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Probe Ministries > Q & A: Probe Answers Our Email > Cults and World Religions > How Do I Show Jehovah's Witnesses That Hell is Real?


How Do I Show Jehovah's Witnesses That Hell is Real? Print E-mail

I'm having problems dealing with some questions given to me by Jehovah's Witnesses. Can you please help me?

The J.W. asked me the following: "Paul had a vision of Christ, right? So if Christ is God, then why does Paul say no one has seen God when he himself saw Christ and fell off the horse?"

How do I show Jehovah's Witnesses that hell is a real place of torment and fire? They insist that the soul dies and that everyone goes to the grave, known as Sheol or hell.

How do I show to Jehovah's Witnesses that more people go to heaven than the 144,000 people of the book of Revelation?

JW's are probably referring to John 1:18 which states, "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only..." What this means is that no one has ever seen God in His full glory and splendor. Throughout the Bible, God has revealed himself in temporary, physical and veiled form which we can withstand. These are called theophanies. Such examples are Isaiah 6, Exodus 3, and Genesis 15. Jesus is God the Son clothed in flesh which Philippians 2:5-11 makes clear. So although we have not seen God in the fulness of His glory, we have seen temporary theophanies of God. Paul saw the glorifed Christ and what happened? He was blinded. To see God in the fulness of glory would destroy us. Paul saw, although not in his total glory, the glorifed Christ. That is why he was blinded.

How do I show Jehovah's Witnesses that hell is a real place of torment and fire? They insist that the soul dies and that everyone goes to the grave, known as Sheol or hell.

First of all, when one dies, his soul exists after the body dies. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:6 that we prefer to be absent from the body and at home with the Lord. In Matthew 10:28 Jesus states, "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." So there is such thing as a soul that survives the body. Hell is a real place. In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man. JW's will say this is a parable. Even if it is a parable, it still tells a story about what is true. What does the story symbolize? Their explanation is not consistent with the text at all.

How do I show to Jehovah's Witnesses that more people go to heaven than the 144,000 people of the book of Revelation?

Concerning the idea that 144,000 go to heaven, ask this question. The 144,000 come from the "Sons of Israel" or the "Tribes of Israel." A word study shows that when that term is used, it is referring to literal Jews. This would eliminate a vast majority of JW's. Also Revelation 7:9 shows a multitude from every tribe and tongue. So heaven includes more than 144,000.

Hope this helps.

Patrick Zukeran
Probe Ministries


About the Author

Patrick ZukeranPatrick Zukeran served on the staff of Probe Ministries for 22 years, having received graduate degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M) and Southern Evangelical Seminary (D.Min). He presently serves on the faculty of the Bible Institute of Hawaii (www.biblehawaii.org) and is the Director of the Pacific Apologetics Center (www.pacificapologetics.org) based in Hawaii. He serves on the faculty of several Christian colleges around the world. He has a national and international speaking and teaching ministry, and also hosts a national and international radio show “Evidence and Answers” (www.evidenceandanswers.org). Pat has authored several books including The Apologetics of Jesus, co-authored with Norman Geisler, Unless I See, and served as editor of God, Eternity, and Spirituality. Pat can be reached at pat@biblehawaii.org.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

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