Reasoning with Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that:
a. Jesus' body was not resurrected.9
b. The bodies of Christians with the heavenly hope will not be resurrected.10
c. Those who are resurrected to life on earth will be judged by future deeds which they will perform during the millennium.11
d. The second resurrection will occur on earth during the millennium.12
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Q1. Was Jesus' body resurrected?
Matt 12:40-"for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Mark 16:6-"He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid him."
Luke 24:3-they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus
Luke 24:39-"touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have"
John 2:19,21-Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days"...But the temple he had spoken of was his body [Gr. spoke about the shrine of the body of him].
John 20:27-Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing." [If Jesus was not here actually presenting His resurrected body to His disciples, He would be "proving" His resurrection by trickery.]
Acts 2:27-"because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay [Gr. corruption; quote from Ps. 16:10]"
Acts 13:34-37-The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words: "I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David." So it is stated elsewhere: "You will not let your Holy One see decay." For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and he decayed [Gr. saw corruption]. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay [Gr. did not see corruption].
Col 2:9-For in Him [Jesus] all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form
1 Ti 2:5-For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Q2. Will Christians' bodies be resurrected?
Rom 8:11-And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Rom 8:23-We...groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
Phil 3:20-21-For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state [Gr. Christ, who will change the body of the humiliation of us] into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Q3. Will the resurrected body have exactly the same characteristics as the original body?
John 20:26-Jesus came, the doors having been shut
1 Cor 15:44-it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body
1 Cor 15:52-we shall be changed
1 Cor 15:53-For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Q4. Are resurrected men to be judged by the deeds which they perform during the millennium?
Matt 16:27-"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds."
Luke 11:31-32-"The Queen of the South shall rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here."
John 5:28,29-"an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did [Gr. having done] the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed [Gr. having done] the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment"
Acts 17:31-He has fixed a day in which he will judge the world
2 Cor 5:10-For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Heb 9:27-Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.
Rev 20:12-13-the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works
Q5. When does the second resurrection take place?
Rev 20:5-The rest of the dead did not come to LIFE until the thousand years were completed [cp. vs. 4; those of the first resurrection LIVED with Christ for the 1000 years]
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a. Jesus' body was resurrected.
b. The bodies of Christians with the heavenly hope will be resurrected.
c. The bodies of Christians with the heavenly hope will be changed at their resurrections.
d. At the resurrection, men will be judged by the deeds which they performed in their bodies during their previous lives on earth.
e. The second resurrection occurs after the 1000 years have been completed.
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Scriptures commonly used by Jehovah's Witnesses:
Luke 24:16-Their EYES were kept from recognizing him
John 20:14-she [Mary Magdalene] turned around, and beheld Jesus standing [there], and did not know that it was Jesus.
John 20:13-And they said to her, "Woman, why are you WEEPING?"
John 20:1-Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while IT WAS STILL DARK...
1 Cor 15:45-"The first man, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam [became] a life-giving spirit.
1 Cor 15:44-it is sown a natural body, IT IS RAISED A SPIRITUAL BODY.
1 Cor 15:50-flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God
1 Cor 15:52-WE SHALL BE CHANGED
Luke 24:39-"...a spirit does not have FLESH AND BONES as you see that I have."
1 Pet 3:18-Christ...having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit
Rom 8:11-But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also GIVE LIFE TO YOUR MORTAL BODIES THROUGH HIS SPIRIT who indwells you.
9. Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 334
10. Ibid., p. 333
11. Aid to Bible Understanding, p. 982; Watchtower, 3/1/87, p. 29
12. Reasoning from the Scriptures, pp. 337, 339-345