Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sincerity is no Substitute for Substance - All that Glitters is not Gold

One summer day in 2007, I answered a knock on my front door.  The knocker was a Jehovah Witness follower who handed me a graphic brochure.

The Jehovah Witness brochure was very well done.  It had, on one side, a beautiful picture of a smiling and inviting Christ, stating that He can help an individual with family life, life’s difficulties, drawing closer to God, opposing the devil and, “gaining everlasting life.”  The flyer basically was an invitation to the district convention of Jehovah Witnesses at the end of the month at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan.  The back part of the flyer had the different scheduled subjects that would be presented.  And then, at the bottom of the back part of the flyer there was the free offer for the book, “What Does The Bible Really Teach?”  There were blank lines to fill in your name and mailing address to have this Jehovah Witness propaganda piece sent to your home.

Jehovah Witnesses deny the very substance of Christ, they market
 

When I finished reading the Jehovah Witness flyer on both sides, my mind immediately recalled the following Christian New Testament Scripture:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4:1-3


My thoughts then began to repeat the words of the Apostle’s Creed:

“….I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, [Spirit] born of the Virgin Mary….”


Jehovah Witnesses deny the “Incarnation of Christ.”  They, in effect, deny Christ’s equal “God-head” part, of the Triune God.  [The Gospel of John 1:1-18] The historic Christian, Nicene Creed, makes this declaration of Scripture very clear, when it states:

 ……..And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father, by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost [Spirit] of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.  He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven; and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge both the quick [living] and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end……. [The Nicene Creed]


I highlighted the above [aforementioned] section of the Nicene Creed that had to do with the 2 persons of the Triune God – specifically that section dealing with Christ’s origin.  I also included the rest of the section of the creed because Jehovah Witness teaching also denies much of this.

Jehovah Witness teaching denies the substance of Christ.  Their teaching right from the “get go” strips away the essential (true God) origin of Christ.  In fact, they believe that "Michael the Archangel became a human in the form of Christ" - ["Jehovah's Witnesses in a Nutshell"] - carm.org  


Also, Jehovah Witnesses believe and teach that Christ did not die for all sins and that he only “spiritually” rose from the dead.  For a quick synopsis of Jehovah Witness teaching you may want to consult the excellent article, “Jehovah's Witnesses in a Nutshell,” at: 

“Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry - carm.org:”

The Sincerity of Various Religious Persuasions Does not Equal Godly Substance

The Apostle Paul, Christianity’s foremost influential person, next to the Lord Jesus, Himself, penned (under inspiration of the Holy Spirit) the following Scripture:

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:6-9


The gospel that the Jehovah Witnesseses profess and teach, is not the Gospel that the Apostle Paul taught as given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ.  Although many Jehovah Witnesses may appear to be very sincere and very devout, they are sorely misled and mistaken.  They and their teachings are condemned by the very Scriptures and Christ, they profess to live by and teach.  Don’t, by any means be “taken in” by their supposed knowledge of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

Let your guide be Holy Scripture and check the Scriptures by continual study.  Also, when you are confronted with various religious teachings, remind yourself of the historic Christian Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds, which are basic, good and proper topical guides to understanding the most basic teachings of the Christian Faith and, the Scriptures.

Don’t by any means be taken in and deceived by sincere people.  Sincerity does not equal substance anymore than looking at a cookie jar on the kitchen cupboard shelf.  You can look at it all you want, and admire the beautiful cookie jar, but unless there are cookies in it, it remains, only a jar. 

Amen.

Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also:  For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins 

Old Testament:

Isaiah 29:13 ; Ezekiel 33:31 – precepts and commandments of men as opposed to the true God

New Testament:


Gospel of Matthew 15:8-9 ; Gospel of Mark 7:6-7 -- (Christ refers to Isaiah 29:13)

Epistle of 1 Corinthians 15:1f – the importance of Christ’s bodily Resurrection from the dead

Epistle of Colossians 2:8-9 – Scripture’s warning of vain human teachings & human philosophy

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Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
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Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith:  Parts 1-3


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