were the exception and in due time, they were rebuked. There was unity of effort among Christians, for all were members of but one church." Christian Theology, Vol. II, "The Apostasy of the Church", p. 168, by Albert F. Gray, D.D.
"Religiously, Christianity suffered because it was exclusivistic, not tolerant like other faiths of the (Roman] Empire. In fact, it was aggressive in trying to win adherents from other faiths." Highlights of Church History, p. 25, by Howard F. Vos.
"As a result, however, of its growing importance, the Christian community began to draw upon itself the dislike not only of Jews but also of Pagans. It was naturally difficult for them to understand the exclusiveness of a monotheistic religion... The mutual relations of married couples were often embittered when one of the partners was converted. People whose trade suffered by the spread of the new religion had a serious grudge against it. Social life was made very difficult when one's neighbour could not conform with the most ordinary convention on the ground that it implied the recognition of pagan deities." A History of the Early Church - to A.D. 500, by William Brisbane, p. 16.
"The office of the elder or presbyter ranked highest in the local congregation... The New Testament.., is quite clear in its association of these two names (elder and presbyter) with the same office. (Acts 20:17, 28; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:5,7) The growth of the office of the monarchal bishop did not come until after the end of the apostolic age in the second century... The early Christians did not think of a church as a place of worship according to the common usage of the word today. A church signified a body of people in personal relationship with Christ. Such a group met in homes (Acts 12:12; Romans 16:5, 23; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1-4), the temple (Acts 5:12), public auditoriums of schools (Acts 19:9), and in the synagogues so long as they were permitted to do so (Acts -14:1,3; 17:1; 18:4). The place was not as important as the matter of meeting for fellowship with one another and for worship of God... The Christians, who had great appeal for "the lower classes and slaves, were hated by the influential aristocratic leaders of society... The Christians upheld the equality of all men... Christians separated themselves from pagan gatherings at temples, theaters, and places of recreation. This nonconformity to accepted social patterns, brought down upon them the dislike that the nonconformist always faces in any period of history." Christianity Through The Centuries, by Earle E. Cairns, p. 88, 89, 97.
"A careful review of all the information available goes to show that, until the time of Marcus Aurelius [Roman emperor from 161 to 180 C.E.], no Christian became a soldier; and no soldier, after becoming a Christian, remained in military service." The Rise of Christianity, E. W. Barnes, p. 333.
"They refused to take any active part in the civil administration or the military defense of the empire.., it was impossible that the Christians, without renouncing a more sacred duty, could assume the character of soldiers, of magistrate, or of princes." History of Christianity, Edward Gibbon, pp. 162, 163 [San should appreciate that one].
The Church had changed its nature, had entered its Great Apostasy, had become a political organization in the Spirit and pattern of Imperial Rome, and took its nose-dive into the millennium of Papal Abominations.., worship, at first very simple, was developed into elaborate, stately, imposing ceremonies having all the outward splendor that had belonged to the Pagan temples.
Jesus makes it clear - when the "harvest" and the restoration would occur:
"...and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age..." (RSV)
"...and the enemy that sowed it is the devil; and the harvest is the final time..." (BLE)
"The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age..." (RBV)
The harvesting and separating takes place during "the close of the age", "the final time" - Jesus indicates that the restored Christian community would be present. This then defines the "close of the age" at Matthew 13:39. The "close of the age" is the "time of the end".
And the separating?
"And this good news of the Kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end." (AB) – this is what would separate – first in his own kingdom, then in the whole kosmos.
According to the biblical texts, the following would be indicators of the restored Christian community and congregations - It would be organized during the "time of the end", it would be "hated by all nations", it would be active all over the world, all baptized members would be expected to disciple others, it would be closely associated with God's very name, it would have an international profile of showing love within the community, it would not be subdivided for the time of its entire existence, into denominations, and its doctrines and practices would be like those of the first Christians.
YOM / DAY......WHAT IS THE SCRIPTURAL USAGE OF THE WORD?
What is the meaning of the Hebrew word “yohm or yom” and what is it’s significance in the biblical account of creation?
There are things that are meant to be literal and those that are representative. The creative days are just such an example. Looking at Genesis 1:1 It says:” In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Well, what does that mean? The heavens include every stare galaxy, planet, it means the entire universe. Then the earth is mentioned specifically, but that is part of the heavens too– is it not? By the specific mention of the one planet would indicate that God had something different that he purposed for this planet ha’erets (earth).
In verse two the scripture says: ”Now the earth was formless and desolate, and there was darkness upon the surface of the watery deep, and God’s active force was moving about over the surface of the waters.” Notice that the creative days had not begun as yet. Genesis 1:1-2 relates to a yohm [day] which is un-numbered, a time before the six creative periods began, a time period when the shamayim [heavens – and all things mentioned prior including the sun.]
Jehovah proclaims at the start of the first creative period of time, "Let light come to be", the reader is reminded of the conditions existing on earth prior and previously described. The six creative periods reflect a perspective from the surface of the earth - The Scripture indicates that each of the first six “days” ends with the saying, ‘and there came to be evening and morning, a first, second, third day,’ and so on. Where does the text indicate the same for the seventh “day?”
What can we come to understand in regard to the seventh day? According to scripture, 4,000 years later, Paul states that day seven, God’s rest, was still continuing. (Hebrews 4:4-6) According to the apostle Paul, “day” seven was a period spanning thousands of years. Would it not be logical to conclude that the six previous days would be of equal length?
Young earth advocates will insist that [yohm] has but one meaning, a 24 hour period of time. But when faced with the question of how a period from evening to morning can constitute a 24 hour period presents quite a problem. The large problem also exists of the dating of rocks and meteorites etc.
Genesis 1:1,2 is a period of time not included in the counting of yohm[days]. The creative period of time designated as days began in the third verse so between verses 1&2 [the creation of the entire universe] and verse 3 [counting of the days] were eons of time. This is in agreement with sicence.
Genesis Chapter One reflects creation over six yom.
Genesis Chapter Two expresses these same six periods in a single expression “yom”.
This is a significant problem for those who comprehend a stated yohm as a single 24 hour period of time [e.g., which was it, six 24 hour periods, or one 24 hour period].
Now, either the writer of the immediate text was completely ignorant of the apparent and obvious immediate contextual contradiction, and has allowed the apparent contradiction to remain over thousands of years, or the immediate contextual text read just fine if one understands the application of yohm intended by the writer.
This concept of a 24 hour time period is relatively new [i.e., Philo spoke specifically of the creative yohm as unknown, non-specific, periods of time].
The cosmic background radiation, the fossil record, the spectroscopy of the sun, among many others all disprove a young earth interpretation of Genesis and an unsupported tradition regarding the Hebrew word yohm.
It is interesting to note that the Aramaic word used is “Yuma ," which means "eon," an immeasurable period or age, “Day”
What did Moses, a Hebrew preserving a record for Hebrews, understand the usage to be? Moses was not writing for himself, but for the historical record and understanding of a people. Here are just a few examples:
1. Genesis 4:3 "And in process of time [ yohm ] it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord." In this instance, Yohm refers to a growing season, probably several months.
2. Genesis 43:9 "...then let me bear the blame forever." [ yohm ] Here, Moses uses Yohm to represent eternity
3. Genesis 44:32 "...then I shall bear the blame to my father forever." [ yohm ] Again, Moses uses Yohm to represent eternity
4. Deuteronomy 4:40 "...that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth the, forever." [ yom ] Here Yohm represents a physical lifetime
5. Deuteronomy 10:10, "Now I stayed on the mountain forty days and nights, as I did the first time, [ yom ]..." Here, Yohm is a "time" equal to forty days.
6. Deuteronomy 18:5 "...to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons forever." [ yohm ] Again, Yohm is translated as eternity
7. Deuteronomy 19:9 "...to love the Lord thy God, and to walk ever [ yohm ] in His ways..." Here, Yohm represents a lifetime. As long as we live we are to walk in his ways
It can be seen by these examples that Moses used the word Yohm to represent 12-hours, 24 hours, the creative week, forty days, several months, a lifetime, and eternity.
C. John Collins – in his book “Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary and Theological Commentary”: How could anyone say that a “yom” of twenty-four hours is the only interpretation, when throughout the Bible itself that has been proven not to be true. Take the instance of Adam [ the day “yom” you eat from it, you will positively die]. Did Adam die within a twenty four hour period? No, Genesis the fifth chapter gives his life span as [930 yrs.] What does “yom” indicate in this instance? According to 2 Peter 3:8 – the time period noted as “day”, in Genesis 2:17, was actually one thousand years long. Thus, Adam died within the day/yom [period], God had stated.
In the text of Genesis 2:4, the six time periods [as a whole] are noted as a history of creation and spoken of as [in the day/yom]. Obviously, this is not a twenty-four hour time period.
In agreement with Collins, in this instance, Gleason L. Archer states it in this way: “ There were six major stages in this work of formation, and these stages are represented by successive days
of a week. In this connection it is important to observe that none of the six creative days bears a definite
article in the Hebrew text; the translations “the first day,” “ the second day,” etc., are in error. The Hebrew
says, “And the evening took place, and the morning took place, day one” (1:5). Hebrew expresses “the first
day” by hayyom harison, but this text says simply yom ehad (day one). Again, in v.8 we read not hayyom
hasseni (“the second day”) but yom seni (“a second day”). In Hebrew prose of this genre, the definite
article was generally used where the noun was intended to be definite; only in poetic style could it be
omitted. The same is true with the rest of the six days; they all lack the definite article. Thus they are well
adapted to a sequential pattern, rather than to strictly delimited units of time.”
Gleason Archer was Associate Editor of the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. In the quote above,
the first two italicized letters ha of words like harison indicate the Hebrew prefix h “heh” meaning “the.” Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, pages 60-61, Baker 1982:
Norman L. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, page 271, Zondervan 1999:
“Numbered days need not be solar. Neither is there a rule of Hebrew language demanding that all numbered
days in a series refer to twenty-four-hour days. Even if there were no exceptions in the Old Testament, it
would not mean that “day” in Genesis 1 could not refer to more than one twenty-four-hour period. But there
is another example in the Old Testament. Hosea 6:1-2 . . . . . . Clearly the prophet is not speaking of solar
“days” but of longer periods in the future. Yet he numbers the days in series.”
Genesis 1: 1 & 2 – When yhwh created “bara” the heavens and the earth, that was a completed action. These planets etc., were put in their orbits at the time of their creation. In the case of planet earth, its orbit was and still is, around the sun. Therefore, the sun was included in Genesis 1:1 “ in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It was not, as stated by young earth proponents, created on day four. In verse 16 [day four] ” bara” was not used, but “asah” [made] was the word of choice. Why was it this way? It is because the luminaries had all been “created,” as stated in verse 1 of Chapter 1 “In the beginning God created “bara” the heavens and the earth” [“created” in Hebrew is a verb in the perfect state, showing that the action of creating the heavens and the earth was completed.]
What then would be indicated by the usage of “proceeded to make” in vs. 16 of chapter 1 ? In Hebrew this is a verb in the imperfect state, indicating an incomplete or continuous action, or action in progress. The imperfect state of the Hebrew verb could be rendered in English by using auxiliary words such as “proceeded,” ,” went on,” “continued,” etc.
Here is a sample of the James Washington Watts’ translation of Genesis 1:1-8 (1968)
Vs. 3 Afterwards God proceeded to say, “Let there be light”; and gradually light came into existence.
Vs. 4 also God proceeded to observe the light, (seeing) that it was good; so he proceeded to divide the light and the darkness. he called Night.
Vs. 5 Then God began to call the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. Thus there came to be an evening and a morning, even one day.
Vs. 6 Then God continued, saying, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, also let there be a separation between the waters.”
Vs. 7 Accordingly, God proceeded to divide the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and gradually it came to be so.
Vs. 8 Thereafter God began to call the expanse Heavens. Thus there came to be an evening and a morning, a second day.
Benjamin Willis Newton’s translation contains all of the Hebrew verbs in the imperfect state. He even marks them with brackets, as a continuing action – something that is incomplete, an action in progress.
Genesis 1: 3 And God proceeded to say [future], Let light become to be, and Light proceeded to become to be [future].
Vs. 4 and God proceeded to view [future] the Light, that it [was] good; and God proceeded to divide [future] between the Light and the darkness;
Vs. 5 and God proceeded to call ]future the light Day, and the darkness He called [not “proceeded to call”; the past tense is used] Night; and evening proceeded to be [future], and morning proceeded to be [future] day one.
Vs. 6 And god proceeded to say [future] Let there become a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it become divisive between waters and waters.
Vs. 7 And God proceeded to make [future] the firmament and proceeded to divide [future] between the waters which [are] below in relation to the firmament and the waters which [are] above in relation to the firmament;
Vs. 8 and God proceeded to call [future] the firmament Heavens; and evening proceeded to become [future] and morning proceeded to become [future] Day second.
All of the things listed below are what occurred on day/yom six – between an evening and a morning [not even twenty four hours]. The words used for progressive, continuous action do not allow for such an understanding of a 24 hour time frame
God makes the land-dwelling nephesh chayyah from the ground such as livestock and wild beasts (Gen. 1:24-25; 2:19)
God makes man [nephesh chayyah] in His own image and breathes into his nostrils the breath of life (Gen. 2:7)
God warns Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17)
God brings all of the land-dwelling nephesh chayyah to Adam so he can name them (Gen. 2:18-20)
God causes Adam to fall into a deep sleep and from his side, He creates a woman, Eve (Gen. 1:27b; 2:21-25)
God blesses Adam and Eve and tells them to multiply and to take dominion over the creatures of the earth (Gen. 1:28-30)
God declares His Creation “very good” thus pronouncing its completion (Gen. 1:31)
The text in Genesis 2: 2 includes another Hebrew verb in the imperfect state. This is in relation to God’s rest. It states: “And by the seventh day God came to the completion of his work that he had made, and he” proceeded to rest” on the seventh day from all his work that he had made.” Again, continuous action, which when considering the apostle Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, this is consistent with the rest day being thousands of years old. Hebrews 4:4-11.
If God’s rest is thousands of years duration, the creative days would, in order to be consistent with day seven, be thousands of years duration. Again, the creative days, beginning in vs. 3 do not include vss. 1&2. These vss. are indeterminate periods amounting to perhaps billions of years.
@JOHN BUTLER Do you actually know what PROPHECY is? Isaiah 4610 "From the beginning I foretell the outcome, And from long ago the things that have not yet been done....." Isaiah 42:9 See, the first things have come to pass; Now I am declaring new things. Before they spring up, I tell you about them. Isaiah 45:21 Make your report, present your case. Let them consult together in unity. Who foretold this long ago And declared it from times past? Is it not I, Jehovah? There is no other God but me; A righteous God and a Savior, there is none besides me. Are you following the unauthorized course of Eve who forsook her belief in the word of her Creator and wrong became right to her? She deliberately violated God’s commandment and she lost her standing of perfection. Her act constituted the unmistakable crime of "lese majeste" or treason which cost her her life. There has always been one channel, used by Jehovah, to impart spiritual food. Ephesians 4:5,6 " one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." You can bend and twist your position all you want and it all comes back to the same thing you want to go. Jehovah God is cleaning house - it is his time to reveal the apostates hiding within the organization. You've gone on social media to swallow up those unsteady and new in the truth. As for me, I've been a baptized member of the congregation for sixty nine years and have seen people come and go. The door is always open to those who want to come in and that same door closes behind when you want to leave. Isaiah 29:16 "But now, O Jehovah, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are our Potter; We are all the work of your hand."
@JOHN BUTLER I'm sure anyone can find a scripture to suit their own needs. sami - Why have you not done that then? I'd like to see that scripture that says to wear clothing where your private parts protrude whether upper body or lower body. @JOHN BUTLEROne other point on the clothing of brothers and sisters. Assemblies and conventions are where the young ones / single ones go to find a marriage mate. Well they are not supposed to be looking 'in the world', so it has to be at the conventions. Not everyone wants someone from their own congregation. Hence the young and single want to look like young and single and who can blame them. Just because the GB are old frumps doesn't mean everyone has to be... And just because you don't like something doesn't mean everyone has to dislike it. sami - I wonder how people attracted the opposite gender before the mass production of obscenely designed clothing? Could be Christian personality and spirituality would and has attracted the special person one would want to spend their lives with, HUH!!
@James Thomas Rook Jr. So let me get this straight.....you disagree with the definition of porneia provided by the encyclopedia? Too bad for you. Better put that pistol away before you shoot yourself in the other foot.
@James Thomas Rook Jr. Sounds like sour grapes to me!!!! When one has to rely on a twenty second and ten second youtube blurb to present as their case, that person is an apostate who will receive their wage in full. Your day is almost here and there is no where to hide.
@JOHN BUTLER WHO REALLY IS THE FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE AND HOW CAN THEY BE IDENTIFIED? In Ezekiel chapter 47 we begin to see an expanded vision of Revelation, chapter 22. Again there is a “river” of water of truth being channeled to the earth out from Jehovah’s spiritual temple. The waters begin to flow through the channel of the “slave” class from their restoration in 1919. This “river” is described as going eastward, in the direction of greater light, signifying that the Society’s publications of truth would be progressing in the light of truth as the years advanced after 1919. Ezekiel makes a periodic survey, every thousand cubits, of the increasing depths of this river, which first was ankle deep, then up to the knees, and further up to the loins, and finally the river was so deep that one had to swim if he wished to cross it.—Ezek. 47:1-5. So in the latter days of fulfillment a periodic survey of every three years shows a steady increasing in the spiritual depth and clarity of the published waters of truth by the Watch Tower Society. From whom then, have these waters of truth flowed? Who has brought to light the false teachings of an immortal soul or hellfire and the trinity doctrine or all good people go to heaven? From whom did we learn of God's kingdom and the earth becoming a paradise and a resurrection would take place here on earth? What organization brought to light the history of the pagan celebrations of Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, Samhain (halloween) purgatory, limbo etc. etc.? So then, who is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics to give them their food at the proper time? The slave and the domestics are the same persons, only from different viewpoints. Under the term “slave” Christ’s anointed followers of today are viewed as a class, a composite slave or composite servant. God himself so interprets matters: “Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen.” (Isa. 43:10, AS) Note that many witnesses are called one servant. Under the term “domestics” those making up the slave class are viewed as individuals. They are spoken of as “body of attendants” at Luke 12:42 (NW). Murdock’s translation from the Syriac agrees in using “domestics” at Matthew 24:45, and another translation from the Syriac, by A. S. Lewis, renders it “companions”, that is, companion slaves. They are domestic slaves in the household of God and, as a united class or society, are termed “the faithful and discreet slave”. Similarly, when a number of domestics turn wicked and start to beat their fellow slaves these evildoers become the foretold “evil slave” class.—Matt. 24:48-51, NW. Matthew 24:45-51 shows the service privileges granted to the faithful ones as a class and the punishment meted out to the unfaithful ones as a class. Matthew 25:14-30 shows the Lord’s dealing with faithful and unfaithful slaves as individuals. As individuals each one must strive to measure up to the Master’s requirements. United as a faithful company of slaves they comprise a visible theocratic organization and in Jesus’ illustration here under discussion are pictured as a “faithful and discreet slave”, and this composite slave class must see to it that it provides properly for all its individual members, the domestics. Prior to the coming of the Master, Christ Jesus, it must be providing for all its members “their food at the proper time”. It must also be noted that God does not have several discreet-slave classes, several theocratic organizations among which the work is divided. “Does Christ exist divided?” No! It is “one body”.—1 Cor. 1:13; 12:12, 13 “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics to give them their food at the proper time?” In 1878, forty years before the Lord’s coming to the temple for judgment, there was a class of sincere consecrated Christians that had broken away from the hierarchic and clergy organizations and who sought to get back to true Christianity, as practiced by early Christians before the grievous wolves ravished the flock after the death of the apostles. They launched a campaign to restore the fundamental truths for the spiritually hungry to feed upon, to replace the pagan doctrines that had been adopted by apostate Christendom. It was the proper time for such spiritual food, to prepare the way before Christ’s coming for judgment at the temple. (Mal. 3:1; 4:5, 6) This group of faithful students began publication of The Watchtower, then called “Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence”, and in the first issue, July 1879, its announced purpose was to provide “meat in due season” to the “little flock”. The facts show that it did this from 1879 on. In 1884 they formed a legal corporation to represent in a business or legal way the society of witnesses or ministers. Down to this day the legal corporation, the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, has been used as an agency to publish for and direct and unify the preaching activities of the society of witnesses overspreading the earth. When Christ came for judgment in 1918 he found some associated with this group that thought the Lord had delayed his coming and they were oppressing their fellow slaves in Christ. These were cast off as the “evil slave” class. Those faithfully serving God were identified as the “faithful and discreet slave” class.
@James Thomas Rook Jr. BROTHER LETT'S TALK WAS FROM THE 2014 INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION WHICH RELEASED THIS BOOK https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/publication/r1/lp-e/kr/E/2014 "OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB" YOU'VE TRIED YOUR BEST TO WEAVE....BUT DO IT WITH SOMEONE ELSE. “MEʹNE, MEʹNE, TEʹKEL (Daniel 5:24, 25) MEʹNE, God has numbered your days - TEʹKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and have been found deficient.”
@James Thomas Rook Jr. MASTURBATION IS NOT INTERCOURSE - IT IS SELF ABUSE. The Bible’s View of Masturbation There are those that have said that the Bible describes masturbation in Genesis chapter 38, and that Onan was put to death for the offense. But this is not true. The Bible says that when Onan “did have relations with his brother’s wife he wasted his semen on the earth.” (Genesis 38:9) So apparently Onan interrupted sexual relations with Tamar, spilling his semen on the ground rather than giving it to Tamar. He did this because he did not want to raise up children in the name of his dead brother. And it was for this failure to perform “brother-in-law marriage” that Onan was put to death. Two other passages in the Hebrew Scriptures have been discussed in literature dealing with the Bible’s view of masturbation. The first, Deuteronomy 23:10 and 11, tells of the situation when the Israelites were in a military encampment. According to Today’s English Version, it says: “If a man becomes unclean because he has had a wet dream during the night, he is to go outside the camp and stay there. Toward evening he is to wash himself, and at sunset he may come back into camp.” But what is mentioned here is not masturbation. Masturbation is defined as: “Erotic stimulation of the genital organs commonly resulting in orgasm and achieved by manual or other bodily contact.” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1981) Jehovah God so created males that, when they do not engage in sexual intercourse, they will from time to time spontaneously emit semen during sleep. This emission is often accompanied by an erotic dream, hence the expression “a wet dream.” Since the emission usually occurs at night, it may also be called a “nocturnal emission.” The other passage discussing this matter is Leviticus 15:16, 17, which says: “Now in case a man has an emission of semen go out from him, he must then bathe all his flesh in water and be unclean until the evening. And any garment and any skin upon which the emission of semen gets to be must be washed with water and be unclean until the evening.” Apparently this passage is not referring to masturbation. Evidently it is referring to the aforementioned “wet dream.” Although the Bible mentions an ‘uncleanness’ in association with the emission of semen, this is a ceremonial not a moral uncleanness. This is obvious when we note in the next verse Le 15:18 that an Israelite man and wife incurred the same uncleanness when engaging in their God-approved marital relations. Well, then, do the Christian Greek Scriptures say anything about masturbation? No, they do not discuss the subject. Not even wet dreams are mentioned. But does that mean that the Christian Greek Scriptures give no direction in forming a proper attitude toward masturbation? No, it does not. Consider Colossians 3:5, which reads: “Deaden, therefore, your body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness.” And 1 Thessalonians 4:4, 5 says: “Each one . . . should . . . get possession of his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in covetous sexual appetite such as also those nations have which do not know God.” Such counsel applies to married Christians as well as to those who are single, but even more restraint needs to be exercised by single persons since finding relief of passion by sexual relations is limited to those who are married. Can you see that masturbation is a practice that violates the command to deaden “sexual appetite”? True, Jehovah created humans with an appetite, or desire, for sex, even as he created us with an appetite for food and drink. So the Bible is not saying that having sexual appetite is wrong, just as it does not condemn having a natural, proper appetite for food and drink. Yet we know that in our imperfect condition, appetites can get out of control. A person can come to have an inordinate desire for food or alcoholic beverages and become a glutton or a drunkard. Similarly, sex can become a chief or prominent part of a person’s life, and he can thus become like people of the nations who have a “covetous sexual appetite.” A person who masturbates is putting improper emphasis on sex. He feeds and enlivens his sexual craving in a wrong way. Yet not only men are involved; there has been an increase of masturbation among women. God, however, provided humans the gift of sex to use within the arrangement of marriage. But a masturbator is using sex outside the marriage arrangement for personal gratification. Such a person needs to deaden his sexual appetite in order to please God. He needs to cultivate the self-control that is necessary to de-emphasize sex in his life and to leave his sexual organs to adjust to any pressures in the normal way. Jesus taught: “Everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) A masturbator often has such kinds of passionate thoughts, fantasizing about having sexual relations. Such a person is certainly not living in accordance with Christ’s teaching. There can be no question that these who feed their sexual appetite by masturbating are violating God’s instructions to DEADEN their sexual appetite. But how can a person deaden his sexual appetite and keep from masturbating? True, for people who have practiced this type of self-abuse, it can be a real fight to stop it. But one should not give up in the fight! With Jehovah’s help, a person can succeed. He should first develop a hatred for the practice. (Psalm 97:10) Then it is vital that he make the firm determination in his mind and heart to stop masturbating. He must make it a continual subject of his prayers; then he needs to work at what he prays for. He cannot, as it were, feed the flames of passion by reading or looking at things that stir his sexual appetite. Nor can he be talking about matters that feed his inclination to masturbate. Rather, he must keep busy in theocratic pursuits, in meeting attendance, field service, making return visits, conducting Bible studies, helping others spiritually, and he will receive the strength to control his sexual appetite. If the problem persists, he should not hesitate to seek help from an elder in his congregation. A sister with the problem might seek the help and support of an older sister in the congregation. There is no question about it—keeping integrity to Jehovah calls for a hard fight. But it is worth it! If we fight now against our sinfully inclined flesh, then Jehovah will grant us complete victory in his righteous, clean New Order. Just imagine! Then we will see Jehovah’s glorious purpose fulfilled—an earth filled with people living in Paradise—all of them brought into existence as a result of the marvelous gift of sex with which God created us.
@James Thomas Rook Jr. Search Research categories Â Home Social sciences Encyclopedias almanacs transcripts and maps Porneia Â YOUR 20 SECOND BLURB OUT OF A HALF HOUR TALK IS TYPICAL OF AN APOSTATE. WHY WOULD ONE DO THAT IF NOT TO DECEIVE.Â SEXUAL INTERCOURSE = PORNEIA Porneia Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Culture Society History COPYRIGHT 2007 Thomson Gale This is the definition of Porneia The Greek word porneia refers to prostitution, with the related terms porne and pornos referring to female and male prostitutes, respectively. In ancient Athens prostitution was legal and was taxed, although it was considered both illegal and shameful for freeborn citizens. Thus, in seeking to discredit a rival, the Athenian orator and politician Apollodorus charged his enemy's partner Neaira with being a porne (c. 340s bce; Demosthenes, Against Neaira). In another famous case Aeschines prosecuted his opponent Timarchus for prostitution, arguing that a man who sold his body for profit could never be trusted with the affairs of the city (c. 346Â–345 bce; Aeschines, Against Timarchus). Porneia thus had a decidedly negative connotation, and expressions such as pornes huios ("son of a whore") were used as pointed slurs. In the moralizing literature of the first and second centuries ce, men were warned not to squander their inheritance on pornai and were condemned as licentious (akolasia) if they overindulged in trips to the brothel. Tax receipts, legal documents, and historical writings from the Roman period show that prostitution continued to be regulated and taxed despite the fact that porneiaÂ—with an expanded sense indicating any illicit sexÂ—was condemned by Greco-Roman moralists. A double meaning of porneia prevailed: porneia as a recognized profession forced upon slaves or taken up by impoverished persons of low status and porne or pornos as a sharp insult that could be directed at "honorable" men or women. The rhetorical potential of the category porneia was used effectively by early Christian authors to target outsiders accused of visiting prostitutes, engaging in incest at brothels, and confusing former prostitutes with inspired prophetesses (1 Corinthians 5-6; Revelation 2:20-22; Hermas, Similitudes, 9.13.9; Justin, 1 Apology, 36; Irenaeus, Against the Heresies, 1.6.3, 1.23.3, 1.25.3). Those authors built upon a tradition they had inherited from the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible), in which idolatryÂ—worshiping gods other than the god of IsraelÂ—was associated with improper sexual acts, including incest, male homoerotic sexual intercourse, and bestiality. Thus, Israelites were warned not to "play the whore" (porne) by going after other gods (Hosea 4:15-19, Septuagint) and Canaanites were said to "prostitute themselves" (ekporneuo) to their gods (Exodus 34:15-16, Septuagint). Equating false religiosity with sexual acts, authors such as John of Patmos called their enemies "whores" (pornai; Revelation 2:21-22, 17-18). A tendency to confuse highly charged Christian rhetoric with historical fact has contributed to the stereotype of the "pagan" or "heretical" commitment to sexual excess, especially in the context of religious rituals. For example, Paul's anxiety about porneia in Corinth (1 Corinthians 5-7), combined with comments in other first-century literature about the hetairai ("companions" or "courtesans") associated with the temple of Aphrodite (Strabo, Geography, 8.6.20), has been taken as evidence of sacred prostitution despite a lack of archaeological evidence. This interpretation fails to recognize the metonymic equivalence of porneia and impiety in Christian sources. Porneia was and continues to be a widely applied loaded term that is as useful for slandering various targets as for describing a social and economic practice. Â
@James Thomas Rook Jr. EXCEPT, the Slave's existence does not depend on pacifying a client, employee or volunteer. Their continued success (since 1870) Is Jehovah's spirit. Prospective volunteers continue to fill out applications and flock to Jehovah's organization. The Governing Body is directed by Jehovah himself. The problem isn't modest dress it is the corrupted reasoning by apostates. Nit picking, whiners mirror 1914 and what happened to those who tried to bring in apostate teaching and thinking? The were cast out/ thrown out where they still fought amongst themselves until they split into several splinter groups which are never ever heard from. @James Thomas Rook Jr. Everybody in the office knew what the problem really was ... EXCEPT MANAGEMENT. WOW!! Is that meant to be a threat? I'm sure the Slave will take your rebellious diatribe under consideration. If one is not part of the sheep fold, its because the shepherd did not call their name.
@JOHN BUTLER "Traditions of men" are the designers of the couture of the day. Whatever a so called fashion house thinks will sell. Those are the traditions of men which have nothing to do with being modest but blatantly immodest. Are the designers looking to please God or their pocket book? There is a wide variety of styles and/or colors that can be chosen as long as the clothing is not revealing breasts or emphasizing genitalia. However, "traditions of men" do not follow those guidelines. The apostle councils "Obey your spiritual leaders, and what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit." Acts 20:28 " Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed YOU overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own [Son]. I must emphasize that the door opens the same whether your going out or coming in. The world welcomes all those who desire to look as though they are wearing their baby brother's clothing. "Traditions" are waiting for you on the other side of the door. The Governing Body is there to do oversight of Jehovah's organization, just as in the first century. If you can speak 930 languages, send out thousands of envoys into 240 lands - then feel free, no one is stopping you. If you can build Bethel homes and translation facilities, If you can care for disaster relief for millions then have at it. But markedly, those who constantly find fault with the "Governing Body, The Slave" do not leave because they want to preserve their complaining behinds. They actually think that they will be preserved alive through the tribulation and that Jehovah has not already read their hearts. Free Will, The Choice is yours.
@James Thomas Rook Jr. I remember when I used to attend Catholic school and church, the girls had to wear head coverings and dresses, the hem of which had to be below the knees. The boys had to wear shirts, ties and slacks. It was called respect for where you were and standing before God in modesty. Then as the churches began to loose so many parishioners and the pews became empty, the hierarchy gave up the idea of modesty and decorum and now allows men and women to wear shorts, T shirts, flip flops, hair curlers and no head coverings. I read an article, a few months back, where med students did a study taking swabs of chairs in public places, seats in theaters and on public transportation and various other public places and they found feces, blood, urine and other various bodily fluids on a mass scale. It may be cute and titillating to see a girl walking around and bending over while in her preferred attire, however, most people gag at what they may be exposing themselves to. Lack of respect and lack of modesty for God and your fellow man is at the crux of the matter. Everyone has freedom, freewill to do what is within their purview as acceptable. But if one calls themselves a Witness of Jehovah, their metamorphosis must be complete as to Christian dress, grooming, behavior and as the apostle Paul admonishes at Romans 12: 2 "Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. (WHY?) Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." WE do not have to be exposed to a piece of cloth stretched across someone's genitals to know he's a male, we do not have to be exposed to a thong and bare behind to know we are in the company of a female. We do not need hypocrites, with their pretend piety and lips dripping death dealing venom, in our midst when there are hundreds of "come as YOU are and do what YOU want" religions available to them.