"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" A Faith That Is Genuine (1:5) by Mark Copeland


A Faith That Is Genuine (1:5)


1. When Paul was in prison awaiting his imminent death, the apostle
   wrote to Timothy...
   a. Mentioning his remembrance of him in his frequent prayers 
       - 2 Ti 1:3
   b. Expressing his desire to see him, which would fill him with joy
      - 2Ti 1:4

2. Paul's love and longing was due to Timothy's faith...
   a. A faith that dwelt first in his grandmother Lois and his mother
   b. A faith that Paul was persuaded dwelt in Timothy also
   -- A faith Paul describes as "genuine" (sincere, unfeigned) 
      - 2 Ti 1:5

[Paul's statement implies that not all faith is "genuine".  How about
your faith?  What kind of faith do you have?  Let's examine the subject
of faith more closely...]


      1. There is little faith
         a. That fails to trust in God's providence - Mt 6:30
         b. That is filled with fear and doubt - Mt 8:26; 14:31
         c. That allows human reasoning to forget God's power 
             - Mt 16:8-9
      2. There is dead faith
         a. That fails to produce works - Jm 2:17,20
         b. Like a dead body without a spirit - Jm 2:26
      3. There is demonic faith
         a. Who believe in God, but only to tremble - Jm 2:19
         b. Who believe in Jesus, but want to be left alone - Mk 1:24
      4. There is unconfessing faith
         a. By those who may believe, but will not confess Jesus 
             - Jn 12:42-43
         b. Such faith will not save, for confessing Christ is necessary
            - Ro 10:9-10; Mt 10:32-33
      5. There is "environmental faith"
         a. I.e., a faith totally dependent upon one's external
            1) E.g., remaining faithful while under the positive
               influences of one's home, church, or "Christian" college
            2) But take that person out of such an environment, and his
               or her faith is lost!
         b. Some signs of an "environmental faith"
            1) Praying in public, but not in private
            2) Studying the Bible when at church, but not in private
            3) A lack of personal closeness and dependence upon God and
               Jesus Christ
      6. There is "blind faith" (credulity)
         a. credulity - "readiness or willingness to believe especially
            on slight or uncertain evidence" - Merriam-Webster
         b. Many have this misconception of faith
            1) That faith is believing in something without evidence
            2) As some have said, "You just have to have faith", rather
               than provide reasons for such faith
         c. Yet God expects us to love Him with our minds as well as our
            hearts - Mt 22:37

      1. Faith that is a strong conviction in things unseen
         a. Such is the Biblical definition of faith - He 11:1
         b. Especially in God and His promises - He 11:6
      2. Faith that believes God raised Jesus from the dead
         a. For such is necessary for our salvation - Ro 10:9
         b. For such is the source of great blessings - Jn 20:29
      3. Faith that works through love
         a. Faith that justifies by works, not by faith only - Jm 2:24
         b. Faith that works through love, not by works only - Ga 5:6
      4. Faith that is genuine
         a. Faith that is sincere, unfeigned - 2Ti 1:5
         b. The kind of faith that is the goal of God's commandments
            - 1Ti 1:5

[Thus not all faith saves.  How can we have a saving faith that is


      1. The Word of God is designed to produce faith - Ro 10:17
      2. Books were written to create and strengthen faith 
          - Jn 20:30-31; 1Jn 5:13
      3. The Bible contains evidence to develop faith (harmony of the
         Scriptures, scientific foreknowledge, fulfilled prophecy,
         eyewitness testimony, etc.)
      -- Are we willing to allow the Bible to produce a faith that is

      1. Timothy had been blessed being around people of faith
          - 2 Ti 1:5
         a. His grandmother Lois and mother Eunice
         b. The good example of their faith undoubtedly cultivated his
      2. Our faith is strengthened by our association with other
         a. Whose frequent assemblies exhort us to love and good works
            - He 10:24-25
         b. Whose daily exhortations can ward off an evil heart of
            unbelief - He 3:12-13
      -- Are we willing to let fellowship with God's family nurture a
         faith that is genuine?

      1. Abraham is the father of the faithful - cf. Ga 3:7,9
      2. Abraham demonstrated his faith by walking with and wherever God
         told Him - He 11:8-9
      3. Abraham grew in faith as he walked with God, even to where he
         was willing to offer his son - cf. He 11:17-18
         a. His faith was not developed all at once, but in stages
         b. It grew as he walked with God throughout his sojourn in life
         c. The same could be said concerning the faith of the apostles
            of Christ
      -- Are we willing to let our own walk with God develop a faith
         that is genuine?


1. God is willing to help provide the kind of faith that pleases Him...
   a. He provides His Word to create faith
   b. He provides His Family to nurture faith
   c. He provides His Companionship to strengthen faith
   -- Working together to produce "A Faith That Is Genuine"

2. When people think of you, what kind of faith do you have that comes
   to their remembrance...?
   a. Does it produce gratitude as Timothy's faith did for Paul? - cf.
      2Ti 1:3-5
   b. Does it produce sadness, as Demas' lack of faith undoubtedly did
      for Paul? - cf. 2Ti 4:10

May we always strive to develop a genuine faith that pleases God and
delights those who know us...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Worship of Jesus by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Worship of Jesus

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

According to Jehovah’s Witnesses, “Jesus is not God,” and thus should not be worshiped by Christians. The Watchtower, a magazine published twice a month by Jehovah’s Witnesses, has repeatedly made such claims through the years. In their September 15, 2005 issue, for example, they stated quite simply that the Scriptures “show that Jesus is not God Almighty.” The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ official Web site (jw.org), which republishes many items from The Watchtower, briefly answers the question “Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe in Jesus?,” concluding, “we do not worship Jesus, as we do not believe that he is Almighty God” (2015). After all, allegedly “in his prehuman existence, Jesus was a created spirit being…. Jesus had a beginning and could never be coequal with God in power or eternity” (“What Does the Bible…?,” 2000, emp. added). The October 15, 2004 issue of The Watchtower concluded a section about Jesus not being the true God with these words: “Jehovah, and no one else, is ‘the true God and life everlasting.’ He alone is worthy to receive exclusive worship from those whom he created.—Revelation 4:11” (p. 31). Since God alone is worthy of worship, and since Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is only an angel and not God (see “The Truth About Angels,” 1995), He allegedly should not be worshiped.


There is no argument over the fact that God alone is worthy of worship. Jehovah revealed His will to Moses on Mt. Sinai, saying, “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:3-5). Regarding the Gentiles who were sent to live in Samaria after the Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the Bible says:
To this day they continue practicing the former rituals; they do not fear the Lord, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances, or the law and commandment which the Lord had commanded the children of Jacob, whom He named Israel, with whom the Lord had made a covenant and charged them, saying: “You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them; but the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, Him you shall worship, and to Him you shall offer sacrifice” (2 Kings 17:34-36, emp. added).
The Bible reveals time and again that God alone is to be worshiped. Luke recorded that King Herod was eaten with worms because, instead of glorifying God Almighty, he allowed the people to glorify him as a god (Acts 12:21-23). Herod’s arrogant spirit stands in direct contrast to the reaction that Paul and Barnabas had when the citizens of Lystra attempted to worship them (Acts 14:8-18). After Paul healed a man who had been crippled from his birth, the people of Lystra shouted: “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men.” They even called Paul and Barnabas by the names of their gods (Hermes and Zeus), and sought to worship them with sacrifice. Had these two preachers had the same arrogant spirit as Herod, they would have accepted worship, and felt as if they deserved such honor. Instead, these Christian men “tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you’” (Acts 14:15). Paul recognized that it is unlawful for humans to worship other humans, and thus sought to turn the people’s attention toward God, and away from himself.
The Bible also reveals that man must refrain from worshiping angels. When the apostle John fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who had revealed to him the message of Revelation, the angel responded, saying, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God” (Revelation 22:9, emp. added; cf. 19:10). Angels, idols, and humans are all unworthy of the reverent worship that is due only to God. As Jesus reminded Satan: “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Matthew 4:10, emp. added).


The dilemma in which Jehovah’s Witnesses find themselves is that they believe Jesus was a good man and prophet, yet unlike good men and good angels who have always rejected worship from humanity, Jesus accepted worship. If worship is to be reserved only for God, and Jesus, the One “who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22), accepted worship, then the logical conclusion is that Jesus believed that He was deity. Numerous times the Bible mentions that Jesus accepted worship from mankind. Matthew 14:33 indicates that those who saw Jesus walk on water “worshiped Him.” John 9:38 reveals that the blind man whom Jesus had healed, later confessed his belief in Jesus as the Son of God and “worshiped him.” After Mary Magdalene and the other women visited the empty tomb of Jesus, and the risen Christ appeared to them, “they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him” (Matthew 28:9). When Thomas first witnessed the resurrected Christ, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Later, when Jesus appeared to the apostles in Galilee, “they worshiped Him” on a mountain (Matthew 28:17). A few days after that, his disciples “worshiped Him” in Bethany (Luke 24:52). Time and time again Jesus accepted the kind of praise from men that is due only to God. He never sought to correct His followers and redirect the worship away from Himself as did the angel in Revelation or the apostle Paul in Acts 14. Nor did God strike Jesus with deadly worms for not redirecting the praise He received from men as He did Herod, who, when being hailed as a god, “did not give praise to God” (Acts 12:23).
Sadly, Jehovah’s Witnesses have attempted to circumvent the obvious references to Jesus accepting worship by changing the word “worship” in their New World Translation to “obeisance” every time the Greek word proskuneo (the most prominent word for worship in the New Testament) is used in reference to Jesus. Over 30 times in the New World Translation (first published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in 1950) proskuneo is correctly translated “worship” when God the Father is the recipient of glory and praise. This Greek word occurs 14 times in the New Testament in reference to Jesus, yet not once do more recent editions of the New World Translationrender it “worship;” instead, every time it is translated “obeisance.” Allegedly, Mary Magdalene, the apostles, the blind man whom Jesus healed, etc., never worshiped Jesus; rather, they only paid “obeisance” to Him.
In 21st-century English, people generally make a distinction between the verbs “worship” and “do obeisance.” Most individuals, especially monotheists, use the word worship in a positive sense when talking about God, whereas “obeisance” is used more often in reference to the general respect given to people held in high regard. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines “obeisance” as “1. A gesture or movement of the body, such as a curtsy, that expresses deference or homage. 2. An attitude of deference or homage,” whereas the verb “worship” is defined as “1. To honor and love as a deity. 2. To regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion” (2000, emp. added). The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society agrees with the distinction often made between these words in modern English: God should be “worshiped,” while Jesus (we are told) should only receive “obeisance” (i.e., the respect and submission one pays to important dignitaries and superiors).
The Greek word proskuneo, which appears in the New Testament 60 times, literally means “to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence” (Thayer, 1962, p. 548; see also Mounce, 1993, p. 398). According to Greek scholars Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker, this word was used in ancient times “to designate the custom of prostrating oneself before a person and kissing his feet, the hem of his garment, the ground, etc.; the Persians did this in the presence of their deified king, and the Greeks before a divinity or something holy” (1979, p. 723). Admittedly, the word “obeisance” could be used on occasions to translate proskuneo. The problem is that Jehovah’s Witnesses make an arbitrary distinction between obeisance and worship when it comes to the token of reverence that Jesus in particular was given. They translate proskuneo as “obeisance” every time Jesus is the object, yet never when God the Father is the recipient of honor and praise.
As with other words in the Bible that have multiple meanings, the context can help determine the writer’s intended meaning. Consider the circumstances surrounding some of the occasions when Jesus is mentioned as the object of man’s devotion.
  • In John chapter nine, Jesus miraculously healed a man who was “blind from his birth” (vs. 1). When the man upon whom this miracle was performed 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, Jesus informed him of His true identity—that He was not just a prophet, but also “the Son of God.” At that moment, the gentleman exclaimed, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped Him (vs. 38). Although the Greek word proskuneo was used in ancient times of paying respect or doing obeisance to people, no such translation is warranted in this passage. In the Gospel of John, this word is found 11 times. In every instance, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation renders it “worship,” except here in John 9:38 where it is arbitrarily translated “obeisance.”
  • Following a day in which Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 men (not including women and children) with only five loaves of bread and two fish, Matthew recorded how Jesus literally walked on the water in the midst of the Sea of Galilee during a violent storm, saved Peter from drowning, and then walked onto a boat where He was met with those who “worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God’” (Matthew 14:33). Jesus’ worshipers did not merely pay Him the same respect (or “obeisance”) that one pays a respected ruler, teacher, or master—people incapable of such feats. On the contrary, they recognized that Jesus had overcome the laws of nature, and that His actions warranted praise and adoration—not as a man, but as the “Son of God.” If Jesus was not worthy of such praise, why did He accept it? If Jesus was not to be adored, why did the angel of the Lord not strike Him with the same deadly worms with which he struck Herod (Acts 12:23)?
  • After defeating death and rising from the grave, a sign which declared Him to be “the Son of God with power” (Romans 1:4), Jesus accepted worship (proskuneo) from Mary Magdalene and the other women who went to visit the tomb of Jesus (Matthew 28:8-9), as well as all of the apostles (Matthew 28:17). Jesus was not the only one ever to be resurrected from the dead, but He was the only resurrected individual the Bible mentions as afterwards receiving praise and adoration (i.e., worship) from man. The widow’s son of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:22), the son of a Shunammite (2 Kings 4:32-35), the daughter of Jairus (Mark 8:21-24,35-43), the widow of Nain’s son (Luke 7:11-16), Lazarus (John 11:1-45), Tabitha (Acts 9:36-43), and Eutychus (Acts 20:7-12) all were raised from the dead, but none received proskuneo. The Bible never reveals any resurrected person other than Jesus who ever received and accepted worship. Jesus’ followers recognized that His resurrection was different. It verified His claims of divinity.
  • The disciples worshiped Jesus again at His ascension. After recording that Jesus was “carried up into heaven,” Luke wrote: “[T]hey worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the Temple praising and blessing God” (Luke 24:52). Notice that the word “worshiped” (proskuneo) is used in this passage along with such words as “praising” and “blessing”—words that carry a religious connotation in connection with God. This fact highlights that the use of proskuneo in this context is not merely obeisance. Also, notice that the disciples offered worship to an “absent” Savior. It would make no sense to pay obeisance to a respected individual that has departed, but makes perfect sense if, rather, the individual is God and worthy of worship. The disciples did not just bow before some earthly ruler; they worshiped their Lord Who had defeated death 40 days earlier, and had just ascended up into heaven before their eyes.
Jesus did not receive proskuneo on these occasions because He was a great teacher, or because He was viewed at these moments simply as an earthly king. Rather, all of these instances of worship were surrounded by miraculous events that were done to prove He was Heaven sent, and that “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). There is every reason to believe that on such occasions as these, Jesus’ disciples meant to pay divine, religious honor to Him, not mere civil respect or regard that earthly rulers often receive.


To the church at Philippi the apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him [Jesus] and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11, emp. added). The reference to the bowing of the knee is an obvious allusion to worship (cf. Isaiah 45:23; Romans 1:4). Such worship, Paul wrote, would not only come from those on Earth, but also from “those in heaven” (Philippians 2:10). This statement harmonizes well with Hebrews 1:6. In a section in which the writer of Hebrews exalted Jesus above the heavenly hosts, he affirmed that even the angels worship Christ. He wrote: “Let all the angels of God worship (proskuneo) Him.” The KJV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV, RSVand a host of other translations render proskuneo in this verse as “worship.” How does the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translationrender this passage? Unfortunately, as with all other times in the NWT when Jesus is mentioned as being the object ofproskuneo, the word is translated “do obeisance,” not “worship.” Hebrews 1:6 reads: “Let all God’s angels do obeisance to him” (NWT).
Interestingly, however, the NWT has not always rendered proskuneo in Hebrews 1:6 as “do obeisance.” When Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower Bible and Tract Society first printed the NWT in 1950, the verse actually rendered proskuneo as “worship” instead of “do obeisance.” Even the revised 1961 edition of the NWT translated proskuneo as “worship.” But, by 1971, Jehovah’s Witnesses had changed Hebrews 1:6 to read: “Let all God’s angels do obeisance to him.”
The fact is, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has been very inconsistent in their teachings on whether or not Jesus should be worshiped. In the past few decades Jehovah’s Witnesses’ flagship magazine (November 1964, p. 671) has claimed that “it is unscriptural for worshipers of the living and true God to render worship to the Son of God, Jesus Christ” (as quoted in Rhodes, 2001, p. 26; see also The Watchtower 2004, pp. 30-31). But, “from the beginning it was not so.” Notice what Jehovah’s Witnesses used to teach in The Watchtower (called Zion’s Watch Tower in the early days) regarding whether or not Jesus should be worshiped:
  • “The wise men came at His birth to worship Him. (Matt. 2) The leper worshiped Him. They in the ship worshiped Him, as did also the ruler and woman of Canaan. Yet none were ever rebuked for it…. [T]o worship Christ in any form cannot be wrong” (Allen, 1880, emp. added).
  • “[A]lthough we are nowhere instructed to make petitions to him, it evidently could not be improper to do so; for such a course is nowhere prohibited, and the disciples worshiped him” (Zion’s Watch Tower, 1892, emp. added).
  • “Yes, we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so” (Zion’s Watch Tower, 1898).
  • “[W]hosoever should worship Him must also worship and bow down to Jehovah’s Chief One in that capital organization, namely, Christ Jesus…” (The Watchtower, 1945, p. 313).
For more than half a century, Jehovah’s Witnesses taught that it was acceptable to worship Jesus. Now, however, they claim it is unscriptural. Such inconsistency regarding the nature of Christ, which is no small matter, reveals to the honest truth seeker that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is an advocate of serious biblical error.
Sadly, Jehovah’s Witnesses not only reject the worship of Jesus because of their belief that He is not deity, they also must deny Him such religious devotion because they teach He actually is an angel. The Watchtower has taught such a notion for several years. The November 1, 1995 issue indicated, “The foremost angel, both in power and authority, is the archangel, Jesus Christ, also called Michael” (“The Truth About Angels”). More recently, an article appeared on the Jehovah’s Witnesses official Web site affirming “the Bible indicates that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth…. [I]t is logical to conclude that Michael is none other than Jesus Christ in his heavenly role” (“Who Is Michael…?,” 2015). Since, according to Revelation 19:10 and 22:8-9, good angels do not accept worship, but rather preach the worship of God, and no other, Jehovah’s Witnesses must reject paying religious praise and devotion to Jesus. But, notice (again) how inconsistent Jehovah’s Witnesses have been. In only the fifth issue ofZion’s Watch Tower magazine (originally edited by Charles Taze Russell, the founderof The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society), regular contributing writer J.H. Paton stated about Jesus: “Hence it is said, ‘let all the angels of God worship him’: (that must include Michael, the chief angel, hence Michael is not the Son of God)…” (1879, p. 4, emp. added). Thus, at one time Jehovah’s Witnesses’ official publication taught that Jesus is not Michael the archangel, and that He should be worshiped. In the 21st century, however, Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Jesus is Michael the archangel, and that He should not be worshiped. Clear contradictory statements like these found throughout the years in The Watchtower should compel current and potential members of this religious group to question their teachings in light ofthe Truth found in God’s Word.


One additional passage to consider regarding the worship of Jesus is Revelation chapters four and five. In chapter four, the scene in this book of signs (cf. 1:1) is the throne room of God. The “Lord God Almighty” is described as sitting on His throne while “the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him” (4:9). Also, “the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created’” (4:10-11). In chapter five, the Lamb that was slain is introduced as standing “in the midst of the throne” (5:6). No one argues the fact that this Lamb is Jesus—the One Whom John the Baptizer twice called “The Lamb of God” (John 1:29,36), and Whom Peter called the “lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19). Regarding this Lamb, the apostle John recorded the following in Revelation 5:11-14:
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever (emp. added).
In this chapter, John revealed that both God the Father and Jesus are worthy to receive worship from all of creation. In fact, Jesus is given the same praise and adoration that the Father is given. Just as God is “worthy…to receive glory and honor and power” (4:11), so Jesus is “worthy…to receive power…and honor and glory…” (5:12).  Indeed, “[b]lessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever” (5:13, emp. added). Although Jehovah’s Witnesses use Revelation 4:11 as a proof text for worshiping God the Father (see “What Does God…?,” 1996, p. 4), they reject and call unscriptural the worship that Jesus rightly deserves.


Jesus once stated during His earthly ministry, “[A]ll should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23). Sadly, Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to honor Jesus in the same way they honor God the Father. While on Earth, Jesus was honored on several occasions. His followers worshiped Him. They even worshiped Him after His ascension into heaven (Luke 24:52). Unlike good men and angels in Bible times who rejected worship, Jesus unhesitatingly received glory, honor, and praise from His creation. Truly, such worship is one of the powerful proofs of the deity of Christ.


Allen, L.A. (1880), “A Living Christ,” Zion’s Watch Tower, March,https://archive.org/stream/1880ZionsWatchTower/1880_Watch_Tower_djvu.txt.
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.
Arndt, William, F.W. Gingrich, and Frederick W. Danker (1979), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), second edition revised.
“Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe in Jesus?” (2015), http://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/believe-in-jesus/.
Mounce, William D. (1993),Analytical Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Paton, J.H. (1879), “The Name of Jesus,”Zion’s Watch Tower, November,https://archive.org/stream/1879ZionsWatchTower/1879_Watch_Tower_djvu.txt.
Rhodes, Ron (2001), The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Jehovah’s Witness (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers).
Thayer, Joseph (1962 reprint), Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
“The Truth About Angels” (1995), The Watchtower, November 1.
The Watchtower, 1945, October 15.
The Watchtower, 2004, October 15.
The Watchtower, 2005, September 15.
“What Does God Require of Us?” (1996), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of New York.
“What Does the Bible Say About God and Jesus?” (2000), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.
“Who Is Michael the Archangel?” (2015), http://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/bible-teach/who-is-michael-the-archangel-jesus/.
Zion’s Watch Tower, 1892, May 15, https://archive.org/stream/1898ZionsWatchTower/1898_Watch_Tower_djvu.txt.
Zion’s Watch Tower, 1898, July 15, https://archive.org/stream/1892ZionsWatchTower/1892_Watch_Tower_djvu.txt.

It is not Enough to be JUST a Creationist by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.


It is not Enough to be JUST a Creationist

by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.


Origins. The mere mention of the word stirs controversy, especially in our day and time when evolutionists battle creationists in oral debates, in print, in the news media, and even in the courts. Most people understand that when a discussion centers on origins, in reality it is an entire cosmogony—a whole system of thought regarding where we came from and why we are here—that is under consideration. Evolution and creation are admittedly “thorny” topics, and often evoke very strong, deeply seated emotions, because of the dichotomy that exists between the two concepts. The Universe and its inhabitants came into existence either through natural means (viz., evolution), or supernatural means (viz., creation), those being the only two possibilities.
However, it is not my purpose in this discussion to examine either the many fallacies of evolutionary theory, or the many reasons why biblical creationism should be accepted and defended. Instead, my comments will be directed at people who accept the Bible as God’s inspired, inerrant Word, and who believe in the literal, historical account of creation as recorded in Genesis 1-2. The point I would like to make is that it is not enough to be just a creationist! Here is why I make such a statement.


James Coppedge, in his book, Evolution: Possible or Impossible?, remarked: “The growing evidence against evolution will eventually force American evolutionists to face the fact that the position is untenable. Some will then openmindedly explore the idea of creation, while others will doubtless persist in materialism at any cost” (1975, p. 180). Over the past several years, as the creation/evolution controversy has become both more public and more heated, and as the many scientific and biblical evidences for creation have come into view more clearly, there have been some who have made changes in their views on origins—abandoning their belief in evolution and accepting creation in its place. Good scientific evidence, and good biblical interpretation, establish the fact that they have made the right choice. And, of course, there always have been those who have accepted creation in the first place, and who simultaneously have rejected evolution.
But, is merely accepting “creation” enough? As unorthodox as my answer may seem at first glance, I suggest that the proper response to such a question must be an unequivocal “No.” It is not enough to be just a creationist. Please do not misunderstand. It is imperative that those people who wish to be pleasing to God accept what He has said regarding creation (or any other issue, for that matter). Henry Morris correctly observed:
They tell us not to “waste time on peripheral controversies such as the evolution-creation question—just preach the gospel,” not realizing that the gospel includes creation and precludes evolution! They say we should simply “emphasize saving faith, not faith in creation,” forgetting that the greatest chapter on faith in the Bible (Hebrews 11) begins by stressing faith in the ex nihilo creation of all things by God’s word (verse 3) as preliminary to meaningful faith in any of His promises (verse 13). They advise us merely to “preach Christ,” but ignore the Savior, and that His finished work of salvation is meaningful only in light of His finished work of creation (Hebrews 4:3-10). They may wish, in order to avoid the offense of the true gospel, to regard creation as an unimportant matter, but God considered it so important that it was the subject of His first revelation. The first chapter of Genesis is the foundation of the Bible; if the foundation is undermined, the superstructure soon collapses (n.d., p. 2, emp. in orig.).
Certainly, creation is important. But that is not all that is important. With the acceptance of either of the two systems of origins (evolution or creation) must come an acknowledgment of the implications and inferences that accompany each system. Acceptance of evolution, for example, will force an acceptance of the implications surrounding that system (e.g.: nothing supernatural exists, therefore, there is no God; man is nothing but an animal, religion is merely an “invention” of evolved man; naturalistic forces are responsible for everything we see and are, etc.). Acceptance of the biblical account of creation also forces acceptance of the implications surrounding that system (e.g.: there is a God, man is a creation of, and responsible to, that God; there is an objective, moral code given by the Creator, etc.). The question thus becomes: if creation is true, then what are some of the implications and inferences accompanying it, and how do these affect me?


Acceptance of biblical creationism carries with it many implications. Space will not permit a discussion, or even a listing, of all of them. We would like, however, to mention one which we feel is perhaps the most basic of all: acceptance of the biblical concept of creation acknowledges the existence of the God of the Bible, and therefore His system of man’s salvation. In other words, my point in titling this tract as I have is this: it is not enough to be just a creationist; one also must believe exactly what God has said in regard to salvation as well. There will be many creationists who will not inherit heaven, because although they accepted God’s account of creation, they rejected His plan of salvation. That is to say, although there are many people who accept creation, who believe in God, and who claim to accept the Bible as His word, they will be lost because they are not New Testament Christians.
While it is important to be a creationist, it is more important to be a saved creationist. It is both admirable and commendable to defend the biblical account of creation, but it is of even greater importance to obey God’s commands regarding the salvation of one’s soul. How sad it will be to see those who, on the Day of Judgment, will be turned away from heaven in spite of the fact that they believed in the biblical account of creation. They were creationists, but they were not saved! Jesus Himself remarked:
Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:21-23).
The Lord’s point is quite clear: there will be those people who were “good” people—doing works in “His name”—but who, in reality, had not done what He told them to do. They had built their houses on sand (human doctrines), not rock (the Lord’s commands). Consequently, their houses did not stand (see Jesus’ comments in Matthew 7:24-27).
Some will argue, of course, that there are many good and sincere people today who are creationists. That is no doubt true. But “sincerity” or “goodness” alone is not enough. No doubt Uzzah was “sincere” when he stretched forth his hand to steady the ark of the covenant of God as the oxen stumbled, and he thought the ark would be destroyed (2 Samuel 6:6ff.). But God struck him dead, because he disobeyed a direct command not to touch the ark (Numbers 4:15). Saul (later called Paul) was “sincere” in his persecution of the church, and even did what he did “in all good conscience” (Acts 22:19-20; Galatians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 15:9), yet God struck him blind (Acts 9:3-9). Paul later would admit, in his own writings, that he was sincere, but sincerely wrong. God does not want justsincerity. He wants obedience (John 14:15).
It is by the Word of God that we one day will be judged (John 12:48). That being the case, it behooves us to ask, “What does the Word of God say about my salvation?” Fortunately, the Scriptures are crystal clear on this important point. God has not left us without divine wisdom regarding what to do to get out of sin and into Christ. He has told us what to do to be saved. God wants creationists, yes. But God wants saved creationists! He does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9), yet only those who come to Him in the way He has stipulated will enjoy eternal life (Acts 17:30; John 14:6).


Jesus Christ, speaking as the Son of God, said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6). Jesus invites all men everywhere to enjoy salvation in Him (John 3:16). He came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Since “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), all are lost and in need of being saved. What, then, must one do to be saved?
Obviously, one who accepts creation, and who wishes to seek the God of that creation, wants to be pleasing to that God. Hebrews 11:6 then becomes important: “And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing to him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him.” How, then, does one build such a faith? Romans 10:17 provides the answer: “So faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Thus, faith is built by the Word of God. In addition, however, there is the important step of believing that Jesus Christ is Who He claimed to be—the Son of God. John said: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He also stated: “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life” (John 3:16,36).
Hearing and believing, however, are not enough according to the Scriptures. Repentance also is necessary. “The times of this ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth all men everywhere that they should repent” (Acts 17:30). Jesus Himself said: “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish” (Luke 13:3).
Once a person has heard the Gospel message, believed in Christ, and repented of his former sins, he then must be willing to confess publicly that Jesus is indeed the Son of God. “Every one therefore who shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).
This person, then, who has heard, believed, repented, and confessed, is faced with one last, and very important question: How do I get rid of my sins? To a person who wishes to become a New Testament Christian, this is the single most pressing question in his or her life. What must a person do to get rid of sin? Once again, the answer is provided by Scripture. Examine Acts 22:16. What did Ananias tell Saul to do to get rid of his sins? “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.” Saul was told rid himself of his sins through baptism. Jesus Himself said: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16, emp. added). On the Day of Pentecost when the church was established, Peter commanded those people who wanted to know what to do to be saved, to “repent ye, and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins” (Acts 2:38, emp. added).
Where is salvation found? Salvation is found “in Christ.” Paul stated in 2 Timothy 2:10: “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sake, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesuswith eternal glory” (emp. added). Where are all spiritual blessings found? Spiritual blessings are found only “in Christ.” Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (emp. added).
The obvious question, then, is: How does one get “into Christ”? Baptism brings us “into Christ.” Paul told the first century Christians in Rome:
Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4).
He told the Galatians: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27, emp. added). Peter said it was baptism that saves us (1 Peter 3:21). If we do as God has commanded, then his grace saves us because our faith has brought us in line with His teachings (cf. Ephesians 2:8-9). Baptism, of course, is neither more nor less important than any other of God’s commands regarding what to do to be saved. But it is necessary, and without it, one cannot be saved. One thing we know for certain—“faith only” is not enough. Belief in Christ is simply not enough. John 12:42 makes that clear. The rulers “believed on him; but because of the Pharisees, they did not confess it.” James said their “faith alone” did not save them (2:19). In fact, James even went so far as to say: “Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith” (2:24, emp. added). One must undergo baptism (immersion) in order to: (a) wash away sins, (b) get “into Christ” and (c) come into contact with the cleansing blood of Christ.
After a person becomes a New Testament Christian, the Lord Himself then adds that person to the church of Christ (Acts 2:47; cf. Romans 16:16), not any man-made denomination. That person becomes a member of the one church established by Christ (Matthew 16:18; Colossians 1:24; Ephesians 1:22; 4:4-6). He then is commanded by Scripture to live a faithful life, which will be followed by a crown of righteousness in heaven (Revelation 2:10).
It is not enough to be just a creationist; one must be a saved creationist. This article is written with an urgent plea to those who may be “creationists,” but who are not saved creationists. Many creationists will not enter heaven because they have not obeyed God’s simple commands regarding their own salvation. I urge you to consider your salvation. Have you done all that God commands in order to secure that salvation? If not, please read, and then re-read the Scriptures mentioned in this article, and come to the Lord in humble submission to His will, so that you can be a New Testament Christian as well as a creationist.


Coppedge, James (1975), Evolution: Possible or Impossible? (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Morris, Henry M. (n.d.), “The Gospel of Creation and the Anti-Gospel of Evolution,” Impact Article No. 25 (San Diego, CA: Institute for Creation Research).

Israelite Midwives in Egypt by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.


Israelite Midwives in Egypt

by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.


Were the midwives who attended the Israelites Egyptians or Hebrews?


Students of Old Testament history will recall that as the Hebrew people prospered under Egyptian bondage, their numbers began to grow to the point that it greatly disturbed the Egyptian pharaoh. In order to curb their numbers, and thereby quell any possibility of a future rebellion against his kingdom, the pharaoh gave orders that when male children were born to the Hebrews, they should be killed at birth. Exodus 1:15-16 records:
And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah. And he said, “When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the birthstool, if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.”
There never has been any controversy over the intent of the pharaoh’s edict. The text of Exodus 1 makes it clear that the Hebrews’ neonatal sons were to be destroyed at birth, in order to prevent the Hebrew nation from growing too powerful for the Egyptians to control. But there has been some controversy over whether the midwives who attended the Israelite women were of Hebrew or Egyptian descent.
At first glance, the controversy would appear to be “much ado about nothing,” since the text itself states: “And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives….” But the issue is not quite as clear as it might seem. Numerous biblical scholars and commentators, who have studied the original Hebrew language within the text of Exodus 1:1-22, have concluded that, in the context, the term “Hebrew midwives” actually should be construed as “midwives to the Hebrews.”
For example, in his discussion of Exodus 1:15, commentator Albert Barnes, suggested that the phrase “Hebrew midwives” should be translated literally as “midwives of the Hebrew women.” He then observed: “The women bear Egyptian names, and were probably Egyptian” (1970, p. 8). In volume one of his Bible Commentary, E.M. Zerr wrote:
These midwives were not Hebrew women but Egyptian according to Josephus. But they are here called Hebrew midwives because they had the special assignment of that work for the Hebrew women. This is apparent also from their names, which are not Hebrew in form. Also, in verse 22 it says his people when charging those on duty at the time of birth of the children. Furthermore, it is not likely that Pharaoh would entrust the business to the Hebrew women since he was much interested in having the babies destroyed in whom they would have had a personal interest (1954, p. 104, emp. added).
W.H. Gispen, in his commentary on Exodus, remarked:
The king summoned the two Egyptian midwives of the Hebrews.... It does not make sense to assume that Hebrew midwives are meant, since the king’s plan would then have been doomed to failure from the start. The speech in verse 16 also indicates that the king was not dealing with women who themselves were Hebrews (1982, p. 36).
I find myself in agreement with these commentators. In its context, Exodus 1:22 provides a critical piece of information when it notes that “...Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, ‘Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river.’ ” It was not the Hebrews that Pharaoh charged to carry out this ghastly deed, but “his” people, i.e., Egyptians. And, as Gispen correctly noted, the whole idea of Pharaoh expecting Hebrew midwives to destroy Hebrew newborns would make little sense, and would be doomed from the start. Furthermore, in verse 19, the midwives offered an excuse to Pharaoh to explain why they were unsuccessful in destroying the newborn Hebrew males. “And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, ‘Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwife come unto them.’ ” The question obviously arises—how would Hebrew midwives have such intimate knowledge of the birthing process of Egyptian women? Egyptian midwives certainly would be expected to know such a thing, but how could Hebrew midwives be expected to possess such knowledge? Additionally, notice that Pharaoh accepted their excuse. Is it likely (again, considering the context) that an Egyptian Pharaoh would have accepted what he very likey would have viewed as a “lame excuse” from Hebrew slave-women serving as midwives? Hardly.
All things considered, therefore, I believe it is correct to state that the phrase of Exodus 1:15, “Hebrew midwives” is, in fact, correctly understood as “Egyptian midwives to the Hebrews” (as the Jewish historian Josephus corroborated).


Barnes, Albert (1973 reprint), Notes on the New Testament: Exodus-Ruth (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Gispen, W.H. (1982), Exodus (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Zerr, E.M. (1954), Bible Commentary (Bowling Green, KY: Guardian of Truth Publications).

Is There Any Evidence that Christ's Return is Imminent? by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


Is There Any Evidence that Christ's Return is Imminent?

by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


A major advertisement has appeared recently in newspapers around the country. It is titled: “Christ Is Coming ‘Very, Very Soon.’ ” The piece begins: “The evidence for the soon return of Christ is overwhelming.” Several “clues” are then offered whereby one may calculate that Jesus’ return is near. Would you comment on this?


I have the advertisement before me. I will review the so-called “clues” as to the time of Christ’s return.
  1. It is alleged that the nation of Israel was “miraculously reborn on May 14, 1948,” and that this is “God’s time clock” indicating that the end is near. Amazingly, not one passage of scripture is cited to prove this baseless assertion—the reason being, there is none.
  2. It is argued that 2 Timothy 3:1ff.,which describes a “plummeting morality,” reveals that Jesus’ return is imminent. First, there is not a word in this context about the Lord’s second coming. Second, the verb in verse 5, “turn away,” is, in the original language, a present, middle, imperative form. The imperative mood reveals that it is a command to Timothy. The middle voice suggests that Timothy is to personally turn himself away from the evil persons thus described. The present tense “be turning away,” reveals that Paul’s young companion was living in the time of this corruption, the “last days” (vs. 1), at that very moment. The expression does not focus, therefore, on an age 2,000 years in the future.
  3. It is contended that the “signs” of Matthew 24:6-8 (e.g., famines, wars, and earthquakes) indicate that Jesus is coming “very, very soon.” But the “signs” of Matthew 24:6ff. had to do with the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, not this modern era. Christ plainly taught that “this generation” (vs. 34)—i.e., the generation contemporary with Him (Arndt, 1967, p. 153)—would witness these signs. There is historical evidence aplenty to document the presence of such events in the forty-year interval between the time of Christ’s death and the fall of Jerusalem. There were conflicts in the administrations of Caligula, Claudius, and Nero (Josephus, Antiquities, 20.1.6). Josephus penned a work designated, The Wars of the Jews. The title itself is a commentary on these tumultuous times. It is well known that famines were frequent during these four decades (cf. Acts 11:28). Suetonius, a Roman historian, described the administration of Claudius as characterized by “continual scarcity” (Claud., c.18). As for earthquakes, they were devastating during this era. They are recorded by historians Josephus (Wars, 4.4), Tacitus (Annales xii.58; xiv.27; xv.22), and Seneca (Epistle 91). It is thus futile to apply the predictions of Matthew 24 to this current period of history (see Jackson, 1998). Is it not strange that Christ, Who gave these signs, did not know when the “end” would be (Matthew 24:36), but modern “prophets” can read them and provide us with the precise schedule?
  4. It is suggested that Daniel 12:4 prophesies an increase in travel and education at the end of time, and that such is clearly characteristic of our age. This passage is quite ambiguous, and various views are entertained by good scholars—e.g., that “run to and fro” really means to “read thoroughly,” and thus encourages a careful study of this inspired book (Rose and Fuller, 1981, 6:392). At any rate, there is nothing in the passage that can identify a particular age. The fact is, transportation and knowledge have accelerated in every period of human history, and will continue to do so until the end of time. That is the nature of human genius. It is useless to cite Daniel 12:4 as a clue to the end of Earth’s history.
  5. The advertisement under review alleges that the current explosion of “cults and the occult” is detailed in biblical literature; we therefore can know that the end is near on this basis. Two passages are cited as proof-texts—Matthew 24:24 and 1 Timothy 4:1. Again, though, Matthew 24:24—a prediction of false Christs, prophets, etc.—has to do with that period prior to Jerusalem’s demise (cf. 34). Josephus recorded that the administration of Felix, a Roman procurator in Judea (A.D. 52-60), was known for its “impostors (Antiquities 20.8.5). Justin Martyr, an early Christian apologist, said that Simon Magnus went to Rome, where he deceived many with his magic and was honored as deity. He cited an inscription that bore these words: “To Simon the holy God” (Apology, I.26).

    The reference in 1 Timothy 4:1ff. is a general allusion to the apostasy that would defect from the apostolic faith throughout the Christian age. The expression “latter times” likely is equivalent to “latter days” (cf. 2 Timothy 3:1), i.e., the final dispensation of time, the Christian era. Though Paul intended to warn regarding the future, he nonetheless saw the apostasy as already in operation (cf. White, 1956, 4:120). In fact, this point is made quite clear in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 where the “mystery of lawlessness” is “already at work.” This context contains no clue as to the end of time.
  6. It is asserted that the Bible predicts the rise of a “new world order” involving a “centralization of world financial and political power” in the end times, and that these conditions are current. Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 are cited vaguely as proofs. The truth is, both of these contexts have to do with developments out of the ancient Roman empire (see Jackson, 1995, pp. 48-71). They do not refer to America!
  7. Finally, it is claimed that just as angels announced Christ’s first coming (Luke 1:26), even so, angels recently have visited a number of folks, reporting that the end is near. This testimony is about as reliable as those who declare that they have been abducted by space aliens. There is no evidence whatever that angels are appearing to, or communicating with, people today.
There is no biblical information regarding the time of the Lord’s return. The end will occur unexpectedly (Matthew 24:36ff.).


Arndt, W.F., and F.W. Gingrich (1967), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago).
Jackson, Wayne (1995), Select Studies in the Book of Revelation (Stockton, CA: Courier Publications).
Jackson, Wayne (1998), At His Coming, ed. David Lipe (Henderson, TN: Freed-Hardeman University), in press.
Rose, H.J., and J.M. Fuller (1981), The Bible Commentary, ed. F.C. Cook (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
White, N.J.D. (1956), The Expositor’s Greek Testament, ed. W. Robertson Nicoll (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).