Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Archive for the ‘watchtower tract’ Category

Colossians 1:15 How Jesus Christ Is Firstborn Of Creation

Posted by Job on October 7, 2009

Arians, Ebionites, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, theological liberals, and othe pseudo-Christian cults have long used Colossians 1:15 to deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, claiming that the notion was contrived long after the apostolic period through the syncretization of Christianity with Greco-Roman polytheism. What gives these hard-hearted people (who are in much need of prayer that God would open their hearts so that they would receive in it the true gospel) the opportunity is the text “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” Such people use that text to deny Jesus Christ’s pre-existence and divinity, claiming that it proves that Jesus Christ was the first thing that God created i.e. the chief angel. They deal with such passages as the Johannine prologue by stating that it only means that Jesus Christ existed before the creation of the world, the natural universe, or that God created Jesus Christ and then Jesus Christ created everything else. Another angle is the assertion that takes more seriously the gospel of John (and other places that identify Jesus Christ as the Word of God) is that Jesus Christ’s creation occurred the first time that God spoke or thought, or at the very least the first time that God spoke or thought with respect to creative activity. Truthfully, the doctrine of “the eternal generation of the Son”, while considered orthodox, comes very dangerously close to semi-Arianism when taken to its logical conclusion, so those who espouse this doctrine erect logically artificial and arbitrary barriers in order to keep from being counted as heretics. The only difference is that semi-Arianism (Jesus Christ was created the first time God spoke) views Jesus Christ with respect to ontological, philosophical or logical time (while realizing that actual time is a part of creation and thus does not exist in eternity) where “the eternal generation of the Son” denies, ignores or refuses to deal with ontology. You may ask “why should a Christian deal with abstract concepts like ontology anyway?” Well, that is a question that must be answered by the people who adhere to and preach “the eternal generation of the Son” doctrine, which really has no reason for existing beyond philosophy, as it has virtually no practical implications on orthodoxy or orthopraxy (right thinking and right living). If you are going to adhere to and preach a doctrine – especially one that is in and of itself not a core doctrine of the faith but still has real implications for other core doctrines of the faith (as “the eternal generation of God the Son” does for Trinity) – you had better be prepared to deal with what the doctrine implies and leads to. In any event, both semi-Arianism (Jesus Christ originated when God first thought or spoke) and “the eternal generation of the Son” (Jesus Christ exists as God speaks and does so without being a function of time in any way) pose problems for the nature of existence itself, which is that something can only exist if it exists as a unity. This is borne out in Genesis 2:7 and Ecclesiastes 3:21, which make clear that a man cannot and does not exist unless there is a unity of body and spirit. By the same token, God does not exist without a unity of the Father, the Word and the Spirit. If the Word or the Spirit or the Father require creation or generation, that negates the Unity without which God does not exists, and thus violates Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” Also, as scripture also declares God to be unchanging, God does not create or generate new parts to Himself, so what would be created or generated would necessarily be either a creature (Arianism/Jehovah’s Witnesses) or another god (what “eternal generation of the Son” would possibly lead to if its ontological implications were acknowledged and dealt with rather than simply shoved into “eternity” and ignored).

So, regarding “eternal generation of the Son”, the position should be that the Son is not generated but like the Father and the Spirit simply is and has always been, and this is what the meaning of the Name of God I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14) refers to. Further, it is something that is not only true with respect to time (keep in mind the Arian/Jehovah’s Witness argument, which deals with the problems posed by Jesus Christ’s being a creature by simply saying that it is true by being before Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1-18) or timelessness (“eternal generation of the Son”) but ontologically as well. (Truthfully, since the ancient near eastern mindset that produced the Bible did not include ontology, which is a western construct, then God referring to Himself as I AM THAT I AM  of Exodus 3:14 is true spiritually. Where the western mindset has reduced spiritual truth to being merely allegorical, moral, ethical or abstract, the Biblical mindset recognizes spiritual truth as being as explicit, valid and relevant as is 2+2=4 or the law of gravity, or moreover that 2+2 is only always equal to 4 or the law of gravity is only always consistent because of the spiritual truth that is behind it, defines it, and sustains it, and that spiritual truth is none other than Jesus Christ. And yes, the fact that it was most definitely Jesus Christ who appeared to Moses as the flame that did not burn the bush and used the Name I AM THAT I AM with reference to Himself is not only relevant, but would necessarily preclude Arianism/Jehovah’s Witnesses or “eternal generation of the Son”, for had those been so Jesus Christ would have had to say “I am the first that was created” or “I am he who is generated.”)

So if the witness of scripture is to be internally consistent, how can Colossians 1:15 be true? How can Jesus Christ be the firstborn of every creature? The common way is to use the actual definition of firstborn, which is “first in rank” and use it in reference to Jesus Christ’s authority, dominion and rule as creation’s King. It refers to Jesus Christ as Ruler of the universe par excellence. According to this definition, the original firstborn of creation then was Adam. Thus, this is certainly not because Adam was the first thing created (because Adam was created on the 6th day, and thus temporally was actually the LAST thing created!) but because God gave Adam dominion over the earth. Adam forfeited this dominion and firstborn status, and this dominion transferred to Satan. However, Satan was only a usurper. He held the dominion but never the firstborn status, and even his dominion was illegitimately and temporarily possessed just as the pagan Athaliah was illegitimately ruler of Judah for a time (for 6 years, with 6 being the number of a man, how’s that for numerology!) before being replaced by a legitimate rightful monarch that was a son of David. Consider the typology. Athaliah: type. Satan: antitype. Joash: type. Jesus Christ: anti-type. Jesus Christ was the second Adam who not only took on the dominion legitimately but also the firstborn status that Satan could never have even by theft.

Now God gave Adam dominion, the status of firstborn, so that Adam could serve God and in this way God would be glorified through Adam’s service. Adam, of course, was disobedient and utterly failed to fulfill the purpose of his creation – mankind’s creation – which was to serve and glorify God. However, Jesus Christ did so. By way of the incarnation, Jesus Christ became fully man. Born under the law to God’s elect people Israel, Jesus Christ fulfilled the law with His perfect life, living in perfect obedience to God the Father, and fulfilling the purpose of mankind’s creation and also mankind’s destiny, which was and is to glorify God through perfect service forever. So, Adam was the firstborn of creation that failed and died. Jesus Christ is the firstborn of creation that succeeded, was resurrected from the dead and is alive forevermore, and therefore is the Head of all redeemed mankind who will fulfill the purposes mankind’s creation – to serve and glorify God – through Jesus Christ by being Jesus Christ’s own Body. This perfect eternal service is impossible for us to achieve on our own – as Adam proved – but is attainable only by being in Jesus Christ, and our being joined to the firstborn of creation. Where Adam failed to be the progenitor or head of a nation, a people, a race of perfect eternal servants (or even to be this perfect eternal servant himself) Jesus Christ succeeded and is the Head of the church, the bride, the body of Christ.

Now Jesus Christ only succeeded in fulfilling Adam’s original purpose and therefore becoming the true firstborn of creation because unlike Adam, He is fully God. However, Jesus Christ was only fit to fulfill Adam’s purpose, to become the second Adam, by being fully human just as was Adam. Christians can be rightfully accused of refusing to deal with the true nature and implications of Jesus Christ’s humanity because of our desire not to sin and become heretics. Of course, Jesus Christ is the eternal and self-existing God, part of the Triune Godhead. However, this same Jesus Christ was incarnated into A CREATED HUMAN BODY! Jesus Christ’s human body was born of a created woman’s created seed just as was you and I. The ovum in Mary was not eternal, but was created along with Mary, and as such Jesus Christ had a created human body just as do you or I. This body was not simply some animatronic shell, cover or mask for the true divine Person pulling the levers under the covers, which incidentally is a form of the docetism heresy. That implies that Jesus Christ was a fake human who only seemed real. But we know from Romans, Hebrews, Genesis 3:15, and elsewhere that Jesus Christ was a fully thoroughly 100% real human who experienced physical and mental growth, hunger, pain, thirst, agony, isolation, frustration, rejection, temptation and even natural death just like the rest of the human race. That is why He is able to be our priest, His identification with us. However, many of us take the scriptures that refer to Jesus Christ’s identification with us to be more of an association, an affiliation, something less than real. This thinking falls short of the truth of Biblical revelation, and is based on the modern western meaning of “identify with”, which implies merely allegiance or advocacy. For instance, it is possible for a wealthy person to “identify with” the poor through feelings of compassion, works of charity, even political and social advocacy. But unless that person literally gives all his money away and renounces any connections or privileges that he has (i.e. a title or family heritage that he may use to recover at least some of his wealth and status) he will never actually be poor. Jesus Christ did not identify with humanity in that sense, a false and ultimately superficial sense.

Instead, Jesus Christ identified with humanity in the true sense by becoming one of us! Now humans cannot in any way become God in any sense. But in the greatest miracle that ever was or will be, Jesus Christ DID become a human in every sense! And make no mistake, do not be deceived: humans are part of creation. So even though Jesus Christ is God who pre-exists creation, accomplished creation, and in every way transcends creation, when Jesus Christ was incarnated into human flesh, HE BECAME A PART OF CREATION! Now do not be offended or deceived. First off, being God and also not being born of Adam’s seed but rather being the Word of God born of a virgin by the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ had no part in the sin and corruption that creation fell into, and it no part in Him. After all, please recall that creation was originally sinless, a fact proven by God calling it “good”, and God has never at any time called anything sinful or evil “good” except that which God justified by graciously imputing His own righteousness to it (as is the case of sinners). Second, this is not to be confused with such liberal heretical abominations as “process theology” or “death of God theology” which at times holds that God completely surrendered His divine nature. Instead, Jesus Christ became part of creation through His incarnation (becoming fully human) while never at any time ceasing to transcend creation because of His divinity (self-existing and eternal). You can call it the “hypostatic union” if you absolutely must (I do not and have even been accused of adhering to the Nestorianism heresy because of it), but that does not alter the facts.  The result is that through His becoming part of creation, Jesus Christ is given the role of both priest/intercessor/savior for creation (the part of which is elect and will be redeemed) and the judge of creation (the part which is not and will not and whose fate is destruction).

This should cause us to read Colossians 1:15 in a new way. We either read “image of the invisible God, firstborn of creation” devotionally, or we view those as two facts that while true are separate. Instead, Colossians 1:15 is a unity. It describes the incarnation! Man is made in the image of God. Jesus Christ became a man. Jesus Christ became not just any man, but the second Adam. As the first Adam was – until the fall – the firstborn of creation, Jesus Christ by virtue of His incarnation, life, ministry, atoning and substitutionary death on the cross and resurrection not only became the second Adam, but did so in a way that far transcends and exceeded the first Adam! So, not only did Jesus Christ fulfill the original intent of humanity (and by extension of creation, for man is part of creation and creation was accomplished to please and glorify God) but Jesus Christ fulfilled the original intent of mankind and creation in a way BETTER and MORE PLEASING to God the Father than we ever could have ourselves, even if we were to somehow live perfect lives! Again, even if somehow we were to live perfect sinless lives, we would never fulfill the purpose of humanity better or give more honor and glory to God the Father than did Jesus Christ! And not only did Jesus Christ fulfill the purpose of humanity to the glory of God the Father as God the Father’s Suffering Servant, but He did it FOR US as OUR SERVANTS! It is often said that Jesus Christ died for us on the cross, but He also LIVED FOR US BEFORE GOING TO THE CROSS! As a result, Christians receive the benefits of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection!

Now how many of you out there are parents? Or take care of elderly or handicapped people? In your role as a parent or caretaker, you do for those under your trust and care what they cannot do for themselves: you earn a living, you provide housing, food and clothes, you pay taxes, and in many cases you literally do the work of dressing, bathing, feeding and monitoring them or you pay for the services of someone else who does. A great part of your life is doing for others what others cannot do for themselves and allowing others to benefit from it. Well, that is the same thing that Jesus Christ did for you, except in a grander and more majestic way on an infinitely greater scale! Your purpose in being created was to glorify God, and not only did Jesus Christ do something for you that you could not do yourself, but He did it better than you could ever do even if you could!

And consider that for a second. This child that you are taking care of as a parent will one day grow up and take care of himself. Your son or daughter might do a better job! As a matter of fact, if you are a good loving parent, you hope that they will for themselves and for their own children! By the same token, what if this person who has suffered a stroke or is paralyzed gets healed by God. They go from being taken care of by you to taking care of themselves, and again a decent moral person would hope that they would receive better care from their own hand than they did from yours. And this is an example of how and why what Jesus Christ did for you is so amazing, so special. Because no matter how much you grow up, no matter how much your body (or mind) gets healed, better or stronger, you will NEVER be able to live a perfect life. You can exist for an eternity and still NEVER be able to do what Jesus Christ did for you by living a perfect life on your behalf, and you CERTAINLY would never be able to use your own perfect existence to justify someone else by imputing your righteousness to them.

But Jesus Christ did all that and more by becoming the image of the invisible God, a man in the image of God who yet is simultaneously is God. And He did not rest or be content with simply being a man in the image of God who also is God, but He also succeeded in living a life that glorified God the Father at all times and in every way. And it is because of this that God glorified His Name above every Name, that God bestowed the status of “firstborn of creation” upon Him! Jesus Christ is God who became part of creation and now sits at creation’s head as its Ruler, King, and Firstborn, and did all of this without violating that which is revealed in scripture which is part of God’s nature, which is that God is unchangeable! That is right, Jesus Christ accomplished creation, became part of creation, and became priest for redeemed creation and judge for that which is not redeemed without His Divine nature being altered or changed in any way. (Incidentally, this is something that liberal theologies – i.e.  process theology and open theism – deny.) Now again, I am not a “hypostatic union” guy, but I do acknowledge that the hypostatic union doctrine does articulate and explain this.

So the core of Colossians 1:15 is that Jesus Christ has full membership in both Deity and creation by way of the incarnation. Jesus Christ did this in obedience to God the Father, but He also did it for you! However, in order to partake of the benefits of Jesus Christ becoming a man so that He could die on the cross for your sins in your place, you must believe that these things are true, and as a result turn away from your sins and submit to Jesus Christ as Your Lord and Savior. If there are any people who do not believe in Jesus Christ as described here, I encourage you to do so right now. If there are any Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, oneness pentecostals, Muslims, Jews, Roman Catholics or anyone else who denies the Deity or true nature of Jesus Christ or His life and work as clearly revealed through scripture, I encourage you to turn away from those and submit yourself to the truth. I do not say “accept the truth” because that implies that you are in some way an entity who has a role in creating, deciding, or being an arbiter of truth. Rest assured, only God is the creator, decider, determiner, arbiter and revealer of truth, so these things are going to be true whether you accept them or not. So, your duty then is to respond by believing them through faith and following through with obedience. That is the way, the only way that you can submit to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and be saved.

For more information follow  The Three Step Salvation Plan.Vodpod videos no longer available.

Posted in Christianity, watchtower tract | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

How To Deal With Jehovah’s Witnesses

Posted by Job on October 2, 2008

From Fancied Freedom. Part 1

How to know you’re talking to a Jehovah’s Witness

It’s quite simple, actually. If you are asked whether you read the Bible, and you reply by saying, “Yes, I am Christian,” and the person kindly ignores you but proceeds to hand you literature on how to know what the Bible says, you are talking to a Jehovah’s Witness.

That was my experience today, as I got out of my car and got my son out of his car seat, and tried to make my way inside the house to eat lunch. Two women walk up to me from their parked car across the street and begin speaking with me about some home Bible studies they lead. And then the conversation continues with me receiving a “biblical” education even though I had already stated that I read the Bible. Perhaps I should’ve been more clear, maybe saying that I “religiously” read the Bible and know “exactly” what it says about suffering, sin and salvation. (Well, I don’t know it all but I know what’s necessary.)

In any event, I was completely dumbfounded the rest of the afternoon at how she just ignored the fact that I read the Bible. Did that not even matter? Usually when I meet someone and find out they are Christian, I’m really excited because we have Christ in common. However, that was not the case today, because I had nothing in common with this woman. She doesn’t know Christ – she knows a false christ as part of a false religion. Therefore, I shall pray for her, and for my response if she decides to return with more propaganda. Since I believe in a Sovereign God, I believe there are no coincidences and there could possibly be a chance to show her the true Christ.

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Part 2

 

Approached by the Jehovah’s Witness again

You may remember a previous post about an impromptu meeting with two Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was approached at home as I was unloading my car. Even though I told the kind ladies that I am Christian and do read the Bible, they proceeded to hand me their literature. My husband threw it away.

So, today, as I’m in the middle of trying to feed my son lunch, a knock at the door interrupts me. Looking through the peephole, I recognize that my visitor is none other than one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses that greeted me a week ago. Hesitantly, I opened the door and our conversation began.

She asked if I read through the materials she handed me and I said I did but explained that I am born again, go to a Christian, Bible-based church and do not believe what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe (they don’t believe in the deity of Christ or His physical resurrection.) In a somewhat defensive tone, she told me that even though I am not the same religion, we have God in common and it doesn’t mean we can’t talk.

I never said we couldn’t talk – she didn’t listen to me and I explained to her that I would be glad to talk with her, that I do talk to people of other faiths. But that I profess Jesus Christ as my Savior and read my Bible and go to my church and that I do not believe what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe so I did not need her literature. Again, she said there is no reason why we can’t talk. She proceeded to show me some Bible verses (in her Bible) and asked me questions about the sinfulness of man and God’s Kingdom.

By this time, my son was screaming for his lunch so I kindly explained that I needed to go and tend to my godly duties of caring for my son and she thanked me for my time. I’m not sure if she’ll be back but I certainly need to be better prepared and maybe even ask her some questions.

Again, my explanation of my faith fell on deaf ears. It was even funnier (is that a word?) how she thought I had said I couldn’t talk to her when I actually had said I am born again and go to a Christian church. The things we “think” we hear when we’re not listening.

Need to know how to respond to a JW? Here’s a good Web site.

Posted in Bible, Christianity, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, Jesus Christ, watchtower tract | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Mormon And Jehovah’s Witnesses Classified As Christian By World Council Of Churches!

Posted by Job on February 21, 2008

Original link.

The two fastest-growing church bodies in the United States and Canada, according to a newly published report, are ones whose beliefs are known to conflict with traditional Christian teaching.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, regarded by many Christians as cults, reported the largest membership increases in a year, according to the National Council of Churches’ 2008 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches.

Although Jehovah’s Witnesses currently rank 25th in size with over 1.06 million members, they reported a 2.25 per cent increase in membership since the publication of the 2007 Yearbook. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – also known as the Mormon church – grew 1.56 per cent and is listed by the NCC as the fourth largest ‘church’.

Notably, however, both Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormon church are not accepted within many Christian circles as part of the larger Body of Christ over a number of controversial beliefs that the two religions hold.

The identification of Jehovah’s Witnesses as Christian is debated largely due to their rejection of the Trinity, which most Christians regard as a fundamental doctrine. Latter-day Saints, meanwhile, are often criticised for their belief in “divine” books of scripture, aside from the Bible, including the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

Mormonism was formally listed under “cults and sects” by the Southern Baptist Convention – the largest Protestant denomination in the nation – but was more recently categorised among “newly developed religions” on the North American Mission Board apologetics page.

Other bodies in the newly published top 25 largest churches list that reported membership increases include the Catholic Church with a 0.87 per cent increase; the Southern Baptist Convention with a 0.22 per cent increase; the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church with a 0.21 per cent rise; and the Assemblies of God with a 0.19 per cent growth.

The greatest losses in membership were reported by the Episcopal Church, which dropped 4.15 per cent in members, and the Presbyterian Church (USA), which decreased by 2.36 per cent. Both denominations are currently wracked by theological differences and the issue of homosexuality.

American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America also experienced large losses in membership, dropping 1.82 per cent and 1.58 per cent, respectively.

“Some will wish to argue that the slowing growth rate is evidence of an increasing secularisation of American postmodern society,” said the Rev Dr Eileen W Lindner, editor of the Yearbook. “While such an explanation will satisfy some, caution in drawing such a conclusion is warranted.”

Lindner also observed that churches are feeling the impact of the lifestyles of Millenials – people in their 20s and 30s – who attend church but resist becoming members.

The United Methodist Church saw a 0.99 per cent decrease but the mainline group remains the third largest church body with nearly 8 million members.

Only three of the top 10 largest churches are mainline Protestant churches; three of the top 25 are Pentecostal churches; and six of the top 15 are historic African American churches.

Largest 25 Churches (ranked by membership)

1. The Catholic Church – 67,515,016
2. Southern Baptist Convention – 16,306,246
3. The United Methodist Church – 7,995,456
4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – 5,779,316
5. The Church of God in Christ – 5,499,875
6. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc. – 5,000,000
7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – 4,774,203
8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. – 3,500,000
9. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – 3,025,740
10. Assemblies of God – 2,836,174
11. African Methodist Episcopal Church – 2,500,000
12. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America – 2,500,000
13. Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. – 2,500,000
14. The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) – 2,417,997
15. Episcopal Church – 2,154,572
16. Churches of Christ – 1,639,495
17. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – 1,500,000
18. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. – 1,500,000
19. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church – 1,443,405
20. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. – 1,371,278
21. United Church of Christ – 1,218,541
22. Baptist Bible Fellowship International – 1,200,000
23. Christian Churches and Churches of Christ – 1,071,616
24. The Orthodox Church in America – 1,064,000
25. Jehovah’s Witnesses – 1,069,530

Posted in Christianity, Mormon, mormonism, watchtower tract, world council churches | Tagged: | 9 Comments »

Jehovah’s Witnesses Videos

Posted by Job on January 6, 2008

Posted in abomination, blasphemy, false religion, heresy, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, watchtower tract | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

O Magnum Mysterium 3: Word of the Father Now in Flesh Appearing

Posted by Job on January 1, 2008

From Sharper Iron. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

If Jesus Christ were not truly and perfectly God, He could not be our mediator. If Jesus Christ were not truly and perfectly human, He could not be our mediator. This much, Scripture makes clear. Our problem is that we have absolutely no experience with divine-human beings other than Jesus Christ. He is absolutely unique, the only one of His kind. For that reason, Christians have struggled to find words to express just who Jesus is.

With the Athanasian Creed we affirm that, as to their deity, the Father and Son are equally glorious, eternal, uncreated, incomprehensible, and almighty. Yet they are not two Gods, but one. So we confess. Nevertheless, we also confess that we do not comprehend what we affirm. While the relationship of the Father to the Son involves no logical contradiction, it is inexplicable and impenetrable to the human mind. It rises above reason. We do not understand how such a thing can be.

Already bewildered, we then encounter the full humanity of the Son. Here we discover a person who, as to His deity, is coequal, coeternal, and consubstantial with God the Father, but who, without ceasing to be fully God, also becomes fully human. We are asked to believe that a person who is equal with God is also one of us.

Not everyone agrees. Often, people reject what they cannot explain. Worse yet, they modify the truth to fit some human explanation. So they have done with the person of Christ. Some have denied His full deity. Ebionites saw Jesus as a good man, a teacher, and a prophet who kept the law. Arians explained Jesus as God’s first creation, so highly exalted above others that He could be called “a god,” but who was still not properly “God.” Adoptionists (Dynamic Monarchians) understood Jesus as a human who was elevated to divine status by some act of God.

Some have denied the distinction of the Son from the Father. The Sabellians (Modalistic Monarchians) affirmed that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were simply three modes in which God presented Himself and not actual personal distinctions. As the same man might appear as husband to his wife, as teacher to his students, and as peer to his fellows, God presented Himself at one time as Father, at another as Son, and at another as Holy Spirit. Ultimately, however, the Trinity is a mask, and God is one and only one person.

Others have denied Jesus’ complete humanity. Docetists believed that the human body of Jesus was a mere phantom projected by the divine Christ. Apollinarians taught that Jesus possessed a human body and soul, but that the place of the rational, human spirit was taken by the divine Logos (in other words, Christ was 3/3 divine but only 2/3 human). Eutychians affirmed complete divine and human natures but saw the human nature as so recessive as to be almost completely overwhelmed by the divine—rather like a drop of honey in an ocean of water. Still others have rejected the integrity of the person of Jesus Christ. Cerinthians believed that the divine Christ descended upon the human Jesus, only to abandon Him before the cross. Nestorians affirmed the full deity and full humanity of Christ but divided those two natures into two distinct persons, joined rather like Siamese twins.

The equal and opposite reaction was for others to affirm the unity of the person by denying the distinctiveness of the natures. Monophysites collapsed the divinity and humanity of Christ into a single nature. In principle this nature was supposed to be both divine and human, but in practice the divine so overwhelmed the human that Monophysitism became a reaffirmation of Eutychianism. A more subtle form of denying the distinction between the natures is Monothelitism, which denies that Jesus had a human will. De facto, this belief is a denial of the completeness of the human nature of Jesus.

These are not merely ancient heresies. They have had a tendency to reappear throughout church history. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are unreconstructed Arians. Mormonism applies Adoptionist principles, not only to Christ, but to all humanity. Many liberals have regarded Jesus simply as a human teacher or prophet, and contemporary biblical scholarship is witnessing a resurgence of interest in Gnostic understandings of Christ. Modalistic Monarchianism shows up in the teachings both of Witness Lee and of the so-called “Jesus Only Movement,” represented by the United Pentecostal Church. The Coptic Orthodox Church still defends Monophysitism and condemns the Council of Chalcedon as “divisive.”

Our understanding of the person of Christ has been hammered out in opposition to these heresies. Each new heretical theory forced Christians to return to the Scriptures in order to test the theory against the text. At each new controversy, Christians erected a new barrier against heresy. They were forced to say, “Scripture teaches this but not that. We may say it this way but not that way.” This process resulted in the adoption of several public summary statements, each of which was more specific than the one that preceded it.

At the end of the day, here is what we must affirm. If Jesus Christ were not true God, He could not be our savior. If Jesus Christ were not true human, He could not be our savior. If Jesus Christ were not one person, he could not be our savior. If the person of Christ were divided, then He could not be our savior. If the natures were combined or transmuted, then He could not be our savior. All of this belief is summarized and elaborated in the formula of Chalcedon.

Nothing is more important to Christianity than the incarnation of Jesus Christ. A false step here can lead us to deny the gospel and plunge us into apostasy. We learn about the old heresies so that we may confront the new ones. We confront the new ones so that we may keep the gospel pure. We aim for precision in our understanding of Jesus Christ so that we may trust Him and worship Him as He is, rather than worshiping a false Jesus whom we have manufactured in our own idolatrous hearts.

In one sense, we are indebted to the heretics. Everything that we need to know about Jesus Christ is in the text of Scripture. If we had not been challenged by the heretics, however, we never would have studied the Scriptures as they deserved to be studied. We never would have noticed the depth and texture and richness of the biblical teaching concerning the incarnation. The heretics have forced us to discover exactly what Scripture says and what it forbids us to say.

We cannot explain the incarnation. We cannot fully comprehend the notion of a theanthropic person. But we can learn to be precise in saying who He is and who He is not. We can know Him. We can trust Him. We can love Him. We can worship Him. Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing: O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

Christmas Carols Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Lo! Newborn Jesus
Soft and weak and small,
Wrapped in baby’s bands
By His Mother’s hands,
Lord God of all.

Lord God of Mary,
Whom His Lips caress
While He rocks to rest
On her milky breast
In helplessness.

Lord God of shepherds
Flocking through the cold.
Flocking through the dark
To the only Ark,
The only Fold.

Lord God of all things
Be they near or far,
Be they high or low;
Lord of storm and snow,
Angel and star.

Lord God of all men,—
My Lord and my God!
Thou who lovest me,
Keep me close to Thee
By staff and rod.

Lo! newborn Jesus
Loving great and small,
Love’s free Sacrifice,
Opening Arms and Eyes
To one and all.

This essay is by Dr. Kevin T. Bauder, president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Plymouth, MN).

Posted in apostasy, blasphemy, Christianity, false doctrine, false teaching, heresy, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, Jesus Christ, Jesus Only, modalism, Mormon, mormonism, Moshiach, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, watchtower tract, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How The Oneness Pentecostal Jesus Only Doctrine Was Originally Justified

Posted by Job on December 1, 2007

Background information: my wife reports that while driving recently she was listening to a local religious call – in show on a gospel radio station. A caller, a recently saved fellow, told the pastor answering questions that he had just started attending a church whose pastor told him that he needed to be baptized in the name of Jesus only. He said that he related that information to his wife, who told him that he had to be baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The call – in show pastor told the fellow that he should not listen to his wife, but rather the pastor, that he should be baptized in the name of Jesus only. This pastor then asserted “the Name Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has no power.”

First off, the claims by the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus only folks, etc. that the original apostolic doctrines were discarded and that their group is the true church restoring the true faith … well they have been around for awhile. The first known group to make this claim were the “adoptionists”, who claimed that Jesus Christ was born a mere man (though supremely virtuous), received God’s “anointing” at baptism, and did not reach divine status until His resurrection. This doctrine originated in 190 AD, and within a few decades  its followers started claiming that their doctrine was the original doctrine first given to universally accepted by the church until it was changed when the church was led by Zephyrinus, the bishop of Rome from 198 AD to 217 AD. Fortunately there were still people around that were alive before Zephyrinus became bishop of Rome to refute their lies, and further Hippolytus was easily able to trace documents, doctrines, and teachers into the first century, which was the apostolic era itself. So the same lies that Charles Taze Russell, Joseph Smith, and the neo – gnostics like Elaine Pagels and Dan Brown are currently pushing

Second, the notion that Jesus Christ and Michael the archangel were one and the same did not originate with Ellen G. White of the Seventh Day Adventist denomination. Instead, it was first proposed in a crude form by second century figure Hermas. The source of Hermas’ confusion on this matter seems to be that put the Holy Spirit in the place of Jesus Christ in his Similitudes writings. Also in those writings he described a council of six angels, with Michael as the lead, who were called most venerable, holy, and glorious, and were also were given supreme power over the people of God, to pronounce judgment, etc.

Third, the original Jesus only oneness pentecostal, a late second – early third century figure named Noetus, who along with his followers justified their doctrines by rejecting John 1:1-18 by refusing to interpret it literally. In those days, it was a common practice to resort to an “allegorical” or “spiritual” interpretation of scripture whenever one encountered something that they did not want to believe or obey. It was most commonly used to A) discard things in scripture that did not conform to the Hellenistic mindset and B) bash Jews, which appears to have been a beloved pasttime of the early church after the Jewish Christian – Gentile Christian schism. But of course allegorizing and outright taking things out of context was also broadly used by heretics, as it was in this case. Please keep in mind that the views of Noetus actually predated the Council of Nicea by 100 years and the Council of Constantinople, where the full Trinity doctrine was adopted, by over 150 years. Despite what the oneness crowd claims, “Jesus only” and similar was not the doctrine being debated at Nicea and Constantinople, but rather Arianism, which rejected both Christianity and oneness by claiming that Jesus Christ was a created being that was not divine. The Trinity doctrine, then, was fully articulated as a response to Jehovah’s Witness – ism, not modalism, which had been rejected over 100 years earlier. Please consider that it was in response to the teachings of Noetus that Tertullian became the first to refer God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as “Persons”, and the document in which he did so was produced in 213 AD. Not that Tertullian was an innovator, but rather built on the writings of Irenaeus, and he on other church leaders.

Oh yes, and as to the claim that the early church baptized in the name of Jesus only, the Didache (the Teachings of The Twelve Apostles), which was written as early as 140 AD, says otherwise. So do the writings of Theophilus, who was born around 115 AD and became bishop of Antioch in 169 AD.  Not coincidentally, this same Theophilus is considered the first person to use the word “Trinity.”

Source: Early Christian Doctrines by J.N.D. Kelly.

Posted in Christianity, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, Jesus Christ, Jesus Only, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, watchtower tract | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments »

Interesting That Athanasius Is Not Studied During Black History Month

Posted by Job on December 1, 2007

Athanasius, called “the black dwarf” by his heretic opponents, is considered by some the one who saved Christianity when Constantine converted to the Arianism heresy (very similar to what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe) and began persecuting Trinitarian Christians. In contrast to the much better known Augustine, Athanasius was never considered a great intellect. He also was not regarded as a great orator, writer, or politician. So how, then, did he prevail against the might of the Roman Empire? By remaining obedient to the example of Jesus Christ and being a humble, pious man of the people who always sacrificed (to the point of having to hide as a fugitive in the desert among the monks, with whom he was very popular and trusted and as such helped hide him from the Roman authorities), never compromised, and never sought the favor of the wealthy or powerful elites in the church or government. It is fitting that Athanasius, whose entire career was one of battle, striving, and struggle, did not live to see the victory that he strove for: the final rejection of the many various heresies and formal adoption of the Trinity formula in its present form. Instead, that battle was won by three members of his beloved monk community: Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, and Basil shortly after his death. I believe that it is because it was not the Will of God for the man who spent his life battling an institutional imperial state church to receive validation from that same entity. Rather, Athanasius lived and died according to Acts 5:29b: We ought to obey God rather than men.

http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/152.html

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athanasius_of_Alexandria

ancienthistory.about.com/b/2006/05/10/athanasius.htm

Posted in Christianity, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, watchtower tract | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 42 Comments »

The Spurious Glitter Of Pantheism

Posted by Job on November 9, 2007

[splashcast BXXK1468QM]

Posted in buddhism, Christianity, false religion, Hinduism, idolatry, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, Mormon, mormonism, watchtower tract | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Jehovah’s Witness Dies After Refusing Blood Transfusion During Childbirth

Posted by Job on November 6, 2007

christiantoday.com/article/mother.dies.after.refusing.blood.transfusion.over.faith.fears/14391.htm

LONDON – Jehovah’s Witnesses said on Monday they are concerned for the family of a young mother who died after giving birth to twins because her faith prevented her from accepting a blood transfusion. Media reports said Emma Gough, 22, from Telford, Shropshire, gave birth to a baby boy and girl at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on Oct. 25.

But complications set in after she suffered severe blood loss and she died hours later. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Bible prohibits the accepting of blood and that it is a sin to do so. Followers are advised to make clear to hospital staff before any operation that they do not want a transfusion, and to sign a medical directive card making clear their choice. Tom Taylor, chief executive of the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, said in a statement: “We have offered our deepest condolences to the family, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”

Terry Lovejoy, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Telford, told Reuters: “We are very concerned for the family at a time of grief for them.”He said he did not want to comment further until the full facts had emerged and a hospital review had taken place. Newspapers said Gough’s husband Anthony, 24, is caring for the twins.

Posted in false religion, idolatry, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, watchtower tract | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

The State Of Christianity VI: A Messianic Jew Comments On The Church

Posted by Job on October 1, 2007

 From Randy Weiss of Crosstalk.com, who can be reached at randy@crosstalk.org

As a Jewish believer, I have a commentary to share about Christian America. It seems to me that churches, and the Christians they house, have become a dime a dozen? The Church is to be God’s vehicle for change in this world. Christianity is to be the salt and light of a tasteless darkened world. Instead, it seems that we have been dulled by compromise and dimmed by confusion. Churches seem to exist on every corner, but those who attend often seem to have too much in common with the world.

Is this right? We preach Christ, and therefore offer hope–the most valuable commodity on earth, yet, many churchesexhibit death instead of life; darkness instead of daylight. Mausoleums of faith do not spawn life. They merely house the dead.

Undoubtedly, the true Body of Christ is alive and pure and awaiting Christ’s return but often, it seems that God’s remnant is well hidden from our culture. Lights under a bushel I guess. Even our revivals seem to proliferate without any power to penetrate. Unfortunately, when it comes to actually being engaged in revival, after all is said and done,there is still more said than done. Even revivals have been marked down to a dime a dozen. Revivals aremarketed like sporting events, promoted like rock concerts, and visited like religious shrines where celebrities are exalted and their magic charms sold to Christian consumers.

Remember, only dead things need revival. Until we realize how dead we are, we will not be poised for the change from death to life. True revival will not come until we reach the end of ourselves. If we can reach death to ourselves, we will attain life in Christ. At that point, we can be used of God. Maybe, if He chooses, God will then revive the Church in our days. But the indications suggest that secular society is winning the culture war. The world is determining the standards by which the Church should live instead of the other way around.

According to the name game mentioned earlier, world revival seems to be happening for the Moslems. Many
will agree that they have assumed the prestigious title of the fastest growing religion on earth. That is why
around the globe, you are more likely to run into a little Mohammed than anyone else. I mean no disrespect
when I say this. The Moslems are doing a better job of spreading their gospel than the Church. On a per person basis, I think I can safely say that even the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses have more missionaries and soul-winners – or losers, depending on your perspective – than mainline Christian denominations.

Why is that? Do the cults have more truth? Of course not. Do false religions deserve more adherents because they are more committed than Christians? I hope not. Do they have more power from their master than we do from ours? Our God is Lord of all so there can be no more powerful force anywhere. Do they have more love for their falsehoods than we have for God’s truth? God forbid, but could it be? Let me submit a radical idea for your consideration. I think that the people of God have been infected with greed, lust, pride, and all manner of
deception and evil. Sin is in the camp of God’s people today, and surely, judgment is coming. Listen
friend, the Church must share God’s love with whores and whoremongers, but we must stop ordaining them to
leadership, and allowing them to remain in positions of authority and influence when discovered.

The Church must be a beacon of love and tolerance to adulterers and sodomites, but we cannot allow them to remain hidden behind our pulpits or stumblingblocks on our deacon boards. Yes, we are saved by faith from every form of evil behavior, but not to return to that evil behavior as dogs to vomit. I rejoice in the fact that
grace does free us from our past, and I understand that we cannot attain God’s love through merit. It is
clear that with Paul, we must ?conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law?
(Rom. 3:28). But that doesn’t allow us to break the law and exalt sin. Paul rightly asked and answered the
rhetorical question, ?Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law?
(Rom. 3:31). OK, now I want to give you another of my opinions.

I will shock many of my friends, and delight some of my enemies, but I want to talk about homosexuality. I’m not into gay-bashing! I don’t think we should discriminate against homosexuals. If the truth be known, it seems rather unchristian. One time, I was at a conference of Christian radicals where they were passing out bumper stickers with the ghostbuster symbol saying “No Homos.” Personally, I found it to be a bit distasteful. One of the participants was bragging about his exploits at a gay parade where he snuck around plastering his
bumperstickers on nearby cars. Of course, we should stand for righteousness but evangelism carries a higher
call than unwanted bumper stickers.

Now please don’t misinterpret what I am saying. I don’t want homosexuals running boy scout camps, coaching 7th grade sports programs, or supplying soap to the gym showers, but they have the right to earn a living and not be harassed for their uninformed choices. They’re pagans, what can you expect of a pagan? Here is the real question? Is homosexuality more disgraceful than other sexual sins? Personally, I reject the contrived hierarchy of sexual sins that some Christians have fabricated. The fornicator is not better than the
adulterer. And the adulterer does not have a higher status than the sodomite or the lesbian. Someday, they
will all live together. They will all inhabit the pit of Hell if not redeemed. Is it right to present the homosexual as a worse pervert than any other pervert? Who can say that it is less sinful for a Christian man to sleep with a woman to whom he is not married than it is for an unchristian man to sleep with another man? That is silly. The number of shattered lives among children from marriages broken by adultery outrank the broken lives of offspring from homosexual unions? NO! I don’t have statistics. But I think you can take my word for that one.

I have a friend who likes to say that “Idiots beget idiots.” Well, at leasthomosexuals don’t beget much. Sexual sin, be it adultery or homosexuality is damnable, unless Christ comes to the rescue. Adultery depreciates God’s plan for the family. It destroys the lives of husbands,wives, and the children wrecked by loose zippers and short dresses.

Posted in Christian hypocrisy, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church worldliness, family breakdown, homosexuality, Islam, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, Jesus Christ, Judaism, mammon, Messianic Judaism, Mormon, mormonism, Muslim, watchtower tract | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

How To Evangelize A Jehovah’s Witness

Posted by Job on September 12, 2007

Note this very common argument used by a Jehovah’s Witness user delt01 on Youtube where I found this video to defend his false beliefs is the same that I get from ONENESS PENTECOSTALS (and Mormons) all the time:

“The divinity of Christ, and whether it’s the archangel who was born as Jesus, is just beyond human understanding. Arguing about it is pointless, and just leads to conflicts and fighting. I seriously doubt you will be cast off from God for lacking the ability to understand, much less burn in a hell of fire and suffering for all eternity. There. Everyone happy?”

Posted in Christianity, evangelism, false religion, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, multiculturalism, religious discrimination, religious right, spiritual deliverance techniques, thou shalt not murder, watchtower tract | 4 Comments »

Who Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Say Jesus Christ Is?

Posted by Job on September 12, 2007

From My Jehovah’s Witness Video on Youtube created by billphillips.wordpress.com

Posted in Christianity, false religion, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, religious discrimination, spiritual deliverance techniques, thou shalt not murder, watchtower tract | 2 Comments »

How To Prove Jesus Christ’s Deity To A Jehovah’s Witness (Or Anyone Else)

Posted by Job on August 3, 2007

From Proving to Jehovah’s Witnesses that Jesus is God from billphillips.wordpress.com

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have completely changed the Bible with their New World Translation. They are desperate to show that Jesus is not God. There is a long list of Scriptures that prove that Jesus is one with God, but the Jehovah’s Witnesses have done their best to edit those out of their bible. The following list works even with their bible.

Name Applied to Jehovah Applied to Jesus 

Alpha and Omega

  

Revelation 1:8

Revelation 22:13

Lord of Lords

         

Deuteronomy  10:17         

Revelation 17:14

First and Last 

      

Isaiah 44:6

Revelation 1:17-18, 22:13

King 

Isaiah 43:15                     

Revelation 17:14

 

Owner

Jeremiah 3:14

Jude 4

 

Husband

Hosea 2:16

Revelation 21:9

 

Savior

Isaiah 43:11

Luke 2:11

 

Judge

Genesis 18:25

2 Timothy 4:8

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have some other problems as well. In trying to demote Jesus to being lower than God, they say He’s a lesser god, but a god nonetheless (their version of John 1:1 says, “the Word was a god”). In this, they become polytheists, which I’m sure they don’t want to be, and it’s completely contradictory to even their bible.

They also say that Jesus is Michael the archangel. There are zero verses that would indicate this, and there are only a handful of verses that refer to Michael. They’ve been knocking on my door about once a month for the last few months, and I asked the last pair of ladies for their reason for believing that Jesus is Michael the archangel. They quoted Jude 9, “But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” I just told them that that verse doesn’t even say anything about Jesus.

Since then, I’ve learned that that verse not only doesn’t indicate anything about Jesus being Michael the archangel, but it in fact proves that Jesus is not Michael. Michael called on the Lord to rebuke the devil, but Jesus never hesitated to rebuke the devil or demons Himself (Matthew 4:10, Matthew 17:18, Luke 4:41, etc.).

I think once you’ve got them thinking, this is a good time to go through a few of the Ten Commandments (Galatians 3:24), and conclude by saying that if they don’t have a proper understanding of who Jesus is, they won’t be saved (John 8:24). Any way you look at it, Jehovah’s Witnesses are terribly deceived, and all you can do is make an attempt to correct their understanding. Hopefully it will make them think, and they’ll get saved someday.

Posted in Christianity, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, religious discrimination, thou shalt not murder, watchtower tract | 5 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: