Wednesday, July 25, 2012

You don't have to be religious!

Please, please, all of my non-religious friends... watch this video. If you know Jesus you will rejoice! If you do not know Jesus, then perhaps something new will be presented. Like this maybe:

"No one is asking you to be religious. I am a Christian, but I wouldn't call myself religious. Religion is man striving to get right with God by his own efforts. Fasting, praying, sitting on hard pews, doing good works. Nothing is going to bribe God. No amount of good works can wash away our sins."

In a court of law, standing in front of a judge, having committed a crime, is doing good deeds going to take away the judgment for your crimes? No. It is the same with God. If you died today and God gave you justice would you be guilty? Do you know for certain? Wouldn't you like to be certain?

God has provided a way for you to have everlasting life. God can legally dismiss our case. Trust in Jesus like you trust a parachute, you don't believe in a parachute you put your faith in it, you use it. That is what you must do with the Savior. The Bible says "put on the Lord Jesus Christ". Then when God looks at you He sees the perfect righteousness of Jesus.

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." --2 Corinthians 5:21

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Taught to hate

Just a couple of quotes from the Watchtower:

Jesus encouraged his followers to love their enemies, but God’s Word also says to “hate what is bad.” When a person persists in a way of badness after knowing what is right, when the bad becomes so ingrained that it is an inseparable part of his make-up, then in order to hate what is bad a Christian must hate the person with whom the badness is inseparably linked. Indicating that Jesus did not mean for us to love the hardened enemies of Jehovah, David expressed this God-approved attitude:“Do I not hate those who are intensely hating you, O Jehovah, and do I not feel a loathing for those revolting against you? With a complete hatred I do hate them. They have become to me real enemies.”—Matt. 5:44; Amos 5:15; Ps. 139:21, 22. --Watchtower July 15, 1961 pp 420

Christian elders may have to act with courage similar to that of Jehu. (1 Cor. 5:9-13)

"Jehu announced that he intended to hold “a great sacrifice” for Baal. (2 Ki. 10:18, 19) “This is a clever play on words on the part of Jehu,” says one scholar. While the term employed here “generally means ‘sacrifice,’ it is also used of the ‘slaughter’ of apostates.”"

"It is true that Jehu spilled much blood. Yet, the Scriptures present him as a courageous man..."-- Watchtower November 15, 2011

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Who is my mediator? Who is your mediator? Is there a man or group of men that compare to Moses today?

“There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus.”-- 1 Timothy 2:5 “Christ is a mediator of a new covenant” —Hebrews 9:15

"Likewise, the Greater Moses, Jesus Christ, is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is … to only 144,000 members " -- Worldwide Security under the Prince of Peace, page 10

Then who is my mediator?      Who is your mediator?

Moses was the mediator of the Law covenant between Jehovah God and the nation of Israel. –Insight on the Scriptures under Mediator 

Is there a man or group of men that compare to Moses today?
God’s prophet and channel of communication to the nation of Israel was Moses…  Later, the anointed faithful followers of Jesus Christ were to serve as a “faithful and discreet slave” in communicating to Jehovah’s people how to apply Bible principles in their lives.-- Watchtower 1993 2/1 p. 15

Moses helped the nation of Israel to keep the covenant and to receive its benefits…–Insight on the Scriptures under Mediator

The “great crowd” of “other sheep” that is forming today … associating with the “little flock” of those yet in that covenant they come under benefits that flow from that new covenant. --
Watchtower 1979 4/1

“No one comes to the Father except through me.” —John 14:6

I have decided that Jesus is my mediator. What will you do?

But are the faithful and discreet slave really taking Christ's place?

“But sanctify the Christ as Lord in your hearts.”--1 Peter 3:15

 His name should therefore be sanctified, or set apart as holy. -- Watchtower 1991 9/15 p. 7
 …the title “Christ” means “Anointed One” --Watchtower 1969 1/1 p. 29

So it turned out to be after the 1870’s that a small group of sincere, anointed ones came together to form eventually the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society under the presidency of Charles Taze Russell. Those anointed ones later embraced the name “Jehovah’s witnesses.” This governing group of anointed ones having become a working unit since the 1870’s makes it young historically in comparison to the 1,900-year-old “faithful and discreet slave,” collectively made up of the faithful anointed ones alive on earth at any given point of time. Watchtower 1966 9/15 p. 553

Jesus said Come to me, Learn from me, Follow me. I will let no one take Christ's place.

I will never listen to those men again Lord, only you. 

My Life in a Religious Cult... Breaking Free.

In part one of My Life in a Religious Cult I had started to question some things. I found that the members of the congregation were judgmental, unloving, and a bad influence. I found that attending meetings made me more and more depressed. I noticed an emphasis on fear and on the great tribulation. I noticed that many of the pictures in the literature were violent and scary. I started talking to Christians more and some seeds were planted.1 Thessalonians 1:10 says Jesus rescues us from the wrath to come. so why are the Jehovah's Witnesses so afraid of the tribulation and armageddon? 
I noticed that Jehovah's Witnesses would warn me not to purchase or read books published by other religious organizations, even though it was obvious that the writers of their literature did.

I began to question why I was following so many rules, some of which made no sense to me. I had young children and valued my family, so one of these things was birthdays.I actually read a Watchtower article that seemed to say it would be okay (7), but I knew that if we openly celebrated a birthday, it would mean being disfellowshipped. This didn't seem right at all. I realized that the writers of the Watchtower publications are not inspired (8). So why should I be coerced to listen to them on every detail?

I started to stand up for myself when family members tried to twist scriptures to say something that they didn't. 

Finally I read a Watchtower that compared the writers to Moses, saying that we are to obey "the faithful and discreet slave" as the Israelites were to obey Moses. I already knew that Christ is the Greater Moses and the only Mediator between God and men. 1 Tim 2:5 It hit me like a ton of bricks. They are taking Christs place*!!  "I will never listen to them again Lord, only to you", I said.

To show you the thinking process I was going through, I have copied a a conversation that I had on a forum one year ago. I have it color coded: me, my friend (who was never a Jehovah's Witness)

I have family members who aren't happy to see me meditating on scriptures and connecting them in new ways. They think that I am not listening to God unless I listen to their overseers (the governing body of JWs). :( The funny thing is that the insistence that these people are God's channel and being compared to Moses is what pushes me away more than anything. Comparing them to Moses! Really, it is unbelievable!

My best friend, a loving and understanding person who has been depressed and oppressed and used to vent to me about the problems in the congregations has decided that I have a superior attitude, am stiff-necked and am on the path to destruction. This is after I sent a letter quoting Romans and 1 John to her, scriptures that reassure us of God's love! My mom and her friend are not unique. They are all taught to be this way, to ignore scriptures about grace, to be quick to judge and cause fear.        

It is sad that they think I am not serving God.
This is what a controlled belief is. Believe as we do or else. You are at a fork in the road where you have to make a decision. A fork that I know very well. One I took and made a lot of people mad but I don't care. I'm closer to God now and guess who they come to for counsel? Me. Ironic.

Anyway, change is scary. But determination to find truth should overwhelm that to the point you should not be afraid to put your toe in the water to test it. I think God has chosen you for a test. Whether you pass is how you react in it. And the choices you make.

Question: Which is more important to you, God's truth or JW truth?

The reason you feel a pull in another direction is that God is calling you. From my own experience, I can tell you that if you refuse that call it will go away. And you will never know what could have been revealed to you.

But let's look at your situation. As long as you adhere to the word in your quest for truth, you should not fear. Test all things with the word. If what you test does not fit and leads you back to JW, then you just end up back where you started no big deal. But if your tests with the word leads you to more truth and wisdom which strengthens your foundation of faith, you will never know it if you don't try.         

Thanks for your support. I completely agree with all of the above. It is funny, since I decided that I don't have to listen to what the men say I have been praying more often and singing praises as I go about the house. It is amazing.         

Your heart, soul, and flesh are becoming more in tune with God's fellowship. So your spirit rejoices and it pours through to the outside. It's a sign that you are doing the right thing and the happiness it will bring you in the end.         

I know. Posted Image

So what are you planning to do about all this?         

Continue what I am doing. It seems to be working well. I am taking steps in the right direction and asking God for guidance.

Sounds good.

I think that this scripture: "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."(9)  that you have pointed out so many times is telling us that belonging to an organization and doing and thinking as all of the people in that organization do isn't the way to please our Heavenly Father. Of course, everyone I know will agree that we need to personally research the scriptures... but they seem to say it without applying it.

There won't be separate denominations being saved for all their different beliefs. There is only one church, and one right way. Working out your own salvation, as said in that verse, is God relaying that to us. God is not going to condemn us for not having it right. Because complete truth is not obtainable. But what we will be judged upon is whether or not we tried to correct ourselves. Group salvation does not equal working out your own salvation. Your church, nor anyone elses, will not have any power in heaven to make a case for any of it's followers.

Right now I believe that no religious organization has everything right.
1 Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. and I see people attend a church that doesn't agree doctrinally with what they personally believe on every point.

I am pondering these things.

This is good that you realize that no denomination has everything right. What this will do is make you neutral, and you will be able to look at God's word with fresh eyes. And not eyes that already think the truth is known and therefore will make the word conform to it. you see the problem lies in being taught the word before you open it. This is okay to establish a faith foundation. But then, when the knowledge and faith are strong enough. It's time to search truth more directly with God.

Now should you quit going to your church? Not yet. Wait till God tells you and guides you to another church. This will show God that you will follow even unto the basics to where He leads you.

Should you give up totally on JW beliefs? Nope. There is always some truth in there. What you do is you let the "Word" slowly correct you. This is how God becomes the potter. You just have to be the willing clay.          

I must say that response surprised me. I thought you were pushing me to do something big. Right now my husband says not to burn bridges.         

Not to go to quick. You can damage you faith if you try to change to fast. Yes I'm pushing for you to do big things. But at a pace where you don't get confused or frustrated. Those two things Satan can use as a weapon during your change. Go at the pace things seem to flow in. You push it and you will hit speed bumps. And Satan will say: SEE, you should not have gone down that road, go back it's safer and easier just to believe like everyone else.

As a special side note: The main thing you are going to have to learn is how to wait on God. God is never going to give you more than you can bear, or what might weaken you faith. God see's your heart through all of this change and He knows how much you can take to keep you safe and not give Satan a tool to discourage you. In spiritual warfare, Satan does not even notice you unless you become, or are thinking about becoming a threat to his kingdom. The first test is everyone coming up against you, disagreeing with you, trying to discourage you. How fast you move in this is determined by two things:
1) Learning to be humble about what you learn. No self exaltation but to always give glory to God. When you don't give glory to God it's considered taking glory for yourself. So like as you learn and are able to relay what you learn. And people ask: Wow, how did you learn that? You always include God as the one that you could not have done all that you have.
2) Learning to wait on God. God's timing is not our timing. There will be a point you will reach where information will flow into your brain faster than you can comprehend it. But in the beginning it's slow and you have to accept that.

The thing that will help you out most is to start keeping a journal of everything that happens while you go down this road. This journal will help on the days you feel discouraged by being reminded of what you have already been given. And it will help you in some tests where you might get stuck, to go back and look at what started it and see what it was you missed.

The more you can rely on God for what you need, the closer you will get. And the more personal this search for truth will become. Don't forget to pray, and don't be afraid to ask for what you want in this search for truth. Ask from the heart and God will hear you. Don't be afraid to become emotional while you pray for the wisdom you desire, it shows God that your are serious.

So you see, I didn't know everything all at once, I didn't change everything all at once, but I did trust in Jesus and receive Him.
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name. "~John 1:11
"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." ~ 1 John 5:13
Perhaps my friend's advice can help you too.           

7. see awake 1/8/2000 A Balanced View of Popular Customs
8. "The brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views."-- Watchtower 2/15/1981, page 19.

9. Phillipians 2:12

*see the next post for Watchtower quotes that show this. You can research yourself.  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

So if you are currently a Jehovah's Witness... what should you do?

Do I want you to write a letter and disassociate yourself? Start going to another church? Search for a denomination that has teachings that line up with the Bible?

No. I don't know if that is God's will for you.

Let me tell you what happened back on July 7, 2011. I had decided to listen to Jesus as my only mediator. This meant that I no longer had to accept a teaching because men wrote it in the Watchtower publications. Why?

Because Acts 7:37 told me that not the men who wrote the Watchtower publications, but Jesus replaced Moses. 1 Timothy 2:5 told me that Jesus is the only mediator between God and men. Psalm 146:3 told me not to put my trust in fallible men who are not inspired by God.

I started reading the Bible and connecting scriptures in new ways. I saw many parts of the JW theology that were flawed.

So what did I do? Did I make a momentous decision to stop attending any JW events, to write a letter of disassociation, to cut off all of my friends and family? Did I start looking for another denomination? Go by what they teach? Join another church?

No... I just continued on... taking Jesus at His word. Taking the Bible literally. Believing what God had to say.

In fact, during this time I was worried that people would tell me to make huge changes and it was a relief when the answer I got was, "good answer, just take it slow and continue what you are doing". If you are a Jehovah's Witness reading this, please understand that I am not expecting you to turn your life upside down.

I just want you to take God at His Word. I want you to read things in context.

I want you to read the whole chapters of Galatians 3, 5 and Hebrews 2 and realize what Christ has freed us from. "trying to be justified by law" "fear of death ...slavery".

I want you to read the whole chapter of John 3 and see that “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life."

I want you to "Come to Jesus", let him refresh you and lift your burdens.-- Matthew 11:28; John 5:40

I want you to realize that,  "Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come."-- 1 Thessalonians 1:10

I want you to trust in Jesus, "for there is no other name under heaven by which we may be saved." -- Acts 4:12  I want you to look up Romans 10:9-12. 

I want you to get a Kingdom Interlinear translation. I want you to set sanctify, or set Christ apart as Lord.-- 1 Peter 3:15

I want you to have the "glorious freedom of the children of God".

I bow my knees before the Father that Christ may dwell in your hearts and you will know the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ. --Ephesians 3:14-21