h1

The “a” Team

February 16, 2009

It may seem redundant to some, but whenever I quote scripture, I strive to include every comma, every semi-colon, and what have you.  The thought of, in any way, altering that which is written is terrifying and I prefer to not take any chances in this area. Just as none of us appreciate it when something that we say is misunderstood and an inaccurate report relayed to others, the Lord doesn’t take lightly, the process of altering his words of life; thereby leading priceless souls for whom Christ died, into a falsehood. Before going on, it seems needful to revisit the warning given to us at the conclusion of “that which is written.”

Revelation 22:18-19 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Last week, CR had a third visit from a couple of Jehovahs Witnesses who have somehow perceived his household to be one of opportunity. (Despite the fact that, upon their first visit his seven year old daughter told them “Oh…We pray to Jesus all the time.”)  By the grace of God, CR handled the encounter very well (I Peter 4:11) and when he began to give them his personal testimony of how he came to Jesus on November 15, 2007, they started to become  noticeably nervous. (Revelation 12:11) Finally the visitors concluded the meeting, earlier and more frustrated than they had anticipated, but made a promise to return. (After consulting with some more experienced JWs no doubt.) One thing that perplexed him, however, was that during the encounter, the older guy brought up the verse of John 1:1 which most of us know by heart:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

This verse alone refutes the belief held by the Jehovahs Witnesses that Jesus is not God manifest in the flesh. That is unless one goes to the New World translation; a bible (so called) that is routinely employed by those who are seeking to spread this doctrine. They tell the undiscerning ones that it’s merely a modernized version but in the equivellant to the passage stated above, they add a single letter between the words “was” and “God.” 

“a”

This single letter changes the meaning of this verse in their new world translation and denies the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s been a quite a while since I last engaged a Jehovahs Witness in serious debate and had forgotten about this verse in “that which they pass off as scripture” until last week when the issue became front and center. I’ve never taken time to explore the NW bible, but can only imagine what they’ve done to other notable passages.  (Like I Timothy 3:16) I think that the most astonishing thing about this is that, despite the undeniable altering of a very straightforward verse, these folks place all of their confidence in the erroneous teaching that the alteration seeks to uphold. Self deception, mingled with spiritual pride has sixteen million people worldwide embracing a doctrine which denies the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 23:15 “Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

The example mentioned above is an obvious twisting of scripture to anyone who is born of the Spirit. It is possible, however, to twist scripture in other ways that are far more subtle; thereby making them far more dangerous. Sometimes the line between allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us and fitting scriptures into our doctrine can be almost invisible. While it’s of the utmost importance to be grounded in the truth, it’s possible to reach a point where we are no longer transformed by the word of God but rather begin to plug in scriptures to fit our theology. Handling of the word of God is very serious business and if we begin to proclaim something that’s erroneous, we’re treading into dangerous territory. 

Jeremiah 2:8 “The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.”

Matthew 5:18-19 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fultilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

To continuously search the scriptures and be atuned to the Holy Spirit is of the utmost importance. We must continously strive to be transformed by the word of God (which, unlike the heavens and the earth, shall never pass away) and prayerfully seek understanding of the truths contained therein. We must strive to continually become more like Jesus; not construct a doctrinal box based on the teachings of this world and then try to fit Jesus into that box. This takes humility and loving the Lord with all sincerety. It requires a hunger and thirst after righteousness and truth. It demands that we die daily to ourselves and love not this present world. Anything less than this leaves us vulnerable to deception in an age when, if it were possible, even the very elect would be ceceived.

This is kind of straying from the intended topic, but we too often fail to grasp the dangers of deception. Every fallen angel; every demonic spirit that operates in the world today, was once in the presence of the Lord and had an address in paradise. Every one of them was deceived into leaving that first estate. Somehow, Lucifer convinced them that he could offer them something more than they already had. The lie was so compelling that one out of every three angels fell for it. In ourselves, we are simply no match for the enemy.  We absolutely MUST stay close to the Lord Jesus and continually hide his word in our heart because none of us can navigate these waters on our own. The following passage just came to mind as I was thinking on this paragraph:

James 5:19-20 “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”

Well I’ll go for now as this post has exceeded 1100 words and is still growing. This topic is one to address further when time permits because we’re in a very strange time. While deception has been a danger throughout history, we’re approaching a time when the whole world will wonder after a son of perdition. None of us can grasp what this will look like, but we must be grounded in the truth. May we all look to Jesus and be ever more atuned to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.

I Timothy 4:1-3 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanks giving of them which believe and know the truth.”
II Timothy 4:1-3 “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”
Advertisements

16 comments

  1. The question you will not get an answer to, ever, from a JW after having them read these passages.

    When did God die and come back to life?

    Rev 1:17-18 (NIV) When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

    Rev 22:13 (NIV) I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

    This Rev 22:13 verse just shows that the First and the Last is definitely referring to Jehovah, God. It’s interesting to read these verses from the JW’s bible, they are the same, in essence. Ask them who the Alpha and Omega is….who the First and the Last is….who the Beginning and the End is…they will say Jehovah…then read 1:17-18 and pop the question.

    This is the very short version of a post from my blog.


  2. As a side question, a little off-topic, if you had a JW Bible, what would you do with it? Would you throw it away? I ask, because there’s one sitting around at my work, and no one wants to throw it away, because it’s a “Bible,” though, unless you count the Catholics, I’m the only Christian in my workplace. I don’t think anyone really cares what happens to it. It’s just that no one wants to do anything with it. It’s been there for many years, now. It’s a little awkward to dispose of a Bible, if you know what I mean.


  3. This reminds me of the verse about the “love” of money. Many people think money is the root of all evil, but it’s the “love” of money is the root of all evil. Huge difference.


  4. Hi tree63fan. It’s the major stumblingblock and brings to mind the test given in I John chapter 4 where we are to try the spirits. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. This means the Jesus of the bible who is the first and the last and by whom all things are created.

    I’ve noticed in the past that the JWs seem to require an environment where they have complete control of the conversation. Get them off their game plan and they don’t handle it well. The last two visits that they made to our house, they asked me a leading question about church membership. When I replied “Oh I fellowship with a pentecostal church in Three Rivers” they abruptly thanked me for my time (a whole 2 minutes) and left. They like soft targets; those with maybe a passing interst about the things of God but no scriptural understanding.

    Thanks so much for offering your thoughts on this manner. Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  5. Hi nonaeroterraqueous. Interesting question that I have never considered. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind having a copy, just to see what they do with verses like I Timothy 3:18, Acts 20:28, I John 3:16, and what have you. But even though they call it “the bible” the new world bible is not a scriptural translation; it’s an interpretation, designed to lead people astray. That single letter, added to John 1:1 has but one purpose; to cause the reader to believe in another Jesus. For this reason, I would have it recycled or something if it was in a place where others could get a hold of it. It’s a very serious matter to handle the word of God and the warning given in Revelation 22:18-19 is enough for me to know that something like this shouldn’t be allowed to stay around.

    Thanks for the question. I actually read this earlier but didn’t have time to reply. It caused me to ponder something that I had never thought on.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  6. If you want the JW Bible, I can mail it to you. Otherwise, I think I’ll just make it disappear.


  7. Hi Code. This is so true and often it’s misunderstood. The love of money; when financial increase becomes the driving force in ones life, is dangerous and will cause folks to make very bad choices. But money in itself isn’t bad at all. It’s like a hammer. A hammer can be used to build a house or it can be used to hit someone over the head. The hammer is just a tool.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m keeping you and your family in prayer. Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  8. Wow M Patterson, that was fast. CR, the brother at work is the one whom they keep visiting and perhaps it would be helpful to know what they do to these scriptures. And yet I’m leary of having it around. I’ll talk with CR about it tonight and let you know; probably by E-mail. Thanks for the offer. Please let me know if I can return the favor.

    If this does occur, I will be very careful to ensure that it doesn’t get into a place where it becomes dangerous.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  9. I never understood the JW.s .. but I have never had a desire to know more. They have a different bible. I once saw one of their bibles someone tossed at a dump, and the name Jesus was missing. Strange.


  10. “…we’re in a very strange time.” I appreciate your latest post. We do live in a strange time. I am amazed at what Christians will do in the name of a good cause. The Word must be written on our hearts so the counterfeit doctrine of the evil one finds no place in our heart. It’s kinda like if you have a bucket of red apples and someone throws in a green apple, it obviously doesnt’ belong.

    I know this is not a political blog, but my heart breaks for my Christian friends who stepped over dead babies in the last election for the good cause of change. Surely, we live in a “very strange time”.


  11. Great discussion. Bible translation is a difficult topic, as I know not greek, hebrew or aramaic. However am acutelly aware these languages never even worked the way ours does today, there were no puncuations, words were phrases, feelings were nuances…. I too have had som JW traffic, well until now, when I almost converted one of the women… not my intention, I love discussion!

    Sometimes I wonder if we have truly found Grace, true Grace when our conversation is led to idol things however and away from Christ himself.

    All thoughts aside, thank you for pushing this much needed discussion among christians. It is a call among calls!!!


  12. Hi Marianne. They leave out the name that is above every other name. It’s amazing how accurate the test given in I John chapter 4 is. Thanks for taking time to stop by.

    have a blessed day in Jesus.


  13. Hi Archie. I’m reminded of something that David Meyer warned against; that being the neverending pursuit of ambiguous change. And we see that, after a month, our current president seems to have a very sinister agenda that’s not readily observable. (Especially if one gets their information from network news.)

    Thanks for taking time to stop by.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus


  14. Hi Cindy. Thanks for stopping by. It sounds like the Lord was working on the heart of the JW lady.

    As for languages, I’m no expert by any means, but I remember a missionary who visited and told us about arabic school. (He and his wife are heading for Iraq shortly) It’s a profoundly complicated language. Some words are spoken only; never written. Some words are written only; never spoken. This alone would give me a headache.

    Praise God for preserving his word for us and for filling us with the Holy Spirit who leads us into al truth. Thanks again for your thoughts.

    have a blessed day in Jesus.


  15. Great post, very revelavant.
    I heard a preacher say a while back that when we are decieved we will never know it. That is the meaning of “decieved”. He is right and that is why we need to be constantly in the scriptures with the Holy Spirit guiding us. He is the only thing that can keep us on track.
    I also appreciate you point about not trying to fit scripture into our box of theology. It’s His WORD so we need to take His word for it.
    Ken


  16. Greetings Ken. Indeed to keep our hearts with all diligence is imperative. I also think of Matthew 24:24 as referring to the subtleness of error.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: