Tagged: false doctrines

Does God have a body?

GODMormons teach that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones. And Jehovah’s Witnesses say Jehovah has a “spiritual body” that prevents Him from being omnipresent.

While these unbiblical views from our LDS and JW friends are not surprising, it may come as a shock to hear that some leaders of the Christian Word-Faith movement hold a similar view – and quote the Bible to support it

A case in point: Kenneth Copeland and Isaiah 40:12.

Copeland, perhaps more than any other prosperity preacher, has gone into great detail about God’s alleged bodily existence.

In a letter responding to an inquiry on the subject, Copeland lists a number of God’s bodily attributes, including back parts, a heart, hands, a finger, nostrils, a mouth with lips and a tongue, feet, eyes and eyelids, a voice, breath, ears, hair, head, face, arms, and loins.

Further, says Copeland, he wears clothes, eats, sits on His throne, and walks. Copeland has made the outrageous claim that God lives on a planet, of which the earth is an exact copy, only smaller. Says the televangelist: Earth is “a copy of the mother planet.”

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World Religions and Cults: Download Free Study

Click here to download PDF

The link above takes you to a study of world religions and cults, which some people call “alternative” faiths or other paths to God. Our stand will be on the truth of Jesus’ words in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Is this view narrow-minded and outdated, as some suggest? Quite the contrary. The words Christ speaks are “spirit” and “life” (John 6:63). To disregard them is perilous. Yet many do.

There are roughly 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide, 820 million Hindus, 400 million Buddhists, 13 million Mormons, 7 million Jehovah’s Witnesses, and millions more engaged in other false religions, or no religion at all. By all appearances, these people are sincere. They want to know the truth and believe they have found it. How can so many people be wrong? This study answers that question — and many others regarding people’s quest for ultimate truth.

Through this study, we will look at many belief systems, from Islam to Scientology. In each case, we’ll examine the background of the “alternative” faith and compare its beliefs to what the Bible says. We also will discuss effective means of witnessing to people who embrace these false religions.

Our purpose is not to condemn anyone or to assume God’s role as sovereign judge of the universe; rather, it is to compare the teachings of the world’s major religions and cults with biblical, historical Christianity so that we might be more effective in praying for and witnessing to the lost, and wiser in our ability to discern false doctrines. Every person, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, is precious in the eyes of God and is someone for whom Christ died. Our attitude as we study these false religious systems should be one of humility, love, and grace.

The words of the apostle Paul are clear: Those who are not grounded in the Word of God are subject to deceptive teachings about “another Jesus … a different spirit … a different gospel.” Every world religion and every cult that we study professes belief in Jesus and has an exalted place for Him in its theology. But without exception, each of these belief systems fails to correctly answer the key question Jesus asked in Matt. 16:15: “Who do you say that I am?” They also have false views of the Holy Spirit and without exception embrace a works-based doctrine of salvation.

Paul warned Christians in Acts 20:29-31: “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. And men from among yourselves will rise up with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them. Therefore be on the alert …” Our prayer is that this study will help protect you, your family and your church from false teachers who proclaim “another Jesus … a different spirit … and a different gospel.”

Copyright 2008 by Rob Phillips

Why every Christian should reject the Watchtower’s claims: Part 2

The views of Charles Taze Russell and subsequent Jehovah’s Witness leaders regarding the doctrines of Biblical Christianity are not new; for the most part, they are recent spins on the Arian heresy of the early 4th century and other more recent Scripture-twisting views. Specifically, every Christian should reject the Watchtower’s claims to be the only true church because of its numerous unbiblical views. Ten false doctrines of the Watchtower are being highlighted in this three-part series.

Click here to review Part 1 (then scroll down)

Download an audio file of Part 2

Click play to listen to Part 2:

JW False Doctrine 4: Christ’s atonement denied.

What the Watchtower says:

  • Jesus had to “earn” immortality: “Christ Jesus was first to receive immortality as a reward for his faithful course on earth….” (Let God be True, p. 74). “Finishing his earthly course free from flaw in any sense of the word, Jesus was acknowledged by God as justified. He was thus the only man who, through test, stood firmly and positively just, or righteous before God on his own merit…. Jesus Christ, after his faithful course until death was ‘made alive in the spirit,’ given immortality and incorruption” (Aid to Bible Understanding, p. 431).
  • JW’s teach that Jesus, fully human but in no way divine, died on a Roman torture stake to exonerate the name of Jehovah and to give mankind an opportunity to earn a place in Paradise Earth. At death, Jesus the man ceased to exist, and three days later Jehovah recreated Jesus as Michael the archangel.
  • “The atonement is a ransom paid to Jehovah God by Christ Jesus and is applicable to all who accept it in righteousness. In brief, the death of Jesus removed the effects of Adam’s sin on his offspring and laid the foundation of the New World of righteousness including the Millennium of Christ’s reign.” (Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults, p. 52)
  • “Jesus died as a “ransom sacrifice” to buy back what Adam lost: the right to perfect life on earth” (10 Questions & Answers on Jehovah’s Witnesses, p. 7).

What the Bible teaches:

  • Christ’s death at Calvary paid our sin debt and purchased our salvation so that everlasting life is received by grace through faith in the Person and work of Jesus (John 3:16; 5:24; Rom. 4:4-5; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).

JW False Doctrine 5: Christ’s bodily resurrection denied.

What the Watchtower says:

  • “This firstborn from the dead was raised from the grave, not a human creature, but a spirit.”  (Let God Be True, p. 276)
  • JW’s teach that at death, Jesus the man ceased to exist, and three days later Jehovah recreated Jesus as Michael the archangel.
  • JW’s must deny Jesus’ bodily resurrection to justify their belief that He returned invisibly in 1914 and is working behind the scenes to prepare the world for Armageddon and the institution of His millennial reign.
  • JW’s teach that Jesus was created as Michael the archangel, then recreated as Jesus the man, then recreated as Michael the archangel.
  • Russell stated, “The man Jesus is dead, forever dead” (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 5, p. 454). The body of Jesus, whether, as they claim, it was dissolved into gases or preserved as a future memorial, was not what was raised from the dead (The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 264).
  •  “At death, Jesus’ human body was ‘disposed’ of by God’s power, and Michael rose from the dead as the ‘resurrected Jesus Christ.’ Since angels are invisible, Jesus fabricated physical bodies resembling His original body to convince His disciples that He had rise from the dead. Since 1914, when Jesus’ ‘invisible presence’ on earth began, He has been reigning from heaven, awaiting the future battle of Armageddon in which He will rid the earth of human governments and set up ‘Paradise’ under ‘Jehovah’s Kingdom government arrangement'” (10 Questions & Answers on Jehovah’s Witnesses, p. 4).

What the Bible teaches:

  • Jesus rose physically from the dead (Matt. 12:38-40; 28:5-10; Rom. 1:4; 1 Cor. 15:4-8; 1 Peter 1:18-21).

JW False Doctrine 6: Christ’s physical return one day denied.

What the Watchtower says:

  • “Since 1914, when Jesus’ ‘invisible presence’ on earth began, He has been reigning from heaven, awaiting the future battle of Armageddon in which He will rid the earth of human governments dn set up ‘Paradise’ under ‘Jehovah’s Kingdom government arrangement'” (10 Questions & Answers on Jehovah’s Witnesses, p. 4).
  • “Christ Jesus returns, not again as a human, but as a glorious spirit person.”  (Let God Be True, p. 196)
  • “Some wrongfully expect a literal fulfillment of the symbolic statements of the Bible. Such hope to see the glorified Jesus coming seated on a white cloud where every human eye will see him … Since no earthly men have ever seen the Father … neither will they see the glorified Son.” (Let God Be True, p. 186)
  • “Jesus returned to earth in 1914, has expelled Satan from Heaven and is proceeding to overthrow Satan’s organization, establish the Theocratic Millennial Kingdom, and vindicate the name of Jehovah God.  He did not return in a physical form and is invisible as the Logos.”  (Walter Martin, summarizing the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kingdom of the Cults, p. 52)

What the Bible teaches:

  • Jesus is coming back physically and visibly one day (Matt. 24:29-31; John 14:3; Titus 2:13; Rev. 19:11-14).

Next: False doctrines 7-10 of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

More resources:

The Jehovah’s Witnesses: An Overview

Comparing Christianity to the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Key Mistranslations of the New World Translation