Putting on the Full Armor of God, Part 1

Title: Putting on the Full Armor of God, Part 1

Text: Ephesians 6:10-13

Date: November 8th, 2009

 

Today I’d like to pick up on some point I made a couple of weeks ago in another context. If you remember I was talking about “binding the strong man” as we read about in Matthew 12:29, or in other words, dealing with the devil. At the end of that message I presented some practical tips on how to deal with demonic attack through putting on the full armor of God as described in Ephesians 6:10-18. I didn’t have time enough at the end of that message to develop the topic of the full armor of God, so today I’d like to attempt to explain in practical terms how we as Christians can actually “put on the full armor of God.” I say practical because I’ve heard and I’m sure you’ve heard messages on Ephesians 6:10-18 or putting on the full armor of God, but often the teaching will be more or less a verse-by-verse covering of the biblical passage, reading and explaining what the Bible says, but with little or no practical application of what the verse means and how it can be followed in real life. Often the teacher of this passage will simply read the verse and make a few comments, perhaps about the background and context of the verse or some historical explanation of Roman armor, but then never get around to explaining how we as Christians are to “put on the full armor of God” within our lives today. Obviously, the reference to “putting on armor” is symbolic, a metaphor for something spiritual, something spiritual we must do in order to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12) in our day and age. But often we don’t get the application of what all this means to our lives today. So in order to correct this typical oversight in teaching Christian truth, I’ll attempt to make practical application of this passage to our lives today. I’ll make some historical references, but I won’t go into great detail about describing details of the armor worn by soldiers of the Roman Empire, nor spend a lot of time setting the historical background and context. I think it’s pretty clear what the spiritual meanings and applications found in this verse, and so I’ll simply make the spiritual applications as they are made in the verse itself, starting with Ephesians 6:10-13, because there’s no way we can get through the whole verse today in one teaching. In the context of my message a couple of weeks ago on Matthew 12:29, Jesus is teaching us how to deal with the devil or demons. We are looking for the best way to defend ourselves against evil spiritual attacks. That’s why Ephesians 6 is so important because it gives us a methodology for battling spiritual opposition. This is not the only instruction we have in the New Testament about dealing with demonic assault, but it might be the most important. If we can successfully “put on the full armor of God” we can successfully survive any or all spiritual opposition, so it is important to follow these instructions as carefully as we can. They come for the Apostle Paul, who is speaking under the impulse and inspiration of God, so we can trust that it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Let’s consider a few points.

 

First, in fighting evil we must look to God not ourselves. Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Notice it doesn’t say, “Be strong in yourselves and in your own power.” That’s what we hear all over today, how we are to look to ourselves and trust in ourselves and our own strength. That’s the overwhelming message of our secular, modern age – be true to yourself, look to yourself, trust yourself, take control, get empowered – that’s the big word today, empowered, empowerment. They even teach this in the public school to the children. Everyone is encouraged to look to him or herself and take care of oneself. This is the self-centered or selfish approach advocated by our secular world today. But it’s the very opposite that is taught in the Bible. Let us make this very clear: there is all the difference in the world in trusting in God versus trusting in self. The world teaches us to trust in ourselves, but the Bible teaches us to trust in God. This is particularly important in battling spiritual evil. If you’ve ever seen the old movie The Exorcist – I don’t recommend seeing it if you frighten easily, because it is a very disturbing movie, mostly because it’s true and reminds us of the spiritual evil that is in our midst. But if you’ve ever seen that movie you’ll recall how the mother of the little girl who was possessed of the devil went first to the secular experts in medicine and psychology for help. But what happened? Nothing. The experts couldn’t do anything to help. Why? Because they were ill equipped to deal with spiritual evil; they could only cure physical or mental disorders, but they were helpless in addressing spiritual sickness. Well, it’s the same thing with us trying to face the devil or demons in our own natural ability. We are helpless to survive a demonic attack through our own powers. That’s why the verse opens with this challenge, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Forget about trying to fight it out yourself. Forget about trying to prove how strong you are within yourself. Forget about “taking control” of your life or “empowering yourself” as is taught by secular experts today. It won’t work against spiritual evil. There is only one way to deal with demonic activity and that’s to go to God and have him deal with the devil. Martin Luther, the great Reformer, once told the story about the man who had the devil knock on his door one night. At first the man was tempted to answer the door himself as he always did when someone came knocking, but thought better of it. Instead, he sent the Lord to answer the door, and by the time the Lord answered the door the knocking had stopped and the devil had gone! The point being, we need the Lord’s power in dealing with demons. We can’t do it ourselves, through our own cleverness or psychology or medicine or our own plan. Forget about beating the devil on your own terms. Instead, get God’s help. Don’t do it alone.

 

Second, in fighting evil we must put on the full armor of God. Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” To begin with, let me just say this first of all, in practical terms, the “full armor of God” means “the full resources of God.” I wanted to say that up front because I’ve heard some many sermons on this passage but nobody ever came out and paraphrased it or put it in simple terms that we can all easily understand and put into practice. The verse is simply saying we need to avail ourselves to all of the resources of God in fighting evil. Or in other words, we must understand what all the spiritual resources we have at our disposal and utilize them as needed. Why is that important? Because most Christians, I’m afraid to say, are ignorant of most of the resources that are available in dealing with the devil, or worse yet, many know about the resources but neglect to use them in battling evil. Why do we need to utilize the full resources of God in dealing with the devil? Because we are assaulted and attacked in big and small ways during the course of our life. We need to implement the full resources – or following the soldier-in-battle metaphor – “the full armor” because our enemy the devil and demons are plotting and attacking us constantly. The NIV Bible translates it “the devil’s scheme” but the actual Greek word for “scheme” is “method,” methodeias. The devil employs many different methods to harass and attack us in life. Sometimes he attacks our minds, sending negative or depressing or discouraging thoughts at us in order for us to give up or quit in some way. Other times he’ll attack our emotions and cause negative emotions or feelings to flood our heart. Still at other times he’ll try to motivate us to act in sinful ways or even violent ways. We just recently learned this week of the Fort Hood shootings where an angry Islamic gunman killed 13 persons. I was explaining to someone this week who asked me about the shootings how I believe that the shooter was actually demon possessed. Something “possessed” him to take anger or rage to the next level and actually commit mass murder. I think a lot of terrorism can be explained by demonic possession, but of course, that can’t be proven scientifically, but it makes sense biblically. We know that the devil “stalks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour,” 1 Peter 5:8. We know that much. We know that he has “methods,” as the verse here indicates. Talk about a conspiracy. There are some people who are paranoid, thinking that everyone or someone is after them. Well, in respect to the devil and demons, we all have reason to be a little paranoid – they really are after us. That’s why we need the power of God to fight them off and we need to arm and equip ourselves with the full resources of God. Why would we ever consider going anywhere without all the spiritual resources of God; that’s crazy! Don’t think you can successfully defend yourself against spiritual evil with your own strength, and don’t think you can do battle against evil without equipping yourself with all the resources of God. That’s the message Paul is trying to communicate to us so far.

 

Third, in fighting evil we must remember our struggle is supernatural not natural. Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Referring back to the movie The Exorcist – again, I’m not recommending the movie, I’m just referring to it – the reason the secular experts, the medical doctors and the psychologists and the psychiatrists couldn’t help the little girl who was possessed was because they were trying to deal on the natural level, trying to bring about a cure through natural means, when the problem was spiritual and could only be cured spiritually. If these so-called modern experts, many of whom chuckled and laughed at any idea of demonic possession, if they had simply read the Bible they could have found out why their modern, secular methods failed, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood.” In dealing with demons, our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood; our struggle is spiritual or supernatural. We need to be reminded of this time and time again, because we are all trained to think in the default mode of natural. We are all educated and brainwashed by the secular, modern time we live in to think of everything in terms of natural cause and effect – things happen the way they do because of some natural causing acting upon them. Well, this applies to so much of life today that we are tempted to think that it applies to all of life, everything. Well, natural cause and effect doesn’t apply to everything in life; spiritual reality operates separate from nature, that’s why it’s supernatural or super or above nature. It’s invisible, so we can’t see its operation. Even things in nature are sometimes invisible yet real. For example, the force of gravity is natural, but it’s invisible. However, whereas gravity is a natural force that can be measured and dealt with through natural means, spiritual opposition and demonic attack can’t be dealt with naturally because it’s supernatural. Fallen angels or demons are supernatural creatures and must be dealt with supernaturally or spiritually. We can’t fight against them with modern medicine. Thank God for wonder drugs and modern medical techniques, but they don’t help any in dealing with pure spirit. The only defense we have against purely supernatural opposition is God’s spiritual power either acting directly to defend us or acting indirectly by equipping us with spiritual resources to deal with it. So it’s pretty obvious why we need to “put on the full armor of God” or in other words, to utilize the full resources of God in life – to defend ourselves against evil, spiritual attack. If we don’t we’ll be sitting ducks. I’m afraid there are plenty of people who are just that – sitting ducks. The devil and demons pick them off. They are defenseless, helpless, and pitiful. We see the symptoms and signs of this all around. I don’t need to explain this, you all read the papers and watch the TV news. If we don’t take the spiritual battle we are in seriously, we’ll become a casualty just like the people see on the news.

 

Fourth, in fighting we must remember again to put on the full armor of God. Ephesians 6:13, “Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Again, this is so important that the Apostle Paul reminds us again – we need to be reminded again and again because we forget so easily – utilize the full resources of God, the total resources of the Bible and the Christian faith. Why? Because when evil attacks we want to be able to survive and live to fight again another day. Sometimes we will have to be on defense, probably most of the time we’ll be attacked and have to defend ourselves against spiritual opposition. Sometimes we’ll be on offense and attack spiritual evil ourselves – that’s the nature of warfare, sometimes defense, sometimes offense. Most of the resources found in the Bible are for defense, that is, when we are under demonic attack we can survive it, but some of the resources are for our attack of evil forces; we’ll talk more about that later. But we can’t do anything, either offense or defense, without God’s help, God’s resources. That’s why we simply have to be knowledgeable of these resources and proficient in their use. Again, I’m sad to say that most Christians are both ignorant of God’s resources and also ill equipped to utilize them. That’s why so many Christians are living defeated lives. Why are there so many marriages failing and divorces occurring – among Christian marriages? Because these Christians don’t know how to deal with the devil attacking their marriage relationship. Why are there so many Christians giving into temptation and falling into sin? Because they don’t know how to survive demonic attack. I could go on and on about all the ways Christians are being defeated by the devil, but I don’t want to depress you; you know what I’m talking about already. I’m convinced that most Christians are living defeated Christian lives because they are not using the full resources of God fighting their personal battles. Instead, they are fighting lonely battles on lonely battlefields and being defeated because they are trying to do things on their own with their own feeble human resources. Now some people are very resourceful in life, but up against demons they are no match. That’s why they are defeated. They are counting on their intelligence and their own natural ability, which serves them well in all other areas of life, but which is utterly useless to them in spiritual battle. They enter into battle with supernatural evil and they are defeated because they don’t equip themselves with the full spiritual resources of God. They may employ a few of the resources of God, but they don’t use the full range of resources God has available for them, and consequently they suffer failure. The devil uses different methods against us, so we must use every possible resource from God to defend ourselves. Next week I’ll talk about the specific resources God has for us to use, but I wanted to lay the foundation first this week. I hope you now see how important all of this is for us today. Let’s pray God opens our eyes and our hearts to teach us more.

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11 Responses to “Putting on the Full Armor of God, Part 1”

  1. Michele Says:

    I am looking for whom to ask for permission to use parts of this article on the website I am creating. I don’t think I want to merely link to it at this point….

  2. Todd Says:

    I have comments on one of your articles as well as am in agreement with another. I would like you to contact me allowing me to use your comments as they were written.

  3. jeffshort Says:

    michele, yes, you can use my comments on your web site. Also, todd, you can use my comments also.

    thanks,

    jeff short

    • Todd Says:

      On my next research, I am going to look up information on Hindi and Muslim. Have you done any research on those religions?

  4. Todd Says:

    Mahalo, the article I wanted to use was on the Christian Scientists. Are you open to a discussion on your article on Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    • jeffshort Says:

      todd, yes, sure, i’m open to discussion about JWs. do you dispute any claim i’ve made about their theology?

      • Todd Says:

        Hope this is not too long of a response, but I did have comment that you might want to review on JW’s beliefs. I sited my comments in Red Bold and also in a larger font, but in this reply box, it doesn’t show up that way, I don’t know how else to get the response to you accurately. Hope this is satisfactory to you. I do very much enjoy the topic.

        Last week I wrote a newspaper article on why Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion is a cult, although that shouldn’t be permitted to stop him from running for president. The Jackson-Citizen Patriot ran my article, although they omitted my last point, how Mormons teach that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers. I guess having the paper print two out of three shocking Mormon beliefs isn’t bad. I guess the last point was too shocking for the newspaper, or they thought it would be too shocking for the readers. But I’m glad God gave me a voice in the local newspaper in order to teach his Word among the people. Today, however, I’d like to shift from examining Mormon beliefs to putting Jehovah’s Witness beliefs under the microscope.

        Like the Mormon’s the Jehovah’s Witness religion is a false cult also – and they like the Mormons have shocking beliefs. Today I’ll outline three of the most shocking beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witness cult. They are:
        one, that Jesus is a creature; I assume that when you say that Jehovah’s witnesses believe that Jesus was a creature, that they believe that he was a man. They also teach that he was a spirit creature before becoming to earth as a man, that he was the first born of all creation and that he was the only creature that was directly created by Jehovah that all other creatures after Jesus were created through Jesus, Jehovah being the master creator/designer and his son being the agent through whom all other creation came into existence. Revelation 3:14, Colossians 1:15-17.
        two, that JW’s believe their church speaks for God even after repeated false predictions of Christ’s Second Coming; JW’s believe that Jesus came to rule in Heavens in 1914 when first the heavens were cleansed from Satanic activity Revelation (12:7, 10, 12) The book of Revelation points to two distinct results of the establishment of God’s Kingdom in heaven. The first affects heaven itself, the second, the earth. Says Revelation 12:7-9, 12: “War broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven. So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”
        The expelling of Satan and the demons from heaven after 1914 purged that realm of all spirit rebels, bringing much joy to Jehovah’s loyal angelic sons, who represent by far the majority of his spirit creation. (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7; Revelation 12:10) Thus, the request in Jesus’ model prayer, as far as it applied to heaven, was fulfilled. All who remained in that heavenly realm were loyal to Jehovah and fully submissive to his sovereignty.
        three, that Jesus didn’t raise from the dead. JW’s believe that like Paul they knew that Jesus had been raised from the dead, and he summarized the evidences for the Corinthians, namely, “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, yes, that he has been raised up the third day according to the Scriptures; and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”* Then Paul adds: “After that he appeared to upward of five hundred brothers at one time, the most of whom remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep in death. After that he appeared to James, then to all the apostles; but last of all he appeared also to me.”—1 Corinthians 15:3-8.
        Now most or all of these shocking beliefs are things you’ll never hear about at your doorstep with a visit from a member of the Jehovah’s Witness church; I have never heard where JW’s have anything but open Biblical truths to offer at the door.
        they keep these beliefs pretty well hidden until you are fully indoctrinated into their religious cult community. But it’s important that people know, understand and beware of these false teachings because for all the joking and making fun of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ evangelism techniques, they are indeed recruiting followers going door-to-door. Most of these new recruits are led astray through ignorance, deception and lies. I have always understood that anybody willing to study the Bible with JW’s does just that, they study only the Bible. But I do understand that they do use Bible study aids and that any doctrinal issues come directly from the Bible.
        If people really knew what Jehovah Witnesses believed, they’d be more cautious and careful about listening to church members present their teachings. What Jehovah Witnesses believe is shocking. Just like what the Mormons believe is shocking. In a few weeks I’m also going to give an outline of the three most shocking beliefs of the Christian Science church, because like the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, this is a cult as well. I think a lot of this depends on your understanding of what a cult is. A cult is a religion that is said to be unorthodox or that emphasizes devotion according to prescribed ritual. Many cults follow a living human leader, and often their adherents live in groups apart from the rest of society. The standard for what is orthodox, however, should be God’s Word, and Jehovah’s Witnesses strictly adhere to the Bible. Their worship is a way of life, not a ritual devotion. They neither follow a human nor isolate themselves from the rest of society. They live and work in the midst of other people.
        It’s not as popular these days, it’s not growing rapidly, it might even be dying as an organization, but it still has influence in society today through such things as the Christian Science Monitor newspaper and radio broadcasts. But I’ll save that critique until next week; this week I’d like to focus on the three most shocking beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is a group that is out and active in most communities. Every Saturday you’ll see two or three persons walking down the sidewalk carrying a briefcase and looking like they might be businessmen or women; but they aren’t, they’re JWs trying to recruit for their church. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not try to recruit their neighbors. Their sole purpose as described in Matthew 28:19-22 preach the kingdom of God and to make disciples. They make disciples by a offering a careful study of the Bible.
        They’ll give a friendly, reasonable presentation on your doorstep, but what do they really believe? That’s what I’d like to explain today.
        #1 shocking belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses – they believe Jesus is a creature, a created being, not eternal. John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” JW’s do not believe Jesus is God. They believe Jesus is God’s son. Matthew 16:16. As you may be aware, there are many Scriptures in the Bible identifying Jesus as God’s son. There are no scriptures in the Bible that identify Jesus as God.
        Historic, biblical, mainstream Christianity teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ is eternal, without beginning or end, just as the historic creeds, such as the Nicene Creed, state. The Bible teaches that Jesus has existed from all eternity, just as the verse from John 1:1 shows, “And the Word was God.” Later in the same chapter, we read, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth,” John 1:14. So here is a clear teaching that the Word, the eternal Christ, the Lord Jesus, existed from eternity back, but came to earth in the virgin’s womb and was born as the Savior of mankind. But the Jehovah’s Witnesses reject this clear biblical teaching. Jehovah’s Witnesses do teach that human Jesus was born from Virgin Mary and was born as the Savior of mankind.
        They reject the historic teaching of mainstream Christianity. What they teach instead is that the Lord Jesus is a creature, a created being, who came into existence just like everything else came into being, only before all other things were created. In other words, the JWs believe that God the Father created the Lord Jesus first before all other things, then everything else was created after Jesus. But still, they teach that Jesus is a creature just like you and me, just like everything we see on earth and in the sky. To the Jehovah’s Witness, the Lord Jesus is not eternal, not everlasting and not God. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Jesus is God’s son and that as God’s son had a beginning. That he is King of God’s kingdom that will rule over mankind forever as described at Matthew 6:10.
        But mainstream, classic, historic, biblical Christianity teaches that the Lord Jesus is God, second person of the Holy Trinity. But Jehovah’s Witness’s reject the Trinity and they also reject the deity of Christ. Instead, they teach that Jesus is a divine being, yet not God. They teach that he is a created being, not eternal. Now obviously this is a very shocking belief because it totally robs the Lord Jesus of his high status as God; it lowers him to the status of a mere creature, like us. He may have been created before us, he may be more powerful, more knowledgeable, more holy, more honorable than us, but he’s still a creature, still a created being, just like us, according to the JWs. Now in this we can see why Jehovah’s Witnesses are properly labeled a cult, because they depart from historic, biblical, classic, mainstream Christianity. They rob the Lord Jesus of his true glory, while at the same time twisting the biblical teaching of Jesus’ true identity in order to teach people that Jesus is a mere creature. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not you Jesus as a mere human creature. They look at Jesus as the greatest of all of Jehovah’s creations, the King of his kingdom. The power for creation came from God through his holy spirit, or active force. (Ge 1:2; Ps 33:6) And since Jehovah is the Source of all life, all animate creation, visible and invisible, owes its life to him. (Ps 36:9) Rather than a co-Creator then, the Son was the agent or instrumentality through whom Jehovah, the Creator, worked. Jesus himself credited God with the creation, as do all the Scriptures.—Mt 19:4-6
        JW’s don’t like it because they are labeled a cult, but they deserve that label because of their bizarre teachings about Jesus. There is plenty of diversity within Christianity, but all true Christians today agree that Jesus was God come in the flesh. That’s why the JWs are called a cult, because they don’t hold to classic, historic Christian teaching concerning the identity of the Lord Jesus. But there’s more.

        #2 shocking belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses — they alone are the true church even though they’ve falsely predicted Christ’s return many times. Deuteronomy 18:21-22, “You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message that Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” So here is the biblical test for prophets – if what they proclaim comes to pass, then they just might be a true prophet. But if what they proclaim doesn’t come to pass, then they are definitely a false prophet. That is the test outlined in the Bible for all prophets. Now according to the Bible’s own standard the Jehovah’s Witnesses are false prophets because what they’ve predicted time after time has not come to pass. For example, the Christian Research Institute, founded by the cult expert Walter Martin, published a small tract entitled, “100 Year of Divine Direction?” that outlines all the false prophecies and predictions the Watchtower organization (the corporate arm of the Jehovah’s Witnesses) has made. In 1874 they predicted the Second Coming of Christ, which failed to happen. In 1914 they predicted the so-called “real” Second Coming, but that also failed to materialize. In 1925 they predicted the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets, yet again, it didn’t happen. In 1975 Armageddon was supposed to happen, but it didn’t. Yet Jehovah’s Witnesses still maintain that they are the only true church, that they alone speak for God on earth, that they speak the truth. The problem is that every time their teachings can be tested, they fail the test. They claim to be the true church and speak for God, yet whenever they prophesy or predict anything, it fails to happen. In other words, how can the true church that speaks truth for God fail to make good on its claims? The answer is, it can’t. But what’s most shocking is that the Jehovah’s Witnesses still believe their church is the true church on earth and that it alone speaks for God. It’s shocking to think that there are so many gullible people who could be misled in this way. You’d think that after a few tries at prophecy, after a few failed attempts to predict the future, people might get the notion that the JWs claim is bogus. I’m sure there are some JWs that have left the church because of this failure, but what’s amazing still is that most JWs remain even though their own church has clearly failed in its predictions and prophecies. It’s shocking to think that thousands, even millions of Americans who belong to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the millions outside of the U.S. who belong, simply refuse to acknowledge that they are part of a false church that makes false claims to prophecy. Jehovah’s Witnesses agree with Matthew 24:36 where it says concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the Angels of the heavens nor the son, but only the father. Verse 42 says keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. No, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not teach that they know when this system will come to its end. Wherever you have heard those rumors, has not been from a publication of Jehovah’s Witnesses. If they are teaching false prophecy, what other false teachings are they peddling? Jehovah’s Witnesses are not peddlers of the good news 2Corinthians 2:17.
        #3 shocking belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses – they don’t believe that Jesus rose from the grave, that his body left the tomb. Luke 24:36-39, “While they (the disciples) were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?’ Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’” Here is a New Testament passage that clearly describes Jesus showing his risen body to the disciples. He specifically states, “It is I myself, touch me and see, a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” This truth forms the basis of the classic, historic, biblical teaching within Christianity that Jesus raised bodily from the tomb in resurrection from the dead. Yet, in contrast to mainstream, historic Christianity, the JWs believe that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead bodily, but only in some form of spirit, spiritually. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that the Scriptures clearly show as Paul wrote: “Christ has been raised up from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death.” As “the firstfruits,” Jesus was resurrected on Nisan 16, 33 C.E. Later, during his presence, there would be a resurrection of ‘afterfruits’—his spirit-anointed followers.—1 Corinthians 15:20-23; 2 Corinthians 1:21; 1 John 2:20, 27.
        Within a few miles of my old home in Jamestown, NY lies a village or community called Lily Dale. Why is this significant? Because it’s the world’s largest spiritistic or spiritualist community – which means, it’s the largest official community of people who devote themselves to conjuring up the spirits of the dead. They hold séances, they meditate and invite the departed souls to speak, they practice the Ojai board, they do table tipping and other means of communicating with the dead. Now they believe, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, in spiritual resurrection not bodily resurrection. Jehovah’s Witnesses have no connection with any spiritualistic practice such as you mention here.
        Yet Christians believe both in bodily resurrection and spiritual resurrection. Upon death, everyone’s soul or spirit departs from their body – Christians believe this too. But Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead not just in spirit or soul, but also in body as well. If Jesus rose from the dead only in spirit, like the JWs claim, then that’s nothing special, because that’s how all people will rise from the grave – the righteous to eternal life, the unrighteous to everlasting punishment. Again, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are belittling the Lord Jesus further by making his resurrection only of a common variety, instead of a unique kind. Jehovah’s Witnesses both in the highest esteem the resurrection of Jesus Christ as can be witness to yearly observance of the Memorial of his death and resurrection this year be held on March 26 at your local kingdom Hall. This observance like all of their meetings is open to the public.
        They did this before with Christ’s deity and eternality. They deny that the Lord Jesus is eternal, they deny that he is God, and now they deny that he rose bodily from the grave. When they claim to believe in the resurrection of Christ, they mean only spiritually – but there is nothing unique or supernatural about a soul surviving death, because that’s how all people will rise. Furthermore, if that’s all the disciples meant to say when they proclaimed the resurrection of Christ, that his soul still lives, then where’s the power in that? The Jews, as well as most pagan religions, believed that everyone’s soul will survive death. So how does that make Jesus’ resurrection so special, so different? It doesn’t. Again, the JWs rob Christ of his glory and honor by belittling him and his accomplishments. That’s why they are correctly labeled a cult. As you can see, the JWs are a cult because they believe these and other shocking departures from real Christianity. We need to pray for the people who are caught in this dangerous cult, as well as pray that others are protected from ever entering into this false religion. We need to pray that the truth of real Christianity would spread near and far, and that the influence of the cults, like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses would diminish. Let’s pray. I thought you would like to modify or correct your statements so that your statements could more accurately represent what Jehovah’s Witnesses do believe rather than what others claim they believe. It seems it would also be to the benefit of your readers if you would quote from or site their articles so that their comments could not be taken out of context. This was something I found interesting about your discussion on Christian Science and the Mormons because on these religions you did quote from their own literature.

      • jeffshort Says:

        todd, it’s hard to separate your comments from my original message, do you have any way to do it, like making your comments uppers case, etc. your first point, i read that far, is that you believe Jesus is a creature like JWs. Christianity teaches the eternality of Christ, or in other words, the eternal Word. JWs teach that the Word isn’t eternal, only that God the Father created him at some point in time. that’s wrong. But please do try to use upper case letters, so i can comment further with your reply.

        jeff short

      • Todd White Says:

        If this response goes through, I can copy and paste it or make it an attachment. If this post doesn’t go through, since I don’t know your Email, I will have to figure out some other way. In this response, I’m just posting what I know JW’s believe. Whether right or wrong in anybody’s opinion could be debated by using the Bible, but for this response, I just wanted to correct the statements you made about what they believe. If you’d like to quote where in their literature these doctrines are found, I believe I can figure that out too.

      • Todd White Says:

        It looks like it worked, so here is the same comment sent as an attachment. Looking forward to your continued discussion.

        On Sat, Mar 9, 2013 at 5:11 PM, Jeff Short’s Weblog wrote:

        > ** > Todd White commented: “If this response goes through, I can copy and > paste it or make it an attachment. If this post doesn’t go through, since I > don’t know your Email, I will have to figure out some other way. In this > response, I’m just posting what I know JW’s believe. Whether” >

      • Todd Says:

        By the way, this is where I get my information of Jehovah’s Witnesses. http://www.jw.org/en/ I don’t trust other sites, because other sites seem to be filtered with disgruntled people with an axe to grind. For the purposes of my investigation, I only like to blog the truth about a religion. On other Email chats, I then like to debate doctrines and issues.

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