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Archive for January, 2013

In case you couldn’t tell from my last post, I really did not enjoy (to put it mildly) going door to door, preaching the Good News of God’s Kingdom.  The Good News that in a nutshell was: if you do not become a Jehovah’s Witness, you have no hope of living in Paradise on earth and that Jehovah was going to smite you at Armageddon.

I was listening to a podcast the other day by Pastor Joe Schimmel of Good Hope Chapel of Simi Valley, CA entitled “Witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses” (see my links to download).  I encourage you, if you are interested in conversing with the Witness that comes to your door to take some time to listen to this 2 part podcast if you can.  Pastor Schimmel makes an excellent point:   While the Witnesses know that they are commanded to go forth and preach the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14), they really have no idea about what the gospel truly is.

The Gospel:  1 Corinthians 15:  Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, (ESV)

Pastor Schimmel touched on the bodily ressurection in his podcast, but I would like to focus on the very first part of the gospel message and how the scriptures really compare to what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach.

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures:  While many Jehovah’s Witnesses say they believe that Jesus died for all men,  the truth of the matter is that the Watchtower and their Governing Body (their leaders)  teach that Jesus only died for 144,000 and he is only the Mediator between God and these annointed ones. Below are some excerpts from the Watchtower’s publications:

Worldwide Security Book, p. 10: “Jesus Christ is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is the Mediator between his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000 members.”

The “great crowd” of “other sheep” that is forming today is not in that new covenant. However, by their associating with the “little flock” of those yet in that covenant they come under benefits that flow from that new covenant.” Watchtower 1979 Apr 1 p.31

“They recognize that they are not spiritual Israelites in the new covenant mediated by Jesus Christ, nor part of the “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.”-1 Pet. 2:9. Yet they do benefit from the operation of the new covenant. They benefit from this just as, in ancient Israel, the “alien resident” benefited from residing in among the Israelites who were in the Law covenant.-Ex. 20:10; Lev. 19:10, 33, 34; Rev. 7:9-15. To keep in relationship with “our Savior, God,” the “great crowd” needs to remain united with the remnant of spiritual Israelites.” Watchtower 1979 Nov 15 p.27 Benefiting from “One Mediator Between God and Men”

Watchtower of 8/15/1989 Page 31, Questions From the Readers: Consequently, 1 Timothy 2:5, 6 is not using “mediator” in the broad sense common in many languages. It is not saying that Jesus is a mediator between God and all mankind. Rather, it refers to Christ as legal Mediator (or, “attorney”) of the new covenant, this being the restricted way in which the Bible uses the term. Jesus is also a corresponding ransom for all in that covenant, both Jews and Gentiles, who will receive immortal life in heaven. The apostle John referred to these at 1 John 2:2. But he indicated that others too will receive the benefit of Christ’s sacrifice: “He is a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins, yet not for ours only but also for the whole world’s.” 

Is Jesus the “mediator” only for anointed Christians? … So in this strict Biblical sense Jesus is the “mediator” only for anointed Christians.” Watchtower 1979 Apr 1 p.31

***

This doctrine of course means that most Jehovah’s Witnesses are not saved by Jesus unless they affiliate themselves with the anointed Jehovah’s Witnesses and obey God’s anointed slave. Really though, who do the scriptures point to as the mediator between God and man?:

‘For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,’ 1 Timothy 2:5 NIV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order  that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God –  John 3:16-18 ESV

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, – 1 Peter 3:18

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness reading this, my plea to you is please consider what Psalms 146:3 has to say:

Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.  NIV

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thCAW5X4JE

I get to go
up to the doors
by myself
that way
my partner
doesn’t realize
that my
knocking is
too soft
for
Mr. Householder
to hear
that I am there.
Quietly I tuck
the Watchtower and Awake
in the door knob,

and run like hell….

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I recently joined a Sunday morning bible study group that has been focusing on the book of Colossians. This study has touched me in so many ways. Especially as the Gnostic influence that Paul was warning this congregation in Colosse about hits very close to home for me having been raised a Jehovah’s Witness.

This past Sunday we came to this passage in Colossians 2:18-19 (KJV): Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and hands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

Beguile is defined by Dictionary.com in this way: 1. to influence by trickery, flattery, etc.; mislead; delude. 2.to take away from by cheating or deceiving (usually followed by of ) 3. to charm or divert.

How easy is it for a person to be “beguiled” as far as the gospel is concerned? Easier than one would like to think. Take for example a charismatic and confident leader who appears to have a great knowledge of history and the bible. Or a writer who can lay the words out in such a way their conclusions seem to come from great insight. How many times do we as Christians sit back and say to ourselves — yeah, that must be what the Bible means, after all this person has invested so much time and energy in researching this subject and they have a greater understanding than I could ever have? Not even bothering to revisit the scriptures discussed? Could it also be true of us that it is easier to accept what they say because we don’t have the time, energy or drive to checkup on what they are telling us? How far really is that from being tied to a person or group that will make us feel that if we question what they have to say — we are questioning God himself?

What does God’s word say about how to keep ourselves from being “beguiled”?:

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. — 1 John 4:1 (NIV)

prove all things; hold fast that which is good; — 1 Thes. 5:21 (ASV)

Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. — 1 Cor. 14:29 (ESV)

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. — Acts 17:11 (NIV)

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. — 2 Cor. 11:3 (NIV)

and also . . .

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. – Galatians 1:8-9

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. — Isa. 8:20

This is a subject I have touched on a couple of times in this blog. I feel the urge to shout it from the mountaintops! I also feel the need to remind myself constantly that it is I who bears the responsibility before God to test that I am holding on to the firm foundations of the Word and not losing sight of the real leader in my life, the head of the church – Jesus our Lord.

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Our words can help or hurt a fact which I need to convict myself of daily.

promisebook.net

coffee and cookies“I will speak ill of no man, but all the good I know of everyone.”  Benjamin Franklin

I write a great deal on the things we say.  The Bible is full of commands and warnings about what you say!  It says that literal “life and death” is found in the tongue.  You will have what you say!  It likens the tongue to being capable of producing literal life, death, a raging fire, kindness, healing, breaking someone down, building someone up,  peace, extending the years of your life, and this is only naming a few!

Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, there is a stomach bug going around and I ALWAYS get stomach viruses!”  Sure enough this person always seems to have trouble with their stomach!  I have heard others say, “Well, heart trouble runs in my family.  My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents all had it, so…

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An inspirational testimony about breaking free . . .

Watchtower Investigated UK

What led Peter Price to leave Jehovah’s Witnesses after 30 years of devoted service to God and the organisation. Part two of a remarkable interview with Doug Harris on Genesis TV. Peter despaired of preaching what he did not believe and left the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was shunned by his family and spent 10 further years in a God-less wilderness. Finally he came to know the Lord Jesus and became a Christian church pastor.

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Father

Son

Holy Spirit

Eternal Psalms   90:2

Before the mountains   were born or you brought forth the whole world ,from everlasting to everlasting you are God.[NIV]

Deut 3:27, Romans 16:26; 2 Cor. 5:1

Rev. 1:8 (Alpha and the Omega), Isa. 44:6 and 48:12 (First and Last)

John 1:2

 He was with God in the beginning.[NIV]

Rev. 21:5 (Alpha and the Omega), Rev. 1:7, Rev 2:8, Rev 22:13 (First and Last)

Hebrews 9:14

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who   through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our   consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!   [NIV]

Genesis 1:2, 3; Job 26:13; 33:4; Psalms 104:30

Holy Rev 15: 4

Who will not honor You, Lord, with love and fear? Who   will not tell of the greatness of Your name? For You are the only One Who is   holy. All nations will come and worship before You. Everyone sees that You do   the right things.” [NLV]

Psalms 93:5, Lev. 11:44-45, Lev. 21:8

Acts 3:14

But you turned your backs against the Holy and Right   One. Then you asked for a man who had killed someone to go free. [NLV]

Mark 21:4, Luke 4:34, Acts 4:27, Acts 4:30, 2 Tim. 1:9,

“Holy” Spirit
True/Truth John 7:28

Then Jesus cried out,   as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am   from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do   not know [NKJV]

Jer. 10:10, John 3:33, John 17:3, 1 Thes. 1:9, Rev. 15:3

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the   way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.   [NKJV]

Mark 12:14, 1 John 5:20, Rev. 3:14,  Eph. 4:21

1 John 5:6

This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ;   not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears   witness, because the Spirit is truth.

John 14:7, John 15:26, John 16:13

Glorious Ephesians 1:7

that the God of our   Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and   of revelation in the knowledge of him, [ESV]

Deut. 5:24, 2 Chron. 5:14,

1 Cor. 2:8

None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if   they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. [ESV]

Matt. 19:28, John 2:11, John 11:4, Luke 24:26, 2 Cor. 4:4, 2 Cor. 8:24

1 Peter 4:14

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are   blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. [ESV]

2 Cor. 3:8

I am sure I missed a few.  What are your favorite comparitive scriptures?

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