Accurately Interpreting the Scriptures Part 2: Interpreting Psalm 37

Jehovah's Witnesses and Psalm 37

My purpose in this series is to help equip Christians interpret the Bible correctly.  This will not be a class in hermeneutics (science and art of interpretation) but just some general guidelines that have helped me when I talk about the Bible.

The two Jehovah's Witnesses at my door read from their Bible, the New World Translation, Psalm 37:29 (NWT): “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” I told them I was familiar with Psalm 37 and it spoke of two classes of people on the earth; the righteous and the wicked.  I said your organization adds a 3rd class of people called the 144,000.  I asked if the Bible says there are two classes of people, where do the 144,000 belong?  Are they wicked or are they righteous? And if they are righteous, Psalm 37:29 says they will reside on earth forever and not in heaven (they believe only the 144,000 will be in heaven).  The men didn’t answer and immediately changed the subject.  This is a typical tactic of Jehovah Witnesses.

First we need to understand the context of Psalm 37.  Jehovah's Witnesses love to take passages out of context and share with unsuspecting people.  As I told them the entire Psalm deals with these two classes of people; the righteous and the wicked.  The writer David seems to be showing the superiority of doing right, as opposed to evil; he also exalts the superiority of delighting in God.  David says in verse 3 to trust in God and do good deeds; sounds like excellent advice to me.  As for the wicked, David writes in verse 28, they will perish.

Now we get to Psalm 37:29 (NASB) and it says, The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.” The New World Translation says the righteous will inherit the earth and the New American Standard Bible says the righteous will inherit the land.  The Hebrew word in question is “erets” and can be translated as either earth or land (it is translated land twice as much as earth).  Is it earth or land and why is that important?

I will not debate which it is, I’ll leave that for Hebrew scholars; I do not think it matters.  In my reading I believe this verse harkens back to the promises of God given to Abraham as part of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1-3).  In that promise God said through Abraham He would build a nation (consisting of a people, land, and government), He would provide protection, and bless them and they would be a blessing to the nations.

Today followers of Jesus Christ are spiritual offspring of Abraham and as such, experience the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant.  I believe Psalm 37 is projecting forward the blessing of this covenant and focusing on the promise of a land.  My understanding is this land is spoken about in Revelations where it is called a “new heaven and new earth.”  All followers of Jesus Christ will physically live for eternity on the new earth fulfilling what David wrote in Psalm 37 “The righteous will inherit the land (earth) and dwell in it forever.”

All of this will occur after we die and spend time in heaven, waiting for the day spoken of in Revelations where our individual spirit will be reunited with our resurrected body.  This will be a glorious day for the righteous or the true followers of Jesus Christ.  Revelations and the Psalms teach the righteous will inherit the land; all part of the Abrahamic Covenant.

This is not how the Jehovah's Witnesses interpret Psalm 37:29.  In part 3 I will deal with the issue of a 3rd group, what Jehovah's Witnesses call the 144,000.  Their organization tries to make a case the 144,000 are ones destined for heaven.  I will show this interpretation is false.

Go to part 3 here

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{ 49 comments… add one }
  • Jenni in KS July 14, 2009, 4:07 pm

    I do not agree with all of what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach. However, wouldn’t it best to point specifically to what the Scriptures do say and provide references? Rather than writing what you feel or believe Scripture says, why not just say exactly what it says? An effective formal argument of this type is impossible without Scriptural evidence. Without that, it’s just the opinions of men, which don’t count for much. Better yet, why not approach God’s Word without the intent to argue and your preconceived notions of what it says or does not say? That’s the most honest approach. It’s too easy to get it wrong when you come at it from the angle of proving someone else wrong or your own ideas and what you’ve been taught right.

    Just a little food for thought:o)

  • Marvin July 14, 2009, 10:54 pm

    I agree with the comment above from Jenni. Referring to the contents of the Bible itself is the best way to discuss differences. I believe it highly important that we leave our own opinions out, and remain fervent in what the Bible teaches.

    In regard to the 144,000, I wanted to comment. I am Seventh-day Adventist, and this is a topic I’ve come across the last couple of Bible studies with others. In the Bible here, in Revelation the 14th chapter, the apostle Paul mentions the 144,000, saying that “Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.”

    So, here I interpret this as the 144,000 having a significant and integral part in the last days.

    Then, it goes on, in the 4th verse, “These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes.”

    The last part is very important, that “they follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” We can all agree that the Bible is here to be both interpreted and taken literal, depending upon the section, theme, etc. In a recent Bible study, I and another were studying the sanctuary of Christ. We were discussing the various aspects of the sanctuary. In the Holy Sanctuary, which as the Bible says was built and destroyed and built and then destroyed I believe (bear with my unworthy attempt to compact this all into one post). As I understand it, the Holy Sanctuary had (or has) three sections. The outer court. The holy place. And the most holy place. Now, as the Bible has shown me, and as history and documentation has shown, in the Holy Sanctuary were select things. To move forward a little (and this may diminish my attempt to explain this even further), but the 144,000 are said by Paul to “follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” According to the Bible (I’d have to locate or ask someone who’s been studying the Word for longer to provide the texts, but I’m more than happy to do that if anyone wants) Jesus Christ, who is dubbed the Lamb in many places in the Bible, went into the Most Holy place when He was crucified and He rose from the dead, and went to take his place with the Father.

    Now, for the 144,000, when Paul says they followed the Lamb wherever He went, the interpretation is that Paul was referring to the righteousness and character and very essence of Jesus. These 144,000 are going to follow Jesus Christ into the Most Holy place in the sanctuary. They are going to be equipped to live as Christ on Earth. Much like the disciples who followed Jesus when Jesus was alive, the 144,000 shall follow Jesus wherever He goes. They will be able to stand in the Most Holy place of the sanctuary, where the glory of God resides. And back during the time of Christ, after He rose and went with the Father, the disciples were given the responsibility of furthering the message of Christ. They were powered by the Holy Spirit to do miracles just as Christ did. Just like then, it is believed that the 144,000 will carry that same torch in the last days.

    These 144,000 must be fully able to stand in the Most Holy place in the sanctuary. There are certain things in the Most Holy place that are important to acknowledge.

    I hope that this was not too confusing, and I ask God to bless this post. I am striving daily to live a life in Christ, and follow His Way, and His commandments. I apologize for any confusion.

  • Marvin July 15, 2009, 4:21 am

    I must post that I meant to say John everywhere I mentioned Paul. Again, my apologies.

  • admin July 15, 2009, 2:47 pm

    Jenni,
    I appreciate your input. My main purpose for this web site is to equip Christians to answer tough questions and strengthen beliefs. My current series is not an indepth analysis of individual scriptures but to show where Jehovah Witnesses error in their interpretations. I will continue this series and will tackle the 144,000 soon. If you want more indepth Bible teachings I suggest listening to the 2 sermons I preached and posted. One is called “What’s the Big Deal About the Resurrection” based on 1 Cor. 15:12-20 and the other called “Transforming Power of God’s Grace” based on Genesis 32 and the life of Jacob. I preached this sermon last Sunday (7/12/09).

    Steve

  • Erin July 30, 2009, 8:49 am

    Is the New World Translation a Jehovah Witness bible or is it just the version that they use?

  • admin July 31, 2009, 9:52 pm

    Erin,
    The New World Translation comes from the Watchtower Organization. It is loaded with problems and is a poor translation.
    Steve

  • angela February 22, 2011, 11:11 am

    The New World Translation used by Jehovah Witnesses comes from the actual “Dead Sea Scrolls” that were written in Hebrew. It constains exact scriptures (in English) and puts God name back in the bible over 7,000 times where it is supposed to be. That is the only difference in their bible. Why does the newer versions of the King James bible leave out god’s name? Psalm 83:18 clearly says his name is Jehovah. Other scriptures are Exodus 6:3, Isaiah 12:2, Isaiah 26:4, Genesis 22:14, Exodus 17:15, and Judges 6:24.
    In the newer King James versions, his name is taken completely out.
    In my opinion, to truely know someone, its starts with knowing their name. How can you truely know someone if you don’t even know what their name is? Therefore, would you want to use a bible that leaves God’s name out, or would you want to use one that sanctifies it? The choice is yours.

  • Steve February 22, 2011, 3:04 pm

    Dear Angela,
    Thanks for writing and giving your view. I will begin by correcting a few obvious errors in your comments. First, your translation does not come directly from the “Dead Sea Scrolls.” I think you need to ask the experts at your organization what translations were used for the New World Translation (NWT). You will find the primary source material for the Hebrew Scriptures was Kittel’s Biblia Hebracia. This edition first appeared in 1906. Obviously, your translators did not primarily use ancient Hebrew texts as you claim. Many other secondary sources were used including the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    Your New Testament was taken from the Westcott and Hort manuscripts. I have a Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures published by your organization and it admits Westcott and Hort were the New Testament text they utilized. The Westcott and Hort manuscripts are accepted as valid texts for the New Testament. The problem is not the original New Testament texts, it is how the Greek was translated into English and how words were added that were never in the original text.

    Second, Jehovah is not a Biblical word. It was created by combining the original Hebrew name for God YHWH and adonai (used by Jews who didn’t want to say God’s name). The resulting combined word, “Jehovah” is used for God by many groups but it is not a Biblical word. Nowhere do you find the word Jehovah in the original languages, Hebrew or Greek.

    Third, forcing the word Jehovah into the New Testament is simply wrong. When your translators did this they went against thousands of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament; some of which date back to the second century. The truth is the New Testament always uses the words “Lord” [Greek: Kurios] and “God” [Greek: theos] when talking about God. The writers never used Jehovah, even when quoting the Old Testament. The Greek New Testament source for the New World Translation, Westcott and Hort, never used Jehovah; they used kurios for Lord and theos for God. The Kingdom Interlinear from your organization demonstrates that Jehovah was never in the original text. This Watchtower Book shows how kurios (Lord) and theos (God) were changed to Jehovah in the English translation. It is simply a lie God’s name was left out of the King James or any other version of the Bible. Angela, I suggest finding a Kingdom Interlinear at your hall so you can see for yourself.

    Finally, let me address additional problems with the New World Translation; the rejection of noted scholars in the field of Biblical translations. Dr. Ron Rhodes wrote the following in his book Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah Witnesses: The New World translation is an incredibly biased translation. Dr. Robert Countess, who wrote a doctoral dissertation on the Greek text of the New World translation, concluded the translation “has been sharply unsuccessful in keeping doctrinal considerations from influencing the actual translation…It must be viewed as a radically biased piece of work. At some points it is actually dishonest. At others it is neither modern nor scholarly.” British scholar H.H. Rowley asserted, “from the beginning to end this volume is a shining example of how the Bible should not be translated.” Indeed, Rowley said, this translation is “an insult to the Word of God.”

    Dr. Julius Manti, author of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, calls the New World translation “a shocking mistranslation.” Dr. Bruce M. Metzger, professor of New Testament at Princeton University, calls the New World translation “a frightful mistranslation,” “erroneous,” “pernicious,” and “reprehensible.” Dr. William Barclay concluded that “the deliberate distortion of truth by this sect is seen in their New Testament translation. It is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest.”

    It is highly revealing that the Watchtower Society has always resisted efforts to identify members of the New World Translation committee. The claim was they preferred to remain anonymous and humble, giving God the credit and glory for this translation. However, as former Jehovah witness David Reed notes, “an unbiased observer will quickly note that such anonymity also shields the translators from any blame for errors or distortions in their renderings. And it prevents scholars from checking their credentials.”

    The Watchtower Society must have been utterly embarrassed when the names of the translators of the New World translation were made known to the public. The reason for that is the translation committee was completely unqualified for the task. Four of the five men in the committee had no Hebrew or Greek training whatsoever (they had only a high school education). The Fifth, Fred W. Franz, claimed to know Hebrew and Greek, but upon examination under oath in a court of law in Edinburg Scotland he failed a simple Hebrew test.

    In court Franz was asked if he knew Hebrew and he said yes. He said he had a command of various languages including Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish, German, and French. When asked if he speaks Hebrew, he said no. He was then asked if he could translate the fourth verse of Genesis into Hebrew. His answer was NO! The fact was Franz, liked the others on the New World translation committee, could not translate Hebrew or Greek. The truth is Franz dropped out of the University of Cincinnati after his sophomore year and even while there, he had not studied anything related to theological issues.

    More could be said about the errors of the New World Translation but I will stop here for now. Bottom line, it is a translation that should be avoided at all costs.

  • alex October 28, 2013, 11:25 am

    I was hoping you would get to the point and tell us what Psalms 37:29 really means. Is it really talking about paradise on earth? Or is it just part of David’s reminder of what God promised Abraham. I have a confused friend who is willing to think what JW are saying is true and would like to know the truth. So, is this scripture talking about heaven or is it talking about Jerusalem? Or what is it talking about?

  • Tia October 31, 2013, 11:56 am

    I agree with Alex! Please explain what the above scripture
    truly means? I do believe God is not the author of confusion( as His word states. And, right now I am cry confused. 🙁

  • Steve Bruecker November 1, 2013, 10:08 am

    Alex & Tia,
    As I reread my post I did interpret the key aspects Psalm 37:29. I wrote: In my reading I believe this verse harkens back to the promises of God given to Abraham as part of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1-3). In that promise God said through Abraham He would build a nation (consisting of a people, land, and government), He would provide protection, and bless them and they would be a blessing to the nations.

    Today followers of Jesus Christ are spiritual offspring of Abraham and as such, experience the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant. I believe Psalm 37 is projecting forward the blessing of this covenant and focusing on the promise of a land. My understanding is this land is spoken about in Revelations where it is called a “new heaven and new earth.” All followers of Jesus Christ will physically live for eternity on the new earth fulfilling what David wrote in Psalm 37 “The righteous will inherit the land (earth) and dwell in it forever.”

    All of this will occur after we die and spend time in heaven, waiting for the day spoken of in Revelations where our individual spirit will be reunited with our resurrected body. This will be a glorious day for the righteous or the true followers of Jesus Christ. Revelations and the Psalms teach the righteous will inherit the land; all part of the Abrahamic Covenant.

    The righteous are those whose sins have been paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ, whether OT or NT saints.

    What did I miss?

    Steve

  • Steve Bruecker November 1, 2013, 10:30 am

    Marvin,
    Somehow I never replied to your comments. Sorry about that. First thanks for your opinion, even though you wrote: “I believe it highly important that we leave our own opinions out, and remain fervent in what the Bible teaches.”

    Do have the one and only correct interpretation or is your interpretation based on your opinion?

    If we take the 144, 000 literally (your words) we know these things:
    1. The 144,000 are made up of the 12 tribes of Israel listed in Revelations.
    2. Besides the 144,000 in heaven there are a multitude of others that no one could count. (Rev. 7:9)
    3. The 144,000 are unmarried. (See verse below)
    4. The 144,000 are virgin men based on Revelations 14:4: “These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.”

    Is your 144,000 described above? You must answer yes or you are not taking the Bible literally.

    Nowhere in Revelations Chapters 7 or 14 do we see Jesus leading the 144,000 to the Sanctuary of the Holy of Holies. You are reading into the text something that is foreign to the passages.

    Steve

  • bobbie May 24, 2014, 12:14 pm

    You seem so much more concerned with criticizing and putting down these people’s religion than you are spreading the good news. I could almost guarantee that you are a bitter disfellowsipped member of them or you are connected to someone who was. Get a life and leave those harmless people alone and leave it to God’s judgement. If they are wrong God will show them the light thru their faith.

  • bobbie May 24, 2014, 12:20 pm

    I have a 150 year old Catholic bible that was given to me for my confirmation and it contains the name of Jehovah. Jehovah is God’s name but because of hatred for the true God it was removed and replaced with Lord.

  • Steve Bruecker May 25, 2014, 3:03 pm

    Bobbie,
    If it is wrong to criticize, then why are you criticizing me? Aren’t you contradicting yourself?

    As a Christian I am commanded by Peter to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15), by Jesus to be a witness (Acts 1:8) and by Paul to be an ambassador (2 Cor. 5:20). I am doing what God through the Bible is asking me to do. God uses people like me to warn others of coming judgment. The most unloving thing I could do is let them find out the truth when they die and be separated from Christ for all eternity. Do you think it is loving to refuse to warn people of a coming judgment?

    Steve

  • Steve Bruecker May 25, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Bobbie,
    The idea the ancient manuscripts removed God’s name and replaced it with LORD is a lie. I don’t know who you heard this from but it is false. Jehovah is not a Biblical word. It was created by combining the original Hebrew name for God YHWH and adonai (word used by Jews who didn’t want to say God’s name). The resulting combined word, “Jehovah” has been used for the name God by many groups but it is not found in the Bible. Nowhere do you find the word Jehovah in the original languages, Hebrew or Greek.

    Forcing the word Jehovah into the New Testament is simply wrong. When the New World Translation did this they went against thousands of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament; some of which date back to the second century. Instead the New Testament uses the words “Lord” [Greek: Kurios] and “God” [Greek: theos] when talking about God. The writers never used Jehovah, even when quoting the Old Testament. The Greek New Testament source for the New World Translation, Westcott and Hort, never used Jehovah. They used kurios for Lord and theos for God. The Kingdom Interlinear confirms Jehovah was never in the original text. This interlinear, published by the Watchtower Organization, shows how kurios (Lord) and theos (God) were changed to Jehovah in the English translation. Stating God’s name was left out of the King James or any other version of the Bible is false. Bobbie, I suggest finding a Kingdom Interlinear at a Jehovah’s Witness hall so you can see for yourself. When this organization says they removed the name, they are lying to you.

    Steve

  • bobbie May 29, 2014, 4:25 pm

    You are not preaching impeding judgement from God, you entire focus is to discredit everything that this JW religion believes. Do not twist my words for I am not judging you. I haven’t called you a liar nor did I say you would burn in hell nor did I even say your beliefs are wrong. What I am saying is only God can judge them and whether you believe they are wrong in their teachings, you need to respect their beliefs. They believe they will live on earth so respect that. I don’t believe in Buddism or the Muslim faith but I would never build a website to try and discredit them. Leave it in God’s hand to pass their judgement. I also don’t need to go into their church to hear the name Jehovah. I learned God’s name in my Catholic bible. Lie or not there is nothing wrong with calling God by a personal name like Yahwea or Jah. You never did answered my statement saying I guarantee you are either an ex JW or you are emotionally tied to someone who was. If you wanna preach the coming judgement then do so without discrediting another person’s faith because every single religion has their flaws and God will make sure the righteous will be saved.

  • bobbie May 29, 2014, 4:51 pm

    If those people sincerely believe and have the desire to live on a paradise earth, why wouldnt God then grant them their desire? You believe and want to go to heaven so why won’t our God of love be able to do that for you? Nothing is impossible for God right? If they are wrong when you all get to heaven you can tell them “see I told you so”(Sarcasm).You know I used to slam the door in their face only because I just didn’t feel like being bothered and i was raised catholic, but the more I see how so many people dislike this religion and hate these people who would never hurt a flea and are law abiding citizens, the more I wonder if they just may be onto something. Jesus did say they will hate you on account of my name and my father’s name. Jesus’ own people the Jews executed him because he exposed their hypocrisy and they were supposed to be of the same faith! You just make me laugh as you are trying to make them out as if they were some evil religion just because they believe in a paradise earth. Hindu ‘ s believe in many God’s and the believe we are reincarnated as animals but you don’t have a page trying to discredit them and their beliefs. That’s why I am positive you were excommunicated from the JW religion and you are bitter about it. Thank God for our freedom of religion here in America where we can worship the way we want, if our country thought like you I’m sure you would be burning those harmless Jehovah ‘ s Witnesses at the stake with their bibles like they did in the crusades. Smh

  • bobbie May 29, 2014, 5:07 pm

    If these people really believe that they will live on a paradise earth and they try to be good Christians, then why wouldn’t God grant them that desire? You believe and want to go to heaven so why won’t our God of love do that for you, for nothing is impossible for God right? So what if they are wrong? When you all get to heaven you can tell them “see I told you so”(sarcasm). Hindu ‘ s believe in worshiping many God’s and they believe in being reincarnated as animals but I don’t see you with a site trying to discredit their beliefs. You know I used to slam the door on these people because I just didn’t want to be bothered and i was raised catholic and had my own beliefs, but the more I see how so many people hate these people, who are completely harmless, law abiding citizens and are a peaceful people, the more I wonder if they may be on to something. Jesus said they will hate you on account of my name and my father’s name. And Jesus’ own people the Jews executed him because they hated him for exposing them and they tried to discredit every single thing he was teaching, and they were of the same faith! I really believe you are and ex JW who got kicked out of your church and you are bitter about it.

  • bobbie May 29, 2014, 5:14 pm

    I am so thankful that we live in a free country and can worship the way we want for if our country was ran by people like you I am sure you would be burning those harmless people at the stake with “their” bible like they did in the crusades. SMH

  • Steve Bruecker May 31, 2014, 11:56 am

    Bobbie,
    Do you think judging someone else is good? Why are you judging me? How have a limited anyone’s freedom to believe what they want?

    Steve

  • Steve Bruecker May 31, 2014, 1:03 pm

    Bobbie,
    I am not an ex-JW, so therefore your accusation is false. Jesus was executed for blasphemy. He claimed to be God. John 5:17-18 “Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” Judaism and Christianity are not the same religion. Jews don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah and that he is God in human flesh. Christianity believes both.

    Here again we see the Jews want to stone Jesus for blasphemy. John 10:30-33 “I and the Father are one.” 31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” In both situations the Jews wanted Jesus dead for claiming to be God.

    The reason it is important to have right belief about Jesus is because He said so. Jesus talking to the religious Jews, John 8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” The words “I am He” means he is claiming to be God. In Exodus 3:14 God calls Himself “I AM who I AM.” Jesus is claiming to be the “I AM” and if you don’t believe He is God you will die in your sins. If someone dies in his sins, he will be separated from God in hell for all eternity. Jesus said He was the only way to heaven John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” These words apply to the Hindu. Jesus says He is the only way for everyone. If you don’t like this teaching, you have to take it up with Jesus. He is the one who said it, I didn’t.

    Bitter…you got to be kidding me. I have the joy of knowing Christ and based on that joy, I get plenty of opportunities to share Jesus with others; including yourself. Do I hate others? I love people enough to share Christ. I warn them of the eternal peril if they don’t heed the words of Jesus. The two greatest commands in the Bible are to love God and love others. This is my passion and my motivation for my web site.

    Steve

  • Steve Bruecker May 31, 2014, 3:30 pm

    Bobbie,
    If Jehovah’s Witnesses are worshiping a false God, the they will be judged. Not by me but by the creator of the universe. Jesus said, Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ If Jehovah’s Witnesses are worshiping a false God and a false Jesus then they will be under the wrath of God. They will die in their sins (John 8:24). If I believe the Bible condemns them, what should I do? Stay silent and let them go to hell or say something. What is the loving thing to do?

    Jesus said he is the only way to heaven (John 14:6). Either Jesus is right or He is a liar. What do you think? If Hindu’s do not worship the one true God and His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible says they too are headed for hell. As I said previously, if you don’t like this take it up with Jesus and the Bible.

    What are your beliefs? What are your beliefs based on?

    Steve

  • Lourde July 18, 2014, 5:33 pm

    So you mean to say, they are wrong and you are right? By the way, what’s your religion? Are you one of the 144,000? sorry I have many questions.

  • Natalie July 18, 2014, 5:45 pm

    This is true the bible says countless times that the meek and the righteous will in herit the earth. Gods purpose for the earth has never changed.

    Honestly churches arent teaching what the bible says if all they talk about is dying and going to heaven. The bible explains only a select few of People are going to heaven. In revelations it says that 144,000 chritians who are chosen by god will be ressurected to a heavenly position in heaven. this group of annoited christians are referred to as the little flock. As for what the bible says for other christians. Known as the great crowd or other sheep we have the oppertunity to live forever in a paradise earth, coming soon in the future.

    How can i say we can live forever you may ask?

    (John 17:3) This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.
    (John 3:16) “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.

    Further we can say that we will be residing on the earth, but you might also ask are we going to live in these conditions that we see today.

    The bible explains that god will rid the earth of these plagues with his kingdom, or heavenly goverment. This will be done at armeggedon or The war to end all wars.

    (Revelation 16:14-15) They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and perform signs, and they go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty. 15 “Look! I am coming as a thief. Happy is the one that stays awake and keeps his outer garments, that he may not walk naked and people look upon his shamefulness.”

    god will gather his opposition and at his due time, that is unknown to us he will destroy them in his war.

    Afterwards we will see what life was meant to be like before adam and eve sinned.

  • Natalie July 18, 2014, 5:50 pm

    This is just one scripture that holds out the beautiful hope for all mankind!

    That is what we as Jehovah’s Witnesses believe wholeheartedly and try to help others to get to know the truth about God.

    The scripture you have just quoted is for future; in our time. The earth is going to be cleansed of all evil and only the humble are going to reside up on it.

    There is a heaven; that is where our Creator resides and a set amount of people from the earth have been chosen to go to heaven.

    This is what our famous Lord’s Prayer is talking about.

    We need a government, but this one will be made up of spirit creatures that cannot die!

    Sadly, churches and some people teach what “they don’t know or don’t want to know”. They meddle in things that they are supposed to be apart from. They care more about pleasing man than pleasing God.

    Psalm 37:29
    It means what it says. That is why Jesus told us in the model prayer at Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” KJV.

  • Steve Bruecker July 19, 2014, 6:29 am

    Lourde,
    I made my case for why I think I am right. It is up to anyone to show me where I am wrong.

    I am a follower of Jesus Christ.

    What does it matter about the 144,000? The Bible teaches all followers of Jesus Christ will be in heaven with the multitudes. When I die I will be in heaven with Christ.

    Steve

  • Steve Bruecker July 19, 2014, 7:07 am

    Natalie,
    You write, “There is a heaven; that is where our Creator resides and a set amount of people from the earth have been chosen to go to heaven.” Where is that taught?
    The Bible over and over again gives all believers the hope of being with Christ when we die. Paul writes, Philippians 1:21-24 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” The Apostle Paul knows upon death he will immediately be in the presence of the resurrected Christ.

    In the New Testament there are 223 passages that use the word heaven. Heaven is open to those who believe. Revelations 19:1 speak of a multitude in heaven. What verses restrict heaven to only 144,000? If this is true, why wasn’t it taught by Jesus and the other apostles? Why did they hide this restriction and fool people? Why did they promise heaven but they only meant the 144,000?
    The scene is heaven in Revelations chapters 4-7. John writes, “Revelation 7:9-12 (NASB) “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, ‘Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’” Here we see, in addition to the 144,000 in heaven, a great multitude from every nation and all tribes.

    For more information on this topic read parts 3 and 4 of the series.

    Steve

  • Steve Bruecker July 19, 2014, 10:47 am

    Natalie,
    In my first response I covered much of what you wrote about in your 2nd letter. You said this, “In Revelations it says that 144,000 Christians who are chosen by god will be resurrected to a heavenly position in heaven.” Where does Revelations say that only 144,000 will be in heaven? Why does Revelations 7 & 19 speak of a multitude, so many that no one count count, are in heaven. Revelation 19:1 “After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.”

    We read in Luke 12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” Where does it say the little flock is the 144,000? You are reading JW theology into the text. This is called “eisogesis.”

    From part 5 of the series: . Revelations 14:3-5 “And they sang* a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.”

    Does Revelations 14:1-15 teach only 144,000 Jehovah Witnesses will be in heaven? The answer is NO! Nowhere in this passage do we see only the 144,000 in heaven. Do we have a description of the 144,000? The answer is yes; in verse 4 will find additional information concerning the 144,000. John informs us they are men who have not defiled themselves with women and are virgins. Plus it says they are morally blameless.

    When I asked two Jehovah Witnesses if only virgin men will be in heaven, they replied no. They said verse 4 is symbolic. How do you know it is symbolic? They said the Book of Revelations is full of symbolism and verse 4 is meant to be taken that way. How do you know that? They took me to other passages they said couldn’t be read as literal. I agreed there are some verses in Revelations that are symbolic but Revelations 14:4 seems to be a very straightforward narrative and connects well with the previous verses. What are your reasons for taking it symbolically? Their final answer was “It just is.”

    Again we witness an example of esogesis where the Watchtower Organization instead of taking the straightforward teaching of the Scriptures, come to the text with an agenda and without scriptural warrant and makes a claim these verses are symbolic. This opens the door to any group who comes to the Bible and when the Scriptures disagree with their beliefs announce they are symbolic. This method violates the exegetical rules for interpreting the Bible.

    Steve

  • Grace September 18, 2014, 1:21 pm

    Steve,

    I really applaud you for being honest and firm. If people want the truth, it’s in the Bible in plain sight, and if people don’t like what they see then that is their problem. And for everyone who says he’s judging, you are mistaken. There’s only one truth. And being forward about that truth is good! The Bible says “lack of knowledge” is the reason for why people are dying without ever getting to really know God. So Steve is getting to the root of the problem, and doing what most people don’t because they’re so tolerant and lukewarm that they can’t share the Good News and warn people of those that are deceiving them.

  • Claudia Ramirez December 2, 2014, 9:47 pm

    Im Glad most of you know the truth! Do not trust in your own knowledge! The word reaffirms all it says over and over again.
    Claudia

  • Steve Bruecker December 2, 2014, 10:07 pm

    Claudia,
    How do you know the word reaffirms what you say? Aren’t you trusting in your knowledge?

    So you warn us not to trust in our knowledge but you want us to trust in your knowledge. Sure sounds like a contradiction.

    We need to study the Bible so we can interpret it. Paul wrote these words to Timothy: 2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

    God expects us to study and use our knowledge to teach and refute error for His glory. Jesus showed people their errors all the time. I try do like Jesus and expose false prophets/teachers, like Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Steve

  • Dennis December 10, 2014, 4:55 pm

    One of the things one must consider is the word “Forever”. This word does not always mean time without end, it also means for a duration of time or for the time that God declares. For example the Bible says that the priest hood of Aaron would last forever, but we know that’s not literally time without end, because in Hebrews CH. 8 God changed the priest hood to Christ. Therefore the word forever in the text of Psalm 37:29 doesn’t mean time without end or else it would contradict 2 Peter 3:10-11, which states that the earth will be no more. Dennis of the Churches Of Christ Romans 16:16

  • Kerri August 24, 2015, 6:45 am

    Wow, I admire the passion you all have and that we are all seeking the truth, however don’t do it at the cost of others. My advice to you all is to pray constantly to your god, what ever you call him and ask him for the truth in his word. He will reveal it to you if you earnstly seek it. Continue seeking the truth and don’t believe in your own wisdom. This isn’t a competition. We all want a closer relationship with our creator and verbally
    bashing different religions isn’t going to get you closer. So in the words of MC Hammer, ” we got to pray just to make it today!” Ha ha, sorry I had to lighten the mood. I’ll say a prayer for us all. xxx

  • Steve Bruecker August 27, 2015, 1:45 pm

    Kerri,
    You seem to be telling me it is wrong to judge others. So why are you judging me?

    If the Bible teaches people are going to hell for their sin and false beliefs, are you saying I shouldn’t tell people the truth? If a house is on fire, are you saying I shouldn’t tell the residents to find safety. If Christianity is true, I am doing the most loving thing I can do. I am telling them sin is the problem and the one true Jesus is the only solution.

    You advice is incredibly unloving; in essence you are saying let them go to hell. Well I cannot do that; the love of Christ compels me to show them the way to eternal life.

    And I will pray for you.

    Steve

  • Missy December 29, 2015, 9:24 am

    PSA 37:29 The righteous will inherit the land and live
    In it forever.
    Read PSA 105:11 to understand what land it is taking about.

    This is the land of Canaan promised to Abraham and his descendants. Which spiritually Canaan represents Heaven. JW are badly mislead. But through strict study, you will come to understand.

  • Steve Bruecker January 1, 2016, 6:47 am

    Missy,
    I agree the JWs are badly misled, hence the article. Did you read short series? The entire 3 part series was a refutation of JW teachings, so I don’t understand why you finished with, “But through strict study, you will come to understand.” I suggest reading the entire 3 parts and all my writings exposing deceitful JW doctrines. The truth is, then you’ll understand.

    Did you even read part 2? In it I spoke of the land that was part of the Abrahamic Covenant mentioned in Psalm 105:8-11, which you alluded to as the land of Canaan. In fact final outworking of the Abrahamic Covenant will be the new heavens and new earth. I am not sure what your point is in adding this was the land of Canaan. I made that point, without calling it the land of Canaan.

    My main point was Psalm 37 speaks about two groups, the wicked and the righteous. JWs argue for a 3rd group, the 144,000. I showed the men at the door, the Psalm doesn’t speak of a 3rd group, which refutes their position. There are only two groups today, the righteous who are believers in Jesus Christ and the wicked, who reject Jesus Christ.

    I hope that helps,
    Steve

  • Missy January 1, 2016, 9:38 pm

    My comment of, “through strict study you would come to understand” was not meant for you Steve. I know you knew based on how you wrote pt. 2. That it referred to the promise land. I wrote that for people that come across this website, want a QUICK answer, and don’t know what God’s promise land is. This is the point of your website isn’t it? To give input and help others understand?

    The answer on whether or not “land” refers to earth resides on PSA 105:11. “To you I will give you the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.” Which compliments PSA 37:29 “the righteous will inherit the land” Land= Canaan. Not earth. I didn’t allude, unless if you have a different version of a bible and the word Canaan has been removed, all answers are in the bible.

    And you are right, there are only 2 groups, righteous and wicked. The righteous follow the lamb wherever he goes. 144,000 will enter the kingdoms of heaven (those who have been sealed) and the great multitude (Rev. 7:9) I hope my response isn’t too vague to understand. Thanks

  • Steve Bruecker January 4, 2016, 5:24 am

    Missy,
    My point was not to focus on whether the Hebrew word meant land or earth but refuting their false doctrine of the 144,000. The men at my door didn’t know how to respond when I pointed out the obvious scriptures that point to only two groups.

    The reason I used the word “allude” was because we cannot assume it is best translated land. Psalm 37 doesn’t use the word Canaan, so we have to infer that’s what it’s talking about. As I pointed out it could refer to the Promised Land from Genesis 12:1-3 as part of the Abrahamic Covenant or the new heaven and new earth in Revelations. Both instances are out workings of the Abrahamic Covenant.

    I am good with reading the Psalm using land because of God’s promise of inheriting the land. But with a Jehovah’s Witness I don’t argue this point because it moves me away from my stronger argument of only 2 groups.

    Thanks for your reply,
    Steve

  • Michael Moore. April 29, 2016, 11:35 pm

    Many people tell how others are wrong when it comes to religion and how we believe what the word of God means. Anyone who believes in God will know that the only way to heaven and have eternal life, is through Jesus Christ, by repenting of sins, believing Jesus Christ died for ours sins, and rose again according to the scriptures. And to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. No religion can save you, No man, or man made religion or cult or belief can save you. There are so many controversial things that are debated and argued about regarding God’s Word. If we all believe in God, why is it there are so many different bibles out there that have so many differences within their pages? Doesn’t God’s Word say ‘Do not add to it, Do not take away from it? So why so many differences? Obviously ulterior motives intended. Do you not think that The Lord God almighty would be happy if we ALL believed and followed His Word? Looking and studying regarding the bible, based on Historians, Scientists, Pastors, Preachers, Academics of different walks of life, the consensus seems to be that The 1611 KJV is the most accurate translation of the scriptures. But since then other revisions have been published, correcting spelling errors, as opposed to word changes, still keeping the 1611 KJV to be the most accurate translation of the scriptures. Some of the other bibles have changed so many words, which in turn changes the meaning of the verse, therefore giving false information to people wanting to study the Word of God.
    I am certain there will be people that will disagree with what I have said, but that’s part of life I guess.
    So working on the basis that the 1611 KJV is the most accurate, lets look the fact that God is the only one that can forgive sins, Right’ So why is it in the Catholic organisation the congregation ask the Priest in their church, ‘Father’ to forgive me of my sins, and the Priest tells them to say 3 Hail Marys and they are forgiven. Does idolatry spring to mind, which is against God’s law. There is only One Spiritual Father, and He certainly doesn’t reside in the wooden box in the Catholic churches dressed in long gowns. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they’re of the 144000, but as mentioned on this site, the bible tells us a completely different answer. There are many references to say that the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t follow God’s Word properly, but that’s not to say they are incorrect about everything, as with any other church / religion.
    There are so many churches / religions that have different views on God’s Word, there isn’t enough space to mention them all. So here is a question for one and all. Assuming you love God, and desire to take your cross and follow Him, and knowing that we should not add to or take away from God’s Word, Why is it that anyone would want to go against God by being disobedient to Him? The Lord God Almighty has already offered everyone the Gift of eternal life, which I might add,is a
    gift, which is FREE, no obligation, it’s your choice, at no time does God say to anyone that you have to believe in Him. He does not force anyone. Certainly if you go against God, just like any responsible Father, He will punish you, chastise you for doing wrong, which is only right.
    Why is it that everyone who believes in God, can’t just accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, and all be of one accord, then there wouldn’t be any argument over who is right or wrong.
    It is better to encourage, and not judge.
    So why not encourage others to learn and study The Word of God, witness to others, give them the same opportunity to receive the gift of eternal life, Soul winning is pleasing to God, as we all should know, it is not God’s desire to see anyone perish.
    Do not forget that the devil is at work trying to destroy and take people away from following God, so the Christian life isn’t so easy, we are in a spiritual war, we are warriors for God, so therefore we must fight for Him, and what we believe.
    Let us encourage, and not judge.
    The Lord will be the Judge of all when the time comes.
    My prayers are, that we, the believers in Jesus Christ can all come together under one banner and fight this war together, and I am sure you will agree, that will please The Lord God Almighty. Amen.

  • Steve Bruecker April 30, 2016, 11:56 am

    Michael,
    Thanks for your long comment. Yes the Gospel of Jesus dying on the cross to pay the penalty for sins we deserve is extremely important. However, there are good reasons for correcting people and pointing them to the truth: 1) False ideas can prevent people from hearing the gospel. J. Gresham Machen once said, “False ideas are the greatest obstacle to the reception of the gospel.” 2) False ideas about Jesus can lead people to hell. The wrong Jesus can’t save anyone. 3) Jesus told people they were wrong and that they needed to get rid of their false beliefs (Pharisees, Scribes, and Saduccess). and 4) The Apostle Paul argued in the Synagogues and on the streets pointing people to the truth. Paul also in Acts 20 warned the Ephesian elders to protect the church against false teachings.

    We are called to contend for the truth and point people to Christ.
    Steve

  • Kerr May 10, 2016, 5:47 am

    You sais “Second, Jehovah is not a Biblical word. It was created by combining the original Hebrew name for God YHWH and adonai (used by Jews who didn’t want to say God’s name). ”
    Please explain why YHWH is not in your bible, that is the original name for god so why is it now “LORD”. It is a false translation. YHWH does not translate to the word Lord. Over 7000 times it has been changed. Yes 7000 times, that’s a lot of false translating.

  • Steve Bruecker May 10, 2016, 8:20 am

    Kerr,
    If you don’t like the English translation for YHWH as LORD and call it a false translation, then according to you, every English word for a Hebrew word is a false translation. In fact every English word from the Greek is also a false translation.

    A translation is changing the original language to another. Therefore, changing the Hebrew YHWH to the English word LORD is perfectly acceptable. If you don’t like it, then throw out all your English translations and read your Old Testament in Hebrew.

    Steve

  • Kerr May 10, 2016, 2:18 pm

    Steve the word Lord is a title. It is not gods name. John 17:26 here Jesus is saying to his father “I I have made your name known to them and will make it known”. The word LORD is a title. How is this a name. Just as your name is Steve and not replaced with the word MAN. The name Jesus is a name, should this be replaced with LORD too?
    At Matthew 6:9 Jesus said “Our father in the heavens, let your name be santified”
    How do we not see the name of god as important. It’s there many many times and Jesus spoke of it.

  • Steve Bruecker May 11, 2016, 7:00 am

    Kerr,
    Moses asked by what name should he call God.

    Exodus 3:13-14 (NASB) Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

    What did God say? “HAYAH ASHER HAYAH.” “I am who I am.” Are we supposed to call God “I am.” Is “I am” a name or a title? A footnote for v. 14, in the NASB Bible says, “Related to the name of God, YHWH, rendered LORD, which is dervied from the [Hebrew] verb HAYAH, to be.” LORD is the name of God in English, just like Jehovah can be the name of God in English. Who says LORD is a title? The English Bible scholars disagree with you. For example Exodus 15:3, “The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name.” Are you going to say the translators of the major Bibles don’t know what they are talking about when they say LORD is God’s name in English? They can read, write, and speak Hebrew, can you? What is your educational background to say hundreds of Hebrew scholars are wrong?

    Steve

  • Kerr May 11, 2016, 9:15 pm

    In Exodus 3:13 God was saying he is whoever he wants to be, he is powerful and helpful and the strongest of strong. Reading down to Exodus 3:15 God says to say it is JHWH which is now translated in a lot of bibles to the word LORD. So he did say his name. His name is said different ways all over the world but it is about what his name represents.
    On the note Jesus name wasn’t originally Jesus, it has been changed with translations.. But most people know who Jesus is and what He represents.
    As far as scholars go these days there is so much information going around it can be one word against the next so praying to have the insight it the best bet. If our creator can provide more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the earth, then he has the power to give us the true knowledge if we ask that of him. Thank you for this discussion Steve.

  • Steve Bruecker May 13, 2016, 1:30 pm

    Kerr,
    I too enjoyed the interaction and the fact we can have a civil disagreement is refreshing.

    Steve

  • Matthew December 6, 2017, 12:26 pm

    The fact that the Bible says that after the thousand year rule of Christ, that satan will be let loose out of the abyss, and come back down to the earth, to try to gather as many as possible to go against the holy ones, in which it says that those people will number as the sands of the sea, that go against the holy ones, prove without any doubt that meek and righteous people will inherit the earth and live forever on it.

    Plus, in Revelation it says that the angel showed John two sets of people, one of which it plainly says that are “bought from the earth and purchased from among mankind “,that go to heaven and rule with Christ for a thousand years, over the earth, it plainly says, and and rule as kings and judges, over the earth, which proves that people will be living on the earth during that thousand years, as they are the ones that Jesus said would inherit the earth, at Matthew 5:5, just as King David said at Psalms 37:29, and King Solomon explains exactly what will happen at Proverbs 2: 21, 22 , where it says that the wicked will be uprooted from the earth and destroyed, but that the righteous will remain in the earth.

    The second set of people that the angel showed John is said to be a great crowd that no man can number, that worship God night and day, which are earthly terms, whereas the other set that are purchased from among mankind are a distinct number of 144,000. Jehovah’s Witnesses didn’t say that, God’s word says that. It’s not something made up by Jehovah’s Witnesses , in other words.

    This should explain everything to everybody, not just the people that have commented here, but everybody. I wish everyone to be humble and meek and inherit God’s promised blessings. ✌

    …..

  • Steve Bruecker December 8, 2017, 5:25 pm

    Matthew,
    Thanks for your comment. Since the primary passage is Psalm 37, where does David write about a third group? He only writes about two groups the righteous and the wicked. The 144,000, are they wicked or righteous? There is no third group so I don’t know where you are importing that into this Psalm. David had no idea of a third group when he wrote the Psalm.

    You also have the problem of literal versus figurative in Rev. 7. If the 144,000 is literal then the 12 tribes mentioned in the same sentence are literal. If this is true then no Jehovah’s Witnesses will be in heaven. Also according to Revelations 14 only virgin men will get in. Are you going to play the figurative game here? Why would John in Rev. 14:4 describe the 144,000 as virgin men if he didn’t mean a literal group. It makes no sense if what he said is figurative.

    Plus Revelations 4-7 takes place entirely in heaven. The great multitude spoken about in Revelations 7 is surrounding the throne in heaven. At no time does the scene in Revelations 4-7 change to earth. This is eisogesis trying to read into the text what the Watchtower Organization compels you to defend. I challenge you to think for yourself.

    When day and night is mentioned the multitude is worshiping in God’s temple. Where is the temple? Revelation 14:17 (NASB) “And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven.” So your day and night argument saying the location of Rev. 7:15 is the earth falls apart because the temple is in heaven.

    I hope this is helpful. This answer is simply a summary of the 5 part series. If you want more detail read all 5 posts.

    Steve

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