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More emphasis on good news about Jesus Christ


Kosonen
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Very simply put, for Jehovah's witnesses 'good news' is about the everlasting life on earth in a coming paradise. That is the first thing Jehovah's witnesses tell people while preaching. And then secondly that Jesus will rule the earth under 1000 years. That is also what Jehovah's witnesses usually think of very much and they wait eagerly for Armageddon and wish that this would come as soon as possible. I know that, I used to think like that, just waiting for those blessings to come. 

But I had for a long time not fully understood nor appreciated what the 'good news', the gospel is about. Based on one scripture Matthew 24:14 it seemed to be only about God's kingdom, a new government for the earth from God. That is the impression you easily get if you only read Matthew 24:14. 

But to really understand what is God's kingdom we have to almost equate that with Jesus. That is evident from for example the following scriptures:

Jesus said referring to himself in Luke 17:21 For look! the Kingdom of God is in your midst.”

Mark 9:1 Furthermore, he said to them: “Truly I say to you that there are some of those standing here who will not taste death at all until first they see the Kingdom of God already having come in power.”+ 2  Six days later Jesus took Peter and James and John along and led them up into a lofty mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them;

And apostle Paul declared the Good news about God's kingdom like this on one occasion

Acts 17:30,31.”True, God has overlooked the times of such ignorance; but now he is declaring to all people everywhere that they should repent.  Because he has set a day on which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and he has provided a guarantee to all men by resurrecting him from the dead.”

And the following scriptures give more evidence about the fact that the 'good news' that would be preached to the most distant part of the earth would be very much about Jesus personally, that he died as a sacrifice for people's sins and that people could now be forgiven their sins and get the gift of eternal life from God and that Jesus was resurrected and would come back to judge the wicked and be king over the whole earth. 

So here is a compilation of scriptures that tell how much the preaching message was about Jesus.

Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the holy spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Ju·deʹa and Sa·marʹi·a, and to the most distant part* of the earth.”

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God:

2 Cor 1;19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you through us

2 Thess 1:8 the good news about our Lord Jesus.

1 Thess 3:2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s minister* in the good news about the Christ

Eph 3:8  so that I should declare to the nations the good news about the unfathomable riches of the Christ

Col 4:3 3  At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open a door for the word so that we can declare the sacred secret about the Christ, for which I am in prison bonds,

1 Cor 1:23 but we preach Christ executed on the stake, to the Jews a cause for stumbling but to the nations foolishness.

1 Tim 2:5  For there is one God,  and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, 6  who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all*—this is what is to be witnessed to in its own due time. 7  For the purpose of this witness I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—a teacher of nations in the matter of faith and truth.

Phil 1:15,16  True, some are preaching the Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16  The latter are proclaiming the Christ out of love, for they know that I have been appointed to defend the good news;

2 Cor 4:4,5  the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God,...For we are preaching, not about ourselves, but about Jesus Christ as Lord 

2 Cor 5:18,19 But all things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of the reconciliation, 19  namely, that God was by means of Christ reconciling a world to himself, not counting their offenses against them, and he entrusted to us the message of the reconciliation.

2 Cor 10:14 Really, we are not overextending ourselves as if we did not reach you, for we were the first to reach as far as you with the good news about the Christ.

1 Cor 9:12 but we are enduring all things so that we might not in any way hinder the good news about the Christ

Rom 1:1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus and called to be an apostle, set apart for God’s good news, 2  which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son…9 For God, to whom I render sacred service with my spirit in connection with the good news about his Son,

Rom 15:19 I have thoroughly preached the good news about the Christ.

Rom 16:25  Now to Him who can make you firm according to the good news I declare and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the sacred secret that has been kept in silence for long-lasting times 26  but has now been made manifest* and has been made known through the prophetic Scriptures among all the nations according to the command of the everlasting God to promote obedience by faith; 

Acts 5:42 And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus.

Acts 11:20 and began talking to the Greek-speaking people, declaring the good news of the Lord Jesus.

Revelation 19:10 ….. I am only a fellow slave of you and of your brothers who have the work of witnessing concerning Jesus. Worship God! For the witness concerning Jesus is what inspires prophecy.”

Revelation 12:17 ...who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness concerning Jesus.

Revelation 20:4 Yes, I saw the souls* of those executed* for the witness they gave about Jesus and for speaking about God,



 

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Very simply put, for Jehovah's witnesses 'good news' is about the everlasting life on earth in a coming paradise. That is the first thing Jehovah's witnesses tell people while preaching. And then seco

Maybe you should take some time to read our publications to get a clearer understanding of what we officially believe. While I can't speak for the point of view of individuals such as yourself, I can

Yes, you are diminishing Jesus, because that is where the WT leads you into. They have tricked you into diminishing Jesus. And I do my best to correct your thinking.    A common opinion amon

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On 1/3/2020 at 3:48 PM, Kosonen said:

Very simply put, for Jehovah's witnesses 'good news' is about the everlasting life on earth in a coming paradise.

Maybe you should take some time to read our publications to get a clearer understanding of what we officially believe. While I can't speak for the point of view of individuals such as yourself, I can highlight what we are officially taught and what I am aware of myself.

This is from the "Insight Book volume 1 under "Good News" which is there for all to see.

"GOOD NEWS  This refers to the good news of the kingdom of God and of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. It is called in the Bible the 'good news of the kingdom' (Mt. 4:23), 'the good news of God' (Rom.15:16), 'the good news about Jesus Christ (Mr. 1:1), 'the good news of the undeserved kindness of God' (Ac. 20:24), 'the good news of peace' (Eph. 6:15), and the 'everlasting good news." (Re. 14:6)...It's Content  An idea of the content and scope of the good news can be gained from the above designations. It includes all the truths about which Jesus spoke and the disciples wrote. While men of old hoped in God and had faith through knowledge of Him. God's purpose and underserved kindness were first 'made clearly evident throughout the manifestation of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has abolished death but has shed light upon life and incorruption through the good news. 2 Ti. 1:9, 10...Jesus' Earthly Ministry and His Return.  It is noteworthy that, for about six  months before Jesus came to him for baptism, John the Baptizer preached: 'Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near,' and when Jesus appeared, John pointed to Jesus as the 'Lamb of Go that takes away the sin of the world.' (Mt. 3:1 2. Joh 1;29). Thus he turned the people's attention toward the long-awaited Messianic King. (Ac. 19:4)...While Jesus was on earth, he and his disciples announced: "The kingdom of he heavens has drawn near." (Mt. 4:17, 10:7). Jesus, anointed as Christ, the King, said to the Pharisees, his enemies: 'The kingdom of God is in your midst.' (Lu 17:20, 21) This was the theme, or central point, of the good news during Jesus' earthly ministry. However, it is not reported that after Jesus' death the disciples proclaimed the Kingdom as having 'drawn near' or as being at hand. Rather, the good news they preached was that after Jesus had laid down his life as the ransom price for salvation, he ascended to heaven and was then sitting at God's right hand. They also preached about Jesus' return at a later time and his Kingdom to come. (Heb. 10:12, 13; 2 Tim. 4:1; Re. 11:15; 12:10; 22:20, compare Lu 19:12, 15)" - end of quote.

  So the "good news" involves more than one aspect. So to be fair, JW's always acknowledge Jesus' role as Saviour and King and Redeemer and we do that each and every day and several times a day. After all, when we pray, don't we acknowledge Jesus' office in our prayers - praying in his name? We pray that way in our personal prayers, at mealtimes, at congregation meetings, at assemblies, district conventions, memorial, meetings for field service and even when conducting Bible studies with interested ones. So if you are insinuating we are somehow diminishing Jesus in our preaching and daily lives, I would suggest you are not being very honest. 

Even in the GOOD NEWS brochure that we discuss with people in our ministry, a consideration of Jesus and his role and importance comes before a consideration on the kingdom and is true also of other publications. ( ie. What Does the Bible Really Teach?) 

So while we do in fact highlight what Jesus and God's Kingdom will accomplish in behalf of mankind, it's a judgment call as to what aspect we may highlight according to the householder. For instance, in North America and much of Europe, there are hundreds of millions of Christians within tens of thousands of denominations. What is one thing they almost all have in common with us today - centuries after Jesus? That we believe Jesus is the Messiah, that he is a king, that salvation is only possible through faith in him, that God's promises are 'Amen' through him, that there is 'not another name under heaven by which we can gain salvation...'" So if our ministry only focused on preaching a message we all already agree with, of what use is it? However, the message regarding God's Kingdom, what it will accomplish, who will benefit and what benefits there will be and the issue of universal sovereignty is largely lost or entirely missing to most people - Christian or otherwise. Jesus didn't put praying for 'God's Kingdom to come' near the top of the Lord's Prayer list for nothing. After all, how many Christians who pray for 'God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven...' know what that purpose is? Is it really to destroy the earth in a fireball?

So if JW's highlight an aspect of the Good News (earthly paradise or more...) that is necessary for people to know about, and are unaware of already, what of it?

 

 

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23 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

So if you are insinuating we are somehow diminishing Jesus in our preaching and daily lives, I would suggest you are not being very honest. 

 

 

Yes, you are diminishing Jesus, because that is where the WT leads you into. They have tricked you into diminishing Jesus. And I do my best to correct your thinking. 

 

A common opinion among Jehovah's witnesses is that all glory and honor should go to Jehovah God, even for all Jesus did for us. But that is not scriptural. And WT quote so much from the Old Testament that confuse JWs to fully appreciate Jesus. WT quotes old testament where it says that Jehovah God requires exclusive devotion and that Jehovah God will not share his glory with anyone.

Too strict application of these scriptures blocks JWs minds to understand that we should honor and love Jesus after he suffered a sacrificial death on the torture stake. JWs usually think that all the glory for our salvation should go only to Jehovah. But that is not really the case. Because to be fair Jehovah God himself now wants that all, including angels should appreciate what Jesus accomplished by giving his life as a sacrifice in a very difficult and painful way. 

Because Jehovah God is a fair God he wants that Jesus gets a part of the credit for saving mankind.

That is why Jehovah God elevated Jesus to a higher position after he had suffered. And now God wants that people thank both Him and his Son Jesus for salvation. Here are the best scriptures I could find about that in the Bible. Unfortunately the WT has not been able to teach these truths effectively. Instead as I already wrote JWs think that all the glory for ransom should go to Jehovah God. 

 

John 5:22  For the Father judges no one at all, but he has entrusted all the judging to the Son,& 23  so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

Psalms 2:12 Honor* the son, or God* will become indignant

And you will perish from the way,

Revelation 5:12,13  11 And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads* and thousands of thousands, and they were saying with a loud voice: “The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” 

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, and all the things in them, saying: “To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.”

Revelation 7:10  And they keep shouting with a loud voice, saying: “Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne,+ and to the Lamb.”

Phi 2:8 More than that, when he came as a man,* he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, yes, death on a torture stake.

9 For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name,+ 10  so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend—of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground— 11  and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Revelation 5:8 When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb,

Hebrews 1:6 But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all of God’s angels do obeisance to him.”

Revelation 1:5 To him who loves us and who set us free from our sins by means of his own blood— 6  and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—yes, to him be the glory and the might forever. Amen.

This does not make Jesus equal to Jehovah. Jehovah God is and will always remain the creator and eternal without begining. And He should be respected as such. But conserning the salvation of mankind, here Jehovah God is clearly not taking all the credit for himself. Instead he wants that his son Jesus gets some serious credit for that. And that is fair, because Jesus suffered tremendously in giving his life as a sacrifice for our sins. Surely all angels in heaven were happy that Jesus took this assignment. Otherwise some other angel would have been asked to do it, I suppose.
 

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On 1/6/2020 at 1:36 PM, Kosonen said:

Yes, you are diminishing Jesus, because that is where the WT leads you into. They have tricked you into diminishing Jesus. And I do my best to correct your thinking. 

A common opinion among Jehovah's witnesses is that all glory and honor should go to Jehovah God, even for all Jesus did for us. But that is not scriptural. And WT quote so much from the Old Testament that confuse JWs to fully appreciate Jesus. WT quotes old testament where it says that Jehovah God requires exclusive devotion and that Jehovah God will not share his glory with anyone.

Too strict application of these scriptures blocks JWs minds to understand that we should honor and love Jesus after he suffered a sacrificial death on the torture stake. JWs usually think that all the glory for our salvation should go only to Jehovah.

Sorry that I've been too busy to respond earlier. Does the WT really lead us into diminishing Jesus? I referenced the scriptures you had cited in the WT library and found that the number of "occurrences" referring to those scriptures was as follows:

John 5:22 (166); Psalm 2:12 (238); Rev. 5:11-13 (414); Rev. 7:10 (1184); Phil. 2:8-11 (1561); Rev. 5:8 (167); Heb. 1:6 (156) for a total of three thousand, eight hundred and eighty-six times those 7 scriptures pertaining to Jesus were referred to. True, this included oblique references in that they didn't directly relate to the specific aspect of this conversation, but there were also many that were. Although I will include a partial quote from just one of those thousands of WT references, it should give us a better idea of what they actually teach. The question also worth asking is: When it comes to assigning honour, praise and glory, what example did Jesus himself set for all Christians? Anyway, below is just a smidgen of what WT readers know to expect: (I am putting this quote at the end so if you don't have the time to read it all you don't have to, and won't include the many scriptures ((most/all from the New Testament)) included to save space):

 "Now we come to the matter of honoring Jesus Christ. That his followers are obligated to honor him can be seen from his words at John 5:22, 23: 'For the Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son just as they honour the Father. He that does not honor the Son does not honour the Father who sent him." Since Christ's resurrection, Jehovah has honored his Son to an even greater degree, 'crowning him with glory and honour for having suffered death.' Basically, we have reasons to honor Jesus both because of who he is and because of what he has done. 

  Jesus Christ deserves our honor because he, as the Logos, or Word, is Jehovah's communicator pare excellence...he is the only one directly created by Jehovah. In addition, 'all things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.'...Surely, the fact that Jesus in his prehuman existence had the marvellous privilege of sharing with Jehovah God in creation makes him worthy of great honor...

  Jesus Christ further deserves honor because he is Jehovah's chief angel, or archangel...The archangel Michael fights in behalf of God's Kingdom, taking the lead in cleansing the heavens of Satan and his demonic hordes...

  Not only does Jesus Christ deserve to be honored because of who he is but he also deserves our honor because of what he has done...(He) remained 'loyal, guileless, separated from sinners' in spite of all that the Devil could bring upon him in the way of temptations or persecutions...And because of his keeping sinless integrity, Jesus vindicated his heavenly Father as the rightful universal Sovereign and proved the Devil to be a base and gross liar... 

  Jesus Christ deserves our honor, not only because he lived a perfect, sinless life but also because he was a good man, an unselfish, self-sacrificing man. He tirelessly ministered to the spiritual and physical needs of the people...What suffering he was willing to undergo in doing his Father's will! 

  Jesus also deserves our honor because of the king example he set for us in honouring his heavenly Father...by his words and deeds...Therefore, at the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus could rightly say in prayer to his heavenly Father: 'I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do.'

  What He Has Done for US

  How greatly Jesus Christ is deserving of our honor because of all he has accomplished for us! He died for our sins so that we can be reconciled to Jehovah God...Thus his death made possible all that the Kingdom will accomplish for us humans.

  Jesus Christ is also deserving of honor because, as the Great Teacher, he has perfectly revealed his Father's will and personality to us. ...

  The apostle Paul well summarized Jesus' honor-deserving course when he wrote: 'Although he was existing in God's form (he) gave no consideration to a seizure, namely that he should be equal to God...

How Can We Honor the Son?

  We do so by exercising faith in his ransom sacrifice, and we prove that faith by taking the necessary steps of repentance, conversion , dedication, and baptism. By coming to Jehovah in prayer in Jesus' name, we honor Jesus. We further honor him when we heed his words: 'If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and continually follow me. We honor Jesus Christ when we heed his instructions to keep seeking first God's Kingdom and his righteousness. and we honor him when we heed his command to share in the disciple-making work. Again, we honor Jesus when we manifest the brotherly love he said would identify all his true followers.

  Further, we bring honor to the Son by taking upon ourselves his name, calling ourselves Christians, and then by living up to that name by our fine conduct...And certainly, when we annually celebrate the Memorial of Christ's death, we accord him special honor..."

  

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@b4ucuhear No problem that it took some time to reply. Freely let it take same days or more if needed. I appreciate answers that are well founded on research. 

And I appreciate that you found quotes making clear that we should honor God's Son Jesus Christ. But a vital question still is, how much? How much compared to the elders, the organization, the Governing Body and Jehovah God. And also a question remains how much should we love Jesus? What I see is that other churches seem to love Jesus so much more than Jehovah's witnesses. Maybe the WT organization purposefully subtly discourages people not to love Jesus to the extent he should be loved? It seems to me that WT organization is so zealous for Jehovah after adopting the name Jehovah's witnesses, that Jesus does not get what he deserves.

When I have read the Christian Greek scriptures an hour a day for a month or so,  I have been struck by how much space there is for Jesus. The first thought I got was, for example did apostle Paul love Jesus too much? That was my spontaneous feeling having a concience educated by the WT organization. But I had to be logic, and accept that apostle Paul could not be wrong. And that I should instead have as much love and appreciation for Jesus as he had along with deepest love for Jehovah God.

For example apostle Paul's letters to Philipians and Colossians reflect his love for Jesus in a remarkable way, in my opinion.

I would like to hear your thoughts on that. 

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6 hours ago, Kosonen said:

But a vital question still is, how much? How much compared to the elders, the organization, the Governing Body and Jehovah God.

Personally, I would without hesitation say more than the elders, organization and Governing Body - and I doubt you would get any JW disagreeing with that regardless of what you may think. Easy enough question to ask though. I'm just one JW. There are plenty of others you could ask. As for how much we should love Jesus compared to Jehovah God his Father and the Creator of all, I would say it would be best to adopt Jesus' own viewpoint on that. (I don't need to tell you what his answer would be). I would agree that it's very possible that some JW's give less attention and respect to Jesus than he deserves - although that could be said of individuals found in any Christian religion and I am not in a position to quantify percentages with polls to substantiate that. 

6 hours ago, Kosonen said:

What I see is that other churches seem to love Jesus so much more than Jehovah's witnesses.

Well I don't need to tell you that most Christian religions "worship" Jesus. So the the love they should be showing Jehovah as God they direct to Jesus. Rom. 10:2 "For I bear witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to accurate knowledge. 3) For because of not knowing the righteousness of God but seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God." It's also fair to say that some religions in particular, are very much based on emotion and hyperbole. John 4:22 "You worship who you do not know; we worship what we know..." It can be VERY difficult to carry on a Bible-based discussion with people who place their emotional feelings of being "special," to Jesus above what the Bible clearly states. That is why these "lovers of Jesus" are prepared to go to war and kill their fellow believers in Jesus' name. "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" was one well known song. 

6 hours ago, Kosonen said:

For example apostle Paul's letters to Philipians and Colossians reflect his love for Jesus in a remarkable way, in my opinion.

Agreed. I would also mention however, that running around saying "I love Jesus,"  "praise Jesus" and "Hallelujah" (which most Christians don't even know the meaning of), is not in of itself an indication that they do in fact love Jesus. If they did love Jesus, they would be obedient to his commands as recorded in the Bible. This is one indication that JW's do in fact produce the fruitage showing they love Jesus as opposed to just emotional hot air. Ask yourself: Who would you rather be facing across the border in a time of war? A JW or any other so-called lover of Jesus? 

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