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 2007 by David A. Prentice Contents: Overheads to be used with Chapter 2 of “Truth in the Balance,” copyright 2003 by David Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T.

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1  2007 by David A. Prentice Contents: Overheads to be used with Chapter 2 of “Truth in the Balance,” copyright 2003 by David Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T. REVISION DATE 11/04/2014 This material is made available by the author at no charge. It may be reproduced for use in a Christian environment such as Sunday schools or Bible classes, but it may not be used for any commercial purposes. To be certain that you have the most up-to-date version of this material, go to the Origins Resource Association website, Follow the links to “Bible College Materials” and check that the revision date shown online is the same as shown above. If not, download the latest version.

2  2007 by David A. Prentice 1. Is there a God? 2. Could He communicate clearly if He wanted to? 3. Are there any books that claim to be a revelation from Him? 4. Is there a way to test any such books to see if they are beyond human capabilities? Impossible to know anything with 100% certainty Yes No WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? TEST THEM!!! 2-1

3  2007 by David A. Prentice “HOLY BOOKS” Only three of the world’s “Holy Books” specifically claim to be divinely inspired: THE BIBLE Every other religion is based only Every other religion is based only on the wisdom of the “Ascended Masters.” 2-2 THE KORAN (QUR’AN) THE BOOK OF MORMON

4  2007 by David A. Prentice APE WISDOM What is the meaning of bananas? 2-3

5  2007 by David A. Prentice Contradictions All the “Holy Books” contradict each other. All the “Holy Books” contradict each other. If any one of them is right, all the others have to be wrong. If any one of them is right, all the others have to be wrong. 2-4

6  2007 by David A. Prentice What’s in the Book of Mormon? This claims to be the story of the descendants of Lehi, an Israelite instructed by God about 600 B.C. to leave Israel, build a ship, and sail to a new promised land. His sons Laman and Nephi accompanied him with their families. Upon arriving in the uninhabited Americas, they began to spread out and populate the hemisphere. 2-5 The descendants of Nephi worshipped the God of his father but the Lamanites did not. Battles between the two groups became fierce and frequent. A temporary peace was established when Jesus came to the Americas after His resurrection and preached repentance and faith. However, about 300 years later the dark-skinned Lamanites returned to their ungodly state and exterminated the light-skinned Nephites. The Lamanites’ descendants are known to us as Indians or Native Americans. The record of the events was compiled by a Nephite named Moroni on a set of gold plates. He hid the plates at the “Hill Cumorah” in upstate New York just before his death in the last battle against the Lamanites. He returned as an angel centuries later and allowed Joseph Smith to translate them into the Book of Mormon.

7  2007 by David A. Prentice Non-Christian Mormon Doctrines 1. God the Father used to be a flesh-and-blood man. He became the father of Jesus by sexual relations with Mary. He lives by the star Kolob. 2. Each man (not woman) has the potential to one day become a Father God in his own spiritual kingdom. 3. Polygamy: In order to achieve maximum exaltation to godhood, each man should have as many wives as possible. (Because of U.S. law, only a few Mormons openly practice polygamy any more.) 4. Baptism for the dead. This is the reason for the Mormon interest in genealogy. 5. Shedding of the sinner’s own blood is necessary for the forgiveness of certain sins. 6. Secret rituals and practices. Drawn from rituals of the Masonlc Lodge. 7. Pre-existence of souls. New babies receive their souls from a reservoir of previously existing ones, but have no recollection of their previous existence. 8. Humans may become angels and angels may become human. 9. There are many inhabited planets throughout the universe. 1. God the Father used to be a flesh-and-blood man. He became the father of Jesus by sexual relations with Mary. He lives by the star Kolob. 2. Each man (not woman) has the potential to one day become a Father God in his own spiritual kingdom. 3. Polygamy: In order to achieve maximum exaltation to godhood, each man should have as many wives as possible. (Because of U.S. law, only a few Mormons openly practice polygamy any more.) 4. Baptism for the dead. This is the reason for the Mormon interest in genealogy. 5. Shedding of the sinner’s own blood is necessary for the forgiveness of certain sins. 6. Secret rituals and practices. Drawn from rituals of the Masonlc Lodge. 7. Pre-existence of souls. New babies receive their souls from a reservoir of previously existing ones, but have no recollection of their previous existence. 8. Humans may become angels and angels may become human. 9. There are many inhabited planets throughout the universe. 2-6

8  2007 by David A. Prentice Visitor Center at the “Hill Cumorah,” Manchester, New York It was at this hill that Mormons believe Joseph Smith received the Book of Mormon from the angel Moroni, and where the final battle between the Lamanites and Nephites occurred. Visitor Center at the “Hill Cumorah,” Manchester, New York It was at this hill that Mormons believe Joseph Smith received the Book of Mormon from the angel Moroni, and where the final battle between the Lamanites and Nephites occurred. Left: footpath up the hill. “Cumorah” is a rather ordinary looking hill. Guides at the visitor center were unable to identify the place where Joseph Smith’s gold plates were supposedly hidden. The plates are said to be in the custody of the angel Moroni. Left: footpath up the hill. “Cumorah” is a rather ordinary looking hill. Guides at the visitor center were unable to identify the place where Joseph Smith’s gold plates were supposedly hidden. The plates are said to be in the custody of the angel Moroni. 2-7

9  2007 by David A. Prentice INSIDE THE HILL CUMORAH VISITOR CENTER Painting of Jesus preaching to Indians in North America after His resurrection Left: The Bible - only part of the Mormon scriptures Right: The Book of Mormon Right: The Book of Mormon Center: Replica of Joseph Smith’s plates 2-8

10  2007 by David A. Prentice Origin of the Book of Mormon: What really happened. 1. The only account of Smith’s vision he wrote himself says that he saw one being, not two. Jesus and the Father were not two separate gods Smith said he received his vision when he sought God after revival broke out in There were no revivals in western New York in The “Three Witnesses” only claimed to see a vision of the plates, not the plates themselves. All three were later excommunicated from the church. 4. Five of the “Eight Witnesses” (all but Smith’s family) eventually left the church. 5. Smith did his “translation” by looking into a “seer stone” placed in his hat. The plates were not even in the room at the time. 6. Smith said that the first edition of the Book of Mormon was the “most correct of any book on earth.” Yet the second edition had at least 3,913 corrections! 7. Smith knew nothing about Egyptian hieroglyphics. His “Book of Abraham” and “Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar” were wrong in every detail.

11  2007 by David A. Prentice SMITH’S “BOOK OF ABRAHAM” - nothing but an Egyptian burial scroll. SMITH’S “BOOK OF ABRAHAM” - nothing but an Egyptian burial scroll. His translation was wrong in every detail. Photo from The Changing World of Mormonism, © 1980 by Jerald & Sandra Tanner. Used by permission. Photo from The Changing World of Mormonism, © 1980 by Jerald & Sandra Tanner. Used by permission. 2-10

12  2007 by David A. Prentice A GLARING ERROR IN THE BOOK OF MORMON: “... the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth. And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers...” (Alma 7:9-10) Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem! 2-11

13  2007 by David A. Prentice The Fundamental Story of the Book of Mormon: FALSIFIED! Like all living things, humans inherit our DNA from our parents. One part, mitochondrial DNA, comes almost entirely from the mother. Extremely simplified diagram of a cell showing mitochondria By examining similarities between the mitochondrial DNA of different ethnic groups, scientists can de- termine which are more closely related to each other. The Book of Mormon says that the American Indians are descended from Israel- ites. ites. However, DNA studies show that American Indians have almost NO similarity similarity in mitochondrial DNA with Jewish people. Instead, DNA confirms that they are extremely similar to the peoples of of East Asia, Asia, who have long been suspected to be their ances- tors based on archaeology, linguistics, and physical appearance. American Indians are NOT descendants of the Israelites. 2-12

14  2007 by David A. Prentice ORIGIN OF ISLAM AND THE QUR’AN Muhammad claimed to begin receiving revelations from the angel Gabriel (the “holy spirit”) about 600 A.D. As he dictated these revelations, they were written on any material available. Many are preserved in the Qur’an. The Qur’an is divided into 114 chapters or “Suras.” They are not in chronological or doctrinal order but are generally arranged from longest to shortest. After Muhammad’s death in 632 A.D., there were four contradictory versions in circulation. One of his successors, the caliph Othman, compiled the present version (the Othmanic Rescension) 19 years later and had all other copies destroyed. Muslims also reverence the Hadith, a collection of sayings of Muhammad and his successors. 2-13

15  2007 by David A. Prentice ALLAH, THE GOD OF ISLAM Few Muslims realize that the crescent moon on the ancient symbol of Islam dates back before 570 A.D. when “Allah” was the name of the Arabic moon god. Muslims believe that they are worshipping Almighty God, not some sort of moon god. Allah is a god of power, not love. Muslims have no hope of a personal relationship with him. 2-14

16  2007 by David A. Prentice DO CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS WORSHIP THE SAME GOD? DO CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS WORSHIP THE SAME GOD? NO! The God of the Bible has a Son named Jesus, who created the universe and became a man to die for our sins. Allah of the Qur’an has NO SON. SON. (18:4-6, 23:91 et al.) Jesus is merely one of Allah’s many prophets. 2-15

17  2007 by David A. Prentice THE PILLARS OF ISLAM 1. The Two Witnesses (Al (Al Shahadtin): Shahadtin): statements about Allah and Muhammad. 2. Ritual Prayers Prayers (Al (Al Salat): Salat): Five times a day, in Arabic, facing toward Mecca. 3. Daytime Fasting during the month of Ramadan (Siam Shahar Ramadan). 4. Pilgrimage to Mecca Mecca (Al (Al Hajj): Hajj): Required at least once in the lifetime of every Muslim who can afford the trip. 2-16

18  2007 by David A. Prentice AL-HAJJ, THE PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA Tens of thousands of pilgrims circling the Kaaba, a cube shaped building in Mecca central to Muslim worship The “Black Stone” inside the Kaaba Muham- mad’s Tomb in nearby Medina 2-17

19  2007 by David A. Prentice THE PILLARS OF ISLAM 1. The Two Witnesses (Al Shahadtin): statements about Allah and Muhammad. 2. Ritual Prayers (Al Salat): Five times a day, in Arabic, facing toward Mecca. 2. Ritual Prayers (Al Salat): Five times a day, in Arabic, facing toward Mecca. 3. Daytime Fasting during the month of Ramadan (Siam Shahar Ramadan). 4. Pilgrimage to Mecca (Al Hajj): Required at least once in the lifetime of every Muslim who can afford the trip. 3. Daytime Fasting during the month of Ramadan (Siam Shahar Ramadan). 4. Pilgrimage to Mecca (Al Hajj): Required at least once in the lifetime of every Muslim who can afford the trip The Forgotten Pillar: “Holy War” War” (Jihad). (Jihad). Islam’s objective is to take over the world for Allah. Volume 4, Book 52 of the Hadith explicitly says that Muslims will one day be required to kill Jews.

20  2007 by David A. Prentice MAJOR DIVISIONS OF ISLAM 1. The great majority of Muslims (about 900 million) are Sunnis. Sunnis believe that the caliphs were the proper successors of Muhammad. They confirm between 300,000 and 700,000 sayings of the Hadith. 2. Shiites (about 100 million) believe the caliphs murdered Muham- mad’s proper successor, his son-in-law Ali. They believe the caliph Othman deleted many passages of the Qur’an to support his claim to power. They confirm only about 1,200 sayings of the Hadith. Shiites and Sunnis consider each other infidels and often target each other with suicide bomb attacks. They have been fighting for over 1300 years over Ali vs. the caliphs! 3. Sufis (a few million) are the mystics of Islam. They believe it is possible to have a personal relationship with Allah through mystical practices. 4. Black Muslims (a few hundred thousand?) are primarily a political movement and are far outside the mainstream of Islam. They ignore the fact that Muslims were just as responsible for slavery as white Europeans were. 2-18

21  2007 by David A. Prentice THE QUR’AN’S TEACHING ON WOMEN: 2. Daughters are not as good as sons. Fathers can either bear the shame of their birth, or bury them alive (16:57). 3. Men are worth twice as much as women in legal matters (2:228, 2:282, 4:11-12 et al.) 4. Men may have up to four wives and may have sex with an unlimited number of slave girls (4:3, 4:24, 33:52, 70:28). Women can have only one husband. 5. A man who commits fornication and repents is forgiven, but a woman who does the same is confined to her house until she dies (4:14-16). 1. Men are superior. If they fear disobedience from their wives, they are to beat them (Sura 4:34). 2-19

22  2007 by David A. Prentice How Reliable is the Modern Qur’an? 2. Muhammad’s followers wrote his dictation on frag- ments of bone, papyrus, etc. None of the fragments are still in existence. 3. Even the Hadith confirms (Vol. 6, #507, 509, 510) that there were four versions of the Qur’an in circulation until Othman declared one version official and had all others destroyed. 4. Muslims claim that one copy of the “Othmanic Rescension” has survived until the present, but they refuse to let non-Muslim scholars see it. 5. Shiites claim that Othman left out many verses of the original Qur’an that would have undermined his claim to power. 1. At first, Muhammad was not sure if his revelations were coming from God or Satan (22:52-53). 2-20

23  2007 by David A. Prentice THE QUR’AN’S CREDENTIALS: NOT VERY GOOD! 2. There are only two testable predictive prophecies in the whole Qur’an. Sura 30:1 is very vague. It says the Greeks will defeat the Persians but doesn’t say where or when. The other (48:27) says Muhammad would be allowed to return to Mecca in peace. But he had already signed a treaty! 3. Muslims are not allowed to doubt because “This book is not to be doubted.” (2:1). 4. The Qur’an claims to be superior to anything men could write on their own, but gives no criteria to judge its superiority. 5. Nothing bad happened to Muhammad. BUT evildoers are not always quickly punished for their transgressions! (7:99, 10:11, 10:69, 18:58, 31:25 et al.) 6. It claims that it contains no contradictions. Wrong! There are dozens, at least. 1. Allah could have given signs to confirm it, but he didn’t (Sura 6:35, 10:20, 13:7, 17:59, 29:50 et al.). 2-21

24  2007 by David A. Prentice THE QUR’AN’S TEACHING ON THE BIBLE: 2. Muhammad dictated that the “People of the Book,” Christians and Jews, are to obey their Scriptures. (5:63). This only makes sense if an uncorrupted version of the Bible existed in Muhammad’s day (ca. 600 A.D.). 1. The Qur’an is sent to confirm the earlier Scriptures. Allah and the God of the Bible are the same. Muslims are to submit to Him. (Sura 29:46-47, 35:32, 41:42, 45:16 et al.) Muslims explain contradictions between the Bible and the Qur’an by saying that the Bible has been corrupted. However, many of our Bible manuscripts date to hundreds of years before Muhammad. They agree with each other almost 100%. The Qur’an must be wrong, not the Bible. 2-22

25  2007 by David A. Prentice A FEW CONTRADICTIONS IN THE QUR’AN: 2. Creation took six days (7:54, 10:3, 11:7 et al.); no, it took eight (41:9-13). 3. Sodom was destroyed by rain (25:40); no, by stones in a whirlwind (51:32); no, it was turned upside-down by a shower of clay-stones (11:83). 4. All Noah’s sons survived the Flood (21:76); no, one drowned (11:41-43). 5. Killing children is wrong (6: ) except daughters, who may be buried alive (16:57). 6. Reward evil with evil (42:40); with good (41:34). 7. “Holy war” is not compulsory (2:256); yes it is (2:216, 9:39). 8. Man was created from water (25:52); no, from dry clay (6:2). 9. Treat unbelievers ruthlessly (48:29); courteously (29:46); show them no mercy (47:34); wish them peace (43:89); strike their heads off (47:4). 1. Jesus died (3:55); no He didn’t (4:157). 2-23

26  2007 by David A. Prentice THE DOCTRINE OF ABROGATION The Qur’an implicitly recognizes that it is subject to change. change. In Sura 2:106, for instance, Allah says: If We abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten, We will replace it by a better one or one similar. Muslims believe that the Qur’an is Allah’s final revelation and Muhammad is his final prophet. But they can never be sure sure Allah won’t won’t change his mind mind and and abrogate the earlier writings writings and send anew prophet prophet with new revelations! 2-24

27  2007 by David A. Prentice SOME ERRORS IN THE QUR’AN: 2. The Qur’an says Jews believed Ezra was the son of God (9:30). The Jews never believed any such thing. 3. Comets are fiery (37:9). NASA space flights show that there is no fire in a comet. show that there is no fire in a comet. 1. Pharaoh threatened to crucify his magicians (7:124). Crucifixion was invented by the Phoenicians centuries after Pharaoh died. NASA photo of a close flyby with Halley’s Comet 4. Meteors and comets are thrown down from heaven to pursue devils who eavesdrop heaven to pursue devils who eavesdrop (15:10). Since there is no air in space to carry sound, how can they eavesdrop? 5. The sky would fall, except it is held up with strong supports (22:65, 21:32). 6. There are seven heavens and seven earths (65:12). We can’t look for heavens, but where are the other six earths? 7. The sun and moon are each in their own orbit around the earth (21:33, 36:40). The earth orbits the sun. 2-25

28  2007 by David A. Prentice FANTASTIC STORIES AND BIBLE CONTRADICTIONS IN THE QUR’AN: 2. Mary gave birth to Jesus by a palm tree in the desert, alone (19:22). Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem is a well- documented historical fact. 3. Moses was sent to Haman in Egypt (40:24-37). Haman was in the time of Esther, not Moses and the Exodus! 1. Jesus preached from the cradle (3:46, 5:110, 19:30). As a child he made a bird of clay and breathed life into it (3:49). The bird story was an old fable rejected by the Christian church. The Bible says He did no miracles until after His baptism. 4. Solomon had power over wind (21:81, 34:11, 38:36). He could converse with animals (27:19-29). He had devils who dived into the sea for him (21:82), and “jinn” (genies) who made metal items for him (27:17). 5. God once became angry with some of the “People of the Book” and turned them into apes and swine (2:65, 5:60). 2-26

29  2007 by David A. Prentice AMAZING STORIES IN THE HADITH 2. Satan stays in the upper part of the nose at night. In the morning Muhammad would suck water up his nostrils and blow it out to cleanse them. 3. The angel Gabriel had 600 wings. 1. Adam was 90 feet tall. The Hadith doesn’t say how big Eve and her children were. Imagine giving birth to a 20-foot long baby! 4. Food would shout and glorify Allah as Muham- mad ate it. Imagine eating a shouting hamburger! 5. Muhammad once cut the moon in half with his sword. 5. Muhammad once cut the moon in half with his sword. There’s no mention of how it got back together, but since the moon is 240,000 miles away, it must have been a really BIG sword. There’s no mention of how it got back together, but since the moon is 240,000 miles away, it must have been a really BIG sword. 2-27

30  2007 by David A. Prentice MAJOR DOCTRINES OF THE WATCHTOWER 2. Identity of Jesus: Jesus is not almighty God in human flesh. He is Michael the archangel. 1. Salvation: the Watchtower is God’s only means of reaching out to mankind. Only those who join and obey it will be saved. 2-28

31  2007 by David A. Prentice IS JESUS MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL? 1. Dan. 10:13 - Michael is one of the chief princes, not the only one. 2. Mt. 1:23 - Jesus is “THE God” (‘  ) with us. The belief that Jesus is a lesser god is an an ancient heresy known as “Arianism,” condemned by the early church. 3. The blood that Jesus shed to purchase our redemption was THE God’s own blood. (Acts 20:28) 4. Jn. 16: Jesus “came out from” the Father. 5. Isa. 9:6 - Jesus is “the mighty God.” Jer. 32:18 - Jehovah is “the Mighty God” - exact same Hebrew words. 6. Isa. 43:10 - No other gods besides Jehovah Cor. 13:5 - Jesus is in every believer at the same time. Only God can be in more than one place at a time! 8. Rev. 1:8, 21:6, 22:12 - both Jesus and Jehovah are identified as “the first and the last.” How many firsts and lasts can there be? 9. Zech. 2: Three times we read that Jehovah would be sent to earth by Jehovah. 2-29

32  2007 by David A. Prentice MAJOR DOCTRINES OF THE WATCHTOWER 2. Identity of Jesus: Jesus is not almighty God in human flesh. He is Michael the archangel. 3. The Trinity: Jesus and Jehovah are two separate Gods. The Holy Spirit is a force, not a person. 1. Salvation: the Watchtower is God’s only means of reaching out to mankind. Only those who join and obey it will be saved. 4. Jesus’ Death: Jesus died on a torture stake - not a cross - to open the way to Jehovah. Each person must now save him- self by good works. 2-28

33  2007 by David A. Prentice CROSS OR TORTURE STAKE? 1. The normal meaning of “impaled” is “skewered.” Just to be different, they define it to mean “nailed to.” 2. The standard Roman method of execution was crucifixion, not nailing to a single stake. The Watchtower insists that everybody else is wrong - Jesus was impaled on a torture stake rather than hung on a cross. 3. Because the arms were spread out, crucifixion led to death by suffocation. (Hence the breaking of legs.) The effect would be completely different on a torture stake. 4. Jn. 20:25 - Jesus had the prints of nails, not a single nail. 5. Jn. 21:18 Jesus confirmed the method of crucifixion - Peter’s hands would be spread out. 6. Mt. 27:37 - The inscription was placed over Jesus’ head. If He had been nailed to a torture stake, the hands would have been the highest point on His body. 2-30

34  2007 by David A. Prentice MAJOR DOCTRINES OF THE WATCHTOWER 2. Identity of Jesus: Jesus is not almighty God in human flesh. He is Michael the archangel. 3. The Trinity: Jesus and Jehovah are two separate Gods. The Holy Spirit is a force, not a person. 1. Salvation: the Watchtower is God’s only means of reaching out to mankind. Only those who join and obey it will be saved. 4. Jesus’ Death: Jesus died on a torture stake - not a cross - to open the way to Jehovah. Each person must now save him- self by good works. 5. Resurrection: Jesus did not rise from the dead with the same body that died. It was a new spirit body. 6. Hell: There is no hell. Evildoers and those who do not do enough good works will simply go out of existence. How about Rev. 14:9-11? 2-28

35  2007 by David A. Prentice And another angel, a third, followed them, saying in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the wild beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he will also drink of the wine of the anger of God that is poured out undiluted into the cup of his wrath, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulphur in the sight of the holy angels and in the sight of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever, and day and night they have no rest, those who worship the wild beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name. (Rev. 14 : 9 – 11, New World Translation, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society) According to the Watchtower’s own translation, these evildoers do NOT simply go out of existence at the end of their lives NO PUNISHMENT AFTER DEATH?

36  2007 by David A. Prentice MAJOR DOCTRINES OF THE WATCHTOWER 2. Identity of Jesus: Jesus is not almighty God in human flesh. He is Michael the archangel. 3. The Trinity: Jesus and Jehovah are two separate Gods. The Holy Spirit is a force, not a person. 1. Salvation: the Watchtower is God’s only means of reaching out to mankind. Only those who join and obey it will be saved. 4. Jesus’ Death: Jesus died on a torture stake - not a cross - to open the way to Jehovah. Each person must now save him- self by good works. 5. Resurrection: Jesus did not rise from the dead with the same body that died. It was a new spirit body. 6. Hell: There is no hell. Evildoers and those who do not do enough good works will simply go out of existence. How about Rev. 14:9-11? 7. Heaven: Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe heaven is avail- able to them. They hope to live forever in an earthly paradise. 2-28

37  2007 by David A. Prentice WATCHTOWER RULES: 1. Jehovah’s Witnesses seldom, if ever, read the Bible apart from Watchtower commentaries explaining why it doesn’t mean what it says. 2. No birthday parties or holiday celebrations - considered forms of “creature worship.” 3. No military service or political involvement – also “creature worship.” 4. No Pledge of Allegance or saluting the flag. They have no problem accepting the protection of the government to which they refuse to pledge allegiance! 5. No blood transfusions, even if it means death. Based on the Biblical prohibition against eating blood. How many transfusion patients take in blood by eating it? Not even dogs, which by nature eat blood, are allowed to receive blood transfusions. 2-32

38  2007 by David A. Prentice LEADERS OF THE WATCHTOWER: Charles Taze Russell ( ) - founder and lifetime president of the organization. 2-33

39  2007 by David A. Prentice RUSSELL’S OPINION OF HIS OWN WRITINGS (The Scripture Studies) : RUSSELL’S OPINION OF HIS OWN WRITINGS (The Scripture Studies) : “... not only do we find that people people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the Scripture Studies aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years -- if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, alone, though he has understood the Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he he goes into darkness. “On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scripture Studies with their references and had not read a page of the Bible Bible as such, he would be be in the light light at the end of two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures.” The Watch Tower, Sept. 15, 1910, p

40  2007 by David A. Prentice LEADERS OF THE WATCHTOWER: Charles Taze Russell ( ) - was he the “Faithful and Wise Servant” or not? “Judge” Joseph Rutherford ( ) - false prophet of 1918 & 1925 Armageddon, builder of Beth Sarim Nathan Knorr ( ) - built up the organization. The New World Trans- lation lation produced during his term. Fred Franz ( ) -lied under oath oath about his translating skill; false prophet of 1975 Armageddon 2-33

41  2007 by David A. Prentice SOME FALSE PROPHECIES OF THE WATCHTOWER: 1. Return of Christ in 1874/1914. When Jesus didn’t come back, they said He had, but invisibly. 2. The Faithful and Wise Servant. From 1896 until 1927 the Watchtower said Russell was the “faithful and wise servant” of Mt. 24: In 1927, they reversed this and said that those who believed it were guilty of “creature worship.” a. If he was the Servant, the Watchtower has rejected Jehovah’s messenger! b. If he wasn’t, the Watchtower was guilty of creature worship for its first 31 years! 3. Return of Old Testament Patriarchs in The Watchtower built “Beth Sarim” in San Diego to house Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc. They still haven’t moved in Beginning of the Millennium in When nothing dramatic happened in 1975, the Watchtower said that the Millennium had arrived - you just couldn’t tell!

42  2007 by David A. Prentice MAJOR DIVISIONS OF JUDAISM: 1. ORTHODOX. Still trying to follow Old Testament laws such as diet and clothing; synagogue services in Hebrew; still awaiting the Messiah. 2. REFORM. Judaism more cultural than religious; don’t follow Old Testament laws; hold services in the language of the land; believe each person is his own Messiah. 4. MESSIANIC. You don’t stop being Jewish just because you receive Y’shua (Jesus) as Messiah! The Jewish Bible (Tenach) has exactly the same contents as the Protestant Old Testament, but arranged in different order. Also used: commentaries called Talmudim and Midrashim. The Jewish Bible (Tenach) has exactly the same contents as the Protestant Old Testament, but arranged in different order. Also used: commentaries called Talmudim and Midrashim. 3. CONSERVATIVE. Somewhere in the middle. Follow many Old Testament laws; some await the Messiah. Religious activities conducted in the language of the land. 2-36

43  2007 by David A. Prentice BELIEFS MOST CHRISTIANS SHARE: 1. Christianity is not just a system of ethics; it depends entirely on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. 2. The God of the Bible created everything. He has revealed Himself in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 3. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is not a created being; he is God in human flesh. He was miraculously born of a virgin. 4. Every one of us is a sinner in need of a savior. 5. Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried in payment for our sins. He rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father. We can only be saved through faith in Him. 6. Jesus is one day coming back to earth in bodily form to judge the living and the dead and set up an eternal kingdom. 7. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force; He is the third Person of the Trinity. He dwells in those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. 8. The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the revealed Word of Almighty God. 2-37

44  2007 by David A. Prentice THE CHARACTER OF GOD THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE Old Testament: God is loving and merciful toward those who earnestly seek Him (e.g., Ruth, David), but judges those who are hypocrites or oppose Him (e.g., enemies of Israel). Emphasis: LAW. New Testament: God is loving and merciful toward those who earnestly seek Him (e.g., Cornelius, woman at the well), but judges those who are hypocrites or oppose Him (e.g., Ananias, Sapphira, Elymas, those who take the mark of the beast). Emphasis: GRACE. 2-38

45  2007 by David A. Prentice “SACRED TRADITION” OF ROMAN CATHOLICISM Hundreds of anathemas (curses) pronounced on those who disagreed through the centuries; many still in effect, some rescinded. Do the people who were sent to hell by Catholic anathema get out now? Couldn’t be rebaptized, now you can. (Anabaptism) No meat on Fridays (except in Spain) -- okay now. On more than one occasion, several competing popes. Sometimes one declared legitimate, sometimes all thrown out. Some popes excommunicated and declared heretics after their deaths. All the ordinations they performed automatically invalid. The Spanish Inquisition: killed millions of Bible- believing Christians who would not submit to the Pope. “Holy Toledo” was the headquarters of the Inquisition. 2-39

46  2007 by David A. Prentice APE WISDOM What is the meaning of bananas? 2-3

47  2007 by David A. Prentice 2-40 COMMON HINDU BELIEFS “God” is not a personal being, but an impersonal force. God is everything and everything is God. There is no all-powerful God ruling over the universe. There are millions of gods, but the two highest are Vishnu and Shiva. Vishnu is dreaming, and you (along with the rest of the uni- verse) are merely one of his dreams. You are just a figment of his imagination. Your dreams are dreams within his dream. You, a dream, are dreaming your own reality. There is no particular purpose or direction to Vishnu’s dreams. They are impersonal forces guiding your existence (until he wakes up). The ultimate goal of Hinduism is to achieve “nirvana”: realize that you are not real, lose all sense of personhood and merge with the impersonal essence (“Brahmin-atman) of the universe. Living things may be born, live, die, be reborn, etc. an unlimited number of times. (Transmigration of souls.)

48  2007 by David A. Prentice SACRED COWS The author visiting a herd of “gods” on the street in Vadodara, India All animals are sacred to Hindus, but cows are especially so. All animals are sacred to Hindus, but cows are especially so. 2-41

49  2007 by David A. Prentice COMMON HINDU BELIEFS Though there is no all-powerful God, the impersonal universe (Vishnu’s dream) somehow keeps track of your actions and ensures that you are reincarnated to the appropriate level, whether insect, cow, Brahmin, or whatever. Suffering occurs because each person must work out his/ her karma from the previous life. If you try to help someone who is suffering, you are interfering with their karma! If you were a bad person, whatever you did to others must happen to you in your next incarnation. Thus, if you murdered someone then someone else will have to murder you. They have to become a murderer themselves, then work that out in the next life, and so on without end.. The universe determines which caste you will be placed into according to your karma. If you were very good you may come back as a Brahmin. If not, you may be an untouchable. There is nothing you can do to change from one caste to another No wonder the goal of Hinduism is to end this cycle of misery by going out of existence (nirvana).

50  2007 by David A. Prentice SIDDHARTHA GAUTAMA (“the Buddha”) Believed in “FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS” TRUTHS” about suffering: But if there is no such thing as as “Truth,” “Truth,” how can there be four noble noble truths? If there is no such thing as “Right,” “Right,” how can there be be right right thinking and action? Suffering is universal. 2. The cause of suffering is selfish desire. 3. The cure is to rid oneself of cravings. 4. The method is to follow the “Noble Eightfold Path.” “THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH”: a. Right knowledge. b. Right intention. c. Right speech. d. Right conduct. e. Right means of livelihood. f. Right effort. g. Right mindfulness. h. Right concentration.

51  2007 by David A. Prentice CONTRAST BETWEEN HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM Hinduism and Buddhism have many things in common: reincarnation, karma, denying the existence of an all- powerful, intelligent God, etc. One of the main differences is that Hindus believe in millions of lesser gods to help them become perfect and achieve nirvana (end of self). Buddhism, on the other hand, says there is no God to help you. You have to purify yourself by forcing out all your bad thoughts and desires through meditation and the like. If you fail, you will keep being reincarnated until, by your own efforts, you get it right and achieve nirvana. The Bible agrees that we need to get rid of our evil thoughts (2 Cor. 10:5). However, we do not have to do it all in our own strength; we have Jesus to help us! The Bible agrees that we need to get rid of our evil thoughts (2 Cor. 10:5). However, we do not have to do it all in our own strength; we have Jesus to help us! 2-44

52  2007 by David A. Prentice OTHER WORLD RELIGIONS: NEW AGE MOVEMENT Nothing but Hinduism modified to make it more palatable to the Western world. In the next life you will come back as a good person, not a bug. SPIRITISM (Voodoo, Santeria, channeling, etc.) No way to know if the spirits you contact are telling the truth or lying. 2-45

53  2007 by David A. Prentice FREEMASONRY Members base their terminology on stonemasonry, claim the organization dates back to the Tower of Babel. Earliest records date to Each lodge supervised by a “Worshipful Master.” Accepts members from all religions; claims to be the only organization that has all the truth. Secret rituals in which members declare their need for the light of freemasonry (not Jesus Christ!). Passwords as one moves up through the levels include names of demons such as Abaddon. Holy books include Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike. Identifies Lucifer as the God of goodness and light, and “Adonay,” the Christian God, as the ruler of evil and darkness. 2-46

54  2007 by David A. Prentice UNLESS YOU STAND FOR SOMETHING... YOU’LL FALL FOR ANYTHING. 2-47


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