What to Say When Jehovah’s Witnesses Come to Your Door

Here is how one should demonstrate to a Jehovah’s Witness that Christ is the same as the Lord God:

1) Begin by reading with the Jehovah’s Witness from Revelation 1:8.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “Who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

After reading this verse together, ask them the following question, “Who is the Alpha and the Omega?” They will respond by saying something like, “Well, it says right there, the Alpha and the Omega is the Lord God (or Jehovah God in their translation).”

2) Next, ask them if they will read another passage of scripture with you, and read from Revelation 22:13.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End”

After reading this verse with them, ask them, “Now, who exactly is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last?” And they will probably respond by saying something like, “We just saw who the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last is, he is the Lord God (or Jehovah God in their translation).

3) Lastly, ask them if they’ll look at one more passage with you, and read with them from Revelation 1:17-18.

“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 (stop here and ask again, ‘who is the First and the Last?’). I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!””

After reading this last passage of Scripture with them, ask the Jehovah’s Witness, “So, when exactly did the Lord God (or Jehovah God in their translation) die?”**

This will be a perfect introduction in presenting the Gospel to a Witness. Asserting the fundamental truth of Christ’s divinity is central to the Gospel because only God in the Person of Jesus has the credentials to redeem us via his death and resurrection.

Witnesses need the Gospel just like everyone else. The approach to their evangelism should not be any different from the approach to other unbelievers.

**Christian Ministries International

To Grieve the Holy Spirit

Isaiah 63:10 may be one the most shocking verse in the entire Bible.

“Yet they rebelled
and grieved his Holy Spirit.
So he turned and became their enemy
and he himself fought against them.”

Can a believer who has the Holy Spirit living inside of them fathom this truth!?

The people of Israel have made an enemy of God and His Holy Spirit by their idolatry. And the Holy Spirit Himself fought against them.

What a terrifying thought for a true believer.

This is why Paul gives us a stern warning in Ephesians 4:30

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption”

How can we grieve the Holy Spirit?

Under the NIV heading “Instructions for Christian Living” in Ephesians 4, Paul mentions the things that grieve the Holy Spirit: sensuality, impurity, greed, deceitful desires, falsehood, stealing, unwholesome talk, all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Should a believer ever fall in sin, he must not persist in that fall as John explains in 1 John 3:9

“No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.”

Conviction of sin is the work of the Holy Spirit and repentance quickly follows for the believer. Should that repentance not immediately follow, the Holy Spirit will be grieved.

Other than blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, grieving the Holy Spirit may be the biggest spiritual disaster in one’s life.

To listen to the Holy Spirit is the work of the Holy Spirit in us… And we must always thank Him for His presence and guide in our lives.

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Jesus Died Just Like a Lamb – Guest Post, Tibi Fodor

Delight in Truth friend and follower Tibi Fodor recounts a heartbreaking experience after witnessing the slaughter of a lamb as a child, and contrasts it with the slaughter of a pig.  Tibi equates the submission of the lamb to its demise in the way the Lamb of God submitted to the crushing will of the Father:

The living word of God, both in the Old and New Testament, calls the Son of God, Jesus Christ, a lamb (John 1:29, John 1:36) and also compares Him to a sacrificial lamb (Isaiah 53:7).

As a young kid I witnessed the slaughter of pigs and a lamb – the latter of which I don’t want to see again.

As was often the custom in Romania in the rural countryside, in the cold winter days prior to Christmas, farmers would slaughter the farm-grown pigs in preparation for the holidays. And if the family needed an expert, my dad was the man. The general population did not have guns in communist Romania, so the goal was to slaughter the pig in a way that would cause the animal to die quickly: a knife with a long, well-sharpened blade, a well-aimed and decisive cut would do the job.

Nobody enjoyed the slaughter of the pig, but it was quite something to watch, and with a one-eyed and somewhat hesitant look, I peeked at the event when I was about 6 years old. The pig, I was told, was well over 120 kilograms (about 250 pounds). Once lured by my grandma to the slaughtering place (she had fed the pig daily and, sadly, the animal seemed to “trust” her), my dad and his brothers quickly pinned the pig down on its side with their cumulative body weight. The screams of the fighting animal quickly became choked by brightly colored red blood; white snow became a puddle of red and the pig slowly but surely seemed to give its last breath.

The pig had the strength to “fight” and “will” to resist until its last breath, but the slaughter of a lamb is not anything like the slaughter of a pig – or any other animal. It’s something I don’t want to see again.

The white and curly lamb was held not by many, but only by my dad. It didn’t have to be lured, but followed faithfully to its place of slaughter. There were no animal screams when the cut was made, but only an eerie silence. The lamb never fought, never resisted. What was once a pure, milky-white coat was now tainted with red.

The lamb had peacefully surrendered to the slaughter. While holding the lifeless, limp body, my dad said he does not want to do this again – and as far as I know, that was the only time he had slaughtered a lamb.

What a difference between the sacrifices of these two farm animals!

Our savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had surrendered his life to the will of God and to the agonizing death of the crucifixion just like a lamb!

If the sight of the slaughter of an innocent lamb kindles emotions of sorrow, how much more must my heart ache for the suffering of my Christ? Jesus was without blame, without sin, yet he was chosen to die for my sins before the creation of the world.

If I am to follow my Christ, the Son of God, I must be like a lamb and surrender not to the will of mankind, but to the will of my heavenly Father, my God – just as the Lamb of God had done.

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The Promise of Prayer

I will pray for you.

I will keep you in my prayers.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

You are in my thoughts.

There is a spectrum of promises in the above statements from a very strong statement like “I will pray for you” to a much weaker declaration “you are in my thoughts.”

These statements have become clichés in our godless society and I have seen even secular people make them.  We have arrived at a point where such promises have lost their values because people may not follow through on these difficult to fulfill promises.

So we water them down.  We go from promising to dedicate time in prayer for someone to promising to think about someone.

I would like to warn Delight in Truth readers to guard your promises carefully, and not make the promise of prayer if you know you cannot keep it.  Prayer is not something to be taken lightly.  Prayer is antithetical to everything that makes up the carnal man, and that is why prayer is not easy.

When you promise to pray for someone, you promise to engage in a spiritual battle on their behalf, and it is a great thing when you follow through on it.  When you pray for someone you are interceding for them, and it literally means you are standing in the gap for them in prayer.  Paul confirms this in Ephesians 6:18 where he talks about  “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…”

And when you do follow through on your promise to pray you must remember the all-powerful Intercessors you have on your side!

  1. Jesus Himself our LORD and savior is the ultimate intercessor, and the best thing you can do is to lift up your subject to Jesus.  As a man you cannot be an effective advocate in prayer without Jesus.  I love how Isaiah presents Christ as the final intercessor to the Father: “He [the LORD] saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.  Isaiah 59:16
  2. The Holy Spirit is also your intercessor and ally in prayer and will sustain you as you pray for someone.  My favorite chapter in the Bible, Romans 8, provides amazing Scripture about the Holy Spirit helping us in prayer: “26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Prayer is spiritual warfare and it is not easy, but when we have Jesus and the Holy Spirit as intercessors, we can become effective intercessors ourselves for the those who need us to pray for them.

We must take the promise of prayer for others very seriously and ground ourselves in the teaching of Scripture that Jesus and His Holy Spirit will intercede for our prayer subject!

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Counterfeit Praise and Worship in the Evangelical Church

A friend added me to a Facebook group called Gear Talk: Praise and Worship.  It’s a place where worship leaders discuss their instruments, gear, songs, and other things related to praise and worship through music.  There are thousands of members in this forum.

As I scrolled through the posts, I come upon this beauty:

“Prepping songs for Lifechurch.tv Stillwater campus tomorrow.  Here’s the set list:
Lights – Journey (opener)
One Thing Remains
Christ Is Risen
God of Our Salvation

Pumped for 6 services!!”

So, under the category “be angry and do not sin” I felt the need to tax this level of counterfeit Christianity and leave this comment:

“you guys play non-Christian songs by non-Christian bands during worship? (Lights – Journey)”

Journey is a rock band from the 80’s and not only is their music NOT praise and worship, but they are completely secular.  The responses I received from these so-called praise and worship leaders included:

“Love me some Journey!!!”

“There really is no such thing as a Christian/Non-Christian song…songs are songs, meat is meat, days are days. (Rom 14:5-6)”

“Lights is a great song and pretty fun to play so I don’t have a problem with it.”

My friends, this is counterfeit Christianity at its worst.  These praise and worship leaders do not understand the first thing about our God, and the fact that He is “holy, holy, holy,” and He will not receive the worship of the depraved!  How can He receive a song by Journey, a song that has nothing to do with Him, an uninspired song written by people who do not know Him?

Moreover, the guy is using Scripture to defend his position! Unbelievable!

Looking through this forum, and seeing other similar posts, I began to realize how deep this unholy cancer runs in our post-modern churches.  I am realizing that we have people who are not born-again leading congregations in so-called “worship.” And God is not receiving this worship unto Himself because these are not his children. These congregations have a “form of godliness but denying its power.”  They are doing exactly what the Israelites of old were doing in mixing their worship for God with worship for Baal, Asherim and Molech.  And God despises it today just like he did back then.

The rebuke through prophet Isaiah applies to these false Christians today: “this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men…” Isaiah 29:13

This is how we have wanna-be rockers in their 50s rocking out in churches secular songs such as the theme song from the depraved adult TV show The Simpsons.  Watch the “worship” below from Granger Community Church and be shocked that this happens in church:

Witnessing to the Jehovah’s Witnesses (part 1)

How does a born-again Christian kindly turn the tables and witness to a self-proclaimed Jehovah’s witness (JW)?

Jehovah’s witnesses are the folks who come to your door and proclaim their understanding of the kingdom of God in a way that is not consistent with orthodox Christianity.

One of their most important doctrinal points has to do with denying the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, therefore denying the Trinity.  They believe that Jesus was a created being just like Satan and the archangel Michael, and the Holy Spirit is a mere force.

There are also many other secondary doctrinal heresies involving earning salvation, failed end times predictions (see photo above), and bizarre eschatological and apocalyptic teaching.

When discussing the Bible with JWs, I highly recommend to first and foremost focus on the Person of Jesus and His divinity. That should be the center of your witnessing.  Everything else like deconstructing the failed apocalyptic predictions, and the unbiblical decrees of their society, should be used as plan B. The reason you must focus on Jesus is that you must minister to them almost like to an unbeliever.

It is important to know that they use the New World Translation of the Bible, a specific JW Bible which has key verses like John 1:1 altered to fit their theology.

In this post as well as upcoming posts we will focus on the divinity of Jesus arguments. Your goal will be to show that Jesus is the same as the Jehovah revealed in the Old Testament, part of the Godhead. Anytime we see the name LORD (all caps) in the OT, it comes from the Hebrew word YHWH, and it can also be named Jehovah in English, and we will show that LORD applies to Jesus.

Let us start off with the “first and the last” argument. Here are two powerful verses from Isaiah spoken by the LORD (YHWH):

Isaiah 44:6 “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.”

Isaiah 48:12 “Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last.”

There are at least three places in Revelation where we can ascribe the title “the first and the last” to Jesus, as it is ascribed to Jehovah. For example, in Revelation 22 in the setting of the Second Coming, Jesus speaks by the angel:

12“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

16“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

Isaiah 42:8 also tells us “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another,” another powerful statement that the LORD does not share His Name with anyone. In light of fact that Jesus calls Himself “the first and the last,” and in light of the fact that the LORD also gives Himself that name, we must conclude that Jesus is the LORD (YHWH).

to be continued…

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Theology 101: What is Double Predestination?

A Presbyterian theologian has the following conversation with his colleague:

“You believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, correct?”

“Of course”

“And you believe everything exists and happens for His glory, correct?”

“Yes, I’m a 5-point Calvinist.”

“Then would you be willing to be dammed to reprobation for His glory?”

“…hmm, no”

This absurd and funny conversation embodies some difficulties presented by the doctrine of double predestination. In perhaps the best description of Calvinistic essence, John Calvin defined double predestination in the following statement:

“God preordained, for his own glory and the display of His attributes of mercy and justice, a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation.”

What this doctrine basically says is that before the foundations of the world were constructed, before time was created, in His eternal council, God decided that certain humans will be ordained for damnation due to sin while others will be ordained for salvation through grace despite their sin, and nothing will change this.

Everyone wants to know if this is really true. I honestly do not know. Theologians are split on whether God actually and actively predestines humans and angels for hell and each camp provides Scripture to support their position. Famous theologian JI Packer calls such difficult issues a “divine mystery” which may not be meant for us to figure out.

The problem is that extremely difficult questions rise connected to predestination when studying the Word of God in-depth. For example:

“If salvation is absolutely exclusive through faith in Jesus via hearing the Gospel, and it is, then is it possible for a person who lives and dies without access to the Gospel to be saved?”

“If no, and that appears to be the case, then was such a person destined for such an outcome?”

I will provide two passages from the book of Isaiah, the first makes Isaiah look like a double predestinarian, while the second appears to contradict this controversial doctrine. Both are in the context of Israel’s turning away from God:

63:17 “O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways and harden our heart, so that we fear you not?

And God answers placing responsibility on Israel, highlighting His effort to save Israel, and lamenting over Israel:

65:1 “I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me;
I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.
I said, “Here am I, here am I,”
to a nation that was not called by my name.

2 I spread out my hands all the day
to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
following their own devices;

3 a people who provoke me
to my face continually,
sacrificing in gardens
and making offerings on bricks;”

On the other hand, in Romans 9 Paul alludes to the real possibility that certain people are created for damnation (keep in mind that he prefaces with a “what if”):

22 “What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?”

However, in perhaps the most powerful passage appearing to contradict predestination to damnation, Jesus laments over those perishing in Jerusalem due to unbelief.

Why would He lament over the outcome of His eternal council if He predestined them to damnation?

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!”

To attempt to understand this dichotomy would mean that we must understand the mind of God, and that is not possible. It is perfectly acceptable not to form a strong opinion or any opinion on the issue of double predestination.

Wherever one stands on this doctrine one must clearly understand that human responsibility is found on every page of the Bible regardless of predestination. Even if God predestines, man is 100% responsible.

I do not understand this antinomy so I resign to leave it in the realm of divine mystery.

The Virgin Birth: Without it Christianity Cannot Stand

“The answer to that question would explain history for me.” – Atheist Larry King on his show’s 25th anniversary (June 5, 2010), on whether Jesus was born of a virgin.

The Washington Post is stirring things up on this theme by asking the question “Did Isaiah really predict the Virgin birth?”

It may be shocking to some of us who hold to the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture that there are some Christians who may not believe that Jesus was born of a virgin Mary.

To add fuel to this controversy there have been translations of the Bible which omit the word “virgin” from the Isaiah 7:14 prophecy. Examples:

“Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” NRSV

“Look this young woman is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman will name him Immanuel.” NET

The word in question here is the Hebrew word “almâ” which should be translated “virgin.” Strong’s dictionary which translates and annotates every word in the Bible (even provides detailed translation notes) gives the following commentary on “almâ:”

“There is no instance where it can be proved that this word designates a young woman who is not a virgin.”

Therefore, because of the paramount importance of the virgin birth, the word “virgin” absolutely belongs in Isaiah 7:14.

Without the virgin birth, Christians do not have a living faith; in fact, they do not have any faith at all. Why? Comparative religion scholar John Weldon gives us the answer:

“If Jesus Christ was not virgin born, then by definition he was produced by normal human procreation. If so, this makes him a normal human being just like every other person. The implications of this for all of Christology and biblical theology are devastating. If Christ was not virgin born, then he was not sinless, but a sinner like all other humans. If he were a sinner, he would require salvation from sin. If he was a sinner, he could not be God incarnate. If he was not God incarnate, he could not be the atoning Savior for sin. If he was not the atoning Savior for sin, we are still in our sins and the whole edifice of Christian theology crumbles. If we are still our sins, we are without hope.”

This is not only about the inerrancy of the Bible. This is about reducing and trying to fit God into human terms and human experience. The minute we are successful at boxing God into human parameters, that god is no longer the great “I am” revealed in the Bible.

This is why theologically liberal “Christians” must first of all come to the cross and receive the gift of faith for their salvation, and then they must use their faith to believe that Jesus was indeed conceived by the Holy Spirit in a supernatural way and born by virgin birth.

The Triune God Revealed in the Old Testament (part 2)

continued from here

The book of Isaiah is considered by many to be the “Gospel” of the Old Testament (OT) because it portrays Jesus in His Messianic role as the servant send by God the Father under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  Isaiah 61:1-2 has strong trinitarian implications because it distinguishes the three persons of the Godhead and it shows their participation in the work of salvation of mankind:

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;”

The narrative here is spoken by Jesus, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and the opening of the passage “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me” encapsulates the Trinity.  The Hebrew word ruah is used to designate the Holy Spirit in the OT and it is used in this passage.  The words Lord God (Adonai and YHWY) represent God the Father, while the person speaking in this passage is Jesus, the messianic servant sent by the Father to accomplish the tasks listed in verses 1-3.

The fact that Jesus is the narrator cannot be contested due to the evidence found in Luke 4:16-30.  Jesus enters the Synagogue on Sabbath and reads aloud from the scroll the passage in Isaiah 61:1-2, and makes the astonishing claim:  “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”  Jesus thus claims to be the Messiah, the narrator of Isaiah 61.

Therefore, Isaiah presents the Trinity – God the Father sending Jesus the Messiah, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit –  together doing the work of redemption.

Isaiah also pays special attention to the Holy Spirit and designates personal qualities to Him in Isaiah 63:10 “But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.”  Besides the terrifying claim that God Himself became the enemy of Israel and He fought against them, this verse reveals two important things about the Holy Spirit (ruah).

First, the Holy Spirit is a distinct entity (his Holy Spirit) from God the Father (LORD YHWH), and second, the Holy Spirit can be grieved, a personal and emotional quality.  We now have a clear presentation of two out of three persons in the Trinity, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 63:10.

A biblical demonstration of the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit is beyond the scope of this article, but Isaiah 61:1-2 and 63:10 are clear in revealing the three separate persons of God: LORD YHWH the Father, Jesus the Messiah, and the Holy Spirit.

to be continued…