The Tower Of Babel And The “New World Order” by Allan Turner


The Tower Of Babel
The “New World Order”

(This article was written when George Bush was President and shortly after the Gulf War.)
In Genesis 11:1-9, we learn of a united human race, one in both language and purpose, determined to build a tower in the Plain of Shinar. The construction of the tower was to serve as a monument to human achievement. The attitude of the builders was indicative of those who had rejected God as their Creator. Dr. Merrill F. Unger, in his well-known dictionary of the Bible, identifies the basic motivation underlying the entire project as “God-defying disobedience and pride” (Unger's Bible Dictionary, p. 114). In his book, New Age Globalism, H. Edward Rowe wrote:
We must not miss the central warning that resounds through the corridors of the long centuries to our time. The tower builders structured a mighty global organization, independent of God. They dedicated it to the establishment of a human unity which would secure them against the prospect of being scattered apart throughout the world (p. 6).
The Bible, of course, teaches us that God was very much displeased with such an effort, and , as a result, “confounded their language” and “scattered them abroad,” the very thing they were trying to prevent!

The New Babel
The descendants of the Babel builders are still with us today. Their plan for creating a “global society” is evident in their various writings. In Humanist Manifesto II, under the heading, “World Community,” we read:
We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty as to move toward the building of a world community... We look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.
Elsewhere in the same document, we read:
What more daring a goal for humankind than for each person to become, in ideal as well as practice, a citizen of a world community.
According to this document:
No deity will save us: we must save ourselves.

As a result of the 1944 Dumbarton Oaks Proposal, as well as the 1945 Yalta and San Francisco Conferences, the United Nations Charter came into force on October 24, 1945. On December 14, 1946, the U.N. accepted a gift of $8.6 million from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., to buy the eighteen acres of land on New York's East River upon which the current U.N. building sits. The next year, the U.S. Congress approved a $65 million interest-free loan to finance the construction of the glass, stone, and steel tower dedicated to the enshrinement of “collective security.” Between 1945 and 1987, the United States contributed $17 billion of the estimated $87 billion spent by this organization. The nonaligned nations, which make up the majority of the United Nations delegations, have voted with the communist line fully 85 percent of the time in the General Assembly. Like the Tower of Babel before it, the United Nations, worshipping the false gods of man, all in the name of unity and security, represents a denial of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Creator, Sustainer, and Savior of the world. The builders of this modern-day Tower of Babel place man above God and the Almighty State above man.
The initial optimism with which the world was aglow after World War II has long since faded before the gruesome reality of some three-hundred plus civil and regional wars that have raged since 1945, including Korea and Vietnam (Fred Bruning, “The U.N. At Forty,” The Courier-Journal, September 22, 1985, p. D1). In addition, during these past forty-six years, there have been no shortages of bombings, assassinations, hijackings, and other such demonstrations of man's inhumanity to his fellowman. Although the recent “defeat” of communism and the “one--hundred hour” war to “liberate” Kuwait has bolstered the optimism of some, as we shall see later, these are nothing to get excited about, and have, in fact, caused untold suffering and death for many people.
The Underpinnings Of Both Projects
Obviously, then, both projects—the tower on the Plain of Shinar and the one on New York's East River—convey significant information about the societies they represent. Dr. Rowe, who we mentioned previously, in identifying these indicators as they relate to the Tower of Babel, wrote:
Philosophically, it represents belief in the priority of the materialistic realm over the spiritual.
Theologically, it involves a substitution of a false god for the True and Living God.
Psychologically, it implies confidence in the achievement of security by means of a global man-made unity.
Educationally, it means problem solution based on adequacy of man rather than guidance of God.
Administratively, it exhibits an unfounded assurance of the self-sufficiency of organized man without reliance on God.
Anthropologically, it proclaims the glories of human pride and self-aggrandizement.
Of course, one has little difficulty applying these same indicators to the United Nations.
“Whose Top May Reach Unto Heaven”
The builders of the Tower of Babel were determined to build a tower “whose top may reach unto heaven.” It is interesting, then, that Alvin Toffler, in his popular book, The Third Wave, wrote:
Globalism presents itself as more than an ideology serving the interests of a limited group. Precisely as nationalism claimed to speak for the whole nation, globalism claims to speak for the whole world. And its appearance is seen as an evolutionary necessity—a step closer to a `cosmic consciousness' that would embrace the heavens as well (p. 308).
Quoted in an official brochure of the World Federalists Association, the late Bertrand Russell summed up the case for “One-World-ism” with these words:
Science has made unrestricted national sovereignty incompatible with human survival. The only possibilities are now world government or death”(World Peace Through World Law With Justice...Developing New Avenues To World Order, 1101 Arlington Blvd., Suite S-119, Arlington, Va. 22209).
Lord Beveridge of England put it this way:
World peace requires world order. World order requires world law. World law requires world government (Phillip D. Butler, Parliamentarians for World Order, in The Canadian Intelligence Service, Vol. 33, No. 5, May 1983, p. 41).
Back in June, 1976, Former presidents of the National Education Association (an organization that is a strong supporter of the U.N.) had this to say about educators and their role in developing a new world order or “global community”:
It is with...sobering awareness that we set about to change the course of American education for the twenty-first century by embracing the ideals of global community, the equality and interdependence of all peoples and nations, and education as a tool to bring about world peace” (From the Forward to A Declaration of Interdependence: Education for a Global Community, A summary Report of the NEA Bicentennial Program, an NEA publication dated June 26, 1976).
The title of this document is even more interesting when one considers that on January 30, 1976, the World Affairs Council announced the Declaration of Interdependence, which was signed by 32 U.S. Senators and 92 U.S. Representatives in Washington, D.C., and read in part:
Two centuries ago our forefather brought forth a new nation; now we must join with others to bring forth a new world order.
This document further stated:
To establish a new world order...it is essential that mankind free itself from the limitations on national prejudice....
And again:
We call upon all nations to strengthen the United Nations...and other institutions of world order... (A. Ralph Epperson, The Unseen Hand, p. 371).

Furthermore, we ought not to be surprised that former ambassador to the United Nations, and now president, George Bush, who was between 1977 and 1979, a director of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, a body of so-called “wise men” who have dominated foreign policy making by the United States government since before World War II, and who came up with the idea of the United Nations, would fight the Persian Gulf War under the aegis of a United Nations Security Council mandate. On January 29, 1991, during his State of the Union address, President Bush made it clear that the fate of Kuwait was not the main issue:
What is at stake is more than one small country, it is a big idea—a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law. Such is a world worthy of our struggle, and worthy of our children's future.
In his March 6, 1991 address to Congress commemorating the successful conclusion of the Persian Gulf War, Bush said:
Until now, the world we've known has been a world divided—a world of barbed wire and concrete block, conflict and cold war. Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order.... A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfill the historic vision of its founders.
Then, when the wounded dictator of Iraq, a despot we had helped arm, lashed out against people in his own country, we suddenly refused to intervene. Why? We cannot support the Kurds, we were told, because it is not part of the United Nations mandate.

I am not so naive as to think that President Bush allowed himself and American to be used by the United Nations. In fact, it is the other way around. Bush effectively manipulated the United Nations apparatus to do what he wanted it to do. We, of course, have strategic interests in this very unstable part of the world, and Saddam Hussein needed to be taught that he could not exercise his military muscle without serious consequences. The military might that was exercised in the Persian Gulf War belonged to America, not the United Nations. The United Nations did what our government wanted it to do, and some will argue that this is good because our cause was just. But, suppose it had not been just? This, of course, is one of the problems with world government. A world government apparatus can be, and eventually will be, used by tyrants and imperialists to manipulate the greater masses for even greater evil. Interestingly enough, Isaiah Bowman, at a U.S. Council on Foreign Relations meeting in May 1942, suggested a United Nations body as a way for the United States to exercise its strength to assure “security” in the world, and at the same time “avoid conventional forms of imperialism” (Memorandum T-A25, May 20, 1942, CFR,War-Peace Studies, Hoover Library on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford, CA).
Nevertheless, should we not see the irony in an united mankind (viz., the United Nations) in the name of “collective security” assembling once again in the very place where mankind was originally scattered abroad by God because of their ungodly and ill-conceived unity platform?
Globalism And One-World-Ism Is
A Man-Made Delusion
The apostle Paul taught a “oneness” of mankind that can only be recognized by those who understand that Jehovah is their Creator (Acts 17:22-31). Nationalism, which has been ordained by the Creator-God, cannot be abridged by man's devices without serious consequences. Ultimately, the solution to mankind's problem is of Divine and not man-made origin. All nations are to seek the Lord (Acts 17:26,27). He, and He alone, is the Savior. His house, the church of Christ, has already been established and “all nations [must flow] unto it” in order to be saved (Isaiah 2:2,3). It is only in this everlasting spiritual kingdom that men out of every nation on the face of the earth will “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks,” and “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).



                             Chapter Three


1) To see the proper place of preachers and teachers in relation to
   their work

2) To appreciate God's view of the church as the temple of God


Paul continues to deal with the problem of division in this chapter.
Its seriousness is seen in its carnality, which prevented Paul from
being able to speak as to spiritually mature people (1-4).   To help
them see the folly of exalting preachers over each another, Paul shows
their relation to one other and to their work, which is building the
temple of God (5-17).  To the warning not to defile the temple of God,
Paul adds another not to glory in the wisdom of this world nor in men



      1. Prevented Paul from speaking to them as to spiritual people
      2. Their carnality indicated that they were still babes in 
         Christ, unable to receive solid food (1b-2)

      1. The envy, strife, and divisions among them (3)
      2. As expressed in their calling themselves after men (4)


      1. Ministers given the opportunity to serve God in various ways
      2. But it is God who gives the increase (6b-7)

      1. United in their  work, though their labor and rewards may
         differ (8)
      2. Fellow workers with God, they work on God's building (9)
         a. Laying the foundation (as Paul did) of Jesus Christ (10-11)
         b. Building upon the foundation, using various materials to be
            tested at the Last Day (12-15)
      3. A strong warning, since this building is the temple of God and
         indwelt by the Spirit (16-17)


      1. You will only deceive yourself (18)
      2. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God (19-20)

      1. All things (including men) are yours (21-22)
      2. You are Christ's, and Christ is God's (23)


1) List the main points of this chapter
   - The Carnal Nature Of Division (1-4)
   - Relation Of Preachers To Their Work (5-17)
   - Avoid Glorying In Worldly Wisdom Or Men (18-23)

2) What prevented Paul from speaking to the Corinthians as unto
   spiritual people? (1-3)
   - They were carnal, still babes in Christ

3) What manifested their carnality? (3-4)
   - Their envy, strife, and divisions, as manifested in calling
     themselves after men

4) Who was more important, he that planted, or the one that watered?
   - Neither, it was God who gave the increase

5) Upon what foundation is the church built? (11)
   - Jesus Christ

6) When will the work of ministers be fully made manifest? (13)
   - At the last Day

7) If those converted by preachers are lost, will the preachers be
   lost? (14-15)
   - No, but their reward will not be as great

8) What sort of building is the church? (16)
   - The temple of God, indwelt by His Spirit

9) What is the wisdom of this world to God? (19)
   - Foolishness

10) Why should we not glory in men? (21-22)
   - Because they are but instruments of God used to benefit us

11) And to whom do we belong? (23)
   - Christ

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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                              Chapter Two


1) To appreciate Paul's method of proclaiming the gospel

2) To see the need for inspiration and understand the process by which
   it took place


Continuing to demonstrate the folly of boasting in human wisdom, Paul 
reminds them of how he came to them.  Instead of depending upon 
excellent speech or persuasive words of wisdom, he proclaimed Jesus 
Christ and Him crucified, confirming his testimony with a demonstration 
of the Spirit and power (1-4).  This he did that their faith might rest 
in God's power, not in the wisdom of men (5).

He did proclaim a type of wisdom, however, that wisdom which comes from 
God (6-9).  He describes the process by which God has revealed this 
wisdom through His Spirit (10-13).  Paul then contrasts the difference 
between the "natural man" (one who depends upon his own human wisdom) 
who does not receive the things of the Spirit, and the "spiritual man" 
(one led by the Spirit of God, such as Paul) who has the mind of Christ 



      1. Declaring the testimony of God without excellence of speech or
         wisdom (1)
      2. Determined not to know anything among them but Jesus and Him
         crucified (2)
      3. Done in weakness, fear and much trembling (3)

      1. Not with persuasive words of human wisdom (4)
      2. That their faith would rest in the power of God, not the 
         wisdom of men (5)


      1. The apostles do speak a sort of wisdom (6)
         a. Among those who are mature (6a)
         b. But it is not the wisdom of this age or its rulers, which
            is coming to nothing (6b)
      2. The wisdom  of God they speak has been a "mystery" (7-9)
         a. Ordained before time began, but hidden (7)
         b. Unknown by the rulers of this age, which is why they
            crucified the Lord (8)
         c. Man had not discovered what God has prepared for those who
            love Him (9)

      1. Revealed through His Spirit (10-11)
         a. The Spirit searches for the deep things of God (10)
         b. Only the Spirit of God can know the things of God (11)
      2. Made known to the apostles (12)
         a. Who have received the Spirit from God (12a)
         b. So they might know the things freely given by God (12b)
      3. Spoken now by the apostles (13)
         a. Not in words according to human wisdom (13a)
         b. But in words taught by the Spirit, comparing spiritual
            things with spiritual (13b)

      1. The "natural man" (e.g., a philosopher) does not receive the
         things of the Spirit of God (14a)
         a. They are foolish to him (14b)
         b. Because they are "spiritually" discerned (14c)
      2. But with the "spiritual man" (e.g., an apostle), such is not
         the case (15-16)
         a. He is able to judge all things properly (15a)
         b. No one is able to properly judge him (15b)
         c. For he has "the mind of Christ" (16)


1) List the main points of this chapter
   - Paul's Manner Of Preaching (1-5)
   - The True Wisdom Of God (6-16)

2) How does Paul describe his preaching among them? (1-2)
   - Not with excellence of speech or of wisdom
   - Determined to preach only Jesus and Him crucified

3) How does Paul describe his feelings among them? (3)
   - In weakness, in fear, and in much trembling

4) What accompanied Paul as he preached the gospel? (4)
   - Demonstration of the Spirit and of power

5) What six phrases in verses 9-13 help to explain the process by which
   the hidden mystery of God was made known?
   - "Things which God has prepared"
   - "God has revealed...through His Spirit"
   - "We have received...the Spirit"
   - "That we might know the things...freely given to us by God"
   - "These things we also speak"
   - "In words...which the Spirit teaches"

6) What phrase teaches the concept of "verbal inspiration"? (13)
   - "not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit
     teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual"

7) What is said about the "natural" man? (14)
   - Does not receive the things of the Spirit of God
   - They are foolishness to him
   - He cannot know them, for they are spiritually discerned

8) What is said about the "spiritual" man? (15-16)
   - Able to judge all things
   - None can rightly judge him
   - Has the mind of Christ

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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                              Chapter One


1) To understand how division is unacceptable is the Body of Christ

2) To see why our boasting should be only in the Lord


In his opening remarks Paul expresses gratitude that the Corinthians 
had been enriched by God, came behind in no gift, and were eagerly 
waiting for the revelation of the Lord (1-9).  He immediately begins 
dealing with the first problem, that of division which manifested 
itself in what we might call "preacheritis" (10-17).  Discerning that 
the underlying cause concerns the exaltation of human wisdom, Paul 
demonstrates the folly of boasting in such (18-31).



      1. To the church at Corinth, and those who in every place call on
         the name of Jesus (2)
      2. Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus (3)

      1. Enriching them in all knowledge, even as Christ's testimony 
         was confirmed in them (5-6)
      2. Coming short in no gift as they eagerly await the revelation 
         of the Lord Jesus Christ (7)
      3. Who will confirm them so they may be blameless (8)
      4. For God is faithful, who called them into the fellowship of
         His Son (9)


      1. His plea for unity (10)
      2. For those of Chloe's household have reported contentions among
         them (11)
      3. Evidently involving "preacheritis" (12)

      1. Rhetorical questions to illustrate the absurdity of what we
         would call "preacheritis" (13)
      2. Gratitude that he personally baptized few of them (14-17)
         a. Lest any should accuse him of baptizing in his own name
         b. Administering baptism was not his chief calling anyway


      1. Granted, the message of the cross is foolish to some, but not
         to the saved (18)
      2. But God will the destroy the wisdom of the world (19-20)
      3. God chose to use His foolishness and His weakness to save
         those who believe (21-25)
         a. Because the world through its wisdom knew not God (21a)
         b. So God chose to save mankind through a "foolish" message
            about Christ crucified (21b-24)
         c. But even God's "foolishness" and "weakness" is wiser and
            stronger than men (25)

      1. Not many of them were "wise, mighty, or noble" (26)
      2. But God has chosen those things that are "foolish, weak, base,
         despised, and which are not", so that no flesh should glory in
         His presence (27-29)

      1. He provides for us the true wisdom, plus righteousness and
         sanctification and redemption (30)
      2. We should glory only in Him (31)


1) List the main points of this chapter
   - Introduction (1-9)
   - The Nature Of The Division At Corinth (10-17)
   - The Folly Of Boasting In Human Wisdom (18-31)

2) Who joined with Paul in addressing this letter to the Corinthians?
   - Sosthenes

3) What was one thing the church did not lack in Corinth? (7)
   - Spiritual gifts

4) What is the first problem Paul deals with in this epistle? (10)
   - Division

5) Who reported this problem to him? (11)
   - The household of Chloe

6) How was their divisiveness expressed? (12)
   - Calling themselves after men

7) Who had Paul personally baptized at Corinth? (14,16)
   - Crispus, Gaius, the household of Stephanus

8) Why was Paul thankful that he had not baptized any other? (15)
   - Lest they should say he baptized in his own name

9) In what two ways do men view the preaching of the cross? (18)
   - Foolishness to those who are perishing
   - The power of God to those being saved

10) How did the preaching of Christ crucified appear to the Jews and 
    the Greeks? (23)
   - A stumbling block to the Jews
   - Foolishness to the Greeks

11) How has God chosen to confound the wise of this world? (27-28)
   - By using that which in their sight is foolish, weak, base, 

12) Upon what grounds may we boast? (31)
   - Only in the Lord

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Introduction by Mark Copeland



AUTHOR:  PAUL, the apostle (1:1; 16:21)


TIME OF WRITING:  Probably in the spring of 57 A.D., shortly before
the Jewish feast of Pentecost (16:8), during his third missionary
journey (Ac 19:1-41).

BACKGROUND OF THE CITY OF CORINTH:  Corinth was situated on the
Isthmus of Greece (called Achaia in the Bible) between  the Ionian Sea
and the Aegean Sea, above the Mediterranean Sea. About 50 miles to the
east was the city of Athens.

The Corinth of Paul's day was relatively new.  The old Corinth (which
was famous and powerful in the days of the Peloponnesian War) was
burned in 146 B.C. by the Roman proconsul, L. Mummius.  Because it was
a city devoted to the gods, a hundred years were required to pass
before the city could be rebuilt.  In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar rebuilt
the city, populated it with a colony of veterans and freedmen, and
named it Julia Corinthus.  It soon became a very important commercial

With a population of 400,000 and being a prominent center of commerce
in the Mediterranean world, it was a place for all sorts of vice.  An
example of its immorality was found in the temple of Venus (Aphrodite),
which hosted 1000 priestesses dedicated to prostitution in the name of
religion.  The city's close proximity to the city of Athens probably
added the problem of intellectualism.  As noticed in the epistle, such
an environment had its effect upon the church in Corinth.  It is
amazing that a church existed at all in such a city.

BACKGROUND OF THE CHURCH AT CORINTH:  The establishment of the church
occurred during Paul's second missionary journey.  It is recorded by
Luke in Ac 18:1-18, which can be divided into three sections:

   1) Abiding with Aquila and Priscilla, fellow tentmakers; reasoning
      in the synagogue every Sabbath (Ac 18:1-6).

   2) In the house of Justus, abiding there and teaching for a year and
      six months (Ac 18:7-11)

   3) An incident before Gallio, proconsul of Achaia (Ac 18:12-18)

It appears from reading the epistle that the church was adversely
affected by the immoral environment found in the city.  Pride caused
division in the church and disruption in the services (1Co 1-4, 11).
Immorality and immodesty found its way into the church, which gave it a
bad reputation (1Co 5).  The brethren were taking their personal
problems with each other before the heathen courts instead of working
them out among themselves (1Co 6).  Other issues affecting the church
included questions about marriage (1Co 7), meats sacrificed to idols
(1Co 8-10), women praying and prophesying with heads uncovered (1Co 
11), the use of spiritual gifts (1Co 12-14), the resurrection from the
dead (1Co 15), and the collection for the saints in Jerusalem (1Co 
16).  Thus the church was one beset with problems and questions that
needed to be answered.

PURPOSE OF WRITING:  The bad news concerning the problems at Corinth
had reached Paul in Ephesus.  It seems that this news came from at
least two sources:  1)  the household of Chloe (1:11); and 2)  a letter
sent to him (7:1), possibly by the hands of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and
Achaicus (16:17).

Therefore, in answer to these reports Paul writes:


THEME:  1 Corinthians 1:10

"Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no
divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the
same mind and in the same judgment."

BRIEF OUTLINE (adapted from Dextor Sammons)








   A. MARRIAGE & CELIBACY (7:1-40)



   D. THE LORD'S SUPPER (11:17-34)

   E. SPIRITUAL GIFTS (12:1-14:40)





1) On which journey did the apostle Paul establish the church in
   - His second journey

2) Where do we read of the establishment of the Corinthian church?
   - Ac 18:1-18

3) What two people did Paul first stay with in Corinth?  What did they
   have in common? (Ac 18:1-3)
   - Aquila and Priscilla
   - Tentmakers by trade

4) Which chief ruler of the synagogue was converted? (Ac 18:8)
   - Crispus

5) Approximately how long did Paul stay in Corinth? (Ac 18:11)
   - A year and six months

6) Who did Aquila and Priscilla convert in Ephesus who later went to
   Corinth? (Ac 18:24-19:1)
   - Apollos

7) From where did Paul write this first epistle to Corinth? (16:8)
   - Ephesus

8) What is the approximate date of writing?
   - The spring of 57 A.D.

9) What two things existed in Corinth that appeared to have an adverse
   effect on the church?
   - Intellectualism
   - Immorality

10) What is the purpose of this epistle?
   - To correct sinful practices and refute false doctrine

11) Where is the theme of the epistle stated?
   - 1 Corinthians 1:10

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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The Quran and Jesus’ Personal Conduct by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


The Quran and Jesus’ Personal Conduct
by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The Quran’s confusion regarding the person of Jesus manifests itself repeatedly—a confusion that reflects the misconceptions and misrepresentations of the New Testament that were prevalent within Christendom in the sixth and seventh centuries, which, in turn, were mistakenly accepted into the Quran. For example, consider the Quran’s report of Allah’s communication with Mary regarding Jesus:
(And remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from Him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah). He will speak unto mankind in his cradle and in his manhood, and he is of the righteous. She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me? He said: So (it will be). Allah createth what He will. If He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. And He will teach him the Scripture and wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel. And will make him a messenger unto the children of Israel, (saying): Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird, by Allah’s leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by Allah’s leave. And I announce unto you what ye eat and what ye store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you, if ye are to be believers (Surah 3:45-49, emp. added).
A parallel passage is found in Surah 5:
When Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour unto thee and unto thy mother; how I strengthened thee with the holy Spirit, so that thou spakest unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; and how I taught thee the Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and how thou didst shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission, and didst blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission, and thou didst heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission; and how thou didst raise the dead, by My permission; and how I restrained the Children of Israel from (harming) thee when thou camest unto them with clear proofs, and those of them who disbelieved exclaimed: This is naught else than mere magic (5:110, emp. added).
Even the casual reader of the New Testament is familiar with Jesus healing the blind and lepers, and raising the dead. But the New Testament is conspicuously silent about Jesus creating birds or speaking from the cradle, even as it is silent on nearly all details of Jesus’ childhood. That is because the Quran’s allusion to Jesus fashioning birds out of clay, which then came to life, was a fanciful Christian fable with a wide circulation. It is found, for example, in the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Savior (15:1-6) that dates from the second century (Hutchison, 1939, 1:199)—four hundred years before Muhammad’s birth:
And when the Lord Jesus was seven years of age, he was on a certain day with other boys his companions about the same age. Who when they were at play made clay into several shapes, namely asses, oxen, birds, and other figures, each boasting of his work, and endeavouring to exceed the rest. Then the Lord Jesus said to the boys, I will command these figures which I have made to walk. And immediately they moved, and when he commanded them to return, they returned. He had also made the figures of birds and sparrows, which, when he commanded to fly, did fly, and when he commanded to stand still, did stand still (The Lost Books, 1979, pp. 52-53).
A similar legend is found in the Gospel of Thomas (1:4-9) that likewise predates (Cullmann, 1991, 1:442) the production of the Quran:
Then he took from the bank of the stream some soft clay, and formed out of it twelve sparrows; and there were other boys playing with him.... Then Jesus clapping together the palms of his hands, called to the sparrows, and said to them: Go, fly away; and while ye live remember me. So the sparrows fled away, making a noise (The Lost Books, p. 60).
Observe also in the above Quranic passage the allusion to Jesus speaking while yet in His cradle. This point is elaborated more fully in Surah 19 where, after giving birth to Jesus beside the trunk of a palm tree in a remote location, Mary returned to her people carrying the child in her arms and received the following reaction:
Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! Thou hast come with an amazing thing. Oh sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a harlot. Then she pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy? He spake: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a Prophet, and hath made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and hath enjoined upon me prayer and alms‑giving so long as I remain alive, and (hath made me) dutiful toward her who bore me, and hath not made me arrogant, unblest. Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive! Such was Jesus, son of Mary: (this is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt (Surah 19:27-34, emp. added).
The idea that Jesus spoke while yet in the cradle preceded the Quran, having been given in theArabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Savior (1:2-3): “Jesus spoke, and, indeed when He was lying in His cradle said to Mary his mother: I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Logos, whom thou hast brought forth, as the Angel Gabriel announced to thee; and my Father has sent me for the salvation of the world” (Roberts and Donaldson, 1951, 8:405). These mythical accounts are contrary to the Bible’s depiction of the Christ. Yet the legendary folklore extant in the centuries immediately following the production of the New Testament is replete with such absurdities, which obviously were so commonplace that the author of the Quran mistook them as authentic and legitimate representations of the New Testament.


Cullmann, Oscar (1991), “Infancy Gospels,” New Testament Apocrypha, ed. Wilhelm Schneemelcher (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press).
Hutchison, J. (1939), “Apocryphal Gospels,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 1:199.
The Lost Books of the Bible (1979 reprint), (New York: Random House).
Pickthall, Mohammed M. (n.d.), The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (New York: Mentor).
Roberts, Alexander and James Donaldson (1951), The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Tunneling For The Truth by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Tunneling For The Truth

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Quite often, the Bible will make a very specific remark about a certain person, place, or thing that can be checked against historical and archaeological evidence. Such cases provide an excellent way to build up corroborative evidence in support of the Bible’s accuracy and inspiration. The book of 2 Kings relates the story of King Hezekiah, one of the few kings of ancient Judah who did “what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done” (2 Kings 18:3). Second Kings 20:20 lists a number of his achievements: “Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah—all his might, and how he made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city—are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah.” We then read in 2 Chronicles 32:30 that “this same Hezekiah also stopped the water outlet of Upper Gihon, and brought the water by tunnel to the west side of the City of David. Hezekiah prospered in all his works.” These two verses provide us with a wonderful opportunity to verify the Old Testament’s accuracy. One would think that such a feat of aquatic engineering would leave behind some type of archaeological evidence as a memorial to this king. Is there any extra-biblical information to verify this story?
Indeed there is. Randall Price, in his fascinating book, The Stones Cry Out, catalogs amazing evidence to confirm the tunnel Hezekiah dug underneath the old city of Jerusalem. In fact, on page 267 Price includes a picture of his daughter standing in the actual tunnel. How Hezekiah carved this 1,750-foot tunnel through solid limestone remains a mystery, even today. However, in 1880, an inscription now known as the “Siloam Inscription” was discovered that helped fill in some of the blanks. Apparently, two crews of Hezekiah’s men, working with picks, tunneled from opposite ends, snaking through the limestone in an S-shaped style. How these two crews met in the middle without the aid of a modern compass or other such device is still unknown. However, the fact that Hezekiah built this tunnel leaves no mystery to uncover. Time and time again, the Bible “checks out,” and remains the most accurate and authoritative book ever written.


Price, Randall (1997), The Stones Cry Out (Eugene, OR: Harvest House).

Whoever Digs a Pit Will Fall Into It by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Whoever Digs a Pit Will Fall Into It

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

One of the most outspoken atheists of the past couple of decades is a man named Dan Barker, who wrote his most recognized work, Losing Faith in Faith, after he “deconverted” from a form of evangelical Christianity to naturalistic atheism. In 1992, he was the public relations director for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. In his book, Baker uses a host of arguments to attack religious people who have attempted to “reconvert” him. In a chapter titled Why I Am An Atheist, Barker lists several reasons that religious people have offered to explain his “deconversion.” Sadly, many of those people attacked Barker’s character. The following is a brief list of some of the allegations they made against Barker.
  • “You are arrogant and hate God.”
  • “Your heart is in the wrong place.”
  • “You are cold, empty, and pessimistic.”
  • “You are an angry person.”
  • “You are too stupid, limited, or afraid to see what is obvious to everyone else.”
After denying these allegations, Barker stated: “A strong clue that a person is arguing from a position of weakness is when character, rather than content, is attacked. Bertrand Russell pointed out that ad hominem is a last-ditch defense of the losing side” (1992, p. 88). Therefore, according to Barker (who agrees with Russell), a person who uses arguments that attack character is a person who is fighting desperately on the losing side.
While the truth of Russell’s statement may be questioned (since there are many ill-informed ad hominem arguers who happen to be on the right side), it nonetheless is quite interesting that Barker falls headlong into his own pit by repeatedly attacking character rather than focusing on real evidence.
In fact, only a few pages earlier, Barker wrote an entire chapter titled “Ministers I Have Known,” in which he proceeded to attack the general character of ministers he has known. On page 78, Barker commented, “When I think of ministers I have known…I picture the overweight perspiring Foursquare preachers, waving their hankies, shouting and prancing about the stage, ruling their churches like little kingdoms.” Just one paragraph later, he included in this list the “skinny Mexican pastor in Nogales whose second wife was pregnant with his twelfth child!… And the televangelist I know who ran off with his secretary and was back on the air in less than two years.” The rest of the chapter consists of the same attack on the general character of ministers, as Barker views them. Near the end of the chapter, Barker wrote: “I have a friend who says if you were to take all the preachers in the world and lay them end to end, it would be a good idea just to leave them there.”
Now, let us apply Barker’s own reasoning to his chapter on ministers. The entire chapter attacks the character of ministers, and thus would be classified as an ad hominem argument (from the Latin meaning “to attack the man”). But, according to Barker, those who use such arguments are using “a last-ditch defense” and are on “the losing side.” In this instance, I agree wholeheartedly.
Again, in his treatment of those who are against abortion, Barker stated: “This is the real drive behind the antiabortionists: misogyny [hatred of women—KB]. I don’t believe that any one of them cares a hoot for a fetus” (p. 213, emp. added) Such a statement is definitely a bold, ad hominem attack on the motive and character of those who disagree with abortion. I, for one, can say with certainty that I do not hate women. However, I also can say with certainty that an unborn baby is innocent, and that God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17). It is on this basis that I must stand as an antiabortionist. Once again, using Barker’s own thoughts, he must be “arguing from a position of weakness.”
Please note that this article has not attacked Barker’s character. He is not referred to as a misogynist or anything of the kind; nor are any moral indiscretions alleged in an attempt to discredit his arguments. On the contrary, his own words have been used to show that, if his thinking is indeed correct about ad hominem arguments, then he is arguing from “a position of weakness rather than content,” and such an argument is a “last ditch defense of the losing side.”
[For a more in-depth refutation of Barker’s book, see:http://www.tektonics.org/JPH_BWTB.html]


Barker, Dan (1992), Losing Faith In Faith—From Preacher to Atheist (Madison, WI: Freedom from Religion Foundation).

Who Believes in Hell Anymore? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Who Believes in Hell Anymore?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

A Harris poll found that while 89% of Americans believe in heaven, only 73% believe in hell (Taylor, 1998). However, even this figure is misleading, since people differ in how they define “hell.” When defined as an actual location—a place of actual torment where people will be sent—only three in ten adults (31%) believe in hell (“Beliefs,” 1996). Most Americans believe that Satan is merely a symbol for evil. Only 27% strongly believe that Satan is real (“Religious Beliefs,” 2001).
American culture has sustained a steady assault from humanistic philosophy for several decades now. This constant bombardment of irreligious values has clearly taken its toll. In school, children have been fed a steady diet of atheistic evolution which holds that human beings owe their ultimate origin to rocks, dirt, and the chance forces of nature. Television sets have surely served as a principal medium through which the moral framework has been undermined and seriously eroded. Consequently, many previously unacceptable behaviors are on the increase in society—behaviors that are far more acceptable to the American people than they ever have been in the past.
These behaviors include such things as divorce, homosexuality, premarital sex, and gambling. The use of foul language is prevalent. The average person uses God’s name in vain. Such profanity is very commonplace—especially on television and in the movies. Fundamental values like honesty have given way to dishonesty in the form of lying, cheating, and deception. Americans now pretty much expect their politicians to lie. Pornography has spread across the land through so-called “adult” bookstores, cable channels, magazines, and the Internet. Satanism, astrology, spiritualism, the occult, and New Age religion are on the increase. More and more people are embracing Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and belief in reincarnation. The courts are literally clogged because of skyrocketing crime rates, and due to the fact that more and more people are retaliating and suing one another. America is no longer a country dominated by church-going peoples—as she was for the first 150 years of her national existence. Where once, Americans were characterized as people who strongly sought freedom for Bible religion, America is more nearly seen today as a culture that strives for freedom from religion. Indeed, forces have been working to eradicate God and the Christian religion from the American way of life.
Despite the fact that Americans in general, and Christians in particular, have many things for which to be thankful, and despite the fact that things usually are not as bad as they seem, nevertheless, much evidence exists to draw the conclusion that American society has become increasingly hedonistic, anti-Christian, and out of harmony with Bible principles. In fact, in many circles in this country the Bible is not even considered to be the verbally inspired Word of God—less than half of all adults (41%) believe the Bible is totally accurate in all it teaches (“Religious Beliefs,” 2001). Indeed, American civilization is deteriorating. The moral, spiritual, and religious foundation of American society—this great nation—is disintegrating.
But there is an antidote, and there is only one antidote. The nation is in desperate need ofreturning to the Bible—the written instructions of the one God—and to the transcendent Creator of the Universe. The nation must go back to the Bible, back to those life-giving guidelines that will make a nation strong. Only the words of God are capable of sustaining a nation, and getting its citizens through this life in such a way that they will be prepared for life beyond the grave. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
God’s words can change a person’s (or a nation’s) life by generating faith, obedience, and contentment in this life. Those words of God teach that sin is violation of God’s law (1 John 3:4). Sin is the only intrinsic evil in the world today. People cannot sin against God, and yet expect to be acceptable to Him. Sin, once committed, must be forgiven. But sin can be forgiven only under certain conditions that God, Himself, has specified in the Bible. If a person sins against God by violating His written revelation, and then leaves this life in an unforgiven condition, that person will be punished. Those are the facts of the matter. The Bible clearly teaches that those who leave this life with their sins unforgiven will spend eternity in hell. You cannot believe in heaven—and not believe in hell. The same Bible that teaches there is a heaven, also teaches there is a hell.
Many verses in the Bible verify this fact. Jesus said, “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5). Jesus Christ believed in hell! He warned about violating God’s will, and leaving this life unforgiven (i.e., spiritually unprepared), so that one is required to spend eternity separated from God in hell. Jesus further said: “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and will come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28).
In referring to the end of life on Earth, He declared: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31). Referring to the disobedient, Jesus explained: “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ ” (vs. 41). Earlier in the same chapter He had said concerning the lost, “and cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (vs. 30). He concluded the chapter by saying, “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (vs. 46). To be consistent, a person cannot believe in eternal life, and not believe in eternal punishment. The same Greek word is used in the same verse to describe both of those realms. Just as existence with God after this life is over will be forever or eternal, so separation from God due to disobedience in this life will result in eternal punishment.
Consider another profound, even startling, statement made by Jesus: “[I]f your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire” (Matthew 18:9). Jesus was not teaching that people should mutilate their bodies. He was simply stressing the fact that whatever it takes for a person to be obedient to God in this life—to be conformed to His will, to resist the forces of temptation that try to lure one into their grasp—whatever it takes to be faithful to God, is worth the sacrifice so that the person might enter into eternity qualified to live with God forever, rather than to spend eternity in the fires of hell.
On one occasion, Jesus addressed Himself to the religious leaders of His day. These were religiousmen, and yet Jesus said to them, “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33). That was a rhetorical question. Jesus was saying they were so wicked, they were so evil, they were so out of step with God’s will in this life, that He saw no way for them to leave this life without facing condemnation in hell. He also noted: “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:41-42). How can a person possibly listen to those words, spoken by Jesus Christ Himself, and yet say hell does not exist?
The apostle Paul described the fate of those who live out of harmony with God’s will when he spoke of those “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). He then stated, “but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil” (Romans 2:8).
In Revelation 20:15, we find this declaration: “[A]nyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” John further recorded: “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8). There will be a hell. There will be eternal punishment for those who leave this life, having sinned against God, having violated His will, and having failed to receive forgiveness for those sins in the appointed way. Hence, it is imperative to know how to be forgiven.
How is forgiveness attained? The Bible answer to that question is—only through Christ. He is the Savior of all those who truly want to be saved. He is the only one who could atone for human sin and provide the antidote. The New Testament gives definitive teaching on how to be saved initially (in order to become a Christian), and how to maintain that saved status.
Jesus said, “[I]f you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). So the number one prerequisite to being saved and acceptable to God is to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus further said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 17:6). Those are Jesus’ own words. His apostles declared: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). These passages teach that Jesus Christ is the only avenue through Whom a person might be saved. A person must believe in the person of Jesus Christ, and in His Word. The writer of Hebrews wrote: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (11:6). Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). So the New Testament teaches that the first thing a person must do to be acceptable to God, and to avoid hell, is to believe in Jesus Christ by trusting in His Word. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17).
But, second, a person must repent of his or her sin. Jesus said, “but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3,5). The biblical doctrine of repentance means that, having come to a belief in Christ and His Word, the individual must change his mind about his past conduct, and his previous erroneous viewpoints. He must put those things behind him, changing his mind in order to bring his thinking into harmony with the Word of God.
Third, the New Testament teaches that a person must confess the deity of Jesus. Paul wrote that “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
So a person must believe in Jesus Christ and His Word, turn from sin by changing the mind about that sin, and then confess the Lordship and deity of Christ with the mouth. But then the New Testament teaches that a person must be immersed in water in order to contact the blood of Christ and be forgiven of sin. Jesus, Himself, said, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). What does it mean to be “born of water and the Spirit”? It means to be immersed in water according to the instructions given by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 5:26).
Many other passages make this point clear. For instance, Paul told the Galatian Christians: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (3:27). That is, a person isclothed with Christ in the action of water baptism. Peter said, “There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). So water immersion is the point at which a person is saved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. No wonder Ananias said to Saul, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
To summarize, these Scriptures teach that in order to become a Christian, a person must hear the word, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized. When that person rises from the waters of baptism, he stands cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ. That person is now a Christian. After becoming a Christian, however, the individual is not given a guarantee that he automatically will be accepted in eternity. It depends upon whether he continues to live faithfully (Revelation 2:10). To remain saved, a person must live the Christian life faithfully, and take advantage of the means by which he may continue to be forgiven of sin. Living the Christian life faithfully includes frequent study of the Word of God in order to know how to live the Christian life, and to receive motivation to comply. When the Christian sins, he must repent of that sin, confess it, and pray to God for forgiveness (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9; James 5:20). In this fashion, the Christian may continue to be forgiven by the blood of Jesus while living the Christian life.
Make no mistake. A person dares not leave this life unforgiven and unprepared. The only hope is to commit to Jesus, and be obedient to God in this life. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:10-11). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). After all, “our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). And, “the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Is there a hell? Absolutely! The Bible teaches the existence of hell as certainly as it teaches the existence of heaven, God, and Christ. Hell may be summarized as everlasting fire, everlasting punishment, everlasting destruction, outer darkness, damnation, hell fire, and a lake of fire. If a person believes the Bible, or believes in Jesus Christ, or believes in God—he or she must believe in hell.
While perhaps hell may not be the best or the most mature motivation for loving God and for living faithfully to Him, fear of hell certainly is a legitimate reason, and a valid scriptural motive for causing a person to contemplate his conduct in this life, in order to be prepared to leave this life in good graces with God. The reader is urged to bring his or her life into compliance with the God of heaven by believing in His Son, repenting of past sins, confessing the name of Christ, and being immersed in water for the remission of those sins.


“Beliefs: Heaven and Hell” (1996), Barna Research Online, [On-line], URL: http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PageCategory.asp?CategoryID=3.
“Religious Beliefs Vary Widely by Denomination” (2001), Barna Research Online, [On-line],URL: http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PagePressRelease.asp?PressReleaseID=92&Reference=A.
Taylor, Humphrey (1998), “Large Majority of People Believe They Will Go to Heaven,” [On-line],URL>: http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=167.

The Only True God by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


The Only True God

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The Bible is full of scriptures that, when quoted without any consideration of the immediate and remote contexts, a person can misuse in all sorts of ways. As proof that we do not have to work to provide for our family’s material needs, some may quote Jesus’ statement, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27). In order to show that Jesus was a liar, the Bible critic might quote Jesus’ acknowledgement: “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true” (John 5:31). Those who exclude baptism from God’s plan of salvation often quote John 4:2: “Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples.” When the Bible reader is “rightly dividing” (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV) or “handling accurately the word of truth” (NASB), however, he will remember that “[t]he sum of thy [God’s] word is truth” (Psalm 119:160, emp. added). Since the Bible teaches “if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10; cf. 1 Timothy 5:8), Jesus never implied that working to help feed one’s family is wrong (John 6:27). “He simply was saying that spiritual food is more important than physical food, and as such, should be given a higher priority” (Butt, 2003, emp. in orig.). Jesus did not confess wrongdoing in John 5:31. He simply acknowledged that, in accordance with the law (cf. Deuteronomy 19:15), His testimony apart from other witnesses would be considered invalid or insufficient to establish truth (cf. John 8:13-20; see Lyons, 2004). Likewise, Jesus never taught that baptism was unnecessary for salvation. In fact, He taught the very opposite (cf. John 3:3,5; Mark 16:16; Matthew 28:18-20; see Lyons, 2003).
Consider another proof text from the Gospel of John regarding the nature of Christ. Some (e.g., Jehovah’s Witnesses) contend that Jesus was not deity since, on one occasion, He prayed to the Father: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3; cf. “Should You Believe...?,” 2000). Allegedly, by calling the Father, “the only true God,” Jesus excluded Himself from being deity. Such an interpretation of John 17:3, however, contradicts numerous other passages within John’s own gospel account. From beginning to end, John bore witness to the deity of Christ. Some of the evidence from the Gospel of John includes the following:
  • In the very first verse of John, the apostle testified: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (emp. added; cf. 1:14,17).
  • Two verses later the reader learns that “[a]ll things came into being by Him [the Word], and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:3, NASB).
  • Still in the first chapter of John, the apostle testified that John the Baptizer was the one whom Isaiah foretold would “prepare...the way of Jehovah” (Isaiah 40:3; John 1:23; cf. 14:6). For Whom did John the Baptizer come to prepare the way? Isaiah called Him “Jehovah.” The apostle John, as well as John the Baptizer, referred to Jehovah as “Jesus” (John 1:17), “the Christ” (3:28), “the Word” (1:1), “the Light” (1:17), “the Lamb” (1:29), “the Truth” (5:33), etc.
  • When the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well told Jesus, “I know that Messiah is coming” (John 4:25), Jesus responded, “I who speak to you am He” (vs. 26). Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would be called “Mighty God” (9:6) and “Jehovah” (40:3). Thus, by claiming to be the Messiah, Jesus was claiming to be God.
  • In John chapter nine, Jesus miraculously healed a man with congenital blindness (vs. 1). When this man appeared before various Jews in the synagogue and called Jesus a prophet (vs. 17), he was instructed to “give glory to God,” not Jesus, because allegedly Jesus “is a sinner” (vs. 24). Later, after the man born blind was cast out of the synagogue, he confessed faith in Jesus and worshiped (Greek proskuneo) Him (vs. 38). In the Gospel of John, this word (proskuneo) is found 11 times: nine times in reference to worshiping the Father (John 4:2-24), once in reference to Greeks who came to “worship” in Jerusalem during Passover (12:20), and once in reference to the worship Jesus received from a man whom He had miraculously healed, and who had just confessed faith in Jesus. Indeed, by accepting worship Jesus acknowledged His deity (cf. Matthew 4:10; Hebrews 1:6).
  • While at the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, Jesus claimed: “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him” (vs. 31). Why did Jesus’ enemies want to stone Him? The Jews said to Christ: “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (vs. 33, emp. added; cf. 5:17-18).
  • After Jesus rose from the dead, the apostle Thomas called Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus responded: “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (vs. 29). Notice that Jesus did not deny His deity, rather He acknowledged Thomas’ faith and commended future believers. Believers in what? In that which Thomas had just confessed—that Jesus is Lord and God.
It was in the overall context of John’s gospel account, which is filled with statements testifying of Jesus’ deity, that the apostle recorded Jesus’ prayer to His Father the night of His betrayal (John 17). But how can Jesus’ statement about His Father being “the only true God” (17:3) be harmonized with statements by Jesus, the apostle John, John the Baptizer, Thomas, etc. affirming the deity of Christ? When a person understands that Jesus’ statement was made in opposition to the world’s false gods, and not Himself, the reference to the Father being “the only true God” harmonizes perfectly with the many scriptures that attest to the deity of Christ (including those outside of the book of John; cf. Matthew 1:23; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:5-13). On the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion, it was completely natural for Him to pray that “all flesh/people” (John 17:2, NKJV/NIV), many of whom were (and still are) pagan idolaters, would come to know “the only true God” and receive eternal life (17:3). Thus, Jesus contrasted Himself not with the Father, but “with all forms of pagan polytheism, mystic pantheism, and philosophic naturalism” (Jamieson, et al., 1997).
Furthermore, if Jesus’ reference to the Father being “the only true God” somehow excludes Jesus from being deity, then (to be consistent) Jesus also must be disqualified from being man’s Savior. Jehovah said: “Besides me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:11; cf. Hosea 13:4; Jude 25). Yet, Paul and Peter referred to Jesus as our “Savior” several times in their inspired writings (Ephesians 5:23; Philippians 3:20; 2 Timothy 1:10; 2 Peter 1:1,11; 2:20; etc.). Also, if Jesus is excluded from Godhood (based on a misinterpretation of John 17:3), then, pray tell, must God the Father be excluded from being man’s Lord? To the church at Ephesus, Paul wrote that there is “one Lord” (4:4, emp. added), and, according to Jude 4 (using Jehovah’s Witnesses own New World Translation) “our only Owner and Lord” is “Jesus Christ” (emp. added). Yet, in addition to Jesus being called Lord throughout the New Testament, so is God the Father (Matthew 11:25; Luke 1:32; Acts 1:25) and the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Obviously, when the Bible reveals that there is only one God, one Savior, one Lord, one Creator (Isaiah 44:24; John 1:3), etc., reason and revelation demand that we understand the inspired writers to be excluding everyone and everything—other than the triune God. As former Jehovah’s Witness David Reed explained: “Jesus’ being called our ‘only’ Lord does not rule out the Lordship of the Father and the Holy Spirit, and the Father’s being called the ‘only’ true God does not exclude the Son and the Holy Spirit from deity” (1986, p. 82).


Butt, Kyle (2003), “Wearing Gold and Braided Hair,” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2264.
Jamieson, Robert, et al. (1997), Jamieson, Faussett, Brown Bible Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Lyons, Eric (2003), “The Bible’s Teaching on Baptism: Contradictory or Complementary?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/617.
Lyons, Eric (2004), “Was Jesus Trustworthy?” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/516.
Reed, David (1986), Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
“Should You Believe in the Trinity?” (2000), The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.