Thursday, December 13, 2012

From the Mouths of Pagans! (X-mas has nothing to do with Christ)

Though the pagans adapted some of what came from the true God and real history to their own culture and twisted it, Christians have also adopted some things from the pagan culture and slapped a holy name on it, sadly enough. Discernment is necessary and advised. To the unbelievers out there, learn the difference! To the Christians out there, X-mas has zero to do with Christ. Dragging his name into it is an option, but it doesn't mean it's right or that it makes sense in the least. I am not judging anyone's stance with God nor their eternal salvation for celebrating holidays. I am simply telling the truth about them. Take it or leave it.

Did the pagans borrow these customs from the bible? Or did Christians borrow these customs from the pagans? Seriously.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Does Hebrews 1:10-12 prove that Yeshua is Yahweh?

In Hebrews chapter 1 ,verses 10-12, the author quotes Psalm 102:25-27, and most Christians use it as proof that Yeshua is creator and hence Yahweh, conflating him with the essence of the One God who he called "father" and "my God' and "greater" and "the only one good" etc, ultimately rendering all such sentiments from Yeshua as only words to be qualified or misused to their very death. Even though the milk of the word should have already easily established for them that the father alone was creator in Genesis (Mal. 2:10), they decide to misuse Hebrews where the author says:

Hebrews 1:10 “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.”

The fact is that the writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm allright, but he quotes the Septuagint version and not the Hebrew. And there is a difference! In the Hebrew text, the one supplicating to Yahweh is still supplicating to Yahweh from verse 24 on. In the Septuagint, however, Yahweh begins to answer the one who has been praying from verse 24 on. And it is this version the writer of Hebrews quotes! The writer of Hebrews apparently views the suppliant as the Messiah. I think this proves without a doubt that even though the words said in Hebrews 1:10-12 could apply to Yahweh in one fulfillment, they could apply to Yeshua in a separate one.

 It is common for the writer of Hebrews to apply OT texts that formerly were applicable word for word to people like David and Solomon to Yeshua in separate applications and fulfillments and never because he's a person of their essences, of course. (2 Sam 7:14, Heb. 1:5, Ps. 45:6, Heb. 1:8) So it shouldn't be any wonder that he would do the same thing with creation scriptures because there is an old one and a new one. And, lo and behold, which one is the context of Hebrews 1? Well, we have, in context, the "inhabited earth to come" (2:9), "the last days" (1:2), and a "kingdom"(1:8), etc. How apropos considering that in the context of Psalm 102 in the LXX (which is what Hebrews is quoting), we have “the generation to come” and "the people that shall be created" (v. 18) Really, nothing more should have to be said. It's obvious Yeshua is agent of the new creation. Isaiah 51:16 sheds light. Here Yahweh says prophetically:

"I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, 'You are My people.'"

Even trinitarian bias commentaries would have to admit this is about a "new economy under the Messiah."

Barnes' Notes on the Bible says about the text:

"It refers to the restoration of the Jews to their own land; to the re-establishment of religion there; to the introduction of the new economy under the Messiah, and to all the great changes which would be consequent on that. This is compared with the work of forming the heavens, and laying the foundation of the earth. It would require almighty power; and it would produce so great changes, that it might be compared to the work of creating the universe out of nothing. Probably also the idea is included here that stability would be given to the true religion by what God was about to do permanency that might be compared with the firmness and duration of the heavens and the earth."

If trinitarians were consistent (and generally they cannot possibly be while at the same time maintaining a trinity), they would be able to apply such reasoning consistently with the texts in Hebrews as well. It seems odd and kind of sad that they can reason in Isaiah, but not in Hebrews. I guess I can only make an appeal to consistency in reasoning. Quite frankly, Isaiah 51:16 could interpret Hebrews 1:10-12  for you. In which case I would again refer you to trinitarian scholars and commentaries that easily recognize a new creation there! Trinitarians also pretend to care about context, yet won't acknowledge it in some of the new creation passages. Wonder why?

A couple questions that may come to mind though when this alternative view is made known are:

How could Yahweh say in the LXX , in Psalm 102:23 & 24, "tell me the fewness of my days. Take me not away in the midst of my days?" Well, given that in context there is a "set time" (verse 13) where He will "have mercy upon Sion", Yahweh is simply asking the suppliant to acknowledge the shortness of this set time and not to summon him when it is but half expired. (For more on that, see “Heb. 1:10-12 and the Septuagint Rendering of Ps. 102:23” by B.W. Bacon.)

Another common question is:

If the texts are about a new creation, how could such ever be "changed"? Considering the poetic, as opposed to literal, sound of the texts, at least to me personally, I'm not sure this even needs to be answered because poetry isn't to be taken literally. However, as the biblicalunitarian website notes, there is a "heaven and earth of the Millennium, the 1000 years Christ rules the earth, which will perish (Isa. 65:17; Rev. 20:1-10), and then the heaven and earth of Revelation 21:1ff, which will exist forever. " In addition, Anthony Buzzard notes that "Even the millennial age of the future will be replaced by a further renewed heaven and earth (Rev. 20:11; 21:1)."

There are some brothers and sisters out there who share my essential beliefs but who would disagree on my view of these texts. There are at least two other views from the biblical unitarian community that are probably worth at least considering and noting, but this is the one I think is right, though I'm not dogmatic and won't pretend these others don't make good points worth at least considering. I will explain and provide links for the other two views below. :-)

Here's a better video than this one in agreement with this view:

The second possible view is that these texts are about the father and not Yeshua at all.

From the biblicalunitarian website:

 "Although we ascribe to the explanation above(and they're speaking of the same view I presented in this blog, basically), a number of theologians read this verse and see it as a reference to the Father, which is a distinct possibility.  Verse 10 starts with the word “and” in the Greek text, so verse 9 and 10 are conjoined.  Since verse 9 ends with, “Your God has set you [the Christ] above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy,” these theologians see the reference to “the Lord” in the beginning of verse 10 as a reference back to the God last mentioned, i.e., the Father.  Norton explains this point of view:

"Now the God last mentioned was Christ’s God, who had anointed him; and the author [of the book of Hebrews], addressing himself to this God, breaks out into the celebration of his power, and especially his unchangeable duration; which he dwells upon in order to prove the stability of the Son’s kingdom…i.e., thou [God] who hast promised him such a throne, art he who laid the foundation of the earth. So it seems to be a declaration of God’s immutability made here, to ascertain the durableness of Christ’s kingdom, before mentioned; and the rather so, because this passage had been used originally for the same purpose in the 102nd Psalm, viz.  [Author uses KJV] To infer thence this conclusion, “The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed be established before Thee. In like manner, it here proves the Son’s throne should be established forever and ever, by the same argument, viz., by God’s immutability.” (Norton, Reasons, pp. 214 and 215)

Theologians such as Norton say that as it is used in the Old Testament, the verse shows that the unchanging God can indeed fulfill His promises, and they see it used in exactly the same way in Hebrews: since God created the heavens and the earth, and since He will not pass away, He is fit to promise an everlasting kingdom to His Son."

I would also like to personally add that in surrounding scriptures like Hebrews 1:5-7 and 2:5-8 there are OT passages about the father reapplied to the father again in Hebrews here. So it wouldn't be far fetched in the least in this context to see Hebrews 1:10-12 the same way. It's very possible. Since the writer switches back and forth from talking about the Son and the Father so much. As noted before, this isn't the view I subscribe to while at the same time being open minded about the possibility.

Here's a youtube with this particular view presented pretty well! He doesn't start talking about verse 10 till about 6 and a half minutes in:

The third view could be summed up by saying that what is said of Wisdom in the OT could be reapplied poetically to Yeshua in the New because he became to us "wisdom from God."

From Gary Fakhoury:

"So here (in Heb. 1:10-12) we are confronted with a choice. We can believe the writer is contradicting both himself and the vast body of clear scriptural teachings that YHVH alone made the worlds, or we can conclude that v. 10-12 is yet another example of the writer seeing something in an OT passage which illuminates Christ in some important sense, even though every detail of the passage does not apply literally to Jesus. But in what sense does he see Christ in Ps. 102?

 First, as we’ve noted, the NT teaches that Jesus is the embodiment of God’s creative wisdom, that “hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages” which was “established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth,” in that “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth…” (I Cor. 2:7; Prov. 8:23; 3:19). Thus Christ,the embodiment of creative wisdom, can be truly said to be “in the beginning, (laying) the foundation of the earth” (v. 10)."

full pdf (it would be great to read the context):

I suppose even if the NT authors had passages like Proverbs 8:22-31 in mind when writing Hebrews 1:10-12 then they were simply recognizing how Christ has become that same wisdom that God created the world in.(Prov. 3:19, Jer. 10:12) Yahweh gave fruition to a plan known as the Messiah before he even made the world, again. (1 Pet. 1:20, Rev. 13:8 ) And this plan was his "wisdom" for the reconciliation of the world unto himself.(2 Corinthians 5:19) Christ at last became that *wisdom* in these last times(1 Cor. 1:30,1 Cor. 2:6,7) ,and so, again, represents (and actually fulfills to perfection and completion) what was there from the beginning.God creating in his wisdom becomes God creating in Christ because Christ became the wisdom of God. Simply stated, again, Yeshua "has become our wisdom sent from God."(1 Cor. 1:30) The father's wisdom came to life and manifest in Christ's flesh at the proper time, as opposed to some literal spirit named Wisdom crawling into a womb to become a man. To quote Karen Armstrong (from A History of God:From Abraham to the present:the 4000 year quest for God, p. 106):

"When Paul and John speak about Jesus as though he had some kind of preexistent life, they were not suggesting he was a second divine "person" in the later trinitarian sense. They were indicating that Jesus transcended temporal and individual modes of existence. Because the "power" and "wisdom" he represented were activities that derived from God, he had in some way expressed "what was there from the beginning." These ideas were comprehensible in a strictly Jewish context, though later Christians with a Greek background would interpret them differently."

 I do believe it would make sense that when Yeshua became Yah's "wisdom", what was said of "Wisdom" could be reapplied to Yeshua in the NT. Because he "became" that Wisdom, not because he was named such in the OT as a second person of Yah's essence. It was a pattern for bible writers to apply OT truths to Yeshua in the NT. Functions that he fulfilled, ones that he was made and given. Also,foreshadowings and prefigurings that he became. Do you think that halted with Wisdom? I personally don't. I don't think this is necessarily the case in Hebrews however given the kingdom (as opposed to the Genesis) context. Just something to ponder though considering the Hebraic poeticism and personification, and subsequent fulfillment in Christ, of Yahweh's word and wisdom.

Again, not the view I personally think is most likely, but at the same time I won't readily discount or discard it.

Some of this is explained further here:

15 Questions for Evolutionists!

A thoughtful playlist from youtube user CMIcreationstation.

The accompanying webpage:

15 Questions for Evolutionists

Monday, November 26, 2012

Quick Question for Jehovah's Witnesses # 2

1 John 3:9 Everyone who has been born from God does not carry on sin, because His [reproductive] seed remains in such one, and he cannot practice sin, because he has been born from God.

So far what's evident is that one cannot habitually practice sin if he is born of God. The next verse says:

"The children of God and the children of the Devil are evident by this fact: Everyone who does not carry on righteousness does not originate with God, neither does he who does not love his brother."
So verse 10 reiterates the thought that those "born of God" carry on in righteousness and notes that there are "children of God" and "children of the devil." This creates a sobering dilemma for Jehovah's Witnesses because even the Watchtower would have to admit that being born of God means being born again. In the Watchtower Insight book, volume 1, under "incorruption", 1 John 3:9 is given as a reference text for those who are "born again." Yes, being born again (which, again, is synonymous with being "born of God") is 1 John's admonition if one is to carry on in righteousness and hence be a child of Yahweh.

So my question for Jehovah's Witnesses is, given that there are only two options in 1 John 3:10 which are:

1. to be a child of God, born of him, yes, born again essentially or

2. to be a child of the devil

Whose child are you? If you say God's, then you must be born again according to 1 John.

In addition, 1 John 2:29 says:

"Everyone who does what is right has been born of him."

Quick Question for Jehovah's Witnesses

 In Acts chapter 2, people listening to Peter's message about the resurrection and extolling of the Messiah were "cut to the heart" (verse 37) and so Peter told them to "repent and be baptized." Verse 41 says :

"Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day."

In another example in Acts, an Ethiopian eunuch was baptized right after hearing the good news about Yeshua. He said "Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” (Acts 8:26-39)

I've only given these 3,001 examples to make a point. Hopefully that will be sufficient. In light of these, I ask the following:

Since the Watchtower organization makes the lofty claim to be the only place where someone can worship Yahweh while at the same time being absolutely true to the*biblical* model of how this is supposed to be done, how can such an assertion be maintained when in fact their baptism requirements are positively nothing like the bible's at all? Doesn't the Watchtower require insistent indoctrination for a long period of time and a lengthy test before baptism? Where is this model found in scripture? Shouldn't it be found there since the WT claims all their dogmas and practices come straight from the bible? Depending on the individual Jehovah's Witness of course and how zealous that one is in his or her studies, field service, and meeting attendance, isn't approximately a year or more a far cry from (the biblical model of) instant baptism upon sincere belief? If the Watchtower's method of doing things is a far cry from scripture's, which way is right? I'm not suggesting it's wrong to get baptized after studying, believing, and obeying for a long time. I'm only noticing how the Watchtower forbids anything but, which is notably unbiblical.

There's something else worth noting about the Christian baptisms in scripture as well. None of them at all were performed without those who were baptized then becoming members in Christ's body. Is this the Watchtower way? Because it's the bible's. I know which way I'd rather follow. What about you?

A Jehovah's Witness (I'm assuming) commented on this question on youtube and said :

"A huge difference between the 3K&1 ppl that u mentioned having gotten baptized all had the ML & prophets in their minds. By this I mean they knew things. Ppl can't commit themselves to something they don't know can they? Let's not 4get the practice we have for those who leave the truth. How does 1 get baptized a 'JW' then learn the doctrine/s & say 'no I don't agree w/xyz doctrine/s'? Those who persist in rebelling against doctrine will b DF'd. So y not avoid this by making sure ppl know the main things about Jesus & other JW doctrine?"

My answer:

Leave the truth? The truth is not an organization. My message here isn't "get baptized as a JW quickly without their intensive indoctrination." My message is not to get baptized as a JW at all because of this and many other red flags. To avoid that indoctrination altogether. My intent is to point out that 1st century Christians weren't baptized into an organization after being intensely indoctrinated with a publishing corporation's materials. They were baptized into Christ after believing a *simple* gospel and repenting. See the difference? When you say they "knew things", all they knew was that the prophesied Christ had come, died for us, and was raised up to sit at the right hand of Yahweh. They believed and repented and were baptized after only hearing a simple message that spoke to their hearts.

Quick Question for Trinitarians # 3

Question # 3: 

1 Corinthians 15:27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

One simple kindergarten question for the trinitarians: WHO is the "God" who will be "all in all" in verse 28? Is it the same God who Christ will be subjected to? If you say the father alone, then why would this make sense if the One God is a trinity composed of three coequal and consubstantial persons? Why would just one of those three persons instead of the entire triune Godhead be "all in all"? Where's the holy spirit? Yes, is the One God who will be "all in all" in 1 Cor. 15:28 one, two, or three persons? Is Yeshua's God one, two, or three persons? Where did Yeshua say HIS One God is a different God from the One God of Deuteronomy 6:4? (John 20:17, Revelation 3:12)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quick Question for Trinitarians # 2

 These questions aren't designed to accommodate trinitarian presupposition. They're designed to make a trinitarian reconsider his or her presuppositions with common sense, unqualified, honest, and reasonable usage of plain texts. It isn't that I don't know the typical trinitarian responses to such questions. It is that they don't seem honest, reliable, reasonable, or consistent. So when I ask such questions it is to plant seeds as opposed to gathering trinitarian responses unless those responses are going to help them see that they are abusing scripture. That they are defining God however they like whenever they like instead of just taking the explicit texts to tell them who he is without their added inference when they desire it. In other words, if Yeshua and the apostles says the father is creator, who are you to say the trinity is or to add your own ideas on top of those succint kindergarten revelations? A trinitarian's first instinct will be to run to Hebrews or Colossians chapter 1. I will provide links below the video to other videos which could help one exegete those widely misused passages.

Question # 2:

Acts 4:24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, 4 said by the Holy Spirit,“‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Anointed’

Ok, so far would you agree that the God who is being spoken about here is the One who "made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them?" The One who spoke in the Old Testament? Keeping that answer in mind, what do you make of verses 27 and 30 in the same chapter that refer to the "holy servant Jesus" OF this One God who "made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them?" In other words, if the One God who "made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them" and spoke in the OT was a trinity, then wouldn't this mean, according to Acts, that Yeshua is the "holy servant" of the trinity? Yes, if the creator in Genesis is a triune godhead, then how can that One be said to have a "holy servant" named Yeshua when we all know Yeshua is the holy servant of the father and not of the trinity? Malachi 2:10 actually agrees with Acts chapter 4 when it says the God who created was the father. Do you agree with Malachi and Acts? If not them, then how about Yeshua who identified the creator of man and woman as a "he?" Who IS the "he" Yeshua spoke of in Matthew 19:4, the creator Malachi spoke of in 2:10, and the God the apostles prayed to in Acts 4:24 who "made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them?" A triune essence? You know, the one with the "holy servant Jesus?" This milk of the word should prove without a doubt that certain New Testament passages which seem to be talking about a new creation and not the Genesis one, are being widely misused. Unless, of course, Malachi, Yeshua, and the apostles were all simply clueless as to who created man, woman, heaven, and earth. They all propose that the father alone did, while trinitarians propose that the trinity did. I guess none of them had anything that could articulate a trinity in their vocabulary?

Hebrews 1:10-12 exegesis:

Anthony Buzzard on Hebrews 1.10 & the Age to Come, the Kingdom of God

 Colossians 1 exegesis:

Colossians1:15-19 - Jesus: Co-Creator of the New Creation - Dustin Smith and J. Dan Gill

Monday, November 5, 2012

Are you scared of "Crisis of Conscience?"

When recommending Ray Franz's books to Jehovah's
Witnesses, I am most often met with appalling disgust and sentiments like "he has no proof for anything and demonizes Jehovah's organization. No way will I read his books! You hate Jehovah's Witnesses!" I actually, I'm ashamed to admit, used to share these wacky ideas because I was heavily indoctrinated with persuasive and bias Watchtower literature, which somehow causes JW's who heed it to be terrified that any criticisms of the Watchtower are apt to not only be wrong but downright dangerous because they could shipwreck your faith entirely, causing you to lose Jehovah's favor. Yes, a good sign you're in a cult is when the leadership inspires great fear when it comes to examining the opinions of those who question the leadership's claims. When Jehovah's Witnesses respond the way I just noted, I will typically respond this way:

Imagine for a moment that as a Jehovah's Witness you're witnessing to a Mormon. You recommend a book to that Mormon that exposes the truth about Mormonism and all the deceptions in it. However, the Mormon has been told by his leaders not to read any literature that doesn't come from them. That anyone who tells him that Joseph Smith or Mormonism are in any capacity wrong or to be questioned conscientiously is mentally diseased, possibly even demonized. That such persons are only trying to demonize Joseph Smith and Mormonism and shipwreck his faith and relationship with his creator. To avoid those persons with any dissenting information about Mr. Smith or Mormonism like the plague, as if they could destroy him, since that is obviously their goal. And as you, the sincere Jehovah's Witness, also try to hand this Mormon a Watchtower with an article about Mormonism's and Joseph Smith's deceptions, this Mormon says "no way will I read that. I know better. You're just trying to demonize the only true religion and shipwreck my faith. You obviously hate Mormons. Go away."

What would you think about this Mormon and how would you feel? (And I'm not suggesting Mormons would act this's just a fictional illustration intended to make a point.) And would the reason for trying to help this Mormon have been because you hate him or because you care about him and want him to find out the truth?

However it is you would feel and whatever it is you would think, that's kind of how folk like me feel and think when JW's act like the Mormon in my brief illustration.

In reality, who's demonizing who here? And what are they trying to hide? Shouldn't truth be able to stand up glowingly to any scrutiny? The Watchtower unfairly demonizes Ray Franz. The only way you could possibly know if he unfairly demonizes them is if you give him the same shot you've given the Watchtower. If you ever read his books ("Crisis of Conscience" and "In Search of Christian Freedom"), not only will you be glad you did, it may change your life for the better if you care about holy scripture, justice, and truth. Ray Franz was a Christian man who knows everything that happened in the governing body meetings for a time because he was a member! He has proof and documentation for almost all of his claims, sharp and undeniable reasoning, and compassion for Jehovah's Witnesses like only someone who has been one could. I used to literally be scared to even have one of his books in the same neighborhood as me, much less pick one up to read. I am truly ashamed of myself for that. I feared men. No more. I bet you have seen some so-called "apostate" videos or websites where the people were disrespectful and off-putting. Franz is the OPPOSITE of that. If you are willing to examine the sincere truth about the Watchtower, respectfully and irrefutably presented, Ray is the way to go! He didn't harbor all the bitterness and anger and hatred a lot of ex-JW's have even though he probably was more entitled to it than any other ex-JW after all he went through, after how harshly he's been demonized & slandered.
                                                                                                                                                                                             It is those Jehovah's Witnesses online who ARE checking out supposed "apostate" web pages and youtube videos and blogs (etc.) who generally say Franz's books are a no no. Seems a little hypocritical, doncha think? So don't be like the Mormon from my earlier illustration. The bible says to make sure of and examine all things. Ray Franz wasn't critical of the bible or Yahweh. Watchtower literature is not the bible and the governing body are not Yahweh, so you should be able to discern the difference there even though the Watchtower attempts to conflate them all, imprisoning  JW's in the fear that to entertain conscientious criticism of an organization is somehow the same thing as questioning Yahweh himself! Ridiculous. Franz didn't fear men.  Do you?

I really care about and love Jehovah's Witnesses. I mean no harm here just like JW's would mean no harm if they were to witness to a Catholic about the problems within Catholicism's religious institution. As a Jehovah's Witness, you wouldn't do it to "demonize" Catholics because you hate would do it to help them find Christian freedom because you care about them. So why and how could you accuse people like me of hatred and slander when I'm only doing the same things JW's do..trying to reach people with what I consider the good news from the bible while also informing them of certain dangers within religious organizations that don't conform.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Quick Question for Trinitarians!

This is a scripture that should really jolt any true critical thinker wide awake if he or she is interested.

Acts 3:13 says:

 "The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus."

Okay, first note how the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers" is distinguished from Yeshua as a separate being, succintly and irrefutably. Next, a serious question that must be answered: If the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers" is a triune homoousios, how can He "glorify his servant Jesus" if Yeshua is that same "God of Abraham?" Yes, Acts 3:13 proves with zero doubt who the God of Deuteronomy 6:4 really is! If that God is supposed to be a trinity, then one would have to say "the trinity glorified his servant Jesus." I can hear the trinitarians now telling me that sometimes that One God is identified as just the father, and I would agree in a more consistent manner, but I think it's preposterous and desperate to make up whoever you want him to be at any given time to suit your own presuppositions and desires. If you're going to say it's just the father in Acts 3:13, then you should be consistent with that. Where's the holy spirit here? Is the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers" one, two, or three people in Acts 3:13, and why would it ever be okay to be inconsistent with that interpretation? As a trinitarian, how comfortable are you saying that the One God of our fathers from Deuteronomy 6:4 glorified his "servant" Yeshua? What common sense impression should be gathered from such a statement?

The video says "Question number 1" because it was originally more than one question. This may be a series..not sure. It isn't that I don't know the typical trinitarian responses to such questions. It is that they don't seem honest, reliable, or reasonable. So when I ask such questions it is to plant seeds as opposed to gathering trinitarian responses unless those responses are going to help them see that they are abusing scripture. That they are defining God however they like whenever they like instead of just taking the explicit texts to tell them who he is without their added inference when they desire it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

James White: Helping America nip critical thinking right in the bud!

 I mistakenly said in this video that the caller wanted to know how Christ could be 100 percent man if he was also 100 percent God. But he was really inquiring how he could be 100 percent God if he was 100 percent man, essentially anyway. Sorry about that! Talk of a trinity always scrambles the brain.

 This is a "Dear Christians against the Watchtower" special edition. When you hear the White clip (turn up your speakers!), you will think Jehovah's Witness elders are pussycats. No doubt many trinitarians will think and say White gave a good defense of his faith. But if they heard this same kind of intellectual intimidation, judgment, and condescension from Jehovah's Witness elders toward conscientious objectors, they would use it for proof that the Watchtower is evil. Hypocrisy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Watchtower's "new light" on the faithful and discreet slave

The following is a link to explain.

Wow. Just, wow. How I ever bought anything the Watchtower sells is beyond me at this point. Mind-boggling. I almost feel like calling the sole anointed brother in my former congregation up and consoling him on his demotion. But he'd just tell me the same thing he told me when I disassociated. Namely, that we must "change with the organization and trust Jehovah." Which translated means that we must obey fallible men no matter what and link the organization so inextricably with Jehovah that it becomes an idol.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Do you believe in hell? 5 simple questions for ya!

I believe in gehenna (hell) too! I believe gehenna consumes and destroys. So what I mean in the title of this blog is "do you believe in the traditionalist misuse and misinterpretation of gehenna, namely as a fire that never ever consumes?" This is my laziest shortest blog entry ever.

Answer me these 5 kindergarten questions (scriptures are even there to help out):

1. In the bible, does unquenchable fire preserve or consume? (Ezekial 20:47, Amos 5:6, Matthew 3:12)

2. In the bible, do worms that don't die preserve souls or consume corpses? (Isaiah 66:24)

3. In the bible, does the lake of fire perform a different function for death than it does the wicked, which are both thrown there in the same passage? (1 Corinthians 15:26, Revelation 20:14)

4 .In the bible, is eternal fire said to reduce to ashes or to infinitely preserve? (Jude 1:7, 2 Peter 2:6)

5. In the bible, are the wicked said to become ashes or to never be reduced to ashes? (Malachi 4:3)

Thanks and God bless!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Trinitarians deny the true humanity of Christ

Brief excerpt from Greg Deuble's book  "They Never Told Me This in Church!" p. 163

"So the order of appearance is quite clear: Adam first, Christ second. Christ is the last Adam. Adam precedes Christ. Adam was not a copy of a heavenly, preexistent Christ, but “a type of him who was to come” (Rom. 5: 17). As a true man Jesus was patterned after the likeness of Adam! In contrast to this biblical model, however, it will no doubt be a huge surprise for most who read this and believe that Jesus was born the Infant-God (as cited above in Swindoll, Packer, et al) that official Incarnational theology teaches that Jesus was not “a man” but was rather in fact impersonal “man.” That is official Trinitarian teaching. It proposes that Jesus the Son of God has human nature, but is not a human person! At the Council of Chalcedon (451 AD) orthodoxy officially taught that God the Son united himself to a personless human nature. The “ego” of Jesus (i.e. his true centre of personality) is his Godhood because he is the second Person of the blessed Trinity. Because the Son of God had no beginning but simply came through Mary, he merely assumed impersonal human nature; therefore Jesus does not have a true human personal ego or centre. One commentator puts it this way:

"Now the doctrine of the Incarnation is that in Christ the place of a human personality is replaced by the Divine Personality of God the Son, the second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Christ possesses a complete human nature without a human personality. Uncreated and eternal Divine Personality replaces a created personality in Him."(Leslie Simmonds "What Ye Think of Christ?" quoted in "Focus on the Kingdom".ed. Anthony  buzzard,vol. 7,no. 3,p.5)

Thus, the shocking truth of the official doctrine of the Incarnation is that Jesus is de-humanized. It turns out he really is not like the first man Adam, not like us after all, not a man, but “man” in a nebulous, generic sense. According to the Bible model this disqualifies Jesus from being the “seed of the woman,” the genuine descendant of David, and means he cannot be our Saviour!

my thoughts:
Many trinitarians don't even know this and would probably, secretly at least, be appalled in their conscience. Those who do know will justify it in some of the most inventive and imaginative ways one could ever fathom. To me, the fact that the true humanity of Christ is chalked up to nothing but some nebulous indefinable "nature" instead of actual personhood is easily spotted to be one of the most unbiblical and preposterous things one could ever fancy. There is NO way trinitarians don't have secret problems with this in their conscience if they ever read their bible. Perhaps the more defensive they get about it, the more it might secretly bother them. For those who don't have conscientious issues with such nonsense, I am sad for you. Truly. No one can stop you from redefining terms to fit your dogma(words like "man" and "God"), but when the time comes, you WILL know the truth, and you'll be like me after I left the Watchtower. Wondering how you ever could have believed all the lies you're being fed. That's the nature of deception when one wakes up from it's powerful slumber. The typical trinitarian will always run first to John 1:1 to desperately try and justify what they believe is God coming through a womb with flesh,but what they should do is take the plain, unambiguous statements throughout the totality of scripture and believe them. Then when something seems to contradict or give you seeming justification for severe and jolting qualification of the entire bible's easy revelations and sentiments, examine the texts you think do from new eyes, with an open mind. Then, be honest. This can only be accomplished when you remember the milk and the words of Christ first before your misuse of those few-and-far-between less easily understood(at first and on the surface through modern day eyes, at least) texts. Instead of taking those few texts to butcher, rearrange, redefine, rework, and/or slaughter the simply stated unambiguous truth in the vast majority of kindergarten passages. You HAVE to know what I mean if you've ever listened to Christ. Please do so without presupposing anything!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Apostate on Trial

Videos like this are always fascinating. This guy handled himself very admirably in this "proceeding." Much better than I could have. This is from youtube user JWStruggle. So much could be said with so many highlights, so much reverence for & loyalty to a fallible organization, coupled with a healthy dose of cognitive dissonance(on the part of the elders of course), but I'll let the proceeding speak for itself.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Does the Unquenchable Fire of Hell keep the wicked alive?

In the bible, fire sometimes goes unquenched until it does & finishes it's job..which is to consume or devour what it touches ending in utter irreversible annihilation. Proof:

Ezekial 20:47:Say to the southern forest: 'Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume all your trees, both green and dry. The blazing flame will not be quenched, and every face from south to north will be scorched by it.

We have here an "unquenchable flame" that "consumes" all the trees of a forest. So if scripture uses this phrase, namely "unquenchable fire", in such a way, why is it apropos for Christians to assign it the opposite meaning from the one scripture truly does? According to scripture, a fire that cannot be quenched "consumes". It doesn't preserve infinitely whatever it touches. Unless you somehow inexplicably and unreasonably believe the consumed and destroyed forest is still burning alive and intact in those unquenchable flames, trees proudly standing tall forever as they burn perpetually any way but down..If one were to go there right after such an event, would the trees still be standing up burning and never being consumed, or would the forest be destroyed and quite literally devoured?
Let's examine another text wherein scripture will again define it's own phrases and terms for you (in this case "unquenchable fire" is the widely misused phrase and concept in question) so that you won't have to rely upon tradition or fallible uninspired preachers to do so.

Amos 5:6:Seek the LORD and live, or he will sweep through the house of Joseph like a fire; it will devour, and Bethel will have no one to quench it.

So,yet again,we have a fire that cannot be quenched "devouring" as opposed to "preserving infinitely." Yet typically,Christian traditionalists wouldn't hesitate, due to deceptive tradition and powerful indoctrination, to assign this phrase with the opposite meaning from the one scripture deliberately and explicitly articulates. It's neither sound nor remotely okay to do so considering the doctrines that result from such unfathomable and egregious misuse. If you don't want to believe the Old Testament inspired writers, how about the New? Do they use the phrase as the OT writers do or do they make up a new meaning like Christian traditionalists do who have listened to their uninspired money-making preachers for too long? We shall see:

Matthew 3:12:His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

I doubt anyone would dare to argue that the chaff doesn't represent the wicked here. Katakaio is the Greek word for "burn up" in Matt. 3:12 and it literally means to "consume wholly" or "burn up utterly"..

So what it sounds like is John the Baptist using a phrase he borrowed from OT writers & proceeding to use it in the exact same way they did. If it consumes and destroys whatever it touches, why suggest it doesn't? And John didn't mean an eternal consumption whereby nothing was ever literally ever destroyed by a bona fide devouring..for that would be an alarming & absurd attempt to assign the phrases he borrows from OT writers with the opposite meaning they've already aptly assigned them yet again. Kind of desperate and definitely unwarranted.

Simple questions, in summary?
1. What does unquenchable fire do to the southern forests in Ez. 20:47?
2. What would the unquenchable fire do to the house of Joseph in Amos 5:6?
3. What would unquenchable fire do to the wicked in Matthew 3:12?
4. Do you believe it?Or have you assigned this phrase a new meaning to preserve a teaching and philosophy of men?

This isn't me looking to scholars or preachers or books other than scripture to make arguments. This is a simplistic kindergarten reading of obvious texts to come to an easy and sound conclusion that disagrees with the majority of Christians. Those who inexplicably believe unquenchable fire never consumes or devours in quite the way scripture says it does, explicitly. This to me is not only concerning but downright easily resolved to any unblinded eyes. It really is as simple as reading the texts where this concept is used and proceeding to believe scripture's usage instead of a manmade misuse of it. If one desperately attempts to assign "consume" or "devour" a meaning as anything but what those terms naturally mean and inevitably lead to, it will ultimately become an exercise in futility considering that there is simply no arguing with the fact that forests don't get "infinitely consumed and destroyed" in fire wherein they don't burn up literally in an act of irreversible destruction. When Christians try to assign that desperate meaning(that fire preserves instead of consumes,keeps alive instead of destroying) of these terms in relation to the wicked, they are apparently making the decision to define scripture by their own ideas instead of letting it define its own phrases and terms. Not cool.

God doesn't take too kindly to potentially stumbling ideas. If I was convinced as most Christians are of the reality of most of mankind suffering sadistically ceaselessly in flames that never ever go out, not only could I not stand the idea, but I couldn't fathomably live peacefully, righteously, and blissfully in a kingdom where this atrocity is occurring to most everyone I've ever known and loved. That wouldn't even be possible because there is simply no such thing as righteous sadism. That's why we crave and need the kingdom in the first place. Because of the suffering in this world. So if you propagate suffering immeasurably worse than what we've ever conceived even in this wicked world forever even after the kingdom has come, you're deceived and deceiving.It isn't supported either by scripture or the most basic instincts of common sense, righteousness, and compassion. Even the basest of  human beings would be appalled by infinite widespread sadism of the sort hellfire would be, yet some Christians act as if it's sensical. Disturbing.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Poem for Yahweh

Yahweh you're my light when the darkness overwhelms
My life is in shambles when I don't let you take the helm
The joy and peace you provide I'll liken to the rain
After a drought where your lost sheep was drifting in pain
Washed now in the blood of your perfect holy Lamb
I can be a vessel cleansed and used in service to the great "I AM"

The obstacles and stumbling blocks your spirit can demolish
If we cry out to you at every turn,allowing you to polish
clean our tainted souls,rendering their sin white as snow
With the blood of Your own Son
His body a Christian's home.

Propitiatory sacrifice that bought our very lives
For your kingdom to come,your Son's thankful bride
The Wedding feast imminent,all things made anew
No more evil,pain,or worry..the holy perfect you
will not tolerate such things in your perfect righteous kingdom
I'm sorry "Christian" men have misrepresented your intentions

You are love and light and peace and bliss
No more mourning nor tears nor outcries,nothing amiss
You're a consuming fire against the wicked and unjust
They shall perish so your kingdom can flourish for us
The ones you save through the agency of
Yeshua the way,the truth,the life,your beloved

What is your name and the name of your Son?
Yahweh & Yeshua..through whom you reveal your love
He is your Amen..your approved,beloved firstborn
Your exalted servant through whom we can be reborn
Praise you and praise him,praise you both with all I have
Take my heart.Take my soul.My life is in your hands.

My heart is the sacrifice I will make daily for you
Earnestly in prayer it will break in two
For everything I've ever done against your love and truth
Your Son and you

Your name is my song..your ways are my breath
I will fight for your kingdom to my very death
I will inhale and hail you ,your spirit my inspiration
Against all who stand against you in their straw stations

The wicked one's missiles are only strong
When one doesn't have your name as her song.
All you stand for is all that matters
Anything else ultimately shatters
Bring in your sheep,lost and scattered
They know not what they do without you.
Heal them Oh Yah almighty with your food
Your bread,your water,your Son,your truth
If you detect in them a sincere spiritual heart
Make them new for your will without which they're lost
Demolish everything in opposition to you
For humble seekers,let your light shine through

Save lives,forgive,heal,comfort,and in your arms may you hold
Every stray sheep may you bring into your fold
Prodigal children aching for fulfillment
Like I was before you tore down my concealment
I will not hide anymore
I will abide in your Son evermore

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mike Heiser and the Angel of the LORD

I received a private message on youtube from a friend who found Mike Heiser's(biblical scholar and author of "Two Powers in Heaven")arguments for Yeshua being the Angel of Yah in the OT(and hence somehow God himself because the Angel is sometimes called "Yahweh") compelling and worthy of consideration.I tried to reason with this friend about Heiser's arguments.Though I haven't read Heiser's book,I did watch a recommended youtube video so that I could gather his views.They were typical of everyone else's who believe Christ was the Angel of Yah and God at the same time in the Old Testament.This is how I first responded:

 An interesting question does arise when I watch(and read) people like Heiser.Does he not know about the Hebrew law of agency?How could he not since he seems to be an expert?Why doesn't he address it or acknowledge it?I suppose he just doesn't think it's possible for someone to bear God's name and be treated like God would be treated and that be ok.But that's exactly what the Hebrew agency principle is.If I were to entertain a binity or trinity from typical arguments for one such as those from Heiser ,I would have to completely ignore this well-established principle.Whereby agents in those times not only bore the name of their senders,but also were treated as if they WERE the sender himself.I don't really see a good reason to fail to acknowledge this Hebrew reality.

 If you're scratching your head wondering what in the world I am talking about,hopefully this will sum up the Hebrew reality at the time(by which we should assess the bible given that it was written with those ancient Hebrew thoughtforms,as opposed to our modern ones):

 As The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion notes: "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." ~R.J.Z. Werblowski and Geoffrey Wigoder

To quote author Greg Deuble(on pp.64-64 in his book "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."

 I won't get into other bible examples(and yes,they are sprinkled throughout) of this principle at work at this time(though I will provide links at the end for further studies).

My friend decided to email Heiser about this Hebrew principle and this was Heiser's response:

 "This "law of agency" is a slippery thing (of convenience in this instance). Prophets had the authority of Yahweh on them, but are not called Yahweh. Same for apostles (they were likewise commissioned in the prophetic tradition). Consistency in these respects and others must be avoided to hold that view. This also does not explain Exod 23:20-23, where God specifically distinguished the angel by saying "me name [presence] is in him" and then later he is simultaneously present with that angel (Judges 6). Since Yahweh is present in Judges 6, there's no need for him to "put authority on" another figure -- his own presence should be good enough if that was the point. Also, how would this explain ideas like bringing sacrifice and offerings to the Name in the temple? That would mean another being besides Yahweh receives *legitimate* Israelite sacrifice. The language of the text just isn't congruent with the "agency" position. And the JW view simply ignores the NT writers' tactic of inserting Jesus into OT passages that have Yahweh as their subject. Also, did you ever try the "a god" translation for theos through ALL of John 1 (not just the first three verses)? Absolutely absurd."


 I won't be addressing Heiser's John ch. 1 and Jehovah's Witness complaints as they are utterly irrelevant to the topic at hand.

 Though Mike brings up a good point about consistency(on the surface anyway),I think you have to consider that not all agents and prophets of God had God's FULL authorized gifted authority.In the NT,for example,Christ ALONE is said to "have ALL things put under his feet"(1 Cor. 15:27)and "all authority in heaven and on earth" given him.(Matt 28:18)What other agent/representative/image of God/Son could say that in the NT?I think the evidence shows that,though Christ took this role in the NT,in the OT Yah also had a designated individual(or individuals,possibly I suppose) through whom he reached out to mankind because he was too holy and glorious to to be seen and heard himself.How and why would Yah send another individual equally holy and glorious?Not only would that be utterly nonsensical,it would also be impossible given the principles Yahweh himself set.Namely,that Yahweh the Most High God IS/WAS too holy and glorious to be seen by fallen mankind without them perishing.Notice the common sense biblical precedent here that has to go completely ignored by those who propose that a supposed "coequal" and "consubstantial" Yahweh WAS actually seen?!Has anyone ever seen God at any time?(1 John 4:12,John 1:18)Can you answer that without seriously nonsensical qualification that ignores God's own biblical principles?

 I can't help but notice,also, that Mike doesn't say that the Hebrew law of agency isn't a genuine biblical principle.Only that it should be consistent.However,there is no inconsistency at all in reality because most of God's agents weren't designated with the FULL AUTHORITY that would be conducive to their bearing of Yah's name.Apostles and prophets are generally said to be given only "measures" of God's spirit and authority,as opposed to FULLNESS thereof...The fact that God's name was in his Angel says to me,from what I hope is intelligible inference,that he DID have a full measure of spirit and authority to speak and act on God's behalf as God.(according of course to the Hebrew agency principle from which I also garner the idea that there doesn't have to be more than one Yahweh when this legitimate principle is simply acknowledged and not arbitrarily shunned to uphold a theological bias)So there's no "inconsistency" and "slipperiness" at all.

 Not only does Mike have to ignore some of the intricacies of the agency principle(whereby most were never given FULL authority with an unlimited measure of spirit and hence didn't have to bear God's name),but he also has to dismiss some of his trinitarian contemporaries' opinions to uphold the stance that he does.(though admittedly I'm unsure how dogmatic he is in his stance)Yes,the best testimonies to the lack of stellar solid "proof" for Christ being the second person of a so-called "triune homoousios" are the trinitarians one is bound to find for every "proof text" denying that it's necessarily "proof" at all.In this case,we find some claiming that the Angel of Yah may not have been a pre-existent Christ.

 The NIV Study Bible (which,if anything,should be quick to assume,like Heiser,that the angel of Yah is Christ because of doctrinal bias) notes:

"Since the angel of the Lord speaks for God in the first person and Hagar is said to name "the Lord who spoke to her: 'You are the God who sees me,'" the angel appears to be both distinguished from the Lord (in that he is called "messenger"—the Hebrew for "angel" means "messenger") and identified with him. Similar distinction and identification can be found in 19:1,21; 31:11,13; Ex. 3:2,4; Judges 2:1-5; 6:11-12,14; 13:3,6,8-11,13,15-17,20-23; Zech. 3:1-6; 12:8. 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."

Hmm..looks like this Hebrew agency principle is acknowledged by more than just unitarians!

Similarly, the NET Bible notes:

 "Some identify the angel of the Lord as the preincarnate Christ because in some texts the angel is identified with the Lord himself. However, it is more likely that the angel merely represents the Lord; he can speak for the Lord because he is sent with the Lord's full authority. In some cases the angel is clearly distinct from the Lord (see Judg 6:11-23). It is not certain if the same angel is always in view. Though the proper name following the noun "angel" makes the construction definite, this may simply indicate that a definite angel sent from the Lord is referred to in any given context. It need not be the same angel on every occasion. Note the analogous expression "the servant of the Lord," which refers to various individuals in the OT (see BDB 714 s.v. עֶבֶד)."

So not only does the trinitarian-bias NET Bible note that the Angel may not be Yeshua, it goes so far as to say it "more than likely" isn't.Significant,huh?Not only that,the NET admits that more than one agent could have been this "Angel" on any given occasion.True,it can't even be proven that there was only one sole individual that was the Angel of Yah.Perhaps there were various ones that had his name if they were vested with full authority when they were appearing on his behalf.I tend to think it was probably only one,but that can't be presupposed,only deduced from assumption.

As for making sacrifices to the "name" of the LORD,who's to say "name" of the LORD isn't another way of saying ,well,the "LORD"?Fact is,even if the "Name" is referring to a separate entity(and that would certainly be a leap of serious & unwarranted assumption),it would be worship to Yah ultimately just like worship to the king was ultimately worship to Yahweh in 1 Chronicles 29:20,where it plainly says:

"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.."

There may be some for all I know,but I couldn't find a commentary that identifies the "name" of Yahweh being the second person of Yahweh's substance.What an inference!I suppose it's possible that the Hebrews of the time spoke of the "Name" similar to how they spoke of the "Word."Not to describe a separate entity from God,but rather was a way of describing the father's outreach to & presence with man without compromising his transcendence.This is certainly not to say that when he reaches out to men through the agency of others that they can't then be termed God's "word","name"etc.They would then be vehicles/emissaries through whom God reaches out and speaks to the world.

The Angel in question even said,in Judges 13:16: "If thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD",distinguishing himself from the One true Lord.(& isn't there only one?Deut. 6:4)I know trinitarians recognize the distinction in the "persons" of their tripersonal God,but the big difference between "person" and "being" in their philosophy is imagined,made up to accommodate their belief.

There should also be hesitance to presuppose the Angel of Yah wasn't *really* an angel at all.(ontologically speaking)This is yet another questionable assumption made simply to accommodate a speculative dogma.If the trinitarian creed was explicitly stated in scripture,there would have been no need for men to have councils to put it in writing.

Also worthy of note,in contemporaneous- to- the- bible extrabibical Hebrew literature at the time,there are other heavenly figures called "God",proving that Hebrews at the time recognized this principle and did apply it to others besides the Angel of Yah.The dead sea scrolls take texts applied to Yah and apply them to exalted agents,like the heavenly Melchizedek in 11Q13 where Ps. 7:7-8 is used of him.(Yes,the name Yahweh is in the psalms there.)This gives us a good idea of true Jewish thoughtforms,whereby they didn't hesitate to use texts applied to Yahweh and also apply them to his exalted agents.

 According to the Jewish targums,the name of the Angel of the LORD was Michael the archangel.(in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan,Gen. 32:24)These are the folks(the early Jews that is) Heiser claims thought this angel was a second Yahweh.(not sure he'd word it that way because trinitarians are VERY sensitive about saying there's more than one understandably!)But I don't think Yahweh is the archangel Michael nor do I believe unholy fallen mankind can behold his glory without instantly dying.That's why he had to assign someone else,precisely.Keeping in mind that most trinitarian scholars are not keen on claiming the Angel was Christ(if they think so..they hesitate to say it for good reason),I can't take Heiser very seriously myself.

 I think one of the purposes of Hebrews chapter one is to defeat the heresy that Christ was an angel from OT times.iIf he was clearly God himself,it would be absurd for the writer of Hebrews to try and prove his superiority to angels.The bible doesn't say whether or not the Angel of Yah was an angel ontologically,so for trinitarians to say he wasn't just demonstrates a bias and bold assumption.Most agents aren't God's mediator between him and men in the respect this Angel(or angels) and his Messiah were.As those vested FULLY with his spirit and authority,unlike others who only had measures of his spirit and were limited in what power and function they performed.

Another thought that comes to mind,briefly,are the numerous occurrences in the NT where an "angel of the Lord" shows up.Though usually the article "ho"(the) isn't used,it is on at least one occasion.Regardless,it would be impossible to prove any of these instances couldn't be the "Angel" in question from the OT.(Matt. 1:20,24,2:13,19,28:2,Luke 2:9)Only presupposed that it wasn't,which is far from an honest unbiased assessment.

 Just to sum up a few of the main problems with Mike's view:

1.He thinks tons of people have seen God tons of times.

2.He has to ignore the foundational milk and explicitly revealed identities and math of God(where I'm sure he qualifies simple words from the mouths of God and His Son to the point of butchering them)

 3.He has to presuppose the Angel of the LORD was only ever one individual and that he wasn't an angel.

 4.He has to assume that if the agency principle were valid for Yah that every agent could bear his name when he has yet to prove this.(not sure that anyone could ever prove such a thing since agents bearing the principle's name have to be vested with FULL authority)Why can't God designate specific ones(namely,the angel and Christ) with a FULL measure of his spirit and authority like no one else has ever had?

 5.If God's "persons" are coequal and consubstantial,how come only one of them is too holy to be seen without people perishing?Why is one of them able to be fully seen,heard,touched and felt without the consequences God made clear would actually occur if the true God was REALLY seen?

 6.He has to ignore as drivel the musings of his trinitarian contemporaries who aren't confident at all in identifying the Angel of Yah as a pre-existent Christ.Some of whom have gone so far as to say the Angel probably wasn't Christ at all.

 7.If Mike's correct,he would have to admit there's more than One Yahweh if mathematics and common sense mean anything at all.(denial is futile and desperate though rampant on this point)This,of course,would defy the unitarian creed of Israel by which even Christ lived and breathed when he said " "WE worship what we know."(Jn. 4:22)Who did he know as God?A tripersonal essence?Obviously not.God doesn't worship anyone,though his sons worship him.As did Christ profusely.(As if we shouldn't follow Christ's example but should instead imagine a new God,one that isn't "the God and father" of Yeshua.Scary thought,but that's what many do.)

 8.Heiser would have to also presuppose that none of the instances where an Angel(or "the angel") of the Lord shows up in the New Testament could be the one in question from the Old Testament.Convenient,but VERY assumptive,again.

 In conclusion,Moses was one of the greatest servants of Yahweh who ever walked this earth.Yet people like Heiser expect us all to believe that God would allow a bunch of people besides Moses,but definitely NOT Moses, to behold his glory.Even though the bible says no one ever did.Period.Another nonsensical notion to be sure!Lets examine what REALLY happens when the worthiest man alive(at the time) asks to behold the majesty of the One True God(and this is from my other blog about this subject):

 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 Yahweh!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 intact is 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." For further study and contemplation,feel free to visit the following helpful links:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Was the Trinity always the "Orthodox" position?The Truth!

Bart Ehrman is an apostate from the Christian faith.I do not in any capacity advocate much of what he claims or represents.He,however,because he's an agnostic now,has no reason to "take sides" so to speak in theological debates about the nature of Christ.It wouldn't really concern him whether God is one or three or three people in one "homoousios" since he doesn't even worship him anymore.As abhorrent as I find many of his sentiments and beliefs,I have to admit that he's seemingly on the mark with much of what he says about the "orthodox corruption of scripture" in his book of the same name.Not all of his opinions on the scriptures are sound,but with a little discernment it's easily detectable what should be heeded or discarded in what he has to offer in his book.All the quotes in this blog are taken from his book "The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament."I won't be getting into how certain texts have been corrupted to make them seem a little more "orthodox"(as that term is so defined today anyway)right now,but rather how Christians(some willfully selective and ignorant..others just simply innocently ill informed about their own history)neither herald nor profess the real truth about what the earliest Christians believed.

Yes,one prevailing Christian trend is to rewrite history to make it more palatable in conformity to our own ideas regarding doctrine.For instance,most Christians wouldn't hesitate to tell you that in nascent Christianity,everyone was clearly a true saint who believed God was three people.Is this accurate?Or is it as about as true and unbiased as the "Jehovah's Witnesses: Proclaimers of God's Kingdom" book?Well,the least we can do is examine the other side to all the issues for a balanced & honest approach.Just like an orthodox Christian would desire to urge a devout Jehovah's Witness to examine their "true" history,I as an unorthodox Christian urge you to examine the history of your system of beliefs just as seriously.After all,when we take bias men's selective assessment(ones with a specific agenda mind you)as unquestionably true without critical thinking of our own weighing all the information,we're wide open for being fooled.Ehrman says:

"During its first two and a half centuries,Christianity comprised a number of competing theologies,or better,a number of competing Christian groups advocating a variety of theologies.There was as yet no established "orthodoxy,"that is,no basic theological system acknowledged by the majority of church leaders and laity.Different local churches supported different understandings of the religion,while different understandings of the religion were present even within the same local church."..p. 4

"The classical understanding of the relationship of orthodoxy and heresy met a devastating challenge in 1934 with the publication of Walter Bauer's "Recht-glaubigkeit und Ketzerei im altesten Christentum",possibly the most significant book on early Christianity written in modern times.Bauer argued that the early Christian church in fact did not comprise a single orthodoxy from which emerged a variety of competing heretical minorities.Instead,early Christianity embodied a number of divergent forms,no one of which represented the clear and powerful majority of believers against all others.In some regions,what was later to be termed "heresy" was in fact the original and only form of Christianity.In other regions,views later deemed heretical co-existed with views that would come to be embraced by the church as a whole,with most believers not drawing hard and fast lines of demarcation between the competing views.To this extent,"orthodoxy",in the sense of a unified group advocating an apostolic doctrine accepted by the majority of Christians everywhere,did not exist in the second and third centuries.Nor was "heresy" secondarily derived from an original teaching through an infusion of jewish ideas or pagan philosophy.Beliefs that were,at later times,embraced as orthodoxy and condemned as heresy were in fact competing interpretations of Christianity,one of which eventually(but not initially)acquired domination because of singular historical and social forces.Only when one social group had exerted itself sufficiently over the rest of Christendom did a "majority" opinion emerge;only then did the "right belief" represent the view of the Christian church at large."p.7

Ehrman goes on to note that Bauer's claims were based upon the closest scrutiny of the evidence from ancient sources for the Christianity in various regions,particularly Edessa,Egypt,Antioch,Asia Minor,Macedonia,and Rome.He found that,contrary to the claims of Eusebius(a fourth century bishop who was influential and who was deemed the so-called "father of church history"),the predominant Christian view was what today would be deemed "heretical."Ehrman further notes that even though there were folks scattered in these regions who embraced some form of what later became "orthodox",they were the minority to be sure.Much of the literature and opinions produced by the so called "heretics"(by today's standards that is) would NOT survive because,as Ehrman says:

"One would naturally not expect the victors of the struggle to reproduce the literature of their opponents."p.9

As Ehrman also notes,even those who seemed at least somewhat orthodox by today's standards(some of the much-hailed and quoted early church fathers,namely) had certainly not imagined today's trinity formulation and all it's nuances so definitively or meticulously.There was definitely "social ostracism,economic pressures,and political machinations"(as Ehrman puts it,p.15) that led to the "orthodoxy" held today.Not only that,the Early Church Fathers that are venerated in some respect by so many Christians today as fathers of their faith had some truly peculiar and "heretical" beliefs themselves!A small sampling:

"Both Clement of Alexandria and Origen,for example,acknowledge that Jesus' body could readily change appearance at will--a decidedly docetic notion--with Clement claiming that Jesus ingested food not for nourishment but simply to convince his followers that he actually had a body."..p.10

Irenaeus believed there were four gospels because there were "four winds" and "four corners of the earth",and therefore four pillars,or Gospels,upon which it is built.(Adv. Haer. III,11,7-8)

I see Christians all the time condemning Jehovah's Witnesses for following an organization and men with such a dubious history of peculiar beliefs,yet they do the same thing.If you're going to tell a Jehovah's Witness that one reason the Watchtower organization is corrupt is because of some of the particularly peculiar things Charles Taze Russell believed,did and taught,then the very least you can do is recognize the imperfections and peculiarities in the beliefs of the "fathers" of your faith.You will often hear trinitarians hailing the Early Church Fathers (yes,the same ones with beliefs that were heretical)as if they are true heroes.Even the Jehovah's Witnesses aren't bold enough to call the governing body their heroes.And if it's ok to be so selective when presenting the beliefs of these "heroes",then I suppose,if we're going to be unhypocritical,I could present a good case for the Watchtower.All I would have to do is omit all the lies,all the bloodguilt,all the hypocrisy,all the questionable beliefs.

Just like the Watchtower compels JW's to accept their interpretations of scripture by use of the power exerted over them by certain men with weapons of intellectual intimidation and salvation threats intact,"orthodoxy" accomplishes acceptance of it's questionable dogmas much the same way.

"For it is a historical fact that ,owing to a variety of reasons,one group within early Christianity achieved social dominance and enforced its views on other groups that had supported divergent opinions.Looked at in sociohistorical terms,orthodoxy and heresy are concerned as much with struggles over power as with debates over ideas."p.12

Should we really want to garner our "truth" from the effects of power struggles,social dominance,bloodshed,intellectual intimidation,threats,and the like?The history of the establishment of what is now termed "orthodox" has an ugly trail of blood.Besides,:

"If the term orthodoxy means the dominant form of Christianity,then prior to its domination,the views of this group are scarcely orthodox.."..p.12

So it's kinda funny how orthodoxy wasn't always "orthodox" at all yet people choose to believe it was because they don't or won't look outside the box where they are anymore than the average Jehovah's Witness would.If they do,the repurcussions might not be anymore attractive than those suffered by conscientious JW's who question the protocol of the Watchtower "organization."

Fact is,our "traditions" and what we've always been taught,that which is thoroughly and stubbornly ingrained in our conscious,is not necessarily true or real.But how palatable it is to continue believing it is and deceiving ourselves at all costs to maintain the comfort it compels!How horrible it would be to have to tell ourselves we've been deceived,receive possible shunning from our respected and well loved piers,receive constant labels and threats to our salvation,etc.Such terrible things would of course scare most any human being/Christian from the kind of critical thinking and genuine truth seeking they should embrace wholeheartedly.After all,if there's any possible way to take scriptures,twist them,and make them "fit" our heritage,that is often undertaken to ensure the comfort that results from ALREADY being completely and utterly right about everything.Pier approval.Cozy traditions.Feels good.And as human beings,it's only natural to run vigorously toward what feels good and away from what hurts.Even though Jesus said we are called to suffer as he did.

Even if Jesus seems to contradict what we've been taught and come to believe(everywhere,left and right),common sensically and earnestly,we human beings have a consistent and concerning history,right along with the Pharisees ,of insisting that we have the truth that Jesus lacks.(when it's the other way around of course!)I mean,it's so easy to find a few texts here and there that can conform to our ideas,just like the Jews who opposed & persecuted the Christ had in their arsenal.They too possessed a particular understanding of sacred texts.They just KNEW they were right.Deception wasn't possible for them at all.Being blind was real for others,but not for themselves!Yah's simple words and Christ's simple words weren't good enough at all.But they sure knew the scriptures!Right?

Doctrines that are true don't need to have their history of development concealed,colored, or fabricated.They also don't need to be "formulated" at all because Christ stated creeds that were simple,clear,and not mysterious at all.God didn't want us to calculate the number that he is while we ignore common sense mathematics and qualify his Son's words at every turn.Just to make them fit a cherished belief,of course.The Pharisees had cherished beliefs too.Christ challenged those.Christ also challenges you.Let him.

I'm not supporting Ehrman or even the nontrinitarians who had the majority position at certain points in history.There are certainly differing views within the nontrinitarian community about who exactly Christ was.I'm also not suggesting the Early Church Fathers mentioned in the video weren't Christians just because they didn't have every belief accurate.I'm never the one who determines who a true Christian is in God's eyes.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Will Jehovah's Witnesses be found naked?

Jehovah's Witnesses often think they are "rich" with God,in a spiritual "paradise" if you,sound,and protected benevolently in "God's chosen organization."Their refuge essentially becomes that "organization" that is,let's face it,a modern day establishment that Christ and the apostles knew nothing about.

They say:

"Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it." Watchtower 1983 Feb 15 p.12

Is a manmade organization really the protection,"richness", and covering(the Watchtower also often identifies itself as a safe ark wherein we must be to pass safely into a new world)we need for salvation?One,as a Christian,would certainly not want to be found poor,pitiable,blind,or naked when Christ returns!So Jehovah's Witnesses must think critically about these things.

Revelation 3:17:For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

The church of Laodicea thought they were rich,when in fact they were poor and naked.Christ disciplines:

"..because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."(Rev. 3:16)

Thankfully,Christ gives the elixir to this spiritual disease:

"I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent." (verses 18-19)

IF Christ had returned in the first,second,or third(etc..on and on) century,what would have been the only sound and safe refuge for a true Christian?Obviously not the Watchtower!So the fact that people have been convinced that it's needed for salvation and a relationship with Yahweh is nothing short of a serious deception and is a downright genuine absurdity.The WT would like everyone to believe that Christians are naked and poor without their organization.Is this true?

The refuge and "clothing" one needs(obviously and biblically speaking) is the Christ of Yahweh and his body,of which any true Christian is supposed to be an eager and faithful part(or member) of.

1 Corinthians 12:27:Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Notice it says "each one of you."

When Adam and Eve experienced their tragic fall from grace and found themselves naked,they tried to cover themselves with something that wasn't adequate,namely fig leaves.Yah gave them something more befitting for the job to cover their shame in their nakedness,which was compelled by the consequence of transgression.

Genesis 3:21:the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

Clarke's Commentary on the Bible notes:

"It is very likely that the skins out of which their clothing was made were taken off animals whose blood had been poured out as a sin-offering to God."

As Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible also notes:

"..until the Messiah should come and die, and become a sacrifice for sin, the sacrifices of slain beasts were appointed."

This "covering" so to speak prefigured the Messiah,who we all need to cover our sin,for God "made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."(2 Cor. 5:21)Yeshua was the "Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world."(Rev. 13:8)

Since Adam passed sin and death on to all men,we all need covered because we've all sinned.(Rom. 5:12)In God's mercy,he provided the perfect One in Yeshua,the holy righteous Lamb of God.If the Watchtower denies that you can even be in him at all unless you're one of only 144,000 Christians throughout all of time,then what I want to know is how in the world are you covered at all?There is no evidence in all of scripture that an organization is a covering or that you're covered at all unless you are genuinely IN CHRIST.There is literally no fathomable or logical way around this.It's SO integral as a key to one's salvation that the Messiah said :

"If anyone does not ABIDE IN ME he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned."(John 15:6)

Notice Yeshua didn't say "If anyone does not abide in the Watchtower as a Jehovah's Witness he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned."

YET the WT actually says about people that:

"They must appreciate that identifying themselves with Jehovah's organization is essential to their salvation." Kingdom Ministry 1990 Nov p.1

Does the BIBLE say that identity "with Jehovah's organization" that,again,didn't exist until recently,is "essential to salvation"?Or did Christ say that identity IN HIM(denied most every Jehovah's Witness by the Watchtower) actually is?According to the Watchtower,you need them to survive!

Imagine if Paul(or any other Christian for that matter),in the 1st century, had been asked by inquiring minds "sir,are you in Christ?"And Paul answering in pride "no,but I'm in the Watchtower organization and the men I follow are!"Any conscientious Christian listening to such nonsense would have thought he was nuts,not only because the Watchtower didn't exist until modern times but also because there is "no salvation in any other NAME."(Acts 4:12)What is that NAME?The governing body and a manmade organization are NOT that "name."Therefore,they are not essential to your salvation.Notice in such holy inspired texts(like Acts 4:12 and John 14:6) that there is a particular and uncluttered way to salvation that leaves the Watchtower organization out of their sentiments.If you congregate somewhere where the aggregate assembly denies this basic milk of the word with clutter and manmade ideas & additions,then it's time to turn to Yah through his REAL "channel of communication",Christ.(1 Timothy 2:5).

I too believe in congregating with like minded believers,but not where these foundational fundamental truths are denied.Not where I'm denied Christ's covering,which only exists in his body!He can't be your head if you aren't a part of his body,if you are outside that temple.Yes,God's real temple IS that body,not the Kingdom Hall.I could take a fig leaf(which I'll liken to the WT organization since it won't be able to cover your nakedness either) and pretend I'm covered,but God beholds & knows the whole time that the only sufficient covering is the blood & body of Christ.A Jehovah's Witness might say they don't deny Christ and that he covers them and that they accept his sacrifice,but it's *empty speech* because:

1.they aren't allowed to actually abide in him in the true sense of what it really means to actually do so.The WT would tell them "no!" unless they are one of 144,000.

2.Messiah says:"unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."(John 6:53)He doesn't qualify this for anyone at all like the WT does.I'm not suggesting you have to drink wine and eat bread for salvation.That is just an outward symbol of an inward exercising of faith in Messiah's sacrifice.However,when it's passed around to professed Christians at a gathering,not partaking would suggest that you don't exercise faith in that sacrifice.After all,you aren't showing it when you shun the outward display!

3.If you exercise faith in Christ,you ARE born of God.(1 John 5:1)Being born of God,aka "born again",is denied most JW's by the WT.

So,again,*claiming* something (like that you're covered in Christ or God's child)with some serious unwarranted qualification in the background doesn't mean what you're saying is meaningful in any real *biblical* sense.The only thing that matters is what the *bible* means when it says you must be in Christ.I think it's obvious to most anyone that it means you must be a part of the body of Christ.That's what it meant for John and Paul and everyone else Christ loved.That's what it should mean for you.:)Yeshua's invitations are free and clear.

Christ says:

Rev. 16:15:"Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."

Repent.Don't be exposed by remaining unclothed.That can only bring you embarrassing exposure and unabashed shame.

Much like the Laodiceans,if an unclothed(again,we must be clothed in the body of Christ)professed Christian hears Christ's voice,opens the door,and repents,Christ promises he will "grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne."(Rev. 3:20,21)

Will you be ready to "sit with" Christ on his "throne"?If that doesn't sound like something you want to do,who or what convinced you that, as a Christian, reigning with Christ wasn't an option if you want to inherit a "new earth"?Christ is only in heaven "until the time comes for God to restore everything."(Acts 3:21)Yep,he'll reign ON EARTH with all those clothed in "white garments."Another explicit biblical revelation the Watchtower inexplicably denies.

The emphasis in scripture isn't on an "organization" that denies the body of Christ for most of it's advocates.The emphasis and importance is quite obviously placed upon finding life in a WHO,that being Christ.He is God's word of life manifest for our eternal lives if we exercise faith.(1 John 1:1,2,John 3:16)I have stressed this repeatedly in my blogs and in a number of youtube videos precisely because it's a KEY salvation issue that compelled me to find the TRUE ark,the body of Christ, and to run from "shepherds" who deny this foundational life enhancing and saving fact.(John 10:7-13)

In John chapter 21,the disciples were out fishing.Jesus appeared,and this is what happened:

"Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. "(verse 7)

This should be our attitude.Get clothed and run to Christ!:)The water here may even symbolize a baptism or perhaps the "living water" Christ offers.(John 4:10,Rev. 7:17)Not sure.Either way,we must be READY for Christ by being clothed and baptized into HIM.Not an organization that makes the ridiculous lofty claim you need IT for salvation,protection,and covering!One that actually makes you pledge that your baptism identifies you with their self- professed "spirit-directed organization."Where did the Christians getting baptized in scripture have to do that?It's all about identity in Christ(yes,clothed in HIM)as opposed to identity in and with an organization.(that clothes about as well as a fig leaf.)