June 18, 2021
Jehovah’s Witnesses under great stress and depression sometimes commit suicide to escape their living hell. They do not understand that their soul will live on consciously after death. Therefore, their fear of death is lessened by their theology. It is a good topic for discussion.
We are posting a number of e-letters Make Sure Ministries has received from David Henke, founder of Watchman Fellowship, Inc., an apologetics ministry, on a variety of subjects. They will post on Tuesdays into the foreseeable future. As always, we appreciate your comments. Please consider clicking on the link following this blog to learn more about Watchman Fellowship and what they have to offer. E-letters have been slightly edited for clarity.
Here are questions you can ask them:
If death is annihilation (non-existence) as the Watchtower teaches then how can there be degrees of punishment as Matthew 10:14-15, and 11:20-24, clearly show?
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.Matthew 10:14-15
It will be “more tolerable” for Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment than for those who saw the mighty works of Jesus.
Are there degrees of non-existence? Mustn’t a man be conscious if there are degrees of punishment?
According to the Watchtower all non-Jehovah’s Witnesses receive the exact same punishment–non-existence–regardless of how they lived their life (Bible Truth or Pagan Scare? p.5, a Jehovah’s Witness publication).
So, if death is annihilation (“is all there is” in the thinking of Jehovah’s Witnesses), [and] “just” for someone who is an honorable and just man, but is not a Jehovah’s Witness, [is it justice to this man to] receive exactly the same punishment as Adolph Hitler, Judas, or some other great criminal?
If, in the Old Testament, the Jews believed that the dead ceased to exist consciously then why did God find it necessary to forbid them to practice necromancy, seeking after the dead through spirit mediums (Deuteronomy 18:11)? Why would anyone try to make contact with the dead if they believed the dead had no conscious existence?
The Sadducees, like the Witnesses, believed in the annihilation of the soul at death. Therefore, Jehovah’s Witnesses should answer the same question Jesus asked the Sadducees, namely,
“… have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:31-32)
Jesus is here quoting Exodus 3:6 which was spoken several hundred years after the death of these men. But, according to Jesus they are still living.
If the Watchtower is correct that death is non-existence then how is Judas’ condition worse now than if he had never been born?
The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Good were it for that man if he had never been born.Mark 14:21
If we gave a mathematical value to non-existence it would have to be zero. So how is Judas’ non-existence (equaling zero) worse, or less, than before he was ever born (also equaling zero)?
The Watchtower Society teaches that when we die, we cease to exist. There is no soul or spirit that survives. Then the body decays back to dust. So, if death is a cessation of existence, then when Jesus died, He ceased to exist.
If He didn’t exist then He, the person who died for our sins, could not have risen from the dead. The Watchtower teaches that the “resurrected” Jesus was re-created from Jehovah’s memory.
Wouldn’t the “Jesus” who appeared afterward be a facsimile, a clone, a perfect copy, but not the original?
I had the opportunity to ask a former Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) about question #7 above. SDA believe in “soul sleep” another name for annihilation. He no longer believed in soul sleep but he was stunned by the realization that he had never thought that Jesus, as God incarnate, could not cease to exist. He said, “I never thought of that.”
The difference between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists is that the SDA affirm the Deity of Jesus whereas the JWs deny it.
Email: [email protected] (If you would like to receive David’s current e-letters, request them here.)