Was Jonah a false prophet?

What’s one of the first things a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness says when you point out the plethora of false prophecies uttered by their leaders?

Well, Jonah was a false prophet!”

As if Jonah being a false prophet would somehow  give their leaders license to make as many false prophecies as they desire.

But did Jonah prophesy falsely? Or is this just one more example of an attack on God’s word by those lacking even the basic understanding of proper biblical hermeneutics in an effort to drive your attention away from their respective men behind the curtains?

The following piece by Hank Hanegraaf (regardless how you feel about him) quickly, succinctly, and conclusively destroys the shallow argument that Jonah was a false prophet, and it sends those wishing to trample on Scripture (in their pursuit to justify their false leaders) back to the drawing board to search for better proof texts.

From CRI:

THE PROPHET JONAH- Introduction
You wouldn’t normally expect Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and skeptics to agree on much of anything. Yet all three share a similar opinion regarding, of all things, the Book of Jonah. Can you guess what it is? The CRI Perspective in a moment.

THE PROPHET JONAH- False Prophet?
Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and skeptics all agree that Jonah uttered a false prophecy when he proclaimed, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4). But, of course, Nineveh repented and was therefore not overthrown. Skeptics often refer to this as a clear example of false prophecy in the Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons claim this unfulfilled prophecy provides biblical precedent for the unfulfilled predictions of their own religious leaders. These arguments, however, are seriously flawed. Let me tell you why.

THE PROPHET JONAH- First…
First of all, Jonah did not make a mistake; he said exactly what God told him to say (Jonah 3:1). The Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, on the other hand, do not claim that their predictions were exactly what God wanted said. Even they agree that any error is the fault of men, and not God. Therefore, Jonah is irrelevant to their case. Yet they want their teachings to be regarded with the same authority as that of biblical prophets!

THE PROPHET JONAH- Second…
Second, Jonah’s prophecy was not in error, because implied in the prophecy was a condition under which the predicted judgment would not take place. The Ninevites clearly understood what Jonah meant — namely, that their city would be overthrown unless they repented (Jonah 3:5-9). Since God spared Nineveh, obviously He meant the prophecy to be understood that way (Jonah 3:10). Even Jonah understood it that way, since he admitted in prayer that he knew God wanted to show mercy to the Ninevites (Jonah 4:1-2). So all of the parties involved — God, Jonah, and the Ninevites — understood that the prophecy was conditional.

THE PROPHET JONAH- Finally…
The same cannot be said for the erroneous predictions made by the Jehovah’s Witnesses or by the Mormon prophets. Their predictions were never understood to be conditional at all. Thus, Jonah’s prophecy gives no comfort to the false prophets of today. Nor was it a false prediction, as the skeptics wrongly claim. In fact, I like what the Bible says: “No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21 NIV).

On Jonah’s prophecy, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.

Does the Book of Mormon really contain the “fullness of the gospel?”

The following is from Rocky of Mormon Outreach as found on Facebook:

If the Book of Mormon contains the “Fulness [sic] of the Gospel” why aren’t these Mormon Doctrine essentials listed in the Book of Mormon?

1. Church organization
2. Plurality of Gods
3. Plurality of wives doctrine
4. Word of Wisdom
5. God is an exalted man
6. Celestial marriage
7. Men may become Gods
8. Three degrees of glory
9. Baptism for the dead
10. Eternal progression
11. The Aaronic Priesthood
12. Temple works of washings, anointing, endowments, sealing.

If I took these 12 Mormon doctrinal points away, would I have Mormonism? Answer: No!

So, answer the question: “If the Book of Mormon contains the ‘Fulness [sic] of the Gospel’ where are these Mormon Doctrine Essentials?”

Are we really “Pharisees”?

We here at DefCon (as well as our brothers and sisters at other sites, such as Ken Silva and Ingrid Schlueter) use the written Word of God as the rule and basis for everything we believe about God and how one is to worship Him. For that, we are constantly accused of being “Pharisees” by those who would lead the Body of Christ away from the clear teachings of Scripture, and into areas which are questionable (at best) and/or heretical (at worst).

Well, here’s my question–what exactly does it mean to be a “Pharisee”? Are we justly accused as Pharisees by the Seeker-Driven™/Purpose-Driven™, “Let’s all just get along in unity” church-goer who does not dare speak for fear that it may offend someone? Or is there a more accurate description of a Pharisee? Let us examine the issue.

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Objection #1:
The Pharisees were outraged at being called sinners.

Evidence:
Luke 18:9-12Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.'”

Implication:
If you deny that you are a sinner, and you think that your “good works” are enough to make you righteous in God’s eyes–YOU ARE A PHARISEE!

Romans 5:12Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

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Which “Jesus” do you worship?

False idols of who Jesus is come in all shades and styles, but there’s nothing that’s created more false idols of who Jesus is than man’s own heart.

Unfortunately, most people have created a “Jesus” of their own liking, fashioned in the recesses of their carnal minds (or created by some religious leader that they’ve submitted their lives and entrusted their souls to) and that’s the “Jesus” they serve and worship. Ironically, these false idols of “Jesus” bear a striking resemblance to those who created them (and their desires), but very little–if any–resemblance to the Jesus of the Bible.

Since there are so many versions of “Jesus” circulating out there I’ve decided to create this easy to use (but non-exhaustive) resource as a way to help you know which “Jesus” you worship based solely upon what you believe about Him.


If your Jesus . . .

. . . is the sibling of Satan; born from a sexual encounter between God the Father who was once a man (Adam to be exact) and God’s own daughter Mary; who was crucified because he practiced polygamy; who did not pay for the sins of the world on the cross but in the Garden of Gethsemane, whose sacrifice was insufficient since you still have to work your way to heaven and in some cases your own blood must be spilled to redeem yourself; and who could not maintain his church but had to commission a lying, swindling, occult-dabbling, womanizing, pedophiliac, adulterer, Freemason, con-artist who was known for telling tall tales (whose own account of the first vision changed several times), to “translate” an ancient and “inspired” book that needed almost 4,000 corrections, changes, and alterations since it’s first publication, and to “restore” the church that your Jesus couldn’t keep together  . . .

. . . then you worship the Mormon Jesus.

Momron Jesus

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If your Jesus . . .

. . . is a created being (Michael the Archangel to be exact); who is not God but a god (thus making you a polytheist); who will condemn you for celebrating your birthday or giving your child a life saving blood transfusion; who did not die on a cross but on an upright stake; whose body is unaccounted for and still missing today because he did not physically rise from the dead but only raised “spiritually;” whose sacrifice was insufficient because you still have to earn your own salvation; and who–in spite of accepting worship from those around him–does not want you to worship him . . .

. . . then you worship give obeisance to the Jehovah’s Witness Jesus

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If your Jesus . . .

. . . is most commonly depicted as a helpless infant or dead upon a cross; who is bound to take orders from his mortal mom who he created (the Creator subjecting himself to the creation); who has to share his glory with the mortal human Mary; who is our mediator between his earthly, kindhearted, and loving mother and his angry, vindictive father; who is sacrificed again and again every week (in spite of the Bible saying He was sacrificed once and for all, never to be sacrificed again) because mortal human priests have incredible power to call him down from heaven and magically turn him into a cracker and wine (again being subject to his creation instead of the other way around); and whose sacrifice was insufficient because you still have to merit your own salvation . . .

. . . then you worship the Roman Catholic Jesus

Roman Catholic Jesus

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If your Jesus . . .

. . . is a hippie-like figure who no longer considers the Bible as a final authority but questions the very Scriptures and their perspicuity, even going as far as to justify such sins as homosexuality; who no longer differentiates between sheep and goats, wheat and tares, truth and error, light and darkness, the broad road and the narrow path, but now warmly accepts Roman Catholicism, Lecto Divina, and other false religious traditions and mystical practices  (it would be judgmental not to); and whose motto is “come as you are and you can stay that way too because only Pharisees would tell you otherwise,” . . .

. . . then you worship the Emergent Jesus.

Emergent Jesus

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If your Jesus . . .

. . . wears an Armani suit while driving a Lexus; whose sole purpose for existence is to show you by example how to line your pockets with greenbacks if you simply sow a financial seed of faith; who confirms your salvation by such outward expressions as being slain in the spirit and speaking in tongues; and who says that if you don’t accept these strange doctrines then you’re just not anointed enough . . .

. . . then you worship the Charismatic Word of Faith Jesus.


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If your Jesus . . .

. . . is a registered Republican; wrapped in the American flag; whose purpose for coming to earth was to show us that the gospel is salvation through legislation; who wants us to set up God’s kingdom on earth by our efforts and political action; who exists to help your son win the football game and your daughter win the dance recital; and who doesn’t mind sitting on the shelf till you’re ready to pull him out at Christmas, Easter, weddings, funerals, national tragedies, or whenever you want to feel good about yourself . . .

. . . then you worship American Jesus.

American Jesus

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If your Jesus . . .

. . . never mentions your sinfulness or his holiness, but instead emphasizes having a good time in church with a rockin’ praise band; boasts of a fun atmosphere for kids; has a relevant message from the latest Hollywood movie; and offers free coffee and donuts in the lounge . . .

. . . then you worship the Laodicean Jesus (see also Mega-Church Jesus below).

Laodicean Jesus

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If your Jesus . . .

. . . is a Hawaiian shirt-wearing, big-teeth smiling, latte-drinking-while-preaching, motivational speaker peddling the message that God’s greatest hope for mankind is that they reach their full potential by finding their purpose in this life and living that best life now . . .

 

. . . then you worship Mega-Church Jesus

Graven Image Jesus


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If your Jesus . . .

. . . considers praise music and CCM to be the two sacraments of the church; considers a membership in a Christian CD music club to be evidence of sanctification; emphasizes the church praise band’s practice sessions over that of church Bible study, prayer, evangelism, and holiness; suggests that the church is a place to showcase one’s talent for rockin’ a guitar for God; and who believes that music “reaches people” in a way that the gospel can’t . . .

. . . then you worship Musician Jesus (aka Golden Calf Jesus).

Musician Jesus

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If your Jesus . . .

. . . believes public school teachers, Christian psychologists, the church, the lead pastor, and especially the “youth pastor” are all responsible for your child’s biblical and spiritual upbringing, development, nourishment, and maturity (everyone but their own parents); who teaches that peers of the same age group (and often the opposite sex) are the best mentors and role models for your children; whose “youth ministries” are most commonly identified by lock-ins, pizza parties, bowling nights, and lots of drama (both kinds); and who considers that those best qualified to pressure your child/teen into repeating a “sinner’s prayer” is the twenty-something hip dude who’s never raised any children of his own, has way too much gel in his hair, and knows more about MTV and U2 than theology and his Bible . . .

. . . then you worship Youth Pastor Jesus.

Youth Pastor Jesus

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If your Jesus . . .

. . . is an ascended master (one of many); who does not believe in sin, holiness, or redemption; and is accepting of all religions because he himself is just one of many paths to enlightenment . . .

. . . then you worship New Age Jesus (a.k.a. Oprah Jesus, not to be confused with the Robert Schuller Jesus or The Shack Jesus).

New Age Jesus

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If your Jesus . . .

. . . is ok with the use of profanity, the twisting of parts of the Bible to promote masturbation and other parts of Scripture to create mandates for wives to commit certain sexual acts with their husbands; who winks at the copious amount of vulgarity, sexual innuendos, double entendres, and all things worldly; enjoys being depicted as a disc jokey on t-shirts; and whose premier preacher makes fun of “fundamentalists” (those who take the Bible seriously), mocks those who take responsibility for the education of their own children (because they take the Bible seriously), and considers Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, and Robert Schuller his spiritual brothers . . .

. . . then you worship the Mark Driscoll Jesus


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If your Jesus . . .

. . . is the sovereign, mighty, holy, King of kings, Lord of lords, chief cornerstone; the Alpha and Omega; the First and Last; the Son of God; God in the flesh; a completely sufficient Savior; eternally existent; Creator of all things; who is, who was, who is to come; who became flesh; subject to no human; reigns over all; was born of a virgin; who shed His priceless Blood for His elect; who laid His life down upon a rugged cross, took that life up again–body and all–on the third day, snatched the keys of Hades, and removed the sting from death; who is the Prince of Peace, the Great Physician, Immanuel, God with us; whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light; who is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, who is the faultless, sinless, unblemished, Lamb of God; the only mediator between God and man; the narrow gate; the way, the truth, the life; the only way to the Father; and who is worthy to receive glory, and honor, and power forever and ever, Amen!. . .

. . . then you worship the Jesus of the Bible.



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See also:

How Do You Read Romans 1:16?

Woe Unto You

What exactly DOES John 1:1 say, anyway?

Disclaimer 1: I do not claim to be a Greek scholar. But I do know how to pay attention to men who are. For this post, I have been very careful to only speak on matters that I have properly researched, investigated, and which I properly understand. Any technical aspects of biblical Greek included in this post are taken from reputable, (small ‘o’) orthodox  sources who have spent years studying biblical Greek.

Disclaimer 2: Any comments not limited to discussion of this particular passage of Scripture will be deleted. If you want to compare the Greek of John 1:1 to another passage, you may do so. But any and all rabbit trails that have nothing to do with the text in question will be swiftly done away with.

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Of all the biblical passages that get debated by orthodox and heretic, John 1:1 ranks within the top 3–if not holding the #1 spot. It is one of the clearest declarations of the Deity of Christ, written by one who received revelations from God concerning the end of all things–many of which could not be expressed in the vocabulary of the day. He was the apostle that Jesus loved (John 13:23, John 19:26, John 20:2, John 21:7, John 21:20). He wrote more about the heart of Jesus than any of the other gospel writers.

And to begin his reckoning of the person of Christ, he begins in, of all places, the beginning. He shows us that not only was Jesus there; he shows us that Jesus was with God–and he shows us that Jesus was, indeed, God. However, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (hereafter referred to as ‘WTBTS’) decided some time back to mistranslate this verse in accordance with their theology, and render it quite wrongly. And so, whenever you get a knock on the door, and the person tells you they are with the Jehovah’s Witnesses (hereafter referred to as JW or JW’s), they will very confidently whip out their little pamphlet entitled “Should You Believe in the Trinity?” and they will tell you why they think that you believe in a pagan God. Therefore, the aim of this post is to give you a biblical basis, founded upon the Greek, for believing in the deity of Christ.

So, what exactly does this verse say? How should it read? Let’s find out. Following is the Greek of this verse:

εν αρχη ην ό λóγος και ό λóγος ην πρoς τoν θεoν και θεος ην ό λóγος
en archē ēn o logos kai o logos ēn pros ton theon kai theos ēn o logos

Let’s take this one phrase at a time and understand what the Holy Spirit is saying to us through the apostle. And before we begin, I would like to make this statement: do not try to take the rules of English grammar and apply them to biblical Greek (hereafter referred to simply as “Greek”). It won’t work. There are some rules that the two have in common, but there were many rules, grammatical structures, verb tenses, noun cases, and other technical aspects of Greek that do not translate exactly into modern (or any other type of) English. We will see this shortly. Continue reading

“JEHOVAH”–God’s “personal name?”

DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this post is NOT to discourage the use of the name “Jehovah.” The purpose is to dispel the notion put forth by the Watchtower Society that it is the ONLY name we are to use when referring to God. There is nothing wrong with using “Jehovah,” nor is it the only name we can use. That said…

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The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WTBTS, OR WT for short) has spent years trumpeting that they alone use, quote, “The personal name of God.” But do they really?

Question–How many Jews, speaking Hebrew, about 4000 years ago, in the Middle East, used the sound we associate with the letter “J”?

Answer–“Yeah, I’d like to answer that. Uh, what?”

Now, I don’t claim to be a Hebrew scholar, but I have studied what many have had to say on this subject. That said, let’s take a look at the evolution of the name “JEHOVAH.”

For the sake of those of you who may be new to the Bible, whenever you see the word “LORD” in all capital letters in the Old Testament, that is how the translators render the Hebrew word יהוה (Reading right-to-left, the Hebrew characters Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh. Transliterated into our alphabet, literally, “YHVH”).

Now, keep in mind that the Hebrew alphabet has no vowels to speak of (any Hebrew scholars, feel free to correct me here). So the writer would insert dots (called “vowel points”) above, under, and/or inside the characters to indicate the proper pronunciation. And according to most Bible scholars who have studied biblical Hebrew, the correct pronunciation would be “YAW-vey.”

Next, we bring in the Hebrew word “Adonai,” which translates into “Lord.” Eventually, because of the dispersions the Jews suffered, the Hebrew language began to fade. Legend has it that about 200 years before christ, Hebrew scribes began adding the vowel points for “Adonai” to the Tetragrammaton, (Either out of reverence for God’s name, or out of superstition they would mispronounce it, depending on who you read), thus making it to read “YaHoVaH” when transliterated into English. English changes over the years, the “Y” becomes a “J”, the first “a” becomes an “e” and we now have “Jehovah.”

This is where things get tricky for the JW. According to OFFICIAL WTBTS MATERIAL [Emphasis mine],

“The first recorded use of this form dates from the thirteenth century C.E. Raymundus Martini, a Spanish monk of the Dominican Order, used it in his book “Pugeo Fidei” of the year 1270.” (from Jehovah’s Witnesses own bookAid to Bible Understanding” p.884)

In other words, the WTBTS considers the “personal name of God” to be a name erroneously invented by a 13th Century Catholic Monk. Their excuse? [Emphasis mine]

Today many Hebrew scholars prefer Yahweh as the true pronunciation.

However, consistency favors Jehovah. In what way? The pronunciation Jehovah has been accepted in English for centuries.

Those who object to using this pronunciation should also object to the use of the accepted pronunciation Jeremiah and even Jesus. Jeremiah would need to be changed to Yir·meyah’ or Yir·meya’hu, the original Hebrew pronunciations, and Jesus would become Ye·shu’a` (Hebrew) or I·e·sous’ (Greek). Hence, many Bible students, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, feel that consistency favors the use of the already well-known English-language “Jehovah” and its equivalent in other languages.

Stop! Ummmm, wait a sec. We have to pronounce it “Jehovah” in English–but it has, quote, “its equivalent in other languages.” So, if you pronounce THE EQUIVALENT in other languages, you don’t have to pronounce it “Jehovah.” But if you speak English, you have to say “Jehovah.” What about Jews? How are they supposed to pronounce it? I’m confused.

OK, so help me out here. The WTBTS is trying to tell us that the proper pronunciation of, quote, “The personal name of God” DEPENDS ON ITS ACCEPTANCE IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (Or its equivalent in other languages)??? So, basically, Moses, David, Solomon, Abraham–these men did not know how to properly pronounce this name because THEY DIDN’T SPEAK ENGLISH!!

Oh, then there’s this one, from the Watchtower magazine itself [Emphasis mine]:

“…down through the centuries, the correct pronunciation of the divine name in Hebrew has been lost. Hence, it is uncertain what vowels should be used to fill in the name.”(Watchtower, Feb.1, 1980).

There is also evidence from other sources that “YAW-vey” is closer to the true pronunciation. From Let Us Reason Ministries [Emphasis mine]:

THE UNIVERSAL JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA says “JEHOVAH is an erroneous pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, a four lettered name of God, made up of the Hebrew letters Yod He Vav He. The word “JEHOVAH” therefore is a misreading for which there is no warrant and which makes no sense in Hebrew. The Hebrew letters point to a Yod Y…the more correct pronunciation is Yahweh or some form deriving from the same consonants. For example Yah is used in its shorter form in Ex.15:2 and 17:15, Isa.12:2 and Ps.118:14 .

The WTBTS is not sure what vowels should be used. They believe that the English rendering of YHVH is to be trusted over the rendering given by those who speak the language the Old Testament was written in. They say that we non-JW’s don’t use the real, quote, “personal name of God” when they themselves don’t even know what it is.

Oops.