Sunday, June 27, 2010

Is the Angel of the LORD Yahweh Himself?

This was partially inspired by Greg Deuble who wrote "They Never told me THIS in Church."A man I can certainly admire for his willingness to question his tradition(he was trinitarian) when confronted with legitimate challenges of it.Also,he was willing to change when truths like Deut 6:4 ,Psalm 110:1 etc. demanded it.

These are quotes that I either found in "They never told me THIS in church" by Greg Deuble or on websites.As Christians,we must use reason when we read the scriptures,and when something like I'm about to present repeatedly appears,it's wise to not only take heed but ALSO to understand we can't logically say "that's true here" but "impossible here."That would be both inconsistent and also wreak of bias if we're trying to protect a traditional creed of men.

I don't know how these men who I'm about to quote apply these principles and Hebrew truths when they read the scriptures.That isn't my concern.My concern is simply Hebrew thought as opposed to modern thought when entering scripture.

First let us define the Hebrew concept of the biblical "principle of agency."
GRB Murray (in _Gospel of Life: Theology in the Fourth Gospel_ ) cites the Jewish halachic law as follows: "One sent is as he who sent him."

1 Chronicles 29:20:And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king.

Why would anyone worship a king unless that worship was relative to his own God's,glorifying his own God who endowed him with a certain authority and designated him with a certain glory?

To quote Greg Deuble,who quotes a Jewish Encyclopedia(pp.64-64 "They Never Told me THIS in Church"):

"A common feature of the Hebrew Bible is the concept (some even call it the "law") of Jewish agency. All Old Testament scholars and commentators recognize that in Jewish custom whenever a superior commissioned an agent to act on his behalf, the agent was regarded as the person himself.

This is well expressed in the Encyclopedia of the Jewish religion:Agent:(Heb. Shaliah):The main point of the Jewish law of agency is expressed in the dictum,"a person's agent is regarded as the person himself."(Ned 72B;Kidd,41b)Therefore any act committed by a duly appointed agent is regarded as having been committed by the principle." The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion, R.J.Z. Werblowski and Geoffrey Wigoder

Exodus 23:20 “Here I am sending an angel ahead of you to keep you on the road and to bring you into the place that I have prepared. 21 Watch yourself because of him and obey his voice. Do not behave rebelliously against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; because my name is within him. 22 However, if you strictly obey his voice and really do all that I shall speak, then I shall certainly be hostile to your enemies and harass those who harass you. 23 For my angel will go ahead of you

"The angel is distinguished from God yet identified with Him.In Hebrew eyes it is perfectly natural to consider the agent as the person himself.In Hebrew thought,homage given to God's representative is homage ultimately given to God himself."-p.66 "They never told me THIS in Church" Greg Deuble(2nd edition)

"This shows that in Hebrew thought an agent may bear the title of his principle.When God says that His name was in the angel,it meant that God's authority was invested in the angel.Whatever the angel said and did was in reality what God himself said and did.In obeying the angel,the Israelites really were obeying God."-p.67 "They never told me THIS in Church" Greg Deuble(2nd edition)

Manoah,after encountering the Angel of the Lord in Judges 13 says in verse 22:

22 And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.”

How could someone who isn't the TRUE God(John 17:3) actually be identified as "God?"God places his authority within the commissioned messenger and that messenger essentially becomes "God" to the ones who he confronts on behalf of his sender.Similar to how God MADE Moses "God" to Pharaoh(Exodus 4:16,7:1)and how the judges were gods to the Israelites.(Psalm 82:6)

Take note that in Judges 13:16 (in the same chapter)this Angel of Yah insists that an offering not be offered to him but unto Yah,distinguishing himself clearly from the ONE GOD to whom offerings are made.This Angel was allowed worship because he was endowed with an authority as God's special representative that other angels just did not have!Again,he was regarded as Yah himself in Hebraic thought in that God revealed himself through and endowed this messenger with his authority like no other!This is the Hebrew mind and not the modern one.That could be why there is such confusion,dictating not only some "mystery" "mystical" belief in the 2 natured Christ and a three person Yah but also a blatant disregard for Deut 6:4 and many other texts.We only have ONE Yah.Not three ontologically Yah.

To expound further:

"The angel as God's representative is clearly distinct from God in all He says and does.The commissioned angel can even speak in the first person as though he is God himself speaking.The same applied to the Jewish judges.To stand before these human magistrates was to stand before "God" and hear His judgments.But no Hebrew ever considered the judge to BE God.Clearly,we must endeavor to understand the bible according to its own culture,times,and thought-forms."p.71

Interesting point Mister Deuble.Reminds me of Jesus's rebuke of the Pharisees for assuming the same things trinitarians do,that Jesus can't have God's authority without actually committing some crime unless he IS the same God he worships and who commissions him.Jesus said,rebuking them:

John 10:33 The Jews answered him: “We are stoning you, not for a fine work, but for blasphemy, even because you, although being a man, make yourself a god.” 34 Jesus answered them: “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said: “you are gods”’? 35 If he called ‘gods’ those against whom the word of God came, and yet the Scripture cannot be nullified, 36 do you say to me whom the Father sanctified and dispatched into the world, ‘You blaspheme,’ because I said, I am God’s Son? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, do not believe me. 38 But if I am doing them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, in order that you may come to know and may continue knowing that the Father is in union with me and I am in union with the Father.”

I think Jesus's own words are a sufficient enough rebuke for the Jews and the trinitarians who have a similar thought process in that Jesus can be the agent through whom God works(Acts 2:22) without becoming a portion of that one's substance or equal to his own God..Jesus also let us know he is in union with his father the same way Christians are in union with him.(John 17:21-26)As the same substance,multiple persons?I think not.

“The Jewish concept of agency, which involved a legal relationship as
much as anything else, can be summed up in the key phrase: ‘A
person’s agent is as himself.’ An agent is a person authorized to
perform some specific set of tasks and empowered to speak and act for
the one sending the person. The agent was acting for the sender on
occasions when the sender could not or chose not to be personally
present. This agent was to be treated as the one sending him or her
would have been treated had that one come in person. An affront to the
agent was an affront to the sender; a positive response or treatment of
the agent was seen as a positive response or treatment of the sender.
In many ways this was also how ambassadors or envoys were viewed in
the ancient world—they were just other kinds of agents.”Ben Witherington, III, John’s Wisdom: A Commentary on the Fourth Gospel (Louisville,Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press), 140.

Why would Yah choose to designate a very special agent to reveal himself?Could it possibly be because no one could see him face to face and actually afterward proceed to continue living?This is an indisputable reality that Christians conveniently ignore for Yah's supposed "second person." He put his name in the Angel of Yah and gave a name to Yeshua.Why?Because he can!Could it be because not even the heavens can contain his glory,much less a "vessel" or "messenger" or "Godman?"Could it be because after mankind fell,he needed a mediator because he was too holy to be directly reached without first a human priesthood which wasn't sufficient then the ultimate High Priest ,his anointed Christ?Based on explicit scriptural statements I would say so!

Let us observe what REALLY happens when one of God's greatest messengers and agents EVER asks God if he can see Him.

Exodus 33:17 And Jehovah went on to say to Moses: “This thing, too, of which you have spoken, I shall do, because you have found favor in my eyes and I know you by name.” 18 At this he said: “Cause me to see, please, your glory.” 19 But he said: “I myself shall cause all my goodness to pass before your face, and I will declare the name of Jehovah before you; and I will favor the one whom I may favor, and I will show mercy to the one to whom I may show mercy.” 20 And he added: “You are not able to see my face, because no man may see me and yet live.”21 And Jehovah said further: “Here is a place with me, and you must station yourself upon the rock. 22 And it has to occur that while my glory is passing by I must place you in a hole in the rock, and I must put my palm over you as a screen until I have passed by. 23 After that I must take my palm away, and you will indeed see my back. But my face may not be seen.”

Listen to Jehovah!How could you EVER read an account like that and think MANY saw God face to face and proceeded to live?The only explanation that makes sense and keeps the integrity of God's word that this biblical agency principle as evidenced throughout all of scripture is applicable theologically to Yah and his Angel,in whom he invested his authority.Just like the other scriptural examples where agents are identified as and treated as their senders even though they didn't exist in the same "substance."

I will not be exhaustively covering scriptural examples where agents bear their senders' names and authority,actually IDENTIFIED as their sender and treated as their senders would be treated without anyone ever assuming that the agent existed as a "person" of a "multi-person" "being" that the sender supposedly is.I'll just BRIEFLY cover a couple examples.

1 Samuel 13:3 Then Jon´a·than struck down the garrison of the Phi·lis´tines that was in Ge´ba; 4 “Saul has struck down a garrison of the Phi·lis´tines, and now Israel has become foul-smelling among the Phi·lis´tines.” So the people were called together to follow Saul to Gil´gal.

So who actually struck down a garrison of the Philistines?Saul or Jonathan?Obviously,Jonathan even though he is actually called "Saul" in the very next verse!

To quote Greg Deuble from appendix 3 "divine Agency" in his book:

"In Hebrew thought,a king's personality extended through his entire household so that the messenger-representative was conceived of as being personally -and in his very words and actions-the presence of the sender."

ANOTHER example:

2 Chronicles 4:11:Hi´ram made the cans and the shovels and the bowls.So Hi´ram finished doing the work that he did for King Sol´o·mon on the house of the true God.

YET in verses 18-20 it says:

18Thus Sol´o·mon made all these utensils in very great quantity, for the weight of the copper was not ascertained.19 And Sol´o·mon proceeded to make all the utensils that were at the house of the [true] God and the golden altar and the tables with the showbread upon them, 20 and the lampstands and their lamps of pure gold, to light them up before the innermost room according to the rule;

So who REALLY made the temple utensils etc.?Solomon OR Hiram?Obviously,Hiram who is actually identified AS "Solomon" because,to quote R.A Johnson:

"In Hebrew thought a patriarch's personality extended through his entire household to his wives,his sons and their wives ,his daughters,servants in his household and even in some sense his property..In a specialized sense when the patriarch as lord of his household deputized his trusted servant as his malak(his messenger or angel)the man was endowed with the authority and resources of his lord to represent him fully and transact business in his name.In Semitic thought this messenger-representative was conceived of as being personally -and in his very words-the presence of the sender."-R.A Johnson ,The One and the Many in the Israelite conception of God,quoted by Juan Baixeras,"The Blasphemy of Jesus of Nazareth

Let me emphasize AGAIN I don't know how these men apply this principle theologically.And again,that isn't my concern.I personally find these principles in scripture.Simple as that.

Let me give one final scriptural example.I am trying to avoid the ones I've already covered in other blogs.

Matthew 20:20 Then the mother of the sons of Zeb´e·dee approached him with her sons, doing obeisance and asking for something from him. 21 He said to her: “What do you want?” She said to him: “Give the word that these my two sons may sit down, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.”

Mark 10:35 And James and John, the two sons of Zeb´e·dee, stepped up to him and said to him: “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever it is we ask you for.” 36 He said to them: “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 They said to him: “Grant us to sit down, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”

So who ACTUALLY asked these things of Christ?Obviously,the MOTHER of James and John who was commissioned by them to inquire of their Lord these things.YET scripture ACTUALLY identifies her in the book of Mark AS her two sons because in Hebrew thought,the AGENT IS TREATED AS IF ,EVEN IDENTIFIED AS IF THEY ARE THE SENDER.

It is only anyone's inference that the Angel of the Lord was the preexistent Christ.I don't care how strong you think the evidence is STILL an inference.Do not base your doctrine on inference when we have the sufficiency of scripture to define God and Christ succintly.I'm not saying you shouldn't ever speculate or search the "deeper things of God" but to be dogmatic about something that scripture isn't explicit about,to recognize a biblical principle and fail to let it apply where we don't want it to is all foolishness.

To quote

The NIV Study Bible recognizes the divine agency principle seemingly from what it says!

"Traditional Christian interpretation has held that this “angel” was a pre-incarnate manifestation of Christ as God’s messenger-Servant. It may be, however, that, as the Lord’s personal messenger who represented him and bore his credentials, the angel could speak on behalf of (and so be identified with) the One who sent him. Whether this “angel” was the second person of the Trinity remains therefore uncertain."

There were some text debates on these agency videos Brian and Bill uploaded on youtube in response to mine.(if interested visit youtube channels 21Crosscheck21 and MCO4help)Youtube user scripturaltruths from,Dave,was able to articulate quite well why ancient Hebrew thought is important to the modern day bible reader. He said in a comment:

"The Jews had no problem calling an exalted figure by God's name without equating the two ontologically. For example, among the Dead Sea Scrolls (11Q13,The Coming of Melchizedek. )Psalm 7:7-8 is applied to the heavenly Melchizedek, wherein YHWH appears in the Hebrew text, yet without equating the two. If the Jewish author of that text could write as much, why could Paul not do the same without equating them ontologically?"

Brian and Bill accused Dave of looking at extrabiblical mystical literature to get his ideas to which Dave repeatedly defended himself.He said:

"I never suggest that these works are on par with scripture. Instead, we learn from the DSS and other texts how the 1st century Jews thought and wrote. The burden of proof is on you to show that the NT's authors did not write as their contemporaries, which is my only argument. The NT authors quoted OT texts about God and applied them to Jesus. Jewish writers of the time did the same and applied them to exalted figures."

In another comment he said:

"I maintain that if we are to understand the Bible, we must understand how the people who wrote the Bible and read it at that time thought. You choose to read the Bible as a modern, I choose to learn how people in the 1st century would have read it."

Because apparently Brian(21crosscheck21) and Bill(MCO4Help) didn't like that Dave had done his research and understands the importance of examining how the Hebrews thought in ancient times in regards to agents being as the principles,called their names and titles,they continually accuse and berate instead of offering anything of real value.It's called ad hominem.If you want to see the full text debates,they're on all the videos Bill and Brian uploaded.

Bill looked at a website and jumped to a million conclusions..One of Dave's comments was:

"There appears to be a huge body of scholarship of which you are completely unaware. Authors such as Hurtado, McGrath, etc., fully recognize agency and its christological import, with varied conclusions on the precise implications. You would do well to consider some of the authors who discuss this in detail, though going to the source texts is certainly ideal. You believe scholarship is against me when just the truth of the matter is just the opposite."

Dave also said:

The bottom line is actually that I can and have given clear examples of how the NT writers paralleled Jewish writers of their time, leaving little ambiguity as to what they thought.

Because Brian and Bill just weren't understanding Dave's logic,he said:

"You continue to miss the point, but I'm getting to the point where I wonder if you're doing it intentionally for fear of the implications. The fact is, there are unambigous parallels between the methodologies of the NT's authors and those of other Jewish literature in the language employed of Jesus and exalted agents, respectively. It is not about the interpretation itself, but the methods employed and the way things were written. In this there is great significance."

These men,Bill and Brian,admit that in scripture agents/representatives can bear the names of the principles,or their senders.Yet when it comes to this Angel,conveniently enough,they inexplicably pretend that's an impossibility with nothing but what seems to communicate:"I'm a trinitarian and if I admit it's possible my theory about the angel of the Lord being the second person of his sender's substance loses merit!"Why yes it would!

If for some reason I do have what the Hebrew and scriptural reality IS actually TERMED wrong,then again,I'm going to need better proof than a quote from a website and an assumption that even if that website is correct,it can't have a broader application,as evident in ancient Jewish literature contemporary to the bible and what seems to be explicitly "just like" the Jewish law throughout the bible itself,making it applicable anywhere I find it in scripture logically.And not just where it doesn't threaten a 4th century creed that defies scriptural creeds.(like 1 cor. 8:5,6.1 cor. 15:27,28,Deut 6:4,John 17:3,Mark 12:28-34 etc.)

So what we have here are men who admit that representatives of the ones who sent them in scripture are technically identified as their senders' names and titles.What we DON'T have here is a willingness of anyone to explain why it's throughout scripture yet not logically applicable to the Angel of the LORD.

I will NOT be quick to dismiss this principle's application where it would shake faith in my tradition.I also,like Dave,recognize the worth in heeding contemporary-to-the-bible Jewish literature for genuine evidence of Hebraic thought in relation to the theological application of this Jewish law.

Please keep in mind the Exodus account where Moses wasn't allowed to see the ACTUAL Most High face to face and also:

1 John 4:12:No one has ever seen God

I'm not interested in anyone's inferences or personal thoughts on this text.I'm interested in what the text deliberately communicates.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog!Yah bless you immensely.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

John Calvin and Michael Servetus

In October 1553 in Geneva in western Switzerland,on the border of France,many,from citizens to magistrates to the chief of police(etc.) began a procession from the town hall.Their destination being a hillside at Champel.

I found all the following from the book "They never told me this in Church" by Greg Deuble.pp. 50-54.

In his book,he included this remarkable story about Michael Servetus from ANOTHER book :
"Out of the flames--The remarkable story of a fearless scholar,a fatal heresy,and one of the rarest books in the world" by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone. pp. 1-4

"In the midst of these fair skinned Swiss,one man stood out,a prisoner.He was in his forties,dark,almost Moorish,dirty and weak,with long,unkempt beard and ragged clothing.He was surrounded by a crowd of pastors exhorting him to confess his sins.An aging churchman walked next to him ,whispering in his ear.The prisoner prayed silently in reply.The prisoner's shabby appearance belied his status as one of Europe's leading physicians and preeminent thinkers.His name was Michael Servetus,and his crime was publishing a book that redefined Christianity in a more tolerant and inclusive way.Although this book contained,almost as an afterthought,a great scientific discovery--one which a century later would propel medicine into the modern age--on that October afternoon in 1553,no one in Geneva knew or cared.

Michael Servetus had risked life and position to publish this book..Shortly after its publication,he had been arrested by the inquisitors of France and sentenced to death.On the eve of his execution,he had managed a daring escape and had eluded capture for months.He was on his way to Italy,where he would be safe,but chose instead to stop in Geneva.There his dark skin betrayed him.He was recognized while praying in church and was arrested.

Before his supporters could rally to his defense,Michael Servetus was thrown into a dark,airless,vermin-infested cell,where he was kept for 75 days,denied a change of clothes,bedding and often food and water.His access to the outside world was limited to forced participation in a gaudy show trial,where he was to go head to head with his accuser,perhaps the greatest mind of the Reformation.He defended himself brilliantly,but the quality of his arguments never mattered.Servetus' fate had been sealed from the moment he was recognized.He was found guilty of the charges brought by a council and prosecutor handpicked by his archrival and sworn enemy,Jean Chauvin,an obscure failed humanist who had reinvented himself as the reformer John Calvin and risen to be virtual dictator of the great city.On October 26,1553,Michael Servetus was condemned to be led to Champel and burned there alive on the next day together with his books.

Torture and cruelty were no strangers to sixteenth-century justice.There was a strict hierarchy of punishment,from relatively painless to gruesomely agonizing,depending on the severity of the crime.Slanderers had their tongues cut out,thieves were impaled.The penalty for murder--beheading--was considered relatively charitable.But out of all the punishments,the very worst was to be burned alive,and so this horror was reserved for the most terrible crime there was --heresy.Heretics were especially loathed because they put not only their own souls in mortal jeopardy,but also those of the otherwise innocent people infected by their teachings.

skipping ahead a little..

Hollywood has gotten it wrong(in their movies,how burning alive sometimes works<--my own words)It was never over quickly.The whole point of burning at the stake was to subject the condemned to prolonged,horrible,unendurable pain.That was the type of pain that awaited Michael Servetus -and he knew it.

When Servetus was led to the hill at Champel,the stake and pyre were made of fresh wood,green wood,newly cut branches with the leaves still attached.They sat him on a log and chained him to a post.His neck was bound with thick rope.On his head they put a crown made of straw,doused in sulphur.Chained to his side was what was thought to be the last available copy of his book,the last having been zealously hunted down and destroyed.The ideas were to be burnt along with the man.There was no escape.

The fire was lit.Green wood does not burn easily,does not roar up.It smokes and sputters,burning unevenly and slowly.And so Michael Servetus' life was not extinguished quickly in a blazing wall of fire.Rather,he was slowly roasted,agonizingly conscious the entire time,the fire creeping upward inch by inch.The flames licked at him,the sulphur ripped into his eyes,not for minutes but for a full half hour."Poor me who cannot finish my life in this fire," the spectators heard him moan.At last,he screamed a final prayer to God,and then his ashes comingled with those of his book.

Deuble says in his book:

Having read the story of Servetus' judicial murder it is shocking to see how some historians to this day endeavor to sweep this awful event under the carpet.Calvin's involvement is rationalized.He was a "child of his age" which thought nothing of exterminating "heretics"(free thinkers);Servetus was the only heretic John Calvin ever burned alive;Calvin was historically conditioned and so must be contextualized;Calvin's motives were pure in that he wanted to save the wider community from infection of heresy;John Calvin was only the chief witness and "technical advisor" of the Genevan authorities;Calvin attempted to alter the mode of execution to the more humane beheading but was ignored;and other crimes of the day are ignored by historians.This only proves that the historians themselves have axes to grind!In 1903,a granite monument was erected at the site of Servetus' execution.Its inscription condemns an "error which belonged to his century."It is to us incredible to realize that Calvin was subsequently regarded as the defender of the true faith within Protestant circles!

Such "rationalization" was used by the Nazis on trial at Nuremburg.They were only following order;they were conditioned by the politics of Germany and Hitler,etc.The prosecutors at Nuremburg,however, quite rightly rejected all such "rationalization" and the guilty were justly condemend as being fully responsible for their actions.Same for Calvin.I offer you this tragic "Servetus affair" to illustrate the all-too-common spirit the Church and her doctrine has demonstrated throughout the centuries.Jesus said "You will know them by their fruits...Every good tree bears good fruit,but the rotten tree bears bad fruit"(Matt 7:16-17).It is not my province to pass judgment on individuals who profess the name of Christ.But I have to be honest and ask myself the question about John Calvin,so revered and so respected amongst millions of Christians even to this day:Will a man like this be in the Kingdom of God?Must not a follower of Jesus be like Jesus who was certainly not a child of his evil day?Jesus did not belong to the authority structures,whether civil or religious.Much less did he commit violence against any fellow human,whether friend or enemy.And the scripture is clear that "no murderer has eternal life abiding in him"(1 John 3:15).Whilst God is the one who will finally deal with Calvin I am prepared to say that the church and the doctrine which is guilty of such "fruit" is bad to the core.Sadly,"every major Christian body which traces its history back to the 16th century has blood liberally scattered over its credentials.Roman Catholic,Lutheran,Reformed and Anglican:all have condemend and executed their Servetuses."(last quotation from "A life of John Calvin:A study in the shaping of Western culture" by Alister E. McGrath pp116-120)

Something I couldn't help but think of the entire time I was reading his abominable story was how Christians who believe in a God who eternally torments people in flames,ceaselessly and unmercifully,would understandably be able to justify this madness.After all,a half an hour in torturous flames is nothing compared to an eternity,right?God HAS to annihilate the wicked (otherwise his kingdom cannot be peaceful,) and punish them "eye for an eye" (because he is perfectly just and they didn't allow Christ to cover their sin)but I can assure you he neither advocates eternal torture nor would he respect the fact that those who profess to know and love him would propagate the lie and slander his name viciously in their advancement of something they're so ignorant about.As a Christian,your mission should be to investigate something as wicked as the hellfire doctrine so thoroughly and meticulously that you will come to understand scripture doesn't support it at all,not when you research what Gehenna(the consuming fire Jesus preached!) means and interpret NT passages that seem to support it in the OT context.If it breaks your heart to read about what Servetus suffered,how will you live peacefully in a Kingdom where this ceaselessly happens to billions or more just below you?Good luck with that!You would literally have to be heartless,soulless,ignorant,and corrupt.That isn't possible when you're perfectly righteous,now is it?

I also thought about how Christians find Muhammed(of Muslim fame) disgusting for what he has done,in terms of his pedophilia and murders.Muslims of course will quickly defend him and say he was just acting like everyone would have at the time.As a Christian you don't accept this defense for his crimes.So why would you accept it for Calvin's?

Wouldn't it also be smart to question a doctrine like the trinity that produced this kind of fruit in so many?Because the word heretic can connote to those being called the title images of slaughter and torture,wouldn't it also be smart to think twice before so freely using it to condemn others?Do you really want that kind of spirit manifest in your witness to the Christ?Although technically those who promote a teaching that strays from the truth as presented in scripture are promoting heresy,oft times those who believe Jesus is the Christ,the Son of the Living God are called heretics because they won't confess he's the second person of a triune substance,coequal and consubstantial to the one he called the only true God,inexplicably!Scripture fails miserably to communicate the concept of a trinity,so check your motives,facts,and history.

I've also noticed the Christians who condemn Jehovah's Witnesses for being unwilling to question the men they follow are also often unwilling to question the men they follow.Once deception has kicked in it's almost like it's an unstoppable train.Do you know how EASY it is to believe the lies of men who can manipulate words and ideas that are impossible and make them sound plausible? The Watchtower organization does not have the monopoly on corrupt false teachers,deceptive rhetoric and bloodguilt.

ALSO for the Christians:

Do you know how difficult it is to actually understand when you're a slave to tradition that contradicts truth and deceived?If not,ask someone raised a Jehovah's Witness or Muslim if they have the truth.Don't think it's possible for them to be blinded but not for you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

7 ways Jehovah's Witnesses and Christians are alike

Please understand I am not judging JW's or orthodox Christians' eternal salvation!God is love, and one of the most important things in the world IS LOVE.Love even covers a multitude of sin,so I'll let GOD,the great reader of hearts,judge everyone through Christ.What I am doing is declaring the truth as I've found it & exposing error where I perceive it because I know how the truth sets us free and that's what Christ would have done..tell the truth and lay bear the error,bringing every thought into captivity to his.(the youtubes are below if you'd rather watch those than read all this.)

1st similarity:They will label you with horrible names like "heretic" and "apostate" if you don't fully accept their traditions of men no matter what you may show them in scripture that refutes their traditions.

One example for each group..If you show a trinitarian how Jesus confirmed the Shema as HIS statement of faith,as a truth that still stands,as one of the most important things a man can know,and if that trinitarian knows that the Jews of old who didn't have the "full revelation" of the trinity to whom this truth was first given knew that the father was that ONE YAHWEH,is anyone really to believe the truth has changed and that that ONE YAHWEH for the Jews is now three for the Christians?If you show a trinitarian Jesus said WE worship what WE know(John 4:22-24),including himself as a Jew who worshipped the God of the Shema,they will excuse that as a "nature speaking" though there was no such qualification from our Lord.Since Jesus had a God and still apparently does,(Ephesians 1:3)there's no reason whatsoever to believe that HIS God exists in the very same Lord Jesus himself was made.(Acts 2:36)If believing what Jesus said in John 17:3 makes me a heretic then I wear that title proudly.And if you tell Jehovah's Witness that there's no reason to label someone just because they left an organization but still happen to love and serve Yahweh,still happen to believe Jesus is the Christ,but knows now a corporation isn't a savior and men can be questioned,they of course will still call you apostate and think you're scum because you don't think God's channel is a billion dollar a year publishing entity who has false prophecied repeatedly,harboring bloodguilt, with no seeming remorse.So,again,these two groups will name call and sometimes shun for unbiblical reasons though they both claim that God is our judge.

2nd similarity:They have listened to mere men's exegesis of the Lord's words instead of simply believing the Lord's words.They have let men color or erase altogether the Lord's words of truth.They have let men tell them "what Jesus meant" instead of simply listening to what Jesus actually said when there is good reason to just let Jesus speak without any imposition of theories about what he "meant."For example..I'll once again give just one example a piece for each group:

John 3:3: Jesus said to him(Nicodemus): “Most truly I say to you, Unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

There's no qualification here,Jehovah's Witnesses.Listen to Jesus!

and for Christians:Jesus said at:
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.

There's no qualification here Christians!In other words,no evidence all of Christ wasn't present in his words ,including those of his declarations in other texts of inferiority and of not knowing everything,as opposed to just 100 of his "200 percent" being present in much of what he declared.Someone who doesn't know everything who calls his father the only one truly God,distinguishing himself from that One as being the one that One "sent forth" is clearly neither omniscient nor the True God.Do you REALLY think those listening thought that Jesus had just there declared that he was the second of three persons who individually is "True God" yet also 1/3 of the entirety of the same True God he said his father was the only one of?If you think so,I would say that's one of the most far fetched and ridiculous notions I have simply ever heard.

3rd similarity:They believe certain far fetched theological theories and base entire doctrines upon those simply because they have misused a literal few texts and then proceeded to let their misuse of those few texts color their interpretation of every thing else they see in scripture.Instead of letting everything else they see in scripture simply mean what it says without any imposition of preconceived theological biases changing the meaning of those scriptures to make them fit that far fetched theological theory,sometimes called a "mystery,"(which reminds me of Babylon the Great) and sometimes called "new light" even though Christ the true light never changes HIS truth.

For example:The JW's believe there are two groups who will be separated eternally ,one on earth and the other in heaven lording it over those on earth.This is mainly because of a misuse of the texts about "little flock"(Luke 12:32) and "other sheep."(John 10:16) who they think are the heavenly and the earthly class,but they're REALLY the Jews and the Gentiles.Also based on a misuse of Revelation ch 7 where they say the 144,000 has to be literal,with no good basis in a symbolic book,failing to understand that the great crowd may very well be the 144,000 because "spiritual Israel,"who the tribes may symbolize, is composed of every tribe,tongue,people and nation,yes,the great crowd.Why not consider the possibility that perhaps this symbolic number has what it represents explained right afterward,as if oft the case with symbols in revelation!Keep in mind,JW's,that the heavenly kingdom can simply be the "new earth" because Heaven will descend TO it and it will belong to God in heaven,a heavenly kingdom,a "new earth."I could go on and on, but I will instead refer you to my 3 part series "Are there 2 separate hopes for Christians?"Check them out if you can.There are a few possible interpretations of Revelation ch 7 but suffice it to say the WT one is an IMPOSSIBLE one.Don't believe me?Read Ephesians 2:14-17 and tell me what you think about what is said of the two groups(the little flock and other sheep,aka the Jews and Gentiles) in those.

Now for the Christians..they base their Godman theory on what they call the "hypostatic union" which they claim is expressed in a literal few texts like Colossians 2:9 where it says Christ had God's fullness and hence they say he was "fully God" which somehow inexplicably leads to "the second person of a triune substance."This argument is weak given that Christians may be "filled up to all the fullness of God."(Ephesians 3:19)Christ has the fullness because God was in him reconciling the world unto him self (2 Corinthians 5:19),by means of His spirit,(John 3:34)working fully through him!(Acts 2:22)Another one of the few they use to support this "hypostatic union" is Philippians 2:6 and 7 where Christ ,although he existed in God's form emptied himself and took the form of a slave.First of all,"form" is synonymous with "image" and can't prove anything but that Jesus ISN'T the same God his father is because he was rather that one's image and "form."Have YOU ever heard of someone in another's image who also partakes of the "substance" of the one they're the image OF?

Zeisler noted in "Pauline Christianity":Christ,like Adam,was the image of God,but unlike Adam did not regard equality with God a matter of grabbing(a prize to be snatched).Unlike Adam,he voluntarily accepted servanthood and mortality.

Yes,Philippians is distingushing the Last Adam from the first Adam(who was also made in God's image) in that Christ obeyed and humbled himself under God unlike the first who rebelled and thought he might become "like God."Clearly,God sent his son, and that is the one who humbled himself unto death,a FULLY FLESH man,able to be tempted and able to die.True God is NOT the Last Adam.The one True God made Lord(Acts 2:36) and firstborn(Psalm 89:27) is the Last Adam.One of 2 "natures" of God's Son is not the Last Adam.The ENTIRETY of God's beloved Son was the Last Adam.That firstborn beloved Son of God did not harbor another nature on top of his flesh one,though he did have God's spirit fully working through him without measure so that he could reveal God's personality and will to us fully.The bible says those who don't confess Christ came in the flesh(it doesn't say in the flesh and also another nature on top of it!) are antichrists.So to confess Christ came in the flesh with no further natures added to that would be the appropriate confession.Any other confession is to be condemned.(as inference,manmade)

4th similarity:Often enough,they both think THEIR version of the "good news" excludes any other possibility of what the "good news" might also encompass.Either that or they think THEIR "good news" is somehow superior to others'.

For example,Christians sometimes think the good news is the death and resurrection of the Christ and seem to get all defensive when JW's say that the good news is the kingdom of God and the restoration of the earth to Paradisaic conditions.JW's seem to get defensive when Christians say the good news is the death and resurrection of Christ and the freedom we can find in him.BOTH are why not just admit that proclaiming the kingdom of God and Christ's resurrection and freedom BOTH are wonderful Christian things to declare!Don't get me wrong.I am not advocating JW's advancement of 1914 and an eternal separation of Christians OR the Christian advancement that Jesus was alive while he was supposed to be dead and the resurrection of nothing but a "body" devoid of Christ as "good news."(see my video "Did Jesus really die for trinitarians for more information.)I'm simply saying that the genuine death and resurrection of our Lord and the restoration of the earth with a rule from the heavens over it are all "good news!"These should be proclaimed by all who call themselves Christian because they are all called good news in the bible!All through his ministry Jesus preached the kingdom,which didn't transfer from the earthly hope the OT Jews were promised to a flying away to heaven for Christians.It was the SAME Kingdom promised the Jews that the Christians will also see.(Acts 1:6)All through the book of Acts the disciples preached the death and resurrection as good news.Embrace it all.

5th similarity:They both seem to oft times think that IF in their religious institution or organization or tradition there is some sound truth that that somehow means men who taught them these truths must have everything right.All or nothing.

When I was a Jehovah's Witness,I thought since they knew basic fundamental truths about the soul's ability to die,the wicked actually perishing as opposed to be preserved alive in flames for all of eternity,Jesus's father being the only true God ..etc..and that since they seemed to basically be some of the only ones who actually knew this,that these men must have special knowledge I should embrace.That's where deception kicked in and I started believing what they said about OTHER things that WEREN'T true because they knew so many basic truths that the world seemed to not understand.I get the feeling that orthodox Christians,when they listen to compelling sermons from people like Paul Washer and the like,in which there is MUCH truth,that they are compelled emotionally and even intellectually to believe everything people like Paul Washer say.Because Paul Washer preaches a lot of truth.Unfortunately,a little leaven can ferment the whole lump.And there is leaven in both the WT organization and in orthodox Christianity that remains unrecognized by those who profess to be of these faiths because listening to sometimes charismatic or even humble,meek teachers and preachers can be a deceiving,even if only partially deceiving,business.The whole world is lying in Satan's power and is under his deception..not just the WT society.Examine all things.

6th similarity:They have both let men who have gathered together in Ecumenical councils or in closed secretive quarters in a publishing building in NYC determine their statements of faith instead of,again,listening to what the Lord and his God who made that one our Lord(Acts 2:36)actually say in succint and irrefutable BIBLICAL statements that SHOULD be our faith statements.

For example,a JW should be able to say and believe what Jesus taught in his unqualified declarations like those found in :
John 6:53 Accordingly Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I shall resurrect him at the last day;(Jesus gave no hint that he was only talking a few privileged ones in the WT society as opposed to every Christian who would read his powerful words)

1 Timothy 2:5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus,(no reason men should be able to qualify and nullify this for JW's..ALSO no reason trinitarians should believe the mediator existed in the same "being" as the ONE GOD(Deut 6:4) who he is distinguished from in this text,again)

Now the Nicene Creed confesses that Christ is "True God from True God" in direct and alarming violation of John 17:3 where Jesus says his father is the only True God.I will oft hear certain trinitarians use Early Church fathers' writings as evidence for what is true even though the ones they cite in general were philosophically and Platonically schooled and certainly didn't believe exactly the same as modern day trinitarians.Even the Nicene Creed is ambiguous in its declaration of what the holy spirit might be!God warned us of men's traditions and philosophies.Apostasy was ALREADY present in the first century.Would it be far fetched to say those from a Greek culture might naturally impose their Hellenistic thought onto the Hebrew texts with time?Tradition is powerful.Tradition can blind.It doesn't always cater to the facts.

What I would recommend would be to take succint explicit texts that tell us who God and Christ are like John 17:3,1 Corinthians 8:5,6,1 Timothy 2:5,John 20:17,Ephesians 1:3(etc.!)..instead of building an elaborate system of inference to proclaim something that is never explicitly declared anywhere in all of scripture.I would also recommend not using terminology like "substance" and "triune" to define God when scripture doesn't if you're "sola scriptura." Again,cite the texts that explain who God and Christ are as your creed.Why aren't they good enough?I saw one video on youtube called "The Jesus creed" where many texts were given that were about Jesus,with positively NONE defining a triune God.Because there aren't any.

Going into this thought a little more...the

7th similarity is that they both have doctrines based upon elaborate theological systems of interpretation and INFERENCE that cannot be gathered from any explicit statement in scripture but rather only from preconceived impositions upon many texts they use together to invent a concept they think is sound in spite of it not being succintly taught or defined in scripture,oft times using unbiblical language to define their doctrines that are foreign to scripture,except through this system of severe and unwarranted, sometimes even blatantly philosophical, imposed terminology & bold inference.

To better articulate what I'm talking about here,listen to Patrick Navas,author of "Divine truth or human tradition:A Reconsideration of the Roman Catholic-Protestant Doctrine of the Trinity in Light of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures" on a radio debate Six screens of the Watchtower set up between him and Brian Garcia,aka "newagegamer" on youtube.(link below for debate)

To quote him:
"I did associate with the Witnesses to some extent but never joined the organization.One of the major reasons that prevented me from committing myself to that community even though I felt there was a lot of good there..I never became persuaded that what they teach about the doctrine of 1914,which is a very complicated interpretational formula that's arrived at in a very similar way that trinitarians basically approach the subject of the trinity.The point that I'm making is that in a similar sense what the witnesses are basically saying is you have to believe that Jesus has been invisibly present since the year 1914 which they arrive at through this extremely complicated interpretive formula,and they connect a wide variety of verses and statements interpreted in a certain way that all gives in their minds credence to this belief..and it's something that they consider essential and that in fact you can believe all the things that the bible says but if you don't agree with them on this particular formula relating to chronology in their minds you can't really be accepted as a true Christian.You're disqualified from true Christian status in their thinking.In a very similar way,the trinitarians are basically saying "look you cannnot be accepted as a true Christian"'re disqualified for not accepting something that ISN'T EVER discussed or even mentioned in the scripture but is a "doctrinal formula" that is basically something that is arrived at through a very complex process of inference and interpretation.It's not something that's straightforward in the scriptures.If it was,then people who believed the scriptures would never..there'd be no reason to question it.And that's why I don't question doctrines like Jesus is the Messiah or that God raised him from the dead or that God is love..simply because those teachings are directly and clearly articulated whereas the doctrine of the trinity is just simply not in that category of things that the scripture deliberately presents to us.In a similar way,I don't accept the trinitarian conclusion.Neither do I accept the 1914 doctrine of the Witnesses.What I've seen in my studies..the practice of basically saying you must accept a doctrinal formula in order to be saved is just a difficult & in my opinion IMMODEST thing to do when the scripture already tells us explicitly what we have to believe to come to a true,a good relationship with God."

Amen Patrick.Well said.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Did the apostles think the Holy Spirit was a person?

Enjoy the lesson!There will be a quiz afterward.(not really)

This is Pastor John Clark, Sr. ..found this on youtube channel GoingtoJesus

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jehovah's Witnesses' similarities to the Moonies

Jehovah's witnesses sound a lot like the Moonies.I think JW's and former JW's will recognize these cult realities within the WT organization immediately.

Every bit of this is taken from a webpage I accidentally came across.I wrote or gathered none of it myself but wanted to share it.

All from:

Read the whole page for more context and even the WT's definition of a cult.Basically,it depends on your definition of one if you would classify them as one.I personally think they are because of the intense authority and control that one must allow oneself to be under in order to remain acceptable and properly loved.Also because of the forbidding of independent thinking and the threats if you do.The intense fear of questioning them even when they're wrong..the list goes on,as evident in this video where I think most if not all these cult tactics are applicable to the WT society in some respect.