He Declares the End from the Beginning

Isaiah 46:9–10
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Look at this amazing verse with me. Listen to what God says about Himself as He reveals His Sovereignty through the prophet Isaiah.

There is none like me. Aren’t you glad there is none like Him? If there were any like Him, then we would have to worry if our God was going to win. When two teams are evenly matched, the question of who is going to win the contest is in question—but that is not the case with God—there is none like Him. I can’t play basketball—I mean it—I really can’t play. I can foul and double dribble and miss shots like the best of them, but I can’t play to win. So if I were ever to get a chance to play basketball with Michael Jordan there wouldn’t be any question who was going to win our little one-on-one game. Jordan would win because “there is none like him.” (I know some would argue that Jordan is not that much better than others, but he works well for the illustration.)

Now look at verse 10. This is what God does—He declares the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are NOT YET done. It doesn’t get any more sovereign than that. He is in charge. He declares the end from the beginning. When He wants the outcome a particular way it happens that way and it always happens that way. From the ancient times the things that are not yet done are done.
This is predestination. It can’t be denied. Some stick their head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. Others try to make it a heresy because of the perception that man loses his “freewill.” Neither choice is acceptable. The Bible says He declares “the end from the beginning.” How He does this while preserving human freedom is a mystery and a remarkable thing that my finite brain struggles at comprehending. However, my inability to comprehend how he: 1) declares the end from the beginning, 2) can be moved by prayer toward certain actions, and 3) I have lots of freedom to make choices does not change the truth of this verse.

And this verse should be of the greatest comfort to all who believe. “How so?” you may ask. My answer is simple, “what is the point of praying to a God who is not powerful enough to declare the end from the beginning?” or is so absent from mankind like a deistic view of God that He doesn’t choose to declare the end from the beginning?” This verse should invoke within me faith. My God for whom there is none like Him has the power to declare the end from the beginning. That is powerful—that is Almighty! His counsel shall stand. He can and will do all He pleasures to do and there isn’t anyone who interferes with His purpose as He sees fit. From the beginning Satan (and all that is evil) have been trying to keep God from accomplishing His counsel and His pleasure but “it will stand!” For 6,000 years of human history God has been demonstrating that He accomplishes His good pleasure as He sees fit. In fact for 6,000+ years God has been demonstrating that He is so powerful He can take what is meant for evil and turn it into good.

For that I am glad. That low view of God will bring no comfort to a soul who is in tribulation.

Must See Movie for the Entire Family

This movie was not what I was expecting. I suspected it would be some kind of spoof but I was completely wrong. Every Christian family should watch this movie and listen for the application of Biblical truth in a very practical sense as we see the struggles families go through in a fallen world. Letters to God is available at your local Redbox for $1 and you can even go to the Rebox webpage www.redbox.com and reserve a copy so you don't have to waste time driving around town looking for it. Christians need to support those who make movies like this.

Jehovah's Witnesses (An Academic Paper for APOL 500)

The purpose of this article is to provide a summary of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, articulate why it is a cult, and explain how one could share orthodox Christianity with a member of this Society. Although members of this “sect” of Christianity claim to be the one true representation of the people of God on the planet, the reality is their doctrine is so contrary to orthodox Christianity that it is a cult. Moreover, a Jehovah’s Witness (JW) can be shown that the Christian orthodox doctrine a Witness denies to be true is in fact affirmed in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (the Watchtower Bible).

Basic Summary

With roots back to 1870 and Charles Russell’s Bible study group in Pennsylvania, JWs subscribe to the belief that only their sect is the one true people of God. They teach that there is only one God whose only name is Jehovah, and they are His witnesses. As JWs, each follower has a personal responsibility to proclaim the truth in a very deliberate way often in door to door witnessing and home “Bible” studies. They believe Jesus Christ is not the only begotten Son of God, and that their translation of the Bible, the New World Translation (NWT) published from the Watchtower Society, is a more perfect translation of the Bible. Walter Martin writes, “The Watchtower Society is an absolute autocracy. All authority is vested in the [Society] including the authority to understand and teach the Bible.”

Although a JW may affirm faith in Christ, their understanding of how one is saved is based on good outweighing bad. Words like repentance, faith, grace, atonement and justification are not understood in the traditional orthodox sense. Witnesses are motivated to do right and adhere to a legalistic set of rules to please Jehovah. At best, Christ created an opportunity for men to be saved, but he did not secure the salvation of anyone. The Watchtower teaches that only 144,000 (the “Anointed Class”) are born again and will spend eternity in heaven with God; “the other sheep” (John 10:16) live forever in an earthly paradise. The souls of everyone else are annihilated. Witnesses do not believe in hell or the eternal punishment of those outside of Christ.

In 1914, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus returned, in an invisible way, to establish His kingdom. This kingdom is administered by the Watchtower Society headquartered in Brookline, New York. Thus, they meet in kingdom halls and are not organized like a New Testament church. According to Hager JWs are obsessed with uniformity including “uniform kingdom halls, consistent dress codes, and training for evangelism.”


The Jehovah’s Witnesses understanding of truth substantially departs from orthodox Christianity in four major areas. They are: the entire Godhead, the Person (in both the deity and incarnation) and the salvific work of Christ (including the gospel), the second coming of Christ and the reality of Hell (including the eternal punishment of lost souls). The Watchtower Society indoctrinates new converts with false doctrine in two ways: first, they use a modified translation of the Bible and second, they teach only from their books, tracts and lessons and discourage the use of other Christian material.

Beginning with the doctrine of God, the JWs err in teaching that God’s only name is Jehovah who has not revealed Himself to mankind in three Persons who are one God. The JWs believe Jesus is a god—but not the Almighty God. He existed as a created spirit being until His birth and then was only human while on the earth. They deny the truth that Jesus is God possessing all the same divine attributes as God the Father. Finally, JWs believe that the Holy Spirit is not a separate distinct person in the Godhead but the non-personal active force of God.

Not only does the Watchtower Society deny the full deity of Christ, but it also denies His incarnation. The mysterious union of deity and humanity in the Person of Jesus Christ is denied: Jesus was a spirit being (a god), then a man, and is presently an exalted spirit being. The JWs teach that Christ died on a stake, not a cross, and deny the bodily resurrection of Christ.

A present day JW earns his salvation in a hybrid of faith and works. While the JW official website refers to Jesus as a savior, the witness is also directed from Phil 2:12 that there is a clear expectation that every JW will contribute or work out their own salvation. The Society denies the efficacy of Christ’s finished work on the cross. A new convert will be highly encouraged to be faithful to the programs and expectations of the church with the understanding that unfaithful people do not receive the reward of eternal life. From Watchtower material they will be taught: “The Bible likens our Christian course to a race, with salvation being the prize at its end.” The Society’s doctrine is devoid of an understanding or appreciation for the salvific grace of God.

Finally, the Society believes that Christ’s second coming has already occurred, and the world missed it because it was not visible. The Jesus who ascended in Acts 1 did not return in like manner (Acts 1). The JWs believe that Christ was made a heavenly king in 1914 and is using the Society rule on this planet in the kingdom age. They deny the visible second coming of Christ to rule on a throne in Jerusalem for 1,000 years.

Engaging the Jehovah’s Witness

The best way to engage a witness concerning the flaws in his belief system is to use his New World Translation to affirm the orthodoxy of the Person and salvific work of Christ and the reality that all can be born again and assured of eternal life through salvation by grace (John 3, Eph. 2:8-9, 1 John 5). The second way to engage the JW is to show him how his NWT has been altered using another Bible. This would be especially productive if the JW could see the truth in multiple translations.

The witness has been taught that Jehovah created Jesus and Jesus subsequently created all things. However, this is not what his Bible teaches. John 1:3 is clear “and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.” This is only possible if Jesus is not a created being. The witness needs to see the connection between John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1. Then, he should see how John 10:30 in the NWT presents Jesus as one with Jehovah—“I and the Father are one.” Next in John 20:28, Thomas calls Jesus “My God.” This is troublesome because Jesus did not rebuke Thomas, and he should have if he were not God. From Hebrews 1:3, the witness needs to be shown how Jesus can be (from the NWT) “the exact representation of his (God’s see v.1) very being” if Jesus is not God.

Additionally, the witness should be shown how Jehovah is identified as the only savior (Is. 43:11); whereas, John 4:42 identifies Jesus as the savior of the world. The witness needs to see that the doctrine of the Trinity, there is only one God who has revealed Himself to mankind in three persons, is essential to reconcile verses with other verses in the NWT. Acts 5 is another example where the Holy Spirit is presented as God and the NWT was changed to obscure the truth. Finally from Matthew 1:23, the JW needs to explain how God was with mankind if Jesus is not God.

Next, the JWs need to be engaged with a true gospel presentation (justification, sanctification, and glorification). He needs to be shown what it means to believe that Jesus is the Christ in relationship to the Prophet, Priest and King. He must be taught what saved by grace means from Eph. 2. I John 5:1 and other “whoever” verses would be an ideal verse to show that the JW that the number of people who may be born of God is not limited to any set number. He may be encouraged to know that all may have eternal life (John 3) and the assurance of salvation from 1 John. Ron Rhodes emphasizes the importance of sharing with the JW one’s personal testimony and stressing that orthodox Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with Christ. He writes: “Fundamentally, a Christian is one who has a personal ongoing relationship with Jesus.” Ultimately, the JW needs to be shown the full implications of “it is finished” (John 19:30). Even the NWT rendering “it was accomplished” begs the question: “What did Christ accomplish?


This paper summarized what the JWs believe to be true, outlined major heretical deviations from the Bible and explained how a Christian should engage a JW with the faith in hopes of bringing him to a relationship with Jesus. When a person compares what the Society teaches to orthodox Christianity, it is clear they are not the one true people of God. The JWs are not a sect of Christianity—it is a cult. By engaging the JW with the NWT, he should be able to see that his Bible does not support his doctrine. The true Christian needs to keep his focus on engaging the JW concerning the God of the Gospel and the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Hager, Mark. The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics: Surveying the Evidence for the Truth of Christianity. Edited by Ed Hinson and Ergun Caner. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Website. http://www.watchtower.org (accessed July-August 2010).

Jehovah’s Witnesses: Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom. Brooklyn, NY: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1993.

Martin, Walter. Kingdom of the Cults: The Definitive Work of the Subject. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2003.

Rhodes, Ron. The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Jehovah’s Witness. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2001.

Rhodes, Ron. “The Bible and Religious Cults.” ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles, 2008.

1611 King James Bible Facsimile


Cut and paste the above website URL into your browser if you would like to look at images of the first edition of the 1611 King James Bible including the Apocrypha books. One of the things you should notice are footnotes in the margin of the Bible inserted by the translation comittee. There will normally be two vertical lines next to the note.

Some would have you to believe that the translators were perfect. If this were true and they had complete knowledge someone needs to explain why there are footnotes in the Bible.

That fact is sometimes they (the translation committee) were not sure and inserted a footnote to provide additional information. This is a practice continued with today's modern literal translations like the NASB, ESV and NKJV.

One should also take the time to read the preface to the 1611 Bible to gain an appreciation of how they viewed themselves and their role as translators.

Check it out yourself and compare it to today's KJV.

Why does God expect me to do good works if I am saved by grace?

According to the Bible, salvation is only available through the grace of God, and not through our works as many cults believe. If works do not provide salvation, then what role do they play in the Christian life?

The fact that the Bible says so much about good works is one of the reasons why there is often such confusion between salvation by grace and a hybrid of faith and works. From the ESV, there are eight specific references to the “good works” Christians do as part of the life they live. These verses, Mt. 5:16, Eph 2:10, 1 Tim. 6:18, Titus 2: 7, 14; 3:14 and Heb. 10:24, as well as other supplementary references, refer to works that need to be examined to understand the role good works play in the Christian life. From the New Testament this short article will show that there are three things good words accomplish in the Christian life. First, good works glorify God. Second, they serve as a means of validating that one’s faith is real, and third, they are used by God to accomplish his will.

Good works are important and the Bible is full of exhortations toward them. Titus 2:7 tells the believer to “be a model of good works” and verse 14 communicates that God expects his people to be “zealous of good works.” The author of Hebrews 10:24 encourages believers to “stir up one another toward good works.” Sometimes good works are just described as what God desires without using the words “good works.” The good work that the Samaritan did is presented as the perfect example of loving one’s neighbor as oneself (Lk. 10). Paul recognizes when churches are doing good work and he commends them for their good works (2 Cor. 8). Believers will be rewarded for their good works at the Judgment Seat of Christ. According to 1 Corinthians 3:13–14: “Each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward [emphasis mine].” Moreover, there are numerous other references to “works” without an adjective describing the works. For example, who can miss the message of James 2 faith without works is not salvific faith? In Revelation 2-3, there are six references to “your works.” Finally, the Bible is full of directives (instruction/commandments) concerning how a man is expected to live—do good works. Good works matter to God.

First and foremost, Christ made it clear that good works are necessary so others see the good work of God in the life of the believer and glorify God (Mt. 5:16). Ephesians 2:10 supplements this truth: God saves (created in Christ) people “unto good works.” Saved people are “his workmanship.” Likewise, in the same way the heavens declare the glory of the Lord. How much more should new creatures in Christ, radically changed by the power the gospel, produce good works which also point toward the glory of God?

Second, good works that glorify God also serve to provide “evidence of an inward faith (Eph 2:10; James 2:21-22)” (Weider, The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics, 2008, p. 428). Faith without good works is not salvific faith (James 2:21-22). Good works are a way of validating the authenticity of the grace of God in the life of the believer. The proof text for this comes from Titus 2:11-12: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” Instead of saying “good works,” Paul describes what the life that produces good works looks like. It has renounced the sins of the world and is seeking to live a self-controlled, upright, and godly life.

Third, not only do good works glorify God, and validate faith, but God uses them to accomplish his will in the Christian life. He doesn’t have to, but he does. Jesus went about doing (accomplishing) the will of the Father and when the Jews sought to kill him he asked, “Which of these good works do you stone me for?” (John 10:32). In 1 Timothy 6:18, Paul tells Timothy to instruct the rich people in the church to use their money in a good way. He writes, “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.” In this case, we learn that rich people doing “good works” take care of the needs of the less fortunate in the body of Christ. Likewise in Titus 3:8 and 14 Paul tells Titus that good works are “profitable for others” (v. 8) and good works help people in “urgent need” (v. 14). The rich sharing wealth with the poor is a good work.

In conclusion, “good works” glorify God. They provide evidence of authentic faith and grace in the life of the believer and are used by God to accomplish his will.

Not Willing that any Perish--Really?

Have you ever considered how important the context of the verse is to the correct understanding of truth? In the Bible it is essential. I once heard an evangelist continually pull a truth out of context throughout a sermon and I know he understood the complete truth—but he is wasn’t communicating it well.


He didn’t communicate the truth well because he didn’t present the truth in context. Perhaps you have heard someone say:

“God is not willing that any should perish.”

That is what the evangelist said.

Is this a true statement? (It comes from the Bible.) Yes, but only if it is presented in its context. No—as a stand-alone idea—it is not a true statement. Here is where the idea comes from. 2 Peter 3:9 says:

The Lord is not slack [slow] concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering [patient] to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

This promise is not a universal promise. (That would lead to universalism—the belief that eventually God will save all either on this planet or in the life to come.)

This verse is not promising that God is not willing that any should perish. We know this to be true based on rest of the Bible. In Luke 13:3 and 5 Jesus said, “Except you repent you will all likewise perish.” That is very clear. From the mouth of our Lord, everyone who doesn’t repent will perish. Therefore, I must conclude that God is willing that some perish.

Who then is God not willing to perish? Who can take comfort in this promise from Peter? The context of the verse makes that clear—it is the group “us-ward.” Peter fits that group. Do you? Go back and read the introduction of the book and it is very clear Peter is writing to Christians—he is writing to people he believes have been radically changed by the power of the gospel. Within chapter three he opens with this description of the people who are part of the “us-ward”—he calls them “beloved.” He says they have “pure minds.” How did they get “pure minds?” Why are they “beloved?” They are born again. They have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ and adopted into the family of God as sons and daughters. This is why Peter can accurately describe them with pure minds and people who are beloved.

The “us-ward” is the group of people that God is not willing that should perish. God is not willing that any who come to repentance perish. This is an awesome promise of eternal security of the believer.

For the complete truth of the Word of God reveals that repentance for all is a commandment. According to Acts 17:30: God is now commanding all men everywhere to repent. The only acceptable response to the gospel is repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus the Christ. If that is not a person’s testimony he or she will perish. Hell is punishment for a failure to turn to the one true and living God. The fact is: God is willing that those who do not turn from idolatry to the one true and living God perish. The frightening truth is: Every moment, of every hour, of everyday, people are perishing. They are stepping into eternity without Jesus. Will you?

I hope this short posting did two things: First, I hope it reinforced for you the importance of teaching biblical truth within the context of the complete revelation of scripture. Second, I hope it has reminded you that “intellectual asset” is not the same as biblical belief in Christ—because “believing” always contains an element of repentance. There isn’t anyone who has “believed on the Lord Jesus Christ” who has not experience repentance toward God as a part of their Christian testimony. The word of God must always be taught within the complete revelation of truth. A failure to do so can lead to people forming wrong ideas about God and truth.