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Archive for the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Category

I have had several online conversations recently with folks who are hurting deeply due to the shunning they are experiencing as result of leaving the Watchtower Organization.

It brought to mind how painful it was for me think that my mother would choose an organization over her daughters. My sister was the first to leave the Jehovah’s Witness religion. She suffered at the hands of a physically and mentally abusive husband. The religion offered her nothing in the way of comfort and support. As a teen, I watched as my mother not only shunned my sister, but stood up in a child custody hearing for the man who abused her simply because he was still a member of her congregation. I could not wrap my head around the “why”. I would experience the same pain when I chose to leave a religion that left me bruised and friendless. For years I buried the feeling of betrayal, as I know my sister tried to do as well. I deeply loved my mother, I admired how she took care of my disabled sister with such devotion. I missed her friendship all those years. I understood her reasonings, but I could not fathom her abandonment. For a very long while I blamed myself for not staying in the religion just so she would accept my support of her and my sister, I chose to flee for selfish reasons.

Within the past year these painful memories have all resurfaced as the Holy Spirit has been leading me out of the trap of legalism and fear. I have a had a lot to work through.

As I move towards my baptism this weekend and reflect on what has led me to this point, I realize that I am truly free. The pain that resurfaced is being washed away. It is being replaced by the joy I am feeling in being made a new person in Him. While I have long since forgiven my mother, I realize that any residual bitterness towards a group, needs to be put aside before I dip my toe into that water. Christ has forgiven me so much.

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

— Matthew 5:44

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Truth

A man may be an heretic in the truth, and if he believe things only because his pastor says so, or the assembly so determines, without knowing other reason, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes his heresy. F.W. Farrar

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JEHOVAH

Zechariah 14: 1 Lo, a day hath come to Jehovah, And divided hath been thy spoil in thy midst.

2 And I have gathered all the nations unto Jerusalem to battle, And captured hath been the city, And spoiled have been the houses, And the women are lain with, Gone forth hath half the city in a removal, And the remnant of the people are not cut off from the city.

3 And gone forth hath Jehovah, And He hath fought against those nations, As in the day of His fighting in a day of conflict.

4 And stood have His feet, in that day, On the mount of Olives, That [is] before Jerusalem eastward, And cleft hath been the mount of Olives at its midst, To the east, and to the west, a very great valley, And removed hath the half of the mount towards the north. And its half towards the south. – Young’s Literal Translation

mount of olives

CHRIST

Acts 1: 6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them.

11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. – New American Standard Bible

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John 4 tells the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well and after hearing what the Messiah had to say, she:

28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

I love this story because it reflects the true simplicity of the gospel message and the joy that can be found in sharing this wonderful invitation.

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Hebrews 10:12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for [a]sins for all time, sat down at the RIGHT HAND of God, – NASB

The fact that Jesus Christ is at the “right hand of God” was a sign to the disciples that Jesus had indeed gone to heaven. In John 16:7-15, Jesus told the disciples that He had to go away and He would send the Holy Spirit. So the coming of the Holy Spirit in the upper room on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13) was proof that Jesus was indeed in heaven seated at the right hand of God. This is confirmed in Romans 8:34 where Paul writes that Christ is sitting at God’s right hand making intercession for us. We have a high priest who has the ear of God.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.

Heavenly Father: Thank you for the wonderful gift you have given us in your Son, our Lord and Savior, our ruling King Jesus Christ.

Dear Reader, I have decided to keep the main portion of my blog about my spiritual journey in Christ and have added a page entitled The Truth about the Truth which I will be updating with research on the background of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and it’s theology, stay tuned.

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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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