Contending for the Faith
Witnessing should depend on the Sword of the Lord, not tradition & opinions. SOME OF THE TOPICS COVERED: *Jehovah's Witnesses & Mormons. (4 pages)
WITNESSING AND CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
A good Christian warrior who is about to enter combat knows how important his weapon is. He would like his weapon to be efficient and decisive. Instead of having an army of good Christian warriors, however, the church today is manned by two kinds of inept, ignorant, willful recruits whose only weapon is sophistry.
The first type doesn’t believe the truly inspired, infallible Sword of the Lord exists anywhere on earth. His strength therefore must be the arm of flesh. He is not a Swordbearer; he is a “version bearer.” His weapon is an ineffective joke. Therefore when witnessing, this kind of Christian quickly bogs down with doubtful disputations, doting about questions and strifes of words. He cannot say, “Thus saith the Lord” in order to introduce The Authority into the conversation, so God and His word are never really and authoritatively part of the discussion. When our impotent Christian reads a verse, he is unable to effectively counter when his opponent replies with, “That word doesn’t mean that in the original Greek”, because he uses the same tactic. So the two of them go back and forth, neither gaining nor losing ground, until they tire and retreat to their denominations. For that reason, this type of Christian is usually only successful when his opponent is the typical appallingly ignorant churchgoer who has either a weak, easily manipulated personality, or who is already looking for more spiritual involvement.
The second type of Christian is armed with the true Sword of the Lord. But he either thinks it’s just another version, or, knowing it is the word of God, doesn’t know how to use it. He is easily knocked off balance by the above tactics. Therefore this Christian is also generally only successful when witnessing to the same kind of person with whom the first type of Christian is successful.
How do these two types of Christian recruits fare against organized and disciplined opponents such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons? They usually try to avoid all contact with them because they fear trained and disciplined opponents. Some have even prominently displayed certain books published about JWs and Mormons in a front window as a magic talisman to ward off these mighty door-to-door conquerors. It doesn’t even bother these Christians that they lack the training, the discipline, and the weaponry to be able to handle prepared opponents. Do you know what that means? It means they don’t really take this war seriously. And they are losers.
Beginning with the JWs, we’re going to examine what happens when a true Swordbearer goes into action with JWs and Mormons. I’ve singled them out because they generally outclass all of the Christian denominations in the type of people they produce. I’ve never met one that didn’t impress me as upstanding, family-oriented, disciplined, and knowledgeable.
The Swordbearer is perhaps no more trained or disciplined than JWs and Mormons, but he has an advantage when it comes to his Sword. The Authorized 1611 King James Bible has no peer on earth for the simple reason that it alone is the inspired word of God. There is therefore no opponent the faithful Swordbearer cannot handle; he has nothing to fear.
Because the JWs are well aware that Christians are pathetically inept opponents, they often send their women and children out on combat patrols, knowing they can easily handle most Christian men. When the womenfolk find themselves in the presence of a Swordbearer, however, they quickly assess the situation and ask if it would be OK if a couple of their big guns come by the following week.
The following week the Swordbearer patiently listens as the big guns go through their routine. They like to make a big issue out of the fact that the King James often says “LORD” when they claim it should say Jehovah. This is the way they establish the “superiority” of the NWT over the KJV. But they then cannot help but admit it is OK to refer to Jehovah by any of the many names and titles used by Him in His word. However, they will make an excellent point by stating that whatever their NWT says must be accepted because their New World Translation is (they think) the word of God with no errors – such as “LORD.” The Swordbearer patiently bides his time, giving them more rope. (Note: Recently some JWs told me they are beginning to deemphasize doctrine when out witnessing; they’ve found they attract more Christians by talking about family values and conservative social issues than by discussing the Bible.)
When the Swordbearer takes his Sword out and turns to a number of verses that use Jesus Christ and God as synonyms (such as Ro 14:10-12 and He 1:8 among others commonly used), the JWs are ready and eagerly flip to the same verses in the NWT, where they show that their “superior” NWT has different words in it that most certainly do not make Jesus Christ God. They will claim Christian denominations have used corrupt Bible versions to dupe their people into thinking a mere man is God. And this is where “version bearers” lose the fight with JWs because from here on they argue over whose version is to be trusted. And they cannot handle the fact, for example, that their version says “LORD” twice in 1 Sa 2:1 and the NWT says “Jehovah.” To them the fact that their NAS, NIV, RSV, NKJV, etc., says “Lord” in some places and “LORD” in others is damning; the JWs have in fact (the “version bearer” supposes) pointed out a flaw in the Christian’s sword because the NWT in those places really is more faithful to the ERROR manuscripts and is therefore “more trustworthy”!
As noted earlier, however, the Swordbearer isn’t interested in anything but errors and has pointed out it is not an error to address Jehovah as Lord, LORD, Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Father, the Prince of Peace, the Almighty, etc. So he acts interested in the fact that the NWT does not say Jesus is God in the several verses he points to in his KJV. “Oh,” he says, “so the reason you guys don’t have a doctrine that says Jesus is God is because there is no basis in the NWT for such a doctrine! And the only reason I think Christ is God is because my ‘faulty’ version says He is.” They will wholeheartedly agree with that summation and begin to think they are getting somewhere with this guy.
Then the Swordbearer begins setting and springing traps designed to show these poor dupes that their precious NWT – like all modern versions from the corrupt E.R.R.O.R. manuscripts – is as corrupt as they come. He asks if they have a Scriptural requirement for a profession of faith before baptism or if they just baptize any guy who comes along, and if they believe in total immersion. Oh, they require a profession and they practice immersion, the Swordbearer is assured. “Yeah, doesn’t the place in Scripture where Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch establish that stuff?” the Swordbearer asks. “Oh, yes”, they agree. “Hmm, I wonder if your NWT says something different from the KJV in that spot?”, the Swordbearer muses. And when they begin searching for it he may have to help them by suggesting it might be somewhere around Ac 8:37. And sure enough, when they find the verse is completely missing from the NWT they are generally surprised. Having rocked them back on their heels, the Swordbearer suggests their requirement for a profession of faith before baptism comes from the KJV because it definitely didn’t come from their Bible.
“You know, that gets me wondering,” the Swordbearer presses, “what your NWT says in Mk 1:2?” Having lost what they thought was their control of the conversation, and still stunned by Ac 8:37, they generally turn meekly to Mk 1:2 – after all they are the ones who made a big deal about the “superiority” of their NWT. They read where the NWT says the quote enclosed in quotation marks starting in v.2 and ending with v.3 is written in Isaiah the prophet. At that point the Swordbearer asks, “What does that little footnote attached to the first half of that quote say? It’s right there in your center column reference.” They then read that the first half of the quote is not written in Isaiah like the NWT says – it’s written in Malachi the prophet. Dazed, they usually take a couple of minutes looking at the passages in Isaiah and Malachi, and, rather than admit their version contains errors, they generally stoop to the tactic of hoping to prove the KJV is just as corrupt as the version put out by their Watchtower Society. So they grab at the KJV to see if it contains the same error – and find that its sharpness quickly pierces to the depths of their souls to reveal if they are men in whom there is no guile. At this point there is no doubt in their minds they have been undergoing something very unusual in their door-to-door religious experience: They have been completely at the mercy of the Swordbearer from the moment they showed up. They have only two options, surrender at Sword point, or run.
Now the Swordbearer needs to discern their intentions. If they are humbly interested in continuing to learn, he may show them their corrupt, contradictory foundation of JW doctrine (the NWT) says, for example, Elhanan killed Goliath, as well as other ERROR manuscript corruption we covered such as the Jehoshaphat-Ahab dialog on page D22-15.
But if they are interested only in beating a retreat, the Swordbearer will want to skip the Bible lesson and give them something to think about. He’ll have time because they won’t immediately throw down their weapons and flee from the battlefield, they’ll try to save self, to save face, to salvage their denominational pride. So they’ll start talking about how they’ve got to go because they have more important things to do than learn something about the word of God and the Bible version issue. (Actually they won’t be that astute.)
So the Swordbearer says something like: “As you have pointed out, your denomination has rejected the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ because your denominational Bible version doesn’t say He is God. You’ve seen that the King James does make Jesus God – that’s why I believe He is. And you’ve been briefly and easily shown to your own satisfaction that the NWT contains errors – it is simply not qualified to be the inspired word of God you used to think it was. You’ve also seen that the KJV contains none of the errors of the NWT. The point is this: You said you grew up in the Methodist Church. Obviously you didn’t learn much about the Bible and doctrine until the JWs took you under their wing. They are not bad people; they are sincere people just like you. But they are basing their doctrines on a corrupt foundation. If you really want to serve Jehovah in spirit and in truth you are going to have to find answers to the problems I’ve introduced you to. If you want to go into this stuff some more sometime, or if you have any questions about anything, I’d love to help you. And if you happen to find answers that show me to be wrong about any of this, please call or come by and help me learn the truth because I just want to serve the Lord in spirit and in truth, too.”
None of this combat with the JWs is new to the Swordbearer; it is exactly the same thing he goes through with Christian “version bearers” when discussing doctrine: They invariably object to something in the KJV by quoting one of their favorite layman’s aids. Why do they always do that? Because, like the JWs, they instinctively know all doctrine must come from the Bible – there is no other source. Therefore, all doctrinal conversations will get around to the Bible. And once they refer to the Scriptures, the Swordbearer has got them on his turf – holy ground.
(I never join the two words version and bearer like I do with Swordbearer because the version and the bearer of the version are never one as in a proper marriage – because the version bearer doesn’t believe in or agree with his sword and therefore cannot walk together with it; and he doesn’t humbly and submissively accept his sword as his authority in all matters of faith and practice. On the contrary, like a willful and shrewish woman he disdains, insults, corrects, dishonors, and disregards what his version says. And the way these Christians treat their version is an exact picture of how they treat the Lord Jesus Christ.)
Anyway, the “version bearers” cannot openly reject what the Bible says because that’s open rebellion against God. So they claim it doesn’t say what it says by finding something in some layman’s aid that says the corrupt dead languages say something different from the living verse the Swordbearer just quoted. At that point the Swordbearer has them in exactly the same predicament the JW was in and they have but two options, surrender at Sword point, or run (after firing a few idiotic parting shots in an effort to save face).
Here’s an important point about all “version bearers”: They cannot use the above efficient and decisive method of dealing with JWs because their weapon is flawed, too. As soon as the JW sees, for example, that Malachi wrote the first half of the “Isaiah” quote he invariably grabs the KJV to see if it, too, is corrupt. The “version bearer”, however, doesn’t have the Sword of the Lord; he has a manmade substitute from the corrupt ERROR manuscripts. Therefore, when the JW grabs the “version bearer’s” modern version, he’ll find it contains many of the same errors as his own NWT. In fact, because JWs aren’t stupid, he will quickly realize and point out that the doctrine that Jesus is God is just as invalid when based on the corrupt NAS or NIV, as is the doctrine that Jesus is not God when based on the corrupt NWT. No doctrine of the true God can be based on corruption. All Christian doctrine must be based on the sure foundation of the inspired, infallible Sword of the Lord.
I don’t know very much about JW and Mormon doctrines and practices because learning that stuff is a waste of time. Christians have told me, for example, that Mormons have special “holey underwear” (underwear with holes in it) to pray in. That is said in such a manner that I know I’m expected to react like other Christians by saying, “Holey underwear? Ya gotta be kidding me, brother! Boy are they a cult or what!?” Instead I ask, “Is there some Scripture that prohibits holey underwear or that dictates what we are supposed to wear while praying? I know it says we are to pray without ceasing; I know I’ve prayed while in all states of dress and undress; I know my underwear hasn’t always been in the best of condition; I know I’ve prayed while sitting on the john. I must have missed something, brother, because I don’t get the importance or even the relevance of what you’ve said.”
In order to witness effectively Christians must know the Bible. The best way to recognize counterfeit doctrine is to know in minute detail the real thing (apply Is 7:15). If we know and believe the Bible, the Holy Spirit will bring to our remembrance whatsoever He would have us focus on. That’s what happened to me some years ago when I had my first encounter with a Mormon: My knowledge of the Bible enabled the Holy Spirit to direct my thinking to fertile ground.
The Mormon was a pleasant guy to be around. He’d been a Mormon missionary and was quite knowledgeable about his religion. He quickly found out I was a Bible believer, but his interest in me skyrocketed when he learned I didn’t attend any church. When I continued to be relaxed and pleasant with him when he revealed he was a Mormon, he was convinced he had a convert-in-the-making. (Most Christians who meet me for the first time, when they learn I’m a Bible believer, immediately ask what church I go to so they can categorize me. When I reply with a simple, “I don’t go to church,” they assume I’m a dirtbag pseudo Christian and say all manner of things. And then when I learn a little about their appalling ignorance and lack of interest in the word of God, I can’t help but wonder why they’d attend a church that produces fruit like them.)
I asked him some “I’ve heard this about Mormonism and that about Mormonism” questions and listened attentively to his answers. Because I know the Bible I knew what directions to take in my questioning, and was soon seeing how Mormonism went wrong. My Mormon friend, however, was impressed by the fact that I wasn’t giving him the stony-faced silent treatment he usually got from fearful and resentful Christians. He asked if my wife and I would agree to come to his home some evening and meet some of the elders from his church. “Sure, no problem,” I replied. “As long as you understand it wouldn’t be for the purpose of becoming a Mormon; I just want to ask a few questions.” And, of course, that was perfectly fine with him.
In order to answer some of my questions he had referred to the Book of Mormon. He had the Book of Mormon nicely bound together with the King James Bible, and the whole thing securely closed with a clasp. I asked him if I could borrow it overnight and return it to him the next day. He was delighted. That night I quickly scanned his BOM and his KJV.
When we got together the following day, I told him I’d learned some things that revealed Mormonism to be not merely hypocritical, but also an invalid religion. “How is Mormonism hypocritical,” he wanted to know.
I pointed out to him that when scanning his KJV I’d noticed every so often the KJV text was footnoted. And at the bottom of the page the footnote would start out with, “JST:…” and then proceed to reword the KJV text. He explained that Joseph Smith had an angel from heaven, named Moroni, appear to him and give him, on gold plates or tablets, the inspired word of God in order to solve the problem of corrupt Bible versions. That inspired word of God is called the Joseph Smith Translation. The footnotes in the King James are corrections made in accordance with the inspired JST.
“I have two questions”, I replied, “about the Book of Mormon. I noticed the title of it is, The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. And inside it explains the BOM to be another gospel of Jesus Christ.” “Yes,” he interjected, “that’s what Moroni delivered.” “And that’s precisely my question,” I continued, “since Joseph Smith was supposedly a Bible-believing Christian, and since the Bible he was carrying was the King James Bible, why did he choose to reject Ga 1:6-9? In that Scripture Joseph Smith was specifically and unambiguously ordered not only to reject another gospel brought to him by an angel from heaven, but he was also told twice to let Moroni be accursed! And Ga 1:6-9 does not have any JST footnote changing it. Is it not true that God Almighty wanted Joseph Smith to reject those gold plates? And is there any other application in history you can think of that would better fit Ga 1:6-9 than Joseph Smith’s acceptance of another gospel from an angel from heaven? Does it seem likely that the Lord put that Scripture in His Book specifically so Mormons would know what they have received is not “another gospel”, but rather that there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ?” My Mormon companion was stunned and speechless at the damning clarity of the Scripture regarding that situation.
“My second point concerns apparent hypocrisy of the Mormon church. Why is it, if you have the inspired word of God in the Joseph Smith Translation, you do not carry, read, and study the JST instead of continuing to use (what you believe to be) the corrupt King James Version? And why does the Mormon Church secretly hoard the inspired JST for itself instead of publishing it so the whole world could have God’s truth? Isn’t that hypocrisy and hatefulness?”
“Now, as to the validity or invalidity of the Mormon religion itself. Your BOM claims to be another testament of Jesus Christ. You probably have written and made official your own last will and testament. It issues instructions to your family and gives your stuff to them. But even though you’ve already written that testament your family cannot use it to get your stuff because it is not valid until you die; your death puts it into effect. That is straight out of He 9:16,17. Now, I know Jesus Christ died two thousand years ago in order to make valid His New Testament, but when has He died since He gave “another” of His testaments to Joseph Smith in order to make the BOM valid? Doesn’t the Bible make it clear that the resurrected Christ will never die again (Re 1:18)?” At this point his stunned silence was beginning to take on a tinge of defensive resentment. [Note: A Mormon elder answered this point by telling me that, just as Christ was murdered to dedicate the Bible, Joseph Smith was murdered to dedicate the BOM! (Smith was murdered in his jail cell.) I then embarrassed him in front of his companion by pointing out his own religion says Joseph Smith is not the testator of the BOM – Christ is, which is why the cover says Another Testament of Jesus Christ. “If the BOM is actually Another Testament of Joseph Smith, as you say”, I asked, “what are the other testaments he died to validate? Or did your religion also screw up by putting Another in the title?” He sneered that if he’d known I was going to nit pick his words, he’d have brought a thesaurus! (He meant to say dictionary: Our problem is English!) The dog had returned to his vomit, and I knew the conversation was over.]
“My last point”, I said to my Mormon friend, “concerns the validity of your Mormon priesthood. You have correctly stated that the Levitical, or Aaronic, priesthood was flawed and had to be replaced (He 7). And you have said your Mormon priests are the priests after the order of Melchisedec. However, the reason the Levitical priesthood was flawed and had to be replaced was because the sons of Aaron were mortal; they were temporary; they died. The value of Melchisedec, priest of the most high God, is that he is immortal, without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but like the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Therefore, in order to be a Melchisedecian priest, your Mormon priests would have to satisfy those requirements. Are they immortal? Have they no father and mother who birthed them? Have they no beginning of days nor end of life? What makes the Mormon Church think they really are priests after the order of Melchisedec? In fact, haven’t you confused the Levitical and the Melchisedecian priesthoods? There were many Levitical priests. But the Melchisedecian priesthood is always spoken of as singular, never plural (He 7:11,15,17,20,21,23-28). It is done that way because only God has no parent and no beginning of days. Only Jesus Christ is spoken of as our Melchisedec.”
When my Mormon companion had nothing to say about any of this, I pointed out to him that there would be good answers to all of the points I brought up if Mormonism were of God. I urged him to study the issues, to talk with his elders, and come to me for help if he wanted. I also urged him to let me know if he had any success finding valid refutations to my points because I, too, am interested in knowing the truth.
He never contacted me, never invited me to meet his Melchisedecian elders, and he never left Mormonism. That means one of two things: First, he found valid answers but hasn’t enough love for the Lord and for me to share God’s truth with me. Or, second, he is a hypocrite who is content to live in a religious system about which he [now] has serious fundamental doubts. The fact is, Mormons simply cannot handle the above truths of the Bible that invalidate their religion, their BOM, and their founding false prophet. That is why all Mormons quickly do what they’ve been taught to do – retreat from the Bible to the sanctuary of the BOM. They will tell you they know the BOM is true because they trust their “feelings” – just like the angel Moroni told them: “…ask God…and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart…he will manifest the truth of it unto you” (Moron 10:4). Notice three things: First, that laughable “test” is the same one all false religions tell their converts to use. Second, it is inconclusive because it can be effectively countered by someone else’s “sincere knowledge.” Third, the “test” is classic Age of Reason carnality because it relies on self-evidence and man being the measure of all things. Only Jesus Christ instructs His followers to reject the inputs of self and use His Book to know the truth. You must not only be able to recognize carnal Reasoning in others, you must also recognize it in you and never let yourself fall for it. All false religions will try to get you to stop using your Sword because it is the one thing they cannot handle. When witnessing you must stay focused on the Bible. If you find they are not interested in the Bible do not cast your pearls before swine. I say again, never allow yourself to be sidetracked into a discussion about the BOM, the NWT, the NAS, your “sincere feelings”, or layman’s aids based on the ERROR manuscripts. If people are interested in looking into the Bible version issue with you in order to see if the KJV really is the inspired word of God, fine, because if they don’t know the word of God exists you will be unable to get them to abandon Reason and by faith submit to the authority of the word of God. All people who reject the existence of the word of God as defined by God are Bible rejecters. Let them alone. Never be tricked by carnal Reason into fighting for the King without His Sword.
The above Mormon example is different from the JW example. The JW example involved the dependable infallibility of the KJV. The Mormon example involved the kind of attention to specific words that only comes from a belief that God selected each and every word in the Authorized Version for a reason. Both examples illustrate the importance of using the infallible King James Bible to contend for the faith. No other version can compete with The Truth. No other sword slices through doctrinal errors and exposes the thoughts and intents of the heart like the King’s Sword.
Have ears that hear...
and endure to the end, comrades!