Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lessons Archives



"Unless you believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will die in your sins."

Jesus made it clear that believing in His Identity of who He claimed to be was essential to not facing the penalty of dying in one's sins. Even a Jehovah's Witness recognizes the innate importance of not dying in sin. Using the NWT, the JW's own translation from both Old and New Testaments we will see the identity claimed by Christ for Himself. As is necessary in many cases, where the NWT is not translated accurately, we must use a better version.


Genesis 16:7-13

"Later, Jehovah's angel found her at a fountain of waters in the wilderness...(vs. 13) "Then she began to call upon the name of Jehovah, who was speaking to her: 'You are a God of sight.'.

Literally, Hagar was saying, "You God, do see me." The problem here comes in identifying the 'angel' of Jehovah or the Lord. To examine this closer we must understand that the word 'angel' in Hebrew used here is "malak" means messenger. The term used here is 'malak-yahweh' and this angel is also referred to as "malak-Elohim" in similar passages.

The identification of this "malak-yahweh" is so difficult to distinguish from the Lord Himself that most interpreters (outside of the WT organization) have stated that this is was is referred to as theophanies, or the appearances of the pre-incarnate Christ. Malak-Yahweh is distinguished from every other appearance of every other angel by the distinction in titles given Him. This will be made more evident as we continue throughout the book of Genesis and into Joshua. The names LORD(Jehovah) and Angel of the LORD are used synonymously and therefore have to be considered the same person.

Genesis 18:1-3, 16, 22 & 19:2, 18, 24

The use of these passages to prove the Trinity is very tricky as an accurate version of the Bible can clear up the difficulties presented when assuming the Trinity is not a correct teaching. The reason these passages are included here is because of the way it reads in the NWT, the JW version of Scripture. We will need to look at all the verses in question.

18:1-3 "Afterward Jehovah appeared to him (Abram) among the big trees of Mamre, while he was sitting at the entrance of the tent about the heat of the day. When he raised his eyes, then he looked and there three men were standing some distance from him. When he caught sight of them he began running to meet them from the entrance of the tent and proceeded to bow down to the earth. 3 Then he said: "Jehovah, if, now, I have found favor in your eyes please do not pass by your servant.

Abraham addresses all three as Jehovah. What is their reply to his request to be able to offer hospitality to Jehovah?

vs. 5 "All right. You may do just as you have spoken"

All three answer to the name Jehovah and in unison give him a command.

In verse 22 of chapter 18 the two men leave Abraham standing with Jehovah. In Chapter 19 we have the account of the visit of these two "men", "angels" to Lot at Sodom. They warn him to flee Sodom, finally telling him the following day to flee to the mountains, in angst Lot replies to them...

"not that please Jehovah."

Here, Lot addresses these angels as Jehovah. Should the JW claim that Lot was searing and taking the name of the Lord in vain, one must simply point out that he was not chastised for such by these "angels". After taking them through these verses initially have them read chapter 19:24 from their text. This verse causes many JW's to stumble and do mental aerobics to get around the teaching of this passage.

"Then Jehovah made it rain sulfur and fire from Jehovah, from the Heavens, upon Sodom and Gomorrah."

The Jehovah on the ground with Lot (or Abraham) caused the fire from Jehovah in the Heavens to fall upon the cities. This is a good passage to go to when the JW claims that it doesn't make sense that Jesus when praying on the cross was "talking to Himself" so to speak. The truth is that God CAN be in two places at the same time as Jehovah and as Jesus.

Genesis 22:1-3

Again we look at the NWT for the idea of the divinity of Christ and we see another example of this "malak-Yahweh". This is the account of God calling Abraham to sacrifice his only son. The NWT repeatedly emphasizes that it is the [true] God who is putting Abraham to the test. Four times the bracketed word [true] is placed before God.

But in verse 11 it is Jehovah's angel who begins to call out to Abraham

"But Jehovah's angel began calling to him out of the heavens and saying..."

What this angel said in making claims about Himself will not sit well with the JW. What did He say?

Now I do know that you are God-fearing in that you have not withheld your son, your only one, from me.

This angel was claiming that Abraham was offering his son to the angel, Malak-Yahweh! So the [true] God who was speaking to Abraham and commanding him to offer his son was none other than. . .Malak-Yahweh!

Genesis 28:20-22

"And Jacob went on to vow a vow, saying: If God will continue with me and will certainly keep me on this way in which I am going and will certainly give me bread to eat and garments to wear and I shall certainly return in peace to the house of my father, then Jehovah will have proved to be my God. And this stone that I have set up as a pillar will become a house of God, and as for everything that you will give me I shall without fail give the tenth of it to you."

This is the occasion of the appearance of Jehovah in verses 13-15 of this chapter. This appearance prompts Jacob to say,

Truly Jehovah is in this place and I myself did not know it.

At this point of the conversation, it would be best to have the JW affirm that this truly is Jehovah who is speaking here and to whom Jacob is making his vow. The importance of establishing this first is important as is seen in Genesis 31:11-13.

"Then the angel of the [true] God said to me in a dream, 'Jacob' to which I said, 'here i am' 12 - And he continued, 'Raise your eyes, please and see all the he-goats springing upon the flock are stripped, speckled and spotty, for I have see all that Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the [true] God of Beth'el where you annointed a pillar and where you vowed a vow to me. Now get up, go out of this land and return to the land of your birth."

Here the JW is caught in a quandry, either the angel is lying about being Jehovah, (which disqualifies this angel from being holy) or there have to be two [true] Gods. The only alternative is to accept the Trinity and this "angel" as Jesus.

Genesis 32:30

"Hence Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, because to quote him, "I have seen God face to face and yet my soul was delivered."

The JW's use a bad interpretation of John 1:18 frequently as it says, "No man has seen God at any time" Their reasoning is that since men saw Jesus, then He can't be God.

Deuteronomy 10:17

JW's claim that Jehovah God is called Almighty God, but since Isaiah makes it clear that one of the Messiah's titles will be Mighty God, they must of necessity lower the position of Jesus to just that, Mighty, not Almighty. There are many verses in real version of Scripture that refer to Jehovah as being Mighty, most of these have been changed to read "strong".

There are a few however that escaped the notice of the translators. This is one of them.

"For Jehovah your God is the God of Gods and the Lord of lords, the God great, mighty and fear inspiring."

Here are some more that refer to Jehovah as mighty. (Nehemiah 9:32; Psalm 24:8; Isaiah 10:20-21; Jeremiah 20:11; 32:18)

Judges 13:18

It is best to read this one from your translation as the NWT takes incredible liberties with the wording of this passage. The word used here that is important is the Hebrew word "peli" the same as the one used in Isaiah 9:6 when Isaiah says that not only with the Messiah be known as Mighty God and Everlasting Father but also as Wonderful.

"But the angel of the LORD said to him, 'Why do you ask my name, seeing that it is wonderful?' "

Isaiah 6:1-3

"In the year that King Uzziah died, I , however, got to see Jehovah, sitting on a throne lofty and lifted up and his skirts were filling the temple."

At this point it would be advisable to ask the JW if this could be anyone other than Jehovah, most will say no, as their own text shows it to be Jehovah. Refer them then to John 12:39-42 where John tells us that Isaiah saw Jesus in his vision. Either the Bible is inconsistent or Jehovah and Jesus are one and the same.

"Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory, and he spoke about him. All the same, many even of the rulers actually put their faith in him, but because of the Pharisees they would not confess [him], in order not to be expelled from the synagogue."

Isaiah 8:13-14

"Jehovah of armies-he is the One whom YOU should treat as holy, and he should be the object of YOUR fear, and he should be the One causing you to tremble. 14 And he must become as a sacred place; but as a stone to strike against and as a rock over which to stumble to both the houses of Israel, as a trap and as a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem."

This is the exact title given to Christ in Acts 4: 11 and in Romans 9:33.

Isaiah 9:6

"And his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."

The NWT takes liberties with this passage by not separating the Wonderful as being a separate title for the Messiah, thus rendering him a "wonderful counselor".

But with this verse don't ask the JW to interpret it, ask him how many gods there are. Most will say one, and if they are being contentious they will insist on one [true] God and then Jesus. Ask them instead how many gods Isaiah believed in, have them read this verse and explain who Isaiah would have understood this 'mighty God' to be.

Also ask why this mighty God is also called "eternal father" and "wonderful". In the Hebrew the word means, "incomprehensible to man".

Isaiah 41:4; 48:12

"Who has been active and has done [this] calling out the generations from the start? I, Jehovah, the First One; and with the last ones I am the same." (NWT) "I, the LORD, am the first, and with the last, 'I am He.' (NASB)

"Listen to me O Jacob, and you Israel my called one, I am the same One, I am the first. Moreover, I am the last."

Many titles ascribed to Jehovah in the Old Testament are ascribed to Jesus in the New. An inferior mighty god would not have the gall to take on Himself a title of the Almighty God, unless of course, this mighty god and the Almighty God were the same person. These two passages Jehovah claiming to be the First and the Last.

Turning to Revelation 1:17 has Jesus claiming these titles. This section has so disturbed, (and converted) many a JW that it is frequently ignored and claimed to be an insertion into the text.



John 8:24 – “I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.”


John 1:1-3

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”


What do Trinity deniers do to this verse in their bibles?

Literally in Greek the verse says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was ‘with’ God, and God was the Word.”



John 5:18

“For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”

In the First Century, the concept of God as Father was not acceptable to the religious leaders. Jesus’ claim to Sonship was unique making Him equal with God and to them, blasphemous.

John 8:24

Jesus claims to be the ‘I AM THAT I AM’ of Exodus 3:14, which would make him Jehovah. Further, He says that if you don't believe in the One He claims to be that you will die in your sins. So it IS essential to believe in His divinity, He is not just a prophet, not just a teacher, not just an angel, He is God in flesh, and if you don't believe that, you cannot be saved. ‘I am, I AM’

John 9:38

Here is an instance of Jesus accepting worship from a man. If Jesus were an angel, He would have done what the angel did in Revelation 22:8,9 and stopped him. This is the reason this passage is changed in the NWT from worshipping to "do obeisance " to Jesus. All other versions use the word worship except the NWT.

John 10:22-39

Verse 30 “I and the Father are one.”

What does this mean?

Verse 33 – Why did the Jews say they wanted to kill Jesus?

Verse 38 – How is Jesus making His claim more clear here?

John 12:39-43

already discussed above see Isaiah 6.

John 20:28

Thomas bows before the risen Christ and proclaims, "My Lord and My God" and as above, had Christ been an angel, this would have been stopped altogether.


Acts 20:28

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

The price God paid for His church, His own blood.


Philippians 2:5-8

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”

What does ‘grasped’ mean?

Not ‘attained’ not ‘strived for’ but ______________________

Colossians 1:15-16

“And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by Him were all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created by Him and for Him.”

Image – lit. means _______________.

First Born – does not mean first created, or first in order of birth it means _______________.

Jeremiah 31:9


John 11:38, Luke 7:11, 2Kings 13:21

1Timothy 1:17

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Hebrews 1:8

In speaking of God the Father,

“But of the Son He says, ‘Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.’ ”

God the Father is calling the Son, God.

Hebrews 1:10

“And, ‘Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the works of Thy hands.’

God the Father is calling the Son, LORD. (the name used for YWHW or Jehovah.)

1 Peter 2:6-8

“And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: ‘Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed’…This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone’ and ‘a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’ For they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.”


2 Peter 1:1

“Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Jesus is called Lord, God, Savior, King, Redeemer.

God is called Lord, God, Savior, King, Redeemer

Revelation 1:8

Revelation 1:17-18

Revelation 22:12-13




There are 7 references in the Old Testament to the word, ‘Saint’. Two of those are in the book of Psalms (16:3 and 34:9) In Hebrew the word is qados, it means, “set apart for God” or “ritualistically separated to Him” Exodus 19:6 It is applied to those who believe in God and live their lives as such.

The last 5 references in the Old Testament are found in Daniel Chapter 7 in the vision of Daniel about the future.

Daniel 7:18, 7:21-22, 7:25, 7:27

What has been done to the NT teaching on saints?

A distinction between saints and Christians was created. Saints were pronounced as such by the ‘church’ and usually only after the individuals’ death and after the ‘church’ had confirmed a miracle performed by the ‘saint’.

The ‘saint’ according to the church, had ‘extra’ holiness or good works that could be imparted to the lowly ‘Christian’ if supplication was made. i.e. you don’t have enough holiness to enter Heaven, but Peter had more than he needed so ask for a little bit of his, or St. Matthew, etc.

The problem is that this teaching is found no where in the New Testament and is clearly contradicted in the New Testament. What does the New Testament teach about sainthood? The word for ‘saint’ in Greek is hagios, or holy ones, ones separated to God for service.

The ‘saints’ were around before the ‘church’ was to name them saints. (Matthew 27:52, Acts 9:13, 32, 41)
The ‘saints’ are ‘called’ and ‘beloved’. (Romans 1:7)
The ‘saints’ are to contribute to the financial needs of the ‘saints’. (Romans 12:13, Romans 15:25-26)
1 Cor. 16:1

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.

2 Cor. 8:4
begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints,
2 Cor. 9:12
For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.

The ‘saints’ have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, as are all who call on Jesus. (1 Cor. 1:2)
The ‘saints’ are supposed to judge disagreements in the church and will one day judge the world. (1 Cor. 6:1,2)
The ‘saints’ are the holy ones of God from both Old and New Covenants.
Ephesians 2:11-19
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,

7. The ‘saints’ are supposed to experience the fullness of God’s love.

Ephesians 1:18,19

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

Ephesians 3:18

may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

The ‘saints’ are called to live a holy life.
Ephesians 5:3-6
But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

The ‘saints’ are called to a holy work.
Ephesians 4:12
for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

The ‘saints’ are to be supported with prayer.
Ephesians 6:18
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

The ‘saints’ are entrusted with the Gospel.
Jude 1:3
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

The ‘saints’ are going to be persecuted, killed and martyred.
Revelation 13:7
It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.13:10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.14:12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.16:6 for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it."17:6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. 18:20
" Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her."18:24 "And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth."


1. If many of the letters written to the churches are addressed to the ‘saints’, and the apostle Paul calls himself the “least of the saints” and all who are in Christ are considered ‘saints’ who are the ‘saints’?

2. If the Bible teaches that all believers are ‘saints’ what does that tell you about the ‘tradition’ theory of sainthood?

3. What does the Bible say about communications with or prayer to the dead, no matter how good they were? (1 Samuel 28:7-11)

4. What is the danger in believing that one can get the ‘extra’ good works that a saint didn’t need to make it into Heaven?

5. If all believers were called ‘saints’, do you think that would influence their behavior? How?

6. Are we praying for and supporting the saints as we should? What can we do?

7. What kinds of holy works can we be doing as saints of God?

8. Have you experienced persecution as a ‘saint’? How?

9. As saints, we are entrusted, once for all, with the Gospel, what is our responsibility?

10. Internal Question: are we living up to the title, the lifestyle and the responsibility of being the Saints of God?


Our Salvation

Our Need for Salvation –

Acts 10:1,2 – Cornelius was devout, feared God, gave many alms and prayed continuously. – He was all these things and yet he was lost!

Romans 3:10-18 – “There is none righteous, not even one.”

Isaiah 64:6 – “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”

Acts 4:12 – “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

There are plenty of people who believe that since they are ‘good’ people, that they must be headed for Heaven. That’s not true! If it were true that a person could be good enough to go to Heaven and avoid Hell then Jesus didn’t have to die! If it were true that ‘good’ people just need to follow the Ten Commandments to be saved, then Jesus and the Apostle Paul lied.

Our Response to Salvation –

Hear – (Acts 2:37; 4:4)

An Ability to Understand It. (can’t be an infant, or mentally unable)
Someone has communicated the Gospel.

Believe – (Acts 2:37; 8:12)

More than just agreement.
Demands an action. It’s more than a ‘Yes I believe in Jesus’ it a belief that leads to a response based on the belief. (What shall I do?)

Repentance – (Acts 2:38; 9:9)

A change in behavior a complete reversal
That lifestyle change is imperative to a true conversion.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Confession – (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9)

“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”


It is a public confession, not a private experience.
That your desire to change behavior must be announced.
Confess means to “say the same thing as”

Sinner’s Prayer –

It is here that many church insert the ‘sinner’s prayer’ after confession. The problem is that there is nowhere in the New Testament that teaches that the repentant confessing believer must pray for salvation. It is a wholly unscriptural concept.

Baptism – (Acts 2:38: 22:16)

Baptism literally means, ‘to dip, immerse or plunge’. It is not a real word, it should be translated, not formed into a word.


Its’ form is through immersion. (Romans 6:1-6 burial and resurrection)
Its’ purpose is for the forgiveness of sins. 2:38, 1 Peter 3:20-21
Unscriptural teachings about baptism include:

a. There are many forms. (Sprinkling, Pouring and Immersion)

b. It is a statement of a salvation that has already occurred.

c. It is not necessary to salvation.

d. It is a work.

Confession and Baptism went hand in hand in the first century church. The confession was taken just before the new believer was immersed.

Because there is so much misunderstanding about Baptism, here are some verses to show the Biblical concept of baptism.

Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, 22:16; Romans 6:1-6; Galatians 3:27; Eph 4:4-5; Colossians 2:9-12; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 3:18-21

Our Salvation

Part Two: Can We Lose It?

Hebrews 6:4-6

“For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.”

Eternal Security

Total Depravity – man is born depraved and unable to choose God.
Unconditional Election – it is God who chooses the saved vs. lost
Limited Atonement – Christ died only for those God chose beforehand.
Irresistible Grace – Salvation comes in an ‘experience’, no choice involved.
Perseverance of the Saints – Once saved, always saved.

There are two extremes of this view of Eternal Security.

We can get to the point of being sinless. (Nazarene Churches, Gwen Shamblin)
We can’t lose our salvation no matter what. (Baptists, Evangelicals)

What does the Bible say? (Ezekiel 18:21-24)

1 John 1:7- 2:4

We are going to sin.

That sin can be forgiven if we:
a. walk (around) in the Light,

b. have and keep fellowship with one another

c. if we confess our sins

d. if we keep His commandments.

What is the difference between committing sin and ‘practicing’ sin?

What does it mean to walk (around) in the Light?

How can we have and keep fellowship with one another?

We have to avoid the ‘practice’ of sin. While we are always going to fall short, what kinds of ‘practices’ should we avoid?

Galatians 2:11-12 – Peter sinned.

James 5:16, 19-20; Galatians 6:1 – What is our responsibility to those who have been caught up in sin?

If one can’t be restored.

Hebrews 6:4-6, 10:26-31

If someone has ‘tasted’ of the heavenly gift and made partakers of the Holy Spirit are they saved?

What does it mean if there is no longer a sacrifice for our sins?

If someone has been sanctified by the blood of Jesus are they saved?

How would one insult the Spirit of Grace?

Galatians 5:4 – Those who are seeking to be saved by following the Law have fallen from grace.

The first four books of the New Testament tell us the Gospel of Jesus. The Book of Acts tells us how to become a Christian. The next 22 books contain warnings about falling from grace, and tell us how to live as a Christian.

A mistaken assumption – failure to believe in Eternal Security means we need to count on our own efforts to ‘stay’ saved.

1 Timothy 4:1,2 – “But the Spirit explicitly says that in latter times some will fall way from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron. . .”

What picture does a ‘conscience seared with a branding iron’ bring to mind?

We are still saved by faith, through God’s grace. Lapsing into a lifestyle of sin can eventually ‘sear’ our consciences.

We can never believe that we are saved because we have been ‘good’ this week or ‘more likely’ to be saved than ‘X’ because though we did ‘Y’ at least it’s not as bad as what ‘X’ did.

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