Jesus Genealogy – Is It from Joseph’s or Mary’s Line?

Jesus Genealogy – Is It from Joseph or Mary’s Line?

Orthodox Jews (not Messianic Jews) and other skeptics of the Word and Orthodox Christianity attempt to discredit Jesus’ deity and deny that he was man and God without having inherited a sin nature.  The context of this question arose from a friend of mine who used to be a zealot for Christ and has now converted to Judaism.  He is now a zealot for Judaism.  He went from a point of Grace provided by Jesus Christ to now living under the Law (Torah). He contends that Christ could not have come from a seed conceived by the Holy Spirit and that Joseph was physically his father. He denies the deity of Christ. Our tag team (with my friend’s consent) consisted of myself and my pastor who is mature in the Word.

Here’s the “conversation”:

Friend’s original comments:

According to the Jewish Bible, one of the requirements for the messiah is that he must be a descendant of King David from his son Solomon (2 Sam 7:12-13). Both Jews and Christian recognize that the Messiah must be of the tribe of Judah and a descendant of David. Even Matt 1:1 says “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”  All of the major Messianic prophecies indicate this (Gen 49:10; 2 Sam 7:12-13; Ezekiel 34:23, 37:21-28; Isaiah 11:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; and Hosea 3:4-5). In Jeremiah chapter 33, verse 17, G-d says that the royal House of David will never lack a man to sit on the throne of Israel.Throughout the Jewish scriptures we find that tribal and royal lineage must follow the line of the father. (In chapters 1 through 4 of the book of Numbers where tribal lineage is described, the phrase “to the house of their fathers” appears over 20 times.)

In the book of Numbers, chapter 1, verse 18, we’re told that the Jewish people declare their pedigrees according to their fathers’ houses. When Queen Athaliah wanted to eliminate the Royal Line of David, she only killed the males knowing full well that a female descendant of David couldn’t pass on the right to the throne (II Kings 11; II Chronicles 22).

The claim that the Messiah must be born from a virgin – a central tenet of Christian dogma – is not consistent with the Bible’s description of the Messiah. The New Testament, recognizing this vital requirement of the patrilineal line, spends almost two chapters to establish the genealogical record of Jesus patrilineal line as going back to King David. However, they (the Church) maintain that he was born of a virgin and that Joseph was not him natural father!!  If the Church’s claim of the virgin birth is correct, then Jesus has no established genealogical record going back to King David. I submit the Church’s claim of the “proof text” from Is 7:14 is no proof at all.  Strong’s number 1330 or 1331 is not the word in Is 7:14 (See attached)  WHO IS MESSING WITH MY BIBLE??!!

Either He was born of a virgin, or he was the son of His Father David, it cannot be both!!  What is your answer to this dilemma?

My Comments:

Sidenote:  “Although my “Jewish” friend quotes from the New Testament, he doesn’t believe the New Testament is the Word of God, but concocted by Jewish Christians to back up a fictional story about Jesus’ deity, his Messiah status and the virgin birth of Jesus pointing to his lack of an inherited sin nature through a man’s seed. 

What do you mean “according to the Jewish Bible”?  If you’re referring to just the Torah (most Christians and myself refer to it as the Pentateuch), then we really can’t carry this discussion too much further since I hold the Bible in its entirety (2 Timothy 3:16-17) to be the Word of God.   Since you’ve allowed me to refer to the Christian Bible in its entirety, I assume then you are allowing me this liberty to state my defense using the whole Bible.

Also, where does it say that the Messiah has to come physically through the seed of Man and not through Mary’s seed?  And more specifically, that the Messiah (whom I hold to be Jesus) had to physically come through Joseph’s line (Matthew’s account) and not through Mary’s line, whom I believe is a descendent of David according to Luke’s account. “

Also, Romans 1:3-4 states, “concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

And also, from the Jew’s point of view at that time (based on what scripture tells us), Joseph did come from David’s line and was also known to be Jesus earthly father, hence Jesus would have been seen as coming from the line of King David, particularly through Mary’s line.  Even your Jewish traditions establish that a bloodline is established through the mother (Matrilineality).   Although a true believer knows and holds to Jesus being the Son of God (John 3:16) and not conceived through the sinful seed of man but through a virgin birth conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18).

Also, in our last phone conversation, you stated that King David didn’t sin with Bathsheba and that he didn’t have Uriah the Hittite killed as Nathan the prophet pointed out to David (2 Samuel 12).  Yet even David acknowledged that he had sinned when he wrote a Psalm of repentance in Psalms 51.  You really can’t back your assertion up with scripture, maybe perhaps with your historical understanding, but definitely not through a scriptural basis.

Is there a Jewish rule that states that Joseph’s status as an adoptive or “legal” parent of Jesus negates Jesus genealogy or his lineage as perceived by the Jews and Christians.  The Lord also speaks about a spiritual grafting that takes place (please read Romans 11 and John 15).  Aren’t you now grafted into Judaism (per your stated beliefs) although you have no proof that you have a Jewish genealogy?  They accepted you in, didn’t they, even though you may not have a physical Jewish genealogy?  You did this through your acknowledgement of Judaism beliefs and perhaps some formal acknowledgement or ceremony.

Yes, Joseph is the “adoptive” and “legal” father since his seed did not physically impregnate Mary’s egg which scripture states clearly that conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18), thereby keeping Jesus from receiving an inherited sin nature.  Yet Jesus fully developed as a human embryo through Mary’s egg to become a man (read Philippians 2).   Genesis 3 describes Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God and His command. Because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, sin has been an “inheritance” for all of their descendants. Romans 5:12 tells us that, through Adam, sin entered the world and so death was passed on to all men because all have sinned. This passed-on sin through Adam’s seed is known as inherited sin. Just as we inherit physical characteristics from our parents, we inherited our sinful nature from Adam.  So how can Messiah be born of man’s seed if he must be sinless?  Is He man or God?

My Pastor’s comments since my friend allowed this.

“You friend said “either he was born of a virgin, or he was the son of His Father David…it cannot be both.”  That is, simply, incorrect.  It is correct if both Matthew and Luke are giving Joseph’s lineage back to David (and beyond).  It is incorrect if Matthew is giving Joseph’s lineage (Giving Jesus a legal line to David) and Luke’s gives Mary’s lineage (giving Jesus a physical line to David).

The obvious difference in these two genealogies happens from the sons of David forward.  Matthews trails through David’s son Solomon to Joseph.  Luke’s trails through David’s son Nathan to Heli (Mary’s dad).  That’s why in Matthew, Jacob is Joseph’s father… and in Luke, Heli is Joseph’s father (in-law). “He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph…” (Luke 3:23).

Your friend might be reminded in Numbers 27:1-11 — God allowed Moses the decree of passing inheritance from Father’s to daughters in the case that he had no son.  Historians have regularly agreed on the fact that Heli (Mary’s dad) had no sons…thus Mary’s husband, Joseph, stands in for her while Luke rolls out the genealogy.

So…If we (through careful research and reasoning) regard the two genealogies as unique to Joseph (Matthew) and Mary (Luke), then Jesus was both born of a virgin AND the son of His father David (physically through Mary and legally through Joseph).”

Additional Comments of Mine:

Also, the Old Testament has several references regarding Jesus birth, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:2 and many others concerning his ministry and death, Zechariah 9:9, Psalm 22:16-18 and probably the clearest prophecy about Christ is the entire 53rd chapter of Isaiah, particularly Isaiah 53:3-7.

Concluding Comments:

Although we don’t mind honest discussion and questions about Scripture, the discussion with my friend will not continue at this point since we’re at an impasse regarding Jesus’ as Messiah and His Deity.

My pastor stated this to my friend, “My thought is simply, you and I are both well-versed on the arguments surrounding Jesus as Messiah.  The Orthodox Jewish community denies it and back up their positions with scripture, their scholars and literature.  The Christian community embraces it, and back it up with scripture, their scholars and literature.  So, it’s really not a matter of proving anything.  It’s got to do with making a choice based on the evidence presented.  I believe that Jesus is the Messiah.  You once did and now you do not. Simple as that.  We’re quite obviously not the first two people in history to fall on opposite sides of that coin.”

A stern reminder to my friend is found in Matthew 10:32-33, “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.”  Jesus in John 14:6 states “Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”


Do We Really See Ourselves in God’s Image?

Seeing Ourselves in God’s Image

MAIN PASSAGE: Genesis 1:1 – 31
A. IMAGE – Webster definition: 1: a reproduction or imitation of the form of a person or thing;

(1) What does the Bible mean when it speaks of God’s image?
Key Bible Text: Genesis 1:26 – 28 (NASB), “26Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

(2) Being made in God’s image refers to characteristics that God shares with us. God obviously did not create us exactly like himself, because God has no physical body when He first created man (Adam and Eve). Jesus later on did take on our physical form as the God-man (John 1:1, John 10:30, 2 Corinthians 5:21). I believe the word teaches that it is our entire self that reflects the image of God. (Psalms 139:14, “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.”) We do have the ability to reflect His character in our love, patience, forgiveness, kindness, and faithfulness as evidenced in the fruits of the spirit-filled life. (See Galatians 5:22-23)

(3) God’s image is the basis for human self-worth (also known as self-esteem). Knowing that we are made in God’s image and thus share many of his characteristics provides a solid basis for self-worth. John 3:16-17 is a great illustration of our worth.

(4) God’s image is shared equally by women and men. Remember Genesis 1: 27.

(5) God’s image is an important factor in all human relationships.
Key Bible Text: Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. (Genesis 9:6, niv) Please read Genesis 9:1-7.
Here God explains why murder is so wrong: To kill a person is to kill one made in God’s image. God desires that we interact with others. When believers interact with other believers, this is fellowship. (Hebrews 10:24-25).

(6) God’s image in us means that we belong to him, those of us who are Believers.
Key Bible Text: They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him. (Mark 12:16-17, niv) *Read Mark 12:13-17.
The Pharisees and Herodians thought they had the perfect question to trap Jesus. Jesus said that the coin bearing the emperor’s image should be given to the emperor. But our life, which bears God’s image, belongs to God. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

(7) God’s image is displayed in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is whom we should want to model. “Christian” means Christ Like or little Christ. There are also other meanings and associative terms but you get the drift!
Colossians 2:8-10, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.”

If you don’t have a personal relationship, here is the Gospel presented in the book of Romans (also called the Romans Road).

Also John 3:16-17 are some great verses. Especially pay attention to verse 17 since this shows you God’s love toward you. 

(1) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, Romans 3:23

(2) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”, Romans 6:23

(3) “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”, Romans 5:8

(4) “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

(5) OUR PROMISE:  “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (Eph 2:8-9 are wonderful verses as well)

 (*sidenote:  The whole chapter of Romans 8 is great for all of us to read, study and reflect on, since it covers our new position in Christ and there is no longer any condemnation.)

How Do Counterfeit Gospels Affect the Gospel Story?

Counterfeit Gospels Chart: How 6 Counterfeits Affect the Gospel Story, Announcement, and Community

The best way to spot a counterfeit is to know the real thing.

When it comes to the gospel, the best way to spot a counterfeit gospel is to know the biblical gospel – not only to master it in a cerebral, objective sense, but to be captured by the beauty of what God has done for us in Christ.

Earlier this year, I listed nine “counterfeit gospels” that I considered writing about in Counterfeit Gospels. Then, I asked readers of Kingdom People to participate in a poll, choosing the six most prevalent among evangelicals today.

Later, I described the biblical gospel by using the analogy of a three-legged stool.

  • There’s the Gospel Story – the grand narrative of Scripture (Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration).
  • Within that overarching framework, we make the Gospel Announcement about Jesus Christ (His perfect life, substitutionary death, resurrection, exaltation).
  • The gospel announcement then births the Gospel Community: God’s church – the embodiment of the gospel, the manifestation of God’s kingdom.

In the book, I describe a counterfeit gospel as a colony of termites, eating away at one of the legs of the stool until it topples the whole thing. Below is a handy chart included in the book that lays out the six counterfeits we deal with in the book and how each counterfeit affects the gospel Story, gospel Announcement, and gospel Community.

Take a look at the chart below and let me know what you think.

Does your heart drift toward any of these counterfeits? Why or why not?

Which counterfeits do you see as particularly dangerous in our day and age?

Article is Used in Its Entirety by Permission of Trevin Wax, Nov 2012, copyright 2012 The Gospel Coalition.  You might want to consider purchasing Trevin Wax’s book, Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope, Moody 2011. Here is the link to his blog Kingdom People:  Living on Earth as Citizens of Heaven, where the excerpt from his book is located.  Many thanks to Trevin Wax for his permission.

Can One Be Saved And Not Be Filled With The Holy Spirit?

[Editors Note: The question came up on this blog listed in the title above, “Can One Be Saved And Not Be Filled With The Holy Spirit?” from Alice. While it is true that all Christians at the point of conversion (the new birth) are baptized or indwelt by the Holy Spirit, a Christian must be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit in a moment by moment decision throughout the rest of his (her) life.  In the Book of Acts, it is apparent that the Apostles and disciples were being filled with the Holy Spirit  at various times (see Acts 2:4; 4:8; 4:31 where Peter and others filled more than once).The same can be said for Paul (Acts 9:17, 13:9); and it is Paul who commands us to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18). Dr. John MacArthur wrote an excellent article, “Is It Real?”.  For about $1.50 you can order the pamphlet,  Please read the following longer explanation below and supporting scripture for good balance in answering this delicate and sensitive question from Alice, with an excellent article from one of our Bible researchers, “Fruit of the Spirit“.  After all, aren’t we commanded in Ephesians 5:18,  “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” ? The Greek word in Strong’s, πλήρης (G4134) uses several close definitions which infer “to fill up, to fill to the full.”]

Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22

          The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Conversely the works of the flesh are. Sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. Some of these worldly desires and unsocial activities were part of my life before I came to know the Lord. I acted similar to the world I saw around me. By the worlds standard some forms of behavior were so common I felt out of place, like I was missing out and needed to catch up. From the worlds standpoint it was just expected of you, if you were a “real man”, to think and feel and act toward girls the way they were depicted in this world. And of course I wanted to fit in as most of us do. If truthful with ourselves, we know that all have lived in and of the world. If not physically then in our thought lives. Scripture says it plainly “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Lets face it, satan [editor comment: author doesn’t wish to capitalize the name of satan to elevate his prominence] doesn’t make temptations ugly and undesirable. And sin is fun for a season, but there are consequences that we will dearly pay, sometimes for the rest of our lives. These consequences don’t go away once we are saved by the blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can do nothing to eliminate the guilt of sin in my life, but by the grace of God, the atonement of Jesus death for my sins, and the power of the Holy Spirit to change my life, I can live a joyful life knowing I have been pardoned.

By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving and letting our request be known to God, the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

I need the Holy Spirit in every aspect of my life. Without His power and control of my life the fruit of the Spirit would not be apparent or would be twisted with pride and with selfish motives. Again let me say I am a sinful person and the only goodness that comes out of me is because of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling power.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:12-17


Paul urges us to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:1-3


You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

Leviticus 19:18


You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 6:5


Alice I had to give a little foundation, now in answer to your question from my heart, which I will also find some scripture to back up, let me say that without the Holy Spirit I would still be dead in my past sins. I can do nothing on my own, although we continually want to believe we are in control. If I wasn’t led by the Holy Spirit I would still be that selfish person I was in the past.

Alice the evidence of really being a Christian ( follower of Jesus ) is the fruit that is produced in our lives. Galatians 5:22, We are a stick on the ground, a branch fallen off a tree, a single vine.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:4-5


Alice as we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us our character will be changed, there will be more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc. At the same time we must realize it is not of our doing.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Romans 8:9-11


Alice sorry this is so long but but God’s word is so very important.

In conclusion:  A person is baptized with the Holy Spirit one time when they truly become a Christian. As disciples of Jesus Christ we must continually be open to the authority and direction of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will guide us in the proper use of the armor of God, transform us so there is boldness in our witness, and influence us in all areas of our spiritual life.

Peter and John were told not to preach the gospel after being released from custody. They reported what had happened to their fellow Christians and they all went to prayer, asking for power and boldness to witness.

When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

There are many other scriptures about being filled with the Holy Spirit. Read about Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, in Acts 5, 6, 7

We read about being filled with the Holy Spirit in scripture. Bear in mind now that the Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity, He comes into our innermost being and indwells us 100%. I don’t believe He comes and goes as in the old testament. We are completely filled with the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t evaporate or dissipate nor is He consumed or depleted. But because of our free will we can chose to ignore Him or listen to Him as the authoritative God that He is. The Holy Spirit loves us and wants to help us grow into the person we should be and prepare us for eternity. The definition of influence–the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone. With this understanding I am now aware that most of the time I am ignoring Him. I really need to pray that my fallen, corrupt, sinful self will get out of the way and allow the Holy Spirit to influence my thoughts and actions. I need to be obedient to that influence. The way that will happen is through prayer and staying in “The Word of God”.

by Anonymous Author, personally tailoring the answer to our friend Alice.




Jehovah’s Witnesses – Understanding World Religions

Jehovah’s Witnesses – Understanding World Religions

History and back ground:


  • Charles Russell 1872 -1916. Charles founded the JW in 1884 (known then as the Zion’s Watch Tower and Tract Society. He wrote 6 volumes of Studies in the Scriptures which laid the basic theology for his movement. He stated people would go into darkness without the aid of his studies.
  • Joseph F.  Rutherford 1917-42. As the new leader he replaced some of Russell’s interpretations of theology. He increased the power and control over the group. In July of 1931 he changed the name to Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was a prolific writer.
  • Nathan H. Knorr 1942-77. He refined the organization. It grew from 115,000 to 2,000,000. He founded the “Watchtower Bible School” and “The Theocratic Ministry School”. Introduced “The New World Translation” the JW Bible. They changed verses to match their beliefs. They will add words to the Bible that are not in the Greek or Hebrew manuscripts.
  • Frederick W Franz (1977-92 dismissed). He continued to work on their theology.  However, he wanted to change some of the prophesies because they were not going to come true. Eventually he wanted to change too much the official doctrines and was dismissed and ‘defellowshipped.’
  • Milton G Herschel 1992-2003. During his leadership JW cracked down on dissenters.
  • Don Adams 2003 to present. He is the only president that has not been part of “The Governing Body”. His role is largely administrative.

Authority is a huge issue in the church.

  • “Avoid independent thinking… questioning the counsel that is provided by God’s visible organization.” The Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1983, 22.
  • Structure: Jehovah, The President and The Governing Body. The President and the Governing Body are “spokesman” for God and are not to be questioned.
  • This is a very top down organization.

7 Step Indoctrination Program

  1. Placement of books and magazines into homes.
  2. Return visit to talk about the information they left and encourage them to go to Home Bible study.
  3. Home Bible study – They give you more of the Watchtower literature.
  4. Area Bible Study -These take place at Kingdom Halls (JW place of worship). They use 6.5% of the Bible and 93.5% of Watchtower theology.
  5. Watch Tower Study – Meet at Kingdom Halls. This is a chain reference study of the Bible, isolating proof text to prove the Watchtower point.
  6. Field Training -joins together an experienced Witness with a trainee.
  7. Baptism -makes the candidate a full-fledged ]W, now earning the title of kingdom publisher or minister.


  • Heaven and Hell – Heaven is only for 144,000 “anointed class”, Paradise on earth is for “other sheep” – those who have faithfully passed all the tests. They do not believe in hell. If you don’t go to Heaven or Paradise then you just cease to exist when you die.
  • They believe that Christ death may atone for Adam’s sin but the individual is stuck with his own sin.
  • You have to work for your salvation. They keep record of how often you are sharing your faith. You need to average at least two door to door conversations a week.
  • They believe they are the only true Christian church.
  • They claim new divine inspiration including messages from angels.
  • They do not believe in the Trinity. They claim that the Father Jehovah is the only God. Yet they say Jesus was a god. The Holy Spirit is an impersonal active force of Jehovah.
  • They believe Jesus existed in three stages: 1) Archangel Michael (the Word); 2) the man Jesus of Nazareth – he became the Messiah when he was baptized; 3) a new superior, recreated Michael when in the bodily resurrection of Jesus. He (the man) ceased to exist in the new recreated Michael who has no marks of Jesus’ crucifixion. (Here are some verses that talk about His bodily resurrection: John 20:19-29 Luke 24:36-49)
  • They believe Jesus died on a stake not a cross. (The Greek word can mean stake or cross. It is more commonly used as stake. They believe the cross is a pagan symbol. They will say this concept was introduced 4th Century. However, we need to look at Roman history of crucifixion at the time. They did crucify people on a cross. Early church fathers wrote about the cross in the second & third centuries. There were other archeological discoveries from the 15t century depicting a cross.) see note 1
  • They have a very restrictive lifestyle. They ban birthdays, holidays, serving in the armed forces, saluting the flag and voting. (They consider these activities as being part of a pagan society. They take passages out of context to make their point -Jer. 10:3, 4 -Christmas trees, Gal. 4:8-11 about holidays)
  • They don’t believe in blood transfusions or organ transplants. (They use passages like Acts 15:20, 29 that deals with eating the blood of animals. The focus of this law deals with taking a life. Transfusions deal with giving life.)

Talking with Jehovah’s Witnesses

When talking with a JW we must remember the principles found in 2 Tim2:24-26 – Don’t be quarrelsome, be kind and gentle as you present the truth of the scriptures. God is the one who changes the heart. Our job is to graciously present the truth.

They will want to jump from verse to verse using their bible, NWT, and try to control the discussion. Make sure the sharing is mutual and make sure you have a real translation: NIV, ESV, KJV, NASB, and Holman.

There will be three areas that you can focus on when talking with a JW: the deity of Christ, false prophecies and changing of scripture.

You might want to start off with: “I have been reading about Jehovah’s Witnesses and their beliefs. It has left me with a few questions:”

1. Who does the Bible say Jesus is?

JW -Recreated Michael the Arch angel, a god, not God himself.

Bible: Teaches He is God

John 20:28 Thomas calls Jesus “My Lord and My God”

John 10:30 “I and the father are one.” One means same essence in Greek. Read the response of the Jews vs. 31-33.

Col. 2:9 All the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.

Heb. 1:6 Angels worship Christ. Only God is supposed to be worshipped.

John 1:1-14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning …The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

In the NWT they falsely translate the verses. They translate the word “a” before the word God. They violate Greek grammar rules.

They will point out that Theos, the Greek word for God, doesn’t have a definite article “the”. They are right, but it doesn’t mean that it should be translated with an “a” or a little g.

In Greek you can tell a noun, verb, and predicate by the ending of the word.  Usually the predicate follows the verb (like English). However, in Greek it is possible to have a predicate before the verb. Greek writers did this for emphasis… it is like when we BOLD letters.

Grammar rules: 1) When a definite predicate nominative is in front of a verb there is no definite article. 2) Theos is a definite noun since it can’t have an indefinite article like “a”.

Col. 1:15-18 Jesus is called the first born. What does that mean?

JW – Believe it means the 1st created.

Bible – You need to read the context to understand the meaning. Some questions to ask: Can Jesus be the first created if all things are created through Him and for Him? How could He be the first created if He is before all things?

Note: The NWT inserts the word “other”four times in this passage. Example: “he is before all (other) things”. The problem is the word “other” is not in the Greek. They add it to make it fit their theology.

What does “first born” mean? It was a term that meant preeminence. It was a statement of position in that culture. In verse 18 it says Jesus was the first born from the dead. We know Jesus wasn’t the first to be raised. After all, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead before He was crucified. Again, it is a statement position and preeminence.

2. I have some questions about the prophecies made by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Read Deut. 18:20-22. It states that if a prophecy doesn’t come true or can’t come true, then that prophet is not from God.

The leadership has made false prophecies and even admitted they were wrong.

-In 1914 they predicted that World War I would end in a glorious outcome – the Messiah setting up His Kingdom (Watchtower reprints 9/1/16 pp. 5951) Admission: Watchtower publication Light page 194 “When that time came and passed there was much disappointment, chagrin and mourning, and the Lord’s people were greatly reproached.”

-In 1920 they predicted that Abraham Isaac, and Jacob ‘will be resurrected and living on the earth fry 1925 (”Millions Now Living Will Never Die” pp. 89) Admission: 1975 Yearbook, pp. 145-146 … “1925 was a sad year for many brothers. Some of them were stumbled; their hopes were dashed. They had hoped to see some of the “ancient worthies” [men of old like Abraham] resurrected.”

In Man’s Salvation 1975 p. 287 the WS admits that Russell was wrong in his 1874 prediction of Christ second coming. According to “Studies in the Scriptures Vol. 4 p.621” Russell claimed, “Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874, A.D.”

In light of Deut. 18 how do you deal with these admitted false prophecies?

3. I have some questions about the New World Translation.
There are a number of mistranslations and words added to the text that aren’t there. (We have already gave examples in John 1:1-14, Col 1:15-18 here are a few more)

-Matt. 25:46

NWT -”And these will depart into everlasting cutting off but the righteous ones into everlasting life. “

Bible -”And these will go away into eternal punishment, but in the righteous into eternal life.”

[The word in the 1st century always meant punishment. Punishment does not fit the theology of the JW so they changed it to cutting off.]

John 8:58

NWT – “Jesus said to them:”Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been.

Bible -‘Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.'”
[I AM is an Old Testament name for God. They changed it in order to circumvent Christ’s claim to deity.]

The word Jehovah does not appear in the Greek New Testament. Yet the NWT translates it 237 times. The NWT sometimes translates the Greek word “kurios” as Jehovah or sometimes as Lord. The word means Lord. Based on their theology they change the translation. Example: Romans 10: 11, 13. In verse 11 they translate it Lord, in verse 13 Jehovah. In both places the term “Lord” refers to Jesus and connotes His deity, but the NWT hides this by the translation of “Lord” in verse 11 and “Jehovah” in verse 13.

Other important verses:

Salvation by faith alone: Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8,9; Rom 2:28

Who sheds light in the new Jerusalem: Rev. 22:5 and 21:23. (NWT says Jehovah in 22:5 and Jesus in 21:3.  This is an example of Christ’s deity in their own Bible.)

The deity of the Holy Spirit. Acts 5:3, 4; Hebrews 10:15; Isa.6:8, 9 with Acts 28:25-26


• Evangelizing the Cults by Ronald Enroth
• Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions by John Ankerberg and John Weldon
• (Stand to Reason)

1. Archeological evidence from the 1st century. (Ancient Times, Vol. 3, No.1, July 1958, p. 35. See also Vol. 5, No.3, March 1961, p. 13.) Early Church Fathers that talked about the cross, Irenaeus, Clemente of Alexandria, Tertullian. Anti-Christian from the 1st Century: Octavius of Minucius Felix, chapters IX and XXIX.

Compiled by Dave Friese

Hinduism – Understanding World Religions

Hinduism – Understanding World Religions

History and Background

·Hinduism is among the oldest religions in the world The Rig Veda was compiled around 1500 B.C.

·Modern Hinduism is different from early Hinduism.  Early Hinduism was very polytheistic (believed in many gods).  Modern Hinduism takes on many different expressions but tends to be more pantheistic (all things make up god). This shift to pantheism happened in 800 to 500 B.C. However there is said to be over 30 million gods that are in various degrees of being one with the universe. They dwell in a cosmic hierarchy.

·Hinduism is the source of most Asian religions. Buddhism broke off in 500 BC; India’s Jainism and Chinese Taoism grew out of Hinduism.

·90% of Hindus are in India. However there have been many expressions of Hinduism taking root in USA and Europe

·In 1920 Paramahansa Yogananda came to the US and established the Self Realization Fellowship. There are 500 meditation centers in 54 countries. (There are 90+ additional sister centers in India). He was very good at disarming Christians. He taught that Jesus was a Jewish Guru. He attempted to blend the religions together and it helped to give rise to the New Age Movement. (He writes about these ideas in his book – Autobiography of a Yogi)

·This opened the door for more Gurus to come to the US -both Hindu and Buddhist. In the 1960’s we saw a shift in our culture to be open to these beliefs.

·Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Transcendental Meditation (TM) became popular. Maharishi attained celebrity status because he was the guru of the Beatles.

·The Hare Krishnas/ international Society of Krishna Consciousness was founded in 1965 by Prabupada. They worship the Hindu deity Krishna a forum of Vishna by chanting name over 1000 times a day. Their numbers have dwindled since the death of Prabupads.

·In the 70’s and 80’s we saw a shift to complete devotion to Gurus and Swamis.

·The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Organization) acts as a loose confederation of Hindu groups and lobbyist that promotes Hinduism in India and around the world.

Common Beliefs and practices

As stated earlier Hinduism takes on many expressions. However they do share a few similarities.

·The entire universe is undergirded by an impersonal absolute, universal spirit usually called Brahman. All matter is a temporary illusion of the universal spirit. Essentially we are all part of “God”.

. They believe in Reincarnation sometimes called the transmigration of the souls. “Reincarnation teaches that all forms of life are somehow reborn after death. In the case of humans, this means that individuals are reborn into an improved situation if they have behaved correctly in their previous life. Conversely, if one has lived a bad life, he or she is reborn as a person who is worse off, experiencing much suffering, affliction, or poverty.” Mark Albrecht

(These two ideas are absent from the early Hinduism. These beliefs came into being in 800 B.C.)

·Humans are therefore transient shells with fleeting personalities that
serve to house the immortal soul that moves from one body to the next
in hopes to eventually become one with the universe.

·The soul must save itself by working through the bonds of Karma both good and bad accumulated in thousands of incarnations.

. Remember there are over 30 million gods in various stages to becoming one with the universe. The two most power are Shiva (the destroyer) and Vishnu (the preserver). They are said to balance out each other in an eternal dance of creation, destruction and re-creation. These deities impact the soul as they try to move through the universe to be one with Brahman.

·Their religious practices include: Puja an act of worship in which they offer up flowers, food and animals to specific deities; Meditation on a Mantra -a sacred word or saying which is repeated over and over; Yoga which include a combination of mediation, postures and other spiritual practices .

. A key development in modern Hinduism is advent of the Guru or sometimes called Swami, He is an enlightened master who supposedly is in his last of many thousands of reincarnations.  He is believed to have accumulated an enormous amount of spiritual knowledge and power.

. As stated before Pramahansa Yogananda played a key role in blending of religions. He was very bright and articulate and sought to combine all religions into one. This has become a major tenet in Modern Hinduism thus launching the New Age Movement. He taught that Jesus went to India and Tibet during his “lost years” (12 -30). During these years he gained enlightenment. His teaching has lead to Hinduizing Christianity.

Discussion Points
Listed below are six ways Hindus try to blend their beliefs with Christianity. I will give you the statement of belief and the truth you need to share.

As you go through these points you might want to ask -what do you mean by that? How did you come to that conclusion? Have you considered…? We want to engage these people with truth and grace.

. Jesus was a Jewish guru. Jesus clearly taught from a monotheistic perspective and that salvation was through repentance and the forgiveness of sin that comes through his death and resurrection not by enlightenment. Nowhere do we find Jesus talking about “consciousness”. (Romans 10:9, 10)

. Jesus spent his lost years being enlightened in the Orient. What historical evidence is there of Jesus traveling outside of Palestine? There is none. Even if he did, none of his teachings resembled Hinduism or Buddhism.

·The apostles perverted Jesus’ teachings. In Gal. 2:2 Paul discusses how he went to the disciples to make sure he was teaching the true gospel. The early church leaders were very careful to speak the teachings of Jesus.

·The New Testament was edited after the fourth century. On the contrary, the New Testament was written in the 1st century and assumed its current form by 197 A.D. From the beginning these documents were viewed as scripture. The early church fathers carefully copied each manuscript. Textual scholars have shown these have not been tampered with. The New Testament was written based on eye witness and non-eye witness accounts. The early church leaders wanted to preserve the truth of scripture.

.Special councils were convened to condemn pantheistic teachings. The counsels focused on who Christ is (Christology) and theological interpretations. They did not talk about pantheism and reincarnation. Some of the earlier church fathers in their personal writings made passing mentions of these issues (Justin Martyr, Jerome, and Origen).

·True Christianity is based on the pantheistic notion of a “Divine Within”. Some Hindus quote Luke 17:21 “The Kingdom of God is within you” as an example of God is within all of us. However if you read the verse in context and understand its Greek meaning it would be better translated -The Kingdom of God is in our midst or among us. Jesus was saying the Kingdom of God is here not the God dwells in everyone and everything.

SPECIAL NOTE: Much of the information for this booklet was adapted from Mark Albrecht’s chapter on Hinduism in Evangelizing the Cults.

Compiled by Dave Friese




Scientology – Understanding World Religions

Scientology – Understanding World Religions

History and background

L.Ron Hubbard was a very successful science fiction writer in the 1930’s and 40’s. In 1949 while speaking to a group he reportedly stated, “Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous.  If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.” Time April 5, 1976, pp. 57.  The next year he released his book Dianetics which was the foundation to the new religion he was starting.

-In his book he announced that his new therapy was a “science of the mind” and it promised to “clear” a person of painful experiences and mental illnesses. These painful experiences are called “engrams”. Engrams are like photo images that are stuck in the brain that need to be cleared so one can reach his full potential. He claimed that the “clear” person “can be tested for all psychoses, neuroses, compulsions, and repressions (all aberrations and can be examined for any autogenetic (self generated) diseases referred to as psychosomatic ills. These tests confIrm the clear to be entirely without such ills or aberrations. Additional test of his intelligence indicate it to be high about the current norm.” Dianetics pp. 14

-John Campbell, Jr., the editor ofA stounding Science Fiction and publisher of many of Hubbard’s science fiction stories was an early supporter. He introduced Dr. Joseph Winter to Hubbard. Both men were fascinated by Hubbard’s work. Dr. Winter even wrote the introduction in the fIrst addition of Dianetics. (These two men worked hard to get Dianetics approved by the medical community.)

-In 1950 after the release of his book, Hubbard introduced the world to the fIrst “clear” person. Sonia Bianca. In front of a large crowd at the Shriner’s auditorium in Los Angeles Sonia was put to a test. “Clears” were supposed to have total recall. Unfortunately, Sonia, a physics student from Boston could not recall any basic physics formula or even the color of Hubbard’s tie, which she saw moments before. Both the media and medical community criticized the movement.

-In 1951 some of the clients started sharing what they thought were negative experiences from past lives. Hubbard took these ideas seriously. He then introduced the concept of a Thetan. A Thetan is like a soul. The Thetan has been around for millions of years moving from body to body. In each reincarnate state (called assumption) they would accumulate negative experiences called engrams. Through counseling (called auditing) the person could be freed of all these negative images in the mind. (Campbell and Winter left the organization at this point. They began to have further questions on if this really worked.)

-During these early years an “E-meter” was developed. Hubbard uses this machine in the “auditing” process to read engrams. This machine helps the auditor to go to earlier chains of engrams. The goal of the session is to erase engrams. (The medical conununity rejected this device. Hubbard was unwilling to allow blind studies to check out its reliability.)

-In 1953 this movement became known as the Church of Scientology. In 1957 they received their tax-exempt status as a religious organization. However, through the years they have fought many legal battles world-wide regarding being a church. In 1963 the FDA raided the church head quarters and took the E-meters. They called it an illegal medical device. There tax status we stripped in 1967. In 1969 they regained their tax exemptions.

-These legal battles have continued worldwide through the years. The most recent case was in France. In October of 2009 Scientology was convicted of fraud. Many countries do not recognize Scientology as a religion. (Wikipedia has a very detailed time line of the history.)

-Hubbard developed different levels of OT (Operating Thetans). This is an advanced spiritual state above clear. At OT III the story of Xenu is shared. According to the founder of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard, the dictator of the “Galactic Confederacy” who, 75 million years ago, brought billions (4)(5) of his people to Earth in a DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology scriptures hold that the essences of these many people remained, and that they form around people in modern times, causing them spiritual harm. This story is only told to those who get to this OT III level.

-David Miscavige became the head of Scientology in 1986 after Hubbard’s death.

-They are involved in a lot of social awareness and service projects. They desire to rid the world of social ills using Scientology’s methods and techniques.

Basic beliefs and practices

-The essential tenets of Scientology are these:

-You are an immortal spiritual being.

-Your experience extends well beyond a single lifetime. And your capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.

-Furthermore, man is basically good. He is seeking to survive. And his survival depends upon himself and his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.

-The purpose of Scientology: to enable Man to improve his lot through understanding.

-In the primordial past, Thetans brought the material universe into being largely for their own pleasure. The universe has no independent reality, but derives its apparent reality from the fact that most Thetans agree it exists.! Thetans fell from grace when they began to identify with their creation, rather than their original state of spiritual purity. Eventually they lost their memory of their true nature, along with the associated spiritual and creative powers. As a result, Thetans came to think of themselves as nothing but embodied beings.

Thetans are reborn time and time again in new bodies through a process called “assumption” which is analogous to reincarnation. The effects on participating in MEST (matter, energy, space) after each rebirth becomes stronger thus moving them away from the pure spiritual state.

-Clearing the mind and becoming an Operating Thetan is the goal.

Understanding the mind. There are two major divisions of the mind.

-The reactive mind is thought to absorb all pain and emotional trauma in mental images called engrams. These sometimes sub conscious memories are painful and debilitating.

-The analytical mind is a rational mechanism which is responsible for consciousness.

The goal is to rid one’s mind of engrams. This is done through counseling (auditing).

-One pays to be audited. During this time they will use the E-meter and tone scale to assess where the person is at and help them to remove the engrams. The goal is to be “clear” of all engrams. Once you are “clear” you continue with the process to be a fully functional Thetan. There are many levels of Operating Thetans.

-Scientology embraces all aspects of life. Thus survival is a key concept.
Survival is broken up into 8 Dynamics.
The First Dynamic is SELF.
This is the effort to survive as an individual, to be an individual. It includes one’s own body and one’s own mind. It is the effort to attain the highest level of survival for the longest possible time for self. This dynamic includes the individual plus his immediate possessions. It does not include other people. It is the urge to survive as one’s self. Here we have individuality expressed fully.

The Second Dynamic is CREATIVITY.
Creativity is making things for the future and the Second Dynamic includes any creativity. The Second Dynamic contains the family unit and raising children as well as anything that can be categorized as a family activity. It also, incidentally, includes sex as a mechanism to compel future survival.

The Third Dynamic is GROUP SURVIVAL.
This is the urge to survive through a group of individuals or as a group. It is group survival with the group tending to take on a life and existence of its own. A group can be a community, friends, a company, a social lodge, a state, a nation, a race or any group. It doesn’t matter what size this group is, it is seeking to survive as a group.

The Fourth Dynamic is SPECIES.
Man’s Fourth Dynamic is the species of Mankind. This is the urge toward survival through all Mankind and as all Mankind. Whereas the American nationality would be considered a Third Dynamic for Americans, all the nationalities of the world together would be considered the Fourth Dynamic. All men and women, because they are men and women, seek to survive as men and women and for men and women.

The Fifth Dynamic is LIFE FORMS.
This is the urge to survive as life forms and with the help of life forms such as animals, birds, insects, fish and vegetation. This includes all living things whether animal or vegetable, anything directly and intimately motivated by life. It is the effort to survive for any and every form of life. It is the interest in life as such.

The Sixth Dynamic is the PHYSICAL UNIVERSE.
The physical universe has four components. These are matter, energy, space and time. The Sixth Dynamic is the urge of the physical universe to survive, by the physical universe itself and with the help of the physical universe and each one of its component parts.

The Seventh Dynamic is the SPIRITUAL DYNAMIC.
This is the urge to survive as spiritual beings or the urge for life itself to survive. Anything spiritual, with or without identity, would come under the heading of the Seventh Dynamic. It includes one’s beingness, the ability to create, the ability to cause survival or to survive, the ability to destroy or pretend to be destroyed. A subheading of this dynamic is ideas and concepts and the desire to survive through these. The Seventh Dynamic is life source. This is separate from the physical universe and is the source of life itself. Thus, there is an effort for the survival of life source.

The Eighth Dynamic is the urge toward existence as INFINITY.
The Eighth Dynamic also is commonly called God, the Supreme Being or Creator, but it is correctly defined as infinity. It actually embraces the allness of all. That is why, according to L. Ron Hubbard, “when the Seventh Dynamic is reached in its entirety, one will only then discover the true Eighth Dynamic.”

-They have Sunday Services, Ceremonies, and prayer.
-Services consist of a Chaplin leading them in reciting the creed, Sermon (Often using lectures from L. Ron Hubbard with the goal of enlightenment), Group Auditing, Announcements and the Freedom Prayer.

-They provide marriage counseling, instructions on working with children, dealing with life’s difficulties.

-They sponsor a number of drug rehab programs, human rights groups, and service projects.

We of the Church believe
That all men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal
That all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and
their performance.
That all men have inalienable rights to their own lives.
That all men have inalienable rights to their sanity.
That all men have inalienable rights to their own defense.
That all men have inalienable rights to conceive, choose, assist or support their own organizations, churches and governments.
That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.
That all men have inalienable rights to the creation of their own kind.
That the souls of men have the rights of men.
That the study of the Mind and the healing of mentally caused ills should not be alienated from religion or condoned in nonreligious fields.
And that no agency less than God has the power to suspend or set aside these rights, overtly or covertly.

And we of the Church believe
That Man is basically good.
That he is seeking to survive.
That his survival depends upon himself and upon his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the Universe.

And we of the Church believe that the laws of God forbid Man
To destroy his own kind.
To destroy the sanity of another.
To destroy or enslave another’s soul.
To destroy or reduce the survival of one’s companions or one’s group.

And we of the Church believe
That the spirit can be saved.
And that the spirit alone may save or heal the body

Talking with a Scientologist:
Remember our role is to be an ambassador for Christ. Even though you may look at the theology of Scientology as unusual, remember these people are sincere in their beliefs. Our hope is to dialogue with them and share the claims of Christ.

Build a bridge:
Christianity and Scientology both desire to serve & help others and to help others become whole. I have a few questions about Scientology?

Where did L. Ron Hubbard get his information?

How long have you been involved in Scientology?
-Usually if they have been involved for 6 months or more they have had several E-meter readings and may have been talking about their past lives.

-Ask, have you ever wondered if what they were telling you was true? (They may be reluctant to admit this. However, some may have doubts and may open up some questions.)

Describe a Thetan. How did you come to the conclusion that these souls existed as spirits for millions of years? What evidence do you have?

There seems to be a big contrast between Scientology and Christianity.

Scientology                                                   Christianity

Reincarnation                                                 Born once (Hebrews 9:27,28)

Many gods                                                      One God (Duet. 6:4, Eph. 4 :6)

Mankind is good                                              Mankind is sinful and in a need of a Savior

(Romans 3:23, 6:23)

Christ didn’t die on Cross                               Christ died on the Cross and rose again

(1 Cor. 15:20, John 20:19-29)

Salvation comes through auditing                   Salvation comes through faith in Christ’s

death & resurrection (Romans 5:8; 10:9, 10,

Eph. 4 :8,9)
How did you choose Scientology over Christianity?

Other concerns:

-E-meters have never been allowed to be tested in a blind study. Does that concern you?

-In Scientology once you become clear you continue the auditing process. As you do, you can move up to different levels of Operating Thetans. At these levels you receive “secret knowledge” . You can’t move up unless you pay for these teachings. Does it concern you that you have to pay a lot of money to move up through these levels? Why secret information?

-Where did L. Ron Hubbard discover the story of Xenu? What evidence do we have that it is true?

It is important throughout the discussion to ask -what do you mean by that? How did you come to that conclusion? Have you considered …

Compiled by Dave Friese

Islam – Understanding World Religions

Islam – Understanding World Religions

History and background

• Five eras

-Muhammad 610 -632

-Caliphate & Civil war 632 -750 (The Division between the Shiites and Sunnis. Today Sunnis make us 85+%, Shiites 13%, handful of other small denominations)

-Abbasid ear 750-1258

-Fall of Abbasids to the end of the caliphate (Ottoman Empire is during this time) 1258 -1924 … Great expansion during this era.

-Modem Era 1924 -present

Muslims believe there is only one God and we exist to love and serve God.

They believe that God has communicated through a variety of prophets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Muhammad was the last messenger of God.

They believe that the angel Gabriel spoke to Muhammad. The Qur’an is result of these conversations. They believe it to be the uncorrupted word of God. (They believe that the Old and New Testaments are the word of God but have been corrupted by man.)

After Muhammad died there was a split on who should be in charge also known as caliph. Sunnis believed it should be voted on who succeeded Muhammad. Shiites believe that Ali was appointed. Ali was Muhammad’s right hand man and blood relative.

Laws and Jurisprudence:

Sharia law and Figh/ Jurisprudence (knowledge & practice of religion)
govern how people should live life. This encompasses all aspects of living
from governing to foreigners to daily living.

It is important to note when speaking Sharia depending on which group you are associated with the laws will differ.

These laws are based on four fundamental roots:

-Qur’an (God’s Word) – The Qur’an has 114 chapters (suras) and 6,236 verses.  (Roughly the size of the New Testament.)

-Sunnah & Hadith (Sunnah -The recorded practices of Muhammad. Hadith a collection of sayings that have been attributed to Muhammad -Sunni and Shiites have different sets)

-Consensus of Muslims (Written interpretations from Jurist/legal schools/ mullahs, imams, maulvis)

-Quiys/analogical reasoning (They compare the Qur’an and Hadith to make current day applications and rules.)

Beliefs and practices

Six basic doctrines:

1. God -Muslims believe there is only one God and we exist to love and serve God.

2. Prophets -They believe that God has communicated through a variety of prophets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses,]esus and Muhammad. Muhammad was the last messenger of God.

3. Revelation -They believe that the angel Gabriel spoke to Muhammad. The Qur’an is result of these conversations. They believe it to be the uncorrupted word of God. (They believe that the Old and New Testaments are the word of God but have been corrupted by man. However, the Qur’an holds the Old and New Testament with high regard.)

4. Angels -God Created angels Ginn), some of which are good and others evil.

5. A final day of judgment is coming, followed by heaven “seven levels” for the faithful and hell for the lost.

6. Predestination or divine preordainment (al-qada wa’l-qadar), God has full knowledge and control over all that occurs.

5 Pillars of Islamic practice:

1. All that is necessary to become a Muslim is to confess the shahadah: “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is his messenger.”

2. One must pray the salat, usually five times a day.

3. One keeps an annual fast (sawn) through the ninth lunar month of Ramadan.

4. One gives alms (sakat) to the needy, one fortieth of one’s income.

5. Every able Muslim must make one pilgrimage during life to Mecca.

Other important information.

-Some add one more pillar -Jihad.

Muslims also believe in jihad or holy war. Some Muslims believe this involves killing infidels, while others believe (I might add the majority) this is a personal inner struggle. (Sma 2:216)

Passages about Jihad:

-Rid the world of polytheists, disbelievers -Sura 4:80 … if they tum back from Islam, take them and kill them where you find them.

-Spread Islam … Muhammad -“I am commanded to fight with men till they testify that there is no God but Allah.”

-Test for true followers of Allah -Sura 9:16

-Obtain booty -Sura 8:41

-Assure place in paradise -Sura 3:195

-Usher in the hour of judgment

(You can see depending if you interpret things allegorically or literally your application will be different.)

-They deny the deity of Christ.

-Some Muslims believe that the Qur’an is only perfect in Arabic. Translations into other languages are an interpretation of the Qur’an.

How to speak to a Muslim

As an ambassador of Christ we need to speak with grace and respect. Muslims are often passionate about their faith. We need to reason with them as we seek to share the truth of the gospel. However, it is estimated that 70% of Muslims are nominal believers. That means they may not be well versed in the Qur’an, the Hadith, or Sunnah. Their leaders have told them how the Bible has been corrupted.

So, when speaking to a Muslim about Jesus, Muhammad, the Bible, etc. you won’t get very far if you start off quoting the Bible. Muslims are taught that the Bible has been corrupted by men and the Qur’an is the true word of God. Their defenses will be raised and you will be at an impasse.

You might be surprised to note that the Qur’an actually takes a high view of Scripture. Thus you start with establishing the Qur’an view of scripture. Once that is established then you can talk about the claims of Christ in scripture. Listed below are key verses that will help you establish the scriptures reliability in the Qur’an.

The Qur’an teaches that God’s words are unchangeable.

-Surah 6:115 “None can change His Words.” Surah 10:64 “No change can there be in the words of Allah.”

The Qur’an teaches that the Bible is an example of God’s word.

-It calls it “the Book of God” and “guidance and light”. (Surah 5: 43, 5:68,6:91,6:154-157, 28:48-49 and 32:23)

-Surah 2: 136 “We believe in Allah, and the revela tion given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that give to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them.”

-Surah 4:136 “0 ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Messenger and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denieth Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, and Day of Judgment, hath gone far, far astray.”

Muslims are instructed in Surah 29:46 to not argue with Jews and Christians. In fact they are instructed to consult Jews and Christians if they doubt what the Qur’an teaches.

-Surah 10:49 “If thou wert in doubt as to what We have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee: the Truth hath indeed come to thee from thy Lord: so be in no wise of those in doubt.”

Conclusion: The Qur’an clearly teaches that the Bible is the Word of God.

Some will argue that the Bible has been corrupted. It is reasonable to ask when did this happen. Mohammad says that the Bible was reliable in his day. The Bible has not changed in the 13 centuries since Mohammad affirmed its reliability.

-Surah 5:43 implies that the Bible is a reliable source of truth.

-Surah 5:47,48 “Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel. To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come in thee.”

Conclusion: If Mohammad says that the Bible was reliable in His day and it hasn’t changed since then, then it must be reliable today.

Many will argue it was corrupted before the Qur’an was written. If that is true why would Mohammad commands his believers to “believe in the revelation” (Surah 29 46) and “stand upon… the Law, the Gospel” (Surah 5:68)? Why would Allah command his followers to follow a corrupted text?

Some early Islamic commentaries (Ibn Kathir, Ibn Abbas and Wahb in Munabbih) suggest “that they misinterpret the verses of Allah, according to their own desires, and fabricated lies against Him.” “Although none of Allah’s creation can remove the words of Allah from his books, they alter and distort the apparent meanings. Wahb bin Munabbi said, ‘The Tawrah and Injil remain as Allah revealed them, and no letter in them was removed.'”

To be fair Kathir backpedalled a little from this quote. He later said he was talking about the Bible in heaven had not been changed.

‘The Qur’an does not claim Jews and Christians corrupted the Bible. What it claims is that certain Jews and Christians distorted the meaning, interpretation, and application of their scriptures.” Alan Shelmon

However, since the 10th century Muslims have been taught that the Bible itself is corrupt -thus contradicting what the Qur’an actually says.

After sharing these verses from the Qur’an and establishing the reliability of scripture you can then move to a discussion about what the Bible says.

Frequently asked questions:

What is the difference between Shia and Sunni?

-After Mohammad died there was a dispute on who should be the new leader known as the caliph. The Shiites believe Mohammad appointed Ali as caliph. Ali was his right hand man and only male blood relative. The Sunnis believe they should vote on the new leader. The Sunnis voted Abu-Bar as the new caliph thus creating the division. After Abu-Bar died Umar and Uthman became the second and third caliphs. Ali eventually became the fourth Caliph. Instead of unifying the Muslims a civil war ensued and Ali and his two sons were killed.

Sunnis believe Muhammad’s successor should be elected. Shiites believe the successor should come through the bloodlines of Mohammad. Shiites believe that there have been 12 divinely appointed imams.  The last one Mahdi was a messianic figure believed to have disappeared in the 9th century and will return with Jesus to establish Islam on earth.

Who is Satan according to the Muslims?

Surah 38:71-77, describes the fall of Satan.

Satan according to the Qur’an failed to worship Adam after he was created; the angels worshipped Adam, but Satan because he was a Jinn (angel), and proud refused to worship. He was kicked out of heaven. His role now is to try to keep mankind from worshipping Allah. Ultimately he will be cast into hell. The issue raised here is why would Allah, have Satan worship something he created, rather than worship Allah?

What does the Qur’an say about women?

-Author Hammaduah Abalalti writes, “Islam has given women rights
and privileges which she has never enjoyed under other religious or
constitutional systems.”

Here are some statements from the Qur’an that seem to paint a different picture.

-Surah 2:282 states that a woman’s witness is equal to half of a man’s. Why? Muhammad states “because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.” (Bukhari 3:48:826) The Bukhari is part of the Hadith.

-Marital punishment: Surah 4:34 “As to those women on who part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly).” Note the words first, next, and last, and lightly do not appear in the original Arabic.

-It is important to note that most Muslims don’t treat women poorly. When a recent Saudi judge rule in favor of a man’s right to slap his wife for lavish spending on the abbaya (the black head to toe garb warn by Saudi women), scores of Muslims around the world condemned the ruling.

-Men are allowed to marry up to four women. Women who are captured in war have their marriage rights are annulled. Thus she can become a wife of the one who captured her. (Surah 4:24 and Abdullah Yusuf Ale, The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation and Commentary, 187.)

-The Qur’an allows men to marry pre-pubescent girls. Surah 65:4 tells a man he must wait 3 months before he can divorce a pre-pubescent girl. Abul A’la Mawdudi makes it clear in his commentary, Towards Understanding the Qur’an, volume 5, p. 620, note 13.  Mohammad married Aisha when she was 6 and consummated their marriage when she was nine. (Bukari 7:62-64, 7:62-65, 5:58:236. Sahih Muslim” 8:3310, 11)

How does the violence in the Old Testament compare to the violence of Jihad?

It is true there are acts of murder, aggression and war in the Old Testament. There were even times when God commanded Israel to punish evil nations. He also did it against Israel for their rebellion. However, those were specific situations when God brought judgment upon people and no longer apply today.

Those who interpret the Qur’an literally take Muhammad’s word in Bukari 4:52: 196 as a call to war. “I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.”

Jesus on the other hand never calls us to war or violence to advance the cause of Christ.

Glossary of Islamic Terms

Aisha -The third and youngest wife of Mohammed. Aisha was six when
Mohammed married her. He was in his 50s.

Ali -The fourth caliph. He was the cousin and son-in-law of Mohammed.
Ali is also the most revered Muslim among Shias (except for Mohammed).

Allah -The Arabic word for God. When spoken in English, it refers specifically
to the Islamic notion of God.

Allahu Akbar -Literally means, “God is great.” It is a praise to God.

Ayah -A verse of the Qur’an.

Caliph -A successor to Mohammed.

Fatwa -A religious decree concerning Islamic law.

Gabriel – Islamic tradition teaches that Gabriel is the angel who revealed the surahs of the Qur’an to Mohammed.

Hadith -Narrations of what Mohammed said, did, or approved of. They are the second most authoritative source in Islam (after the Qur’an).

Hajj -The pilgrimage every capable Muslim must make at least once in his lifetime.

Hijra -The migration of Mohammed and the first Muslims from Mecca to Medina. It occurred in 622 A.D. and marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.

Iblis -Islamic name for Satan.

Imam -A Muslim religious leader, comparable to a pastor. For Shia Muslims, the term has the additional reference to the 12 divinely appointed successors to Mohammed.

Injil -The Gospel revelation that was given to Jesus by Allah. Muslims believe that the four Gospels in the New Testament are not the revelation given to Jesus, but rather corrupted versions of it.

Isa -The Qur’anic word for Jesus.

Islam -The name of the religion. It comes from two words that mean “peace” and “submission.”

Jihad -Jihad literally means “struggle.” It most often refers to fighting for the sake of Allah.

Jizya -A tax levied on non-Muslims who live under Islamic jurisdiction.

Kaaba -The most sacred site in Islam. It is the masonry cube structure in Mecca that God allegedly told Abraham to worship towards. All Muslims, no matter where they are in the world, are to pray in the direction of the kaaba.

Khadija -Mohammed’s first wife.

Madrassah -An Islamic school.

Mahdi -The coming world leader in Islamic eschatology. He is a central religious figure in Shia doctrine, but among Sunnis there is disagreement about his existence and role.

Mecca -The holiest city in Islam. It is the birthplace of Mohammed and the location of the kaaba. It is in Saudi Arabia.

Medina -The second holiest city in Islam. It is where Mohammed became a spiritual, political, and military leader. He is also buried in a mosque in Medina. The city is just north of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed -Mohammed is the central figure in Islam. He is the final prophet.

Mosque -The center for religious activity for a local Muslim community.

Muslim -An adherent of Islam. It literally means “One who submits to Allah.”

Pbuh -An acronym for “Peace be upon him,” a phrase of blessing used by Muslims whenever they refer to a prophet in Islam.

Qibla -The direction of prayer. The qibla is always in the direction of the kaaba, though it originally may have been in the direction of Jerusalem.

Qur’an -The Islamic scriptures and the most sacred book in Islam. Muslims believe the Qur’an to be God’s very words, without error, and perfect in every way. Islamic tradition says the Qur’an is an eternal book found on tablets in heaven. It was revealed by the angel Gabriel to Mohammed. It is approximately the length of the New Testament. The word Qur’an literally means “recitation.”

Ramadan -The fourth pillar in Islam. It is an annual month-long fast that commemorates Mohammed receiving the Qur’an. During daylight hours, Muslims are to fast from food, drink, smoking, and sexual intercourse. It occurs in the 9th month of the lunar calendar.

Salat -This is prayer. It is the second pillar of Islam. Muslims are required
to pray five times a day: at sunrise, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and just before
going to bed.

Sawm -This is fasting. It is the fourth pillar in Islam required during Ramadan. Muslims are to fast during the daylight hours from food, drink, smoking, and sexual intercourse.

Shahada -The declaration of Islamic faith and the fust of the five pillars of Islam. A Muslim must declare, “There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet.” Shia Muslims sometimes add the following: “And Ali is a friend of Allah.” A sincere recitation of the shahada is all that is required for a person to become a Muslim.

Shari’a -Islamic law.

Shia -The minority branch of Islam. Shias comprise approximately 13% of the Muslim population worldwide. Contrary to Sunnis, they believe successors to Mohammed should come through his bloodline. Therefore, they believe Ali was the true successor to Mohammad.

Shirk -The sin of polytheism, but broadly refers to worshiping anything or anyone other than Allah. It is the most grievous sin in Islam and considered unpardonable.

Sira -A biography of Mohammed.

Sufi -A mystical branch of Islam found among both Sunni and Shia.

Sunnah -The life example of Mohammed preserved as a model for others
to follow.

Sunni -Sunni is the largest branch of Muslims. They comprise approximately
87% of the world’s Muslim population. Contrary to Shias, they believe that Mohammed’s successors should be elected. .

Surah -A chapter in the Qur’an. There are 114 surahs in the Qur’an.

Tafsir -Commentary on the Qur’an.

Tawhid -Islamic monotheism.

Tawrat -The Torah, the first five books of the Bible given to Moses as a
revelation from Allah. Muslims believe that the current Torah has been corrupted.

Wahabbi -A radical, Sunni sect located primarily in Saudi Arabia. They are
known for their strict adherence to Islamic rituals and Qur’anic doctrine.

Zabur -The Psalms, believed to be a revelation given to David by Allah.
Muslims believe the current Psalms have been corrupted.

Zakat -Giving alms. Muslims are required to give 2.5% (1/40) of their
wealth to support the needy.

(Glossary provided by The Ambassador’s Guide to Islam by Alan Shlemon) This book is a great resource for further information about Islam. It was used as one of the key sources for this booklet.

Compiled by Dave Friese

Are Present Day Tongues Biblical?



          Genesis 11: At that time the whole earth had one language. Man was building a city and a tower with its top in the heavens as a monument to their pride and reputation. God saw that this was only the beginning of what they would do. So He confused their language and dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth. Therefore its name was called Babel, because that’s where the Lord confused the language of all the earth.


          In Jerusalem there were three feasts held every year that all the males of Israel were to attend. Passover, Tabernacles, and Pentecost.

After Jesus death on the cross and 50 days after His resurrection from the dead on Pentecost  we read in the book of Acts for the first time in scripture about speaking in other tongues. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. At that filling of the Holy Spirit, tongues of fire also appeared and rested on each disciple. These other spoken tongues (languages) were real languages that these visiting foreigners knew and spoke everyday. Acts 2:6 lets us know that the disciples spoke in a language that they themselves didn’t know or understand. Yet those who were in Jerusalem at that time, from other nations, marveled because they could understand these tongues (languages) spoken by the disciples who were clearly of the local dialect. It was because the Holy Spirit spoke to these foreign people through the believers who had been filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus had told the disciples not many days before this time, that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. This was a sign in the early church pointing to the authority of the church. Note: The disciples were already believers who had been baptized. Now they are being filled with the Holy Spirit. (See Filled with the Spirit at the end)  After hearing Peter’s sermon at Pentecost many asked “what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. And about three thousand were added. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. Note: There is no mention of these three thousand speaking in tongues. And at the end of Act 2:47 it says that the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. No mention of speaking in tongues here either. In Acts 4 about five thousand heard Peter and believed, also with no mention of speaking in tongues. Again in 9:42 many believed and there is no mention of speaking in tongues. The Philippian jailer and his household believed but again no mention of tongues. I do not believe that we must speak in tongue as evidence of our salvation. Although if God needs me to speak in tongues (language) to present the gospel to some unsaved soul and the Holy Spirit gives me utterance to do so, I am open to being used for whatever God wants to do. A study of the book of Acts reveals a more common theme than that of speaking in tongues. That theme would be the boldness of the disciples and the followers of Christ to proclaim the truth about Jesus life, death (for our sins), resurrection from the dead, ascension, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That indwelling gave them the power and boldness. It will also give all Christians the power and boldness needed to do God’s work.

          Judgment & Blessing

          Important to understand is that Israel a Jewish nation rejected Jesus and even had Him crucified. These languages (tongues) were a sign of judgment to unbelieving Israel. As Prophesied in Isaiah 28:11 about the Assyrians and then in Jeremiah 5:15 with the Babylonian captivity. On the other hand the tongues (languages) is a blessing to us non-jewish (Gentiles) showing that the new covenant or new dispensation of grace or new church age would be for all nations, Jews and Gentiles (us).

Disciples Scattered

          After Stephen’s death there was great persecution against the church in Jerusalem and those who scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to Samaria where the crowds listened to him and saw the signs that he did. And they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Peter and John joined Philip in Samaria and prayed for the people that were baptized by Philip in the name of Jesus Christ to now receive the Holy Spirit. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. The Samaritans  believed and then were baptized. Here again scripture does’t mention speaking in tongues. Note: You may recall in John 4 the account of Jesus and the woman at the well. The Samaritans were a racially mixed group of Jews and Gentiles. Samaritans were avoided by most Jews.

Gentiles receive the Gospel

          Peter presented the gospel message to Cornelius a centurion of the Italian Cohort, his relatives and close friends in Caesarea (Gentiles). While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the Jewish believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues (language) and extolling God. The Gentiles were speaking a language the disciples understood, not there own, probably, Latin. And Peter commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Note: They 1} received the Holy Spirit, 2} spoke in tongues (language) and 3} then they were baptized.


          Paul passed through Ephesus where he found some disciples who through Apollos had heard the message of John the Baptist. He asked if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed? They had been baptized into John’s baptism of repentance and to believe in Jesus who was to come.They had not heard of Jesus death or about the Holy Spirit. But on hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. Different languages would have been needed for them to spread the gospel message in this part of the world. Note: They 1} baptized in the name of Jesus then 2} spoke in tongues.

{I believe that as in Matthew 10 when Jesus gave the 12 disciples special authority before sending them out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so also in Mark 16 “The Great Commission” Jesus was giving these close followers who witnessed His life, death, resurrection, post resurrection appearances and ascension special powers that would be needed in the early days of the Church. This begins the new covenant age (Church).

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.

In the early days, the Acts of the Apostles were often accompanied by “signs and wonders,” the “wonders” being the miracles worked through the apostles, which served as “signs” pointing to the truth of the gospel.

Christians disagree on many issues that may not be crystal clear in scripture. Whether the gift of tongues ceased after the apostolic age is one of these issues. It appears that the Holy Spirit operated differently in the Old Testament and the New Testament and also at the beginning of the Church Age, (which is the transition period between law and grace). Remember there was no New Testament Scriptures written yet so that may be why the sign gifts were important to give authority to the message. I will not limit the power of the Holy Spirit with my limited knowledge because God can do anything He wants. If the word of God can be spoken through Balaam’s donkey why not through you or me if that will serve His purpose. I do not find in scripture that speaking in tongues is a requirement to being a true disciple of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I do understand that the fruit produced through my life is the evidence needed to know if I really am a Christian.}


          The city of Corinth was corrupt and morally depraved. Paul’s letter to them was of the corrective nature. Not about the use of tongues but the abuse of tongues.

When we become Christians we are to follow the scriptures. Romans 12:1-2 tells us that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

God will use us all in very different ways, but always for building up one another. 1 Corinthians 12 says that the Holy Spirit empowers each individual as He wills. Here are some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Utterance of wisdom, utterance of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, to distinguish between spirits, various kinds of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. We may have one, some or a mixture of these gifts according to how the Spirit will use us. Different circumstances we find ourselves in may require different gifts. Understand it is not something we make happen it is the Holy Spirit. We do have to make ourselves available and then be obedient when we hear that still small voice. The purpose of the gifts is to build one another up and to care for one another, not to flaunt one’s own spirituality.

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? This verse implies that not everyone will have all gifts just what the Holy Spirit wills. Now if they don’t speak in a tongue because the Holy Spirit didn’t give them that gift but instead maybe they preach (prophesy) are they not still filled with the Holy Spirit? Yes they are. If a person is truly saved they are baptized by the Spirit; Therefore, if not everyone receives the gift of tongues then the gift of tongues is not a proof of salvation. The evidence of a Spirit filled person is seen in the fruit that is produced in the life of that person. This is very important to understand and should be taken very seriously. For further understanding start studying in Galatians 5:22-26. It would be another excellent study.

Paul strongly encourages all to show genuine love in 1 Corinthians 13. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

In 1 Corinthians 14 Paul explains that the spiritual gift of speaking (in this case praying) in a tongue speaks to God not to man, because no one can understand him. He builds himself up not the church. If one speaks in tongues and only if someone interprets can the church be built up (edified). Paul goes on in v12 to tell them to excel in building up the church. He explains that praying in a tongue is the individuals spirit praying but the mind is unfruitful. v15 Paul will pray with his spirit and his mind, and sing praise with his spirit and his mind also. In other words he will be silent as for praying or singing out loud in a tongue but speak intelligent words that will benefit the church. In church he would rather speak five words with his mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue. Read v 22-25 Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

Confused?, In the underlined verse above the unbelievers are those who have hardened their heart and totally rejected God’s word. It is judgment to them as touched upon above in (Judgment and Blessing). The outsiders or unbelievers in the hi-lighted verses are those who are looking for the truth and are wiling to be taught.

Now if tongues is a judgment on unbelieving Israel and that judgment has taken place, as it did in 70 AD when the Romans captured Jerusalem and destroyed the temple, do we need tongues in this age or is God’s word enough? Is the Bible sufficient to teach, to rebuke, and to correct us in the way we should live for Christ? For myself I need clear preaching and teaching that expounds upon what is written in the Bible. I don’t need to see and hear dramatic presentations to know if someone is a true believer. There will be fruit produced in their life. See Galatians 5:16-26.

OK, back to Corinthians. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. But all things should be done decently and in order. Paul again is telling the Corinthians not to abuse the gift.

                     Filled with the Holy Spirit

           A person is baptized with the Holy Spirit one time when they truly become a Christian. As disciples of Jesus Christ we must continually be open to the authority and direction of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will guide us in the proper use of the armor of God, transform us so there is boldness in our witness, and influence us in all areas of our spiritual life.

Peter and John were told not to preach the gospel after being released from custody. They reported what had happened to their fellow Christians and they all went to prayer, asking for power and boldness to witness.

When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

There are many other scriptures about being filled with the Holy Spirit. Read about Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, in Acts 5, 6, 7

We read about being filled with the Holy Spirit in scripture. Bear in mind now that the Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity, He comes into our innermost being and indwells us 100%. I don’t believe He comes and goes as in the old testament. We are completely filled with the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t evaporate or dissipate nor is He consumed or depleted. But because of our free will we can chose to ignore Him or listen to Him as the authoritative God that He is. The Holy Spirit loves us and wants to help us grow into the person we should be and prepare us for eternity. The definition of influence–the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone. With this understanding I am now aware that most of the time I am ignoring Him. I really need to pray that my fallen, corrupt, sinful self will get out of the way and allow the Holy Spirit to influence my thoughts and actions. I need to be obedient to that influence. The way that will happen is through prayer and staying in “The Word of God”.

Scripture References

Genesis 11

Acts 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 19

John 4

Matthew 10

Mark 16:

Numbers 22

Romans 12

1 Corinthians 12, 13, 14


Researched and Written by a Friend of Ours Who Wishes to Remain Anonymous and Just Give Credit to the Lord for His Word.


Mormonism – Understanding World Religions


History and Background

-In 1820 Mormons believe that Joseph Smith (who was 14 years old) was visited by the angel Moroni, who revealed that the religions of that time were on the wrong track.  Throughout the next decade he claims to receive several more visions. He claimed to receive gold plates engraved in an ancient Egyptian language. He later translated them and they became the book of Mormon.

-Mormonism was founded by Joseph Smith on April 6, 1830 in Palmyra, New York.

-June 27, 1844, while awaiting trial, a mob stormed the jail holding Joseph Smith and his brother, and brutally murdered them.

-After moving to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, the church followed the second president, Brigham Young, to Utah in 1847.

-While much of the essential doctrines of the church has remained the same since the time of Joseph Smith, there have been numerous changes in its doctrines throughout the years: They were encouraged to practice polygamy – that practice was dropped in 1899; Black people were looked upon as wicked (descendants of Ham), they were not allowed to
be in the priesthood until 1978; the current president (the active leader of the Mormon Church) can change a revelation/ law of past Presidents.

-The average member is family oriented and desires to word for God’s approval. They submit to church authority.

-They are an economic power. The church owns several worldwide businesses. The list is long and changes consistently.


-They believe that the word of God consist of the Bible (King James version), The Book of Mormon, The pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine of the Covenants. The Book of Mormon is said to be the history of the Jews on this continent from 600 B.G to 421 A. D. There is NO historical, archaeological, or literary evidence that this civilization ever existed. This has proved to be a huge problem for the Mormon scholars. The Pearl of Great Price is a collection of Joseph Smith’s writings, including his translation of an Egyptian manuscript which Smith claimed was writing by Abraham. These writings proved to be fraudulent. The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of revelations to Joseph Smith. Including the sanction of polygamy. However, they did change that revelation in 1899.

-They believe in many gods.

-They believe that the Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit are three distinct gods.

-They believe all gods were once men like us. We can learn to become gods ourselves. “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be.” Lorenzo Snow (President/Prophet)

-They believe in the law of eternal progression. We all start as spirit children
and if we are faithful to the Mormon doctrine we can become a god.

-They believe that God the Father has f1esh and bones like us.

-Regarding the virgin birth, they believe that God as a resurrected physical man is literally Jesus’ father. God had sex with Mary.

-They divide Heaven into three kingdoms – Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial. Only those in the Celestial kingdom are in the presence of God. They believe that the earth was created so that we can gain mortal bodies and learn to keep God’s commands.

Terminology Differences

LDS – Teach that everyone pre-existed – we all exist eternally
Bible – One Christ Pre~existed – not man an 8:58, Col. 1:17). We didn’t have a spiritual existence prior to earth (1 Cor. 15:46)

LDS – teach the fall brought mortality and physical death – not fallen nature – they believe Adam was given two conflicting commandments and was supposed to fall.
Bible – God tempts no one (James 1:13, 14) Man is sinful (Romans 8:5-8)

LDS – Specific acts – not man’s basic nature
Bible -we are sinful. (Rom. 3:23, 5:6)

Atonement -salvation by Grace
LDS – Christ’s death brought release from the grave and universal resurrection-salvation by grace is universal resurrection – beyond this man must earn his place in heaven.
Bible – Salvation is not universal. Saved by grace through faith in Christ’s death and resurrection (Eph. 2:8, 9)

LDS – From moral death only – not sinful rebellion or spiritual death.
Bible- Christ redeems from mortal and spiritual death. (Rom 6:23, Eph. 2: 1)

LDS – Mormon church system and doctrine
Bible – Christ death and resurrection as atonement for our sins (1Cor.15:1-4; Gal. 1:8)

Born Again
LDS – Baptism into LOS church
Bible – Spiritually dead until we acknowledge our faith in Christ (1 Pet. 23; 2 Cor. 5: 17)

True Church
LDS – Only the Mormon church
Bible – As born again Christians we are part of God’s church (1 Cor. 12:12-14)

Sons of God
LDS – We are all literal spirit children of God
Bible – We become children of God at conversion (John 1:12)

Eternal life
LDS – Exaltation in Celestial Kingdom – ability to bear children in heaven- must have a temple marriage.
Bible-Given to all Christians and no marriage in heaven (1 John 5:12, 13)

LDS -Universal gift – ability to live forever but not eternal life.
Bible – Makes no distinction between eternal life and immortality.

LDS -Divided into three kingdoms – Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial. A place for almost everyone. (Misuse of 1 Cor. 15:40-41)
Bible-one mentions two conditions – everlasting punishment and eternal life. (Matt. 25:31-46)

Kingdom of God
LDS – Means Celestial Kingdom – only those in Celestial Kingdom are in God’s presence.
Bible – All redeemed will be in God’s presence. (Matt. 13:41-43)

LDS-Hell as an institution is eternal – inmates come and go – they have to pay their debt.
Bible – No mention of people getting out of hell. (Luke 16:26)

LDS – Father God is a resurrected man with physical body, Christ is a separate resurrected man with a physical body, Holy Ghost is a separate man with a spiritual body – three totally separate gods.
Bible – God not a man (Num. 23: 19), Only one God (Is. 43: 10). Father is invisible and spirit (1 Tim. 1: 17).

Holy Ghost
LDS – Is a separate God from Father and Son – different from Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost is a person. The Holy Spirit is influence from Father and not personal.
Bible – No distinction from Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit. It is the same Greek word.

How to talk with my Mormon friends
(you might want to pick and choose from these questions)
(Remember be gracious. Some of the questions that you will ask will be difficult for them to answer. They will not abandon their faith on the spot. But you will give them things to think about. Listen to them. You might follow up some of your questions with clarification questions – what do you mean by that? How did you come to that conclusion? Have you considered … ?)

1. If you are going to use the Bible here are some things to keep in mind and discuss. This might help set the table.

a. Use a King James Version (KJV).

b. How reliable is the Bible? (They might respond that the KJV is reliable insofar as it is correctly translated.) Ask them could you tell me the Bible text that is unreliable, so we can avoid them in our discussions.

c. Another problem that Christians face in using the Bible is the matter of the inner testimony a “burning in the bosom”. Ask – In your search for truth, which is more important, the Bible or your feelings? You might want to point out Proverbs 14:12 “there is a way that seems right to a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.” Jesus reminds us in Mark 13:31 his words would never pass away. In our search for truth we need to focus on what the Bible has to say not our feelings.

d. Keep in mind that the Mormon redefines terms in the Bible. (See the definitions in this article.)

2. Questions for your Mormon friends.

“I have been reading about Mormons and their beliefs. My studies have left me with some questions. Maybe you can answer them.”

a. Is the God of the Bible the same as the Mormon God?

Do you believe God knows everything? Most will agree. Read Isa.44:8 “Is there a God besides me?” then answers … “there is no God. I know not any.” Isaiah continues in chapters 44-46 declaring there is no other God.
The God of the Bible: Unchangeable (Malachi 3:6); Eternal (Psalms 106:48); Only one God (Deut. 4:34-39/ Isaiah 43:8-10); God the Father is not Flesh (John 4:24).

The Mormon God: Flesh and Blood, eternally progressing (Doctrines and Covenants 130:22). Lorenzo Snow, 5th President and Prophet of LDS “As man now is, God once was, as God now is, man may be.”

There seems to be some conflict in the Mormon Bible. On one hand they believe there is more than one God. Yet it also states in Alma 11:22-31 there is only one God. It states it several times.

Mormons believe that men can become Gods. Yet, in Moroni 8:18 it
asserts that God is “unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.” If God was once a man and progressed to be a God he would have to change.

b. False Prophecies
Read Deut. 18:20-22. It states that if a prophecy doesn’t come true or can’t come true, then that prophet is not from God. The next statement may ruffle their feathers. Joseph Smith made at least 52 false prophecies. Here are a few examples:

-Doctrine and Covenants 84:2-5,31 states there was a prophecy of the building of a city called New Jerusalem and a temple. This new city and temple were to be built “in the western boundaries of the state of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith. And the sons of Moses and Aaron were to offer acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation.” It was never built and that generation has died.

-August 2,1833: Doctrine and Covenant 97:19 “Surely Zion is the city of our God, and surely Zion cannot fail, neither be moved out of her place; for God is there and He has sworn by the power of His might to be her salvation and her high tower.”  Zion did fall and the Mormons were driven out of Independence in the winter of 1838-39

-History of the Church Vol. 2 Pg. 182. Jesus is prophesied to return by Feb. 14, 1891. It did not happen.

c. The original copies of the book of Abraham
In the book, By his own hand upon papyrus by Charles Larson, we have copies of the original Book of Abraham papyrus. The Mormon Church allowed them to be copied so that they could be translated. (These are the documents Joseph Smith used to translate the book of Abraham.) This turned out to be embarrassment to the church. The world found
out that Joseph Smith was a fraud. Instead of being a book about Abraham, they turned out to be instructions to embalmers about mummies. They quickly removed the copies and have stored them away so that the public can’t see them anymore.

Here is an example of what Joseph Smith did:

d. Changes from the original documents

-Over 3000 changes from the original…

The Kirtland Revelation Book was the handwritten form of early “revelations” of Joseph Smith while they were in Kirtland, Ohio. The passage at the top is from Doctrine & Covenants section 104. Note the underlined portion that says, “and to prepare my people for the time when I shall dwell with them, which is nigh at hand.” However, the ORIGINAL revelation is a prediction of the soon return of the Lord, “the time of my coming which is nigh at hand.” That is a significant change in the “revelation.” They couldn’t let that stand. Further, the shaded area in the handwritten copy has been completely deleted from the D&C. (See Mormonism Against Itself…actual pictures of the documents to compare.)

-Prophet Brigham Young taught that God was Adam. Prophet Kimball refuted and changed this doctrine. According to scripture God doesn’t change. Yet here are two different leaders changing the “inspiration of God”.

e. Historical evidence
The book of Mormon is said to be the history of the Jews on this continent from 600 B.C. to 421 A.D. There is NO historical, archaeological, or literary evidence that this civilization ever existed. This has proven to be a huge problem for the Mormon scholars,  Archaeologists, and Brigham Young University professors.

IV. Resources:
Evangelizing the Cults by Ronald Enroch
Mormonism Against itself by Maurice Barnett
Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions by John Ankerberg and John Weldon
Mormonism: Shadow or Reality by Sandra Tanner
The Changing World of Mormonism … Moody Press
By his own hand upon Papyrus by Charles M Larson
Are the Mormon Scriptures Reliable? by Harry Ropp
Where does it say that? by Bob Witte, ex Mormon for Jesus (200 pages
of photo reproductions of showing how Mormon doctrine has been modified.)

Compiled by Dave Friese