|Vol. 13 No. 9 September 2011||
Rodney Nulph, Associate Editor
It is certainly not uncommon to hear brethren refer to a particular Gospel preacher as “my preacher”. We all have preachers who stand out in our minds as special for one reason or another. Sometimes it is a particular style, attitude or pulpit presence that attracts to us to a certain preacher. I, too, have a favorite preacher! There has never been a preacher to ever mount a pulpit that even remotely compares to “my preacher”. Of course the One to Whom I refer is none other than Jesus. Let me share a few reasons why He is “head and shoulders” above the rest.
Firstly, Jesus preached with authority. At the conclusion of His masterful Sermon on the Mount, those who heard Him, “…were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:28b-29). Jesus preached with the authority of heaven itself (cf. John 7:16; 8:28; 12:48-50). He did not preach opinions, suggestions or “think so’s”, but rather the words that He preached meant the difference between life and death (cf. John 6:63).
Secondly, Jesus preached with urgency. Jesus spent His days preaching the urgent message from heaven (cf. Luke 4:16-19; Matthew 4:17). He preached to His men (Matthew 16:21); He preached to the multitudes (Matthew 5-7); He preached to the minuscule (Luke 19); He preached to the malefactors (Luke 23:39-43). Jesus understood the urgency of preaching (John 9:4).
Thirdly, Jesus preached passionately. The mistaken “picture” many draw of Jesus as a tender man with long flowing hair, holding a baby lamb in His arms is a figment of man’s imagination and not a portrait of the biblical Christ! While Jesus was certainly meek and gentle (Matthew 11:28-30), His preaching was filled with passion. He was not a soft-spoken pacifist! Consider the fact that He “cried in the temple as He taught” (John 7:28; cf. 12:44). The idea of “cried” here literally means to cry aloud, cry out, speak with a loud voice” (Thayer 358). Jesus stood and cried as He extended the invitation (John 7:37). When He witnessed sin in His Father’s house, he passionately and readily dealt with it (John 2:15). He rebuked Peter to the face (Mark 8:33), as well as publically denounced the false teachers of His day (Matthew 23). Passion and zeal characterized His ministry (John 2:17).
Jesus was the Master Preacher! May I exhort each one to read after Him, to study His Sermons, to follow in His footsteps and one day to enter the Great Throne Room of Heaven to spend eternity with Him. Truly, “…Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46b)!
Thayer, Joseph H. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2007.
Bradley S. Cobby
They come to the door, always wanting to study the Bible with you. They are very sincere in their beliefs, and they have converted many throughout the years. They are the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and we need to be able to withstand and combat their false teachings. Many of their false ideas could be pointed out, but this article will only deal with one.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Jesus was the very first created being, and not God in the flesh. In an attempt to justify themselves in this teaching, they have produced their own version of the Bible (the New World Translation), which blatantly changes the meaning of certain passages. The most glaring example of this is John 1:1, which in their version reads, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was a god.” Almost all other translations say “and the Word was God.” They appeal to a non-existent Greek rule for this change, yet oddly enough do not follow their made-up rule in the other four cases that appear in the very same chapter! If one were to follow this supposed rule, the Bible would say the following: “There was a man sent from a god” (John 1:6), “as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of a god” (John 1:12), “which were born, not…of the will of man, but of a god” (John 1:13), “no man has seen a god at any time” (John 1:18). Can you see how ridiculous this becomes, just from this small sampling?
Colossians 1:16 states of Jesus Christ, “for by him were all things created…all things were created by him and for him.” However, in the New World Translation, they have added a word, so that it reads “by means of him all [other] things were created… All [other] things have been created through him and for him.” They added the word “other” to imply that Jesus was first created, and thus was not God. The Bible is very clear that Jesus indeed was “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). Jesus called Himself “I AM” (John 8:58), which is the same name God used for Himself (Exodus 3:14). God is to be worshipped (Revelation 22:9; Matthew 5:10). Though righteous men and heavenly angels refused worship (Acts 14:8-18, Revelation 22:8-9), Jesus, who had no sin (1 Peter 2:21-22), accepted worship on more than one occasion (Matthew 14:33; John 9:35-38). If Jesus is not God, He sinned in accepting worship and calling Himself “I AM.”
Do not be fooled by the claims of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They try to sneak their translation in and say, “It’s basically just like the King James Version.” To put it simply, this is a lie. If their version is correct, then the KJV (and just about every other translation) is blasphemous for calling Jesus God. Yet, if the King James Version (and just about every other translation) is correct in stating that Jesus is God, the New World Translation is blasphemous for denying it! Brethren, there is no middle ground in this matter!