Aug 29, 2015

Gems in the Gospel of John - Part 01

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Gems in the Gospel of John

John 1:1 - Jesus is God




This is the first of what is likely to be many thoughts on John’s Gospel. The very first verse of this Gospel is this, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’

That introduces two exceedingly powerful ideas in the two words ‘God’ and ‘Word’. So powerful that we need to take them one at a time, so ‘Word’ is left to next time.

What a way to start a Gospel! Matthew wanted to put Jesus in context so he gives us a genealogy going right back to Abraham. Mark was so excited by Jesus he plunges right in to what he did without bothering with an introduction. Luke wanted to be a very careful historian so to explain how Jesus fitted into his immediate surroundings he takes us back through a few months of family history. But John goes straight to telling us who Jesus is. He is GOD. That was some assertion in a world where pagans thought there were many gods but the Jewish people knew there was only one God. It is hard to say which is the more difficult idea to challenge head on, as John does. Of course it was the non-Jewish, the pagan, world that thought there were many gods. There were gods in the house, perhaps even one in every room; there were gods in the town, and the country. There was a god in Rome, called Caesar – and he was the most dangerous one of all since one could worship many gods, choose which ones to worship, but you could not choose to worship Caesar, or not to worship him - you had to worship him. No choice; if you were not prepared to say ‘Caesar is Lord’ you were an atheist, and you might die because of it. John was writing, probably about 60 years after Jesus died, for people he knew in the fellowship of which he was leader, and they were under threat. So it was important to say to them, ‘Jesus is Lord, Jesus is God’ very loudly, and very clearly.

And then there were the Jews, brought up to believe that there was only one God and to say every day, at least once, ‘Hear O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.’ John knew very well that Jesus was a man, he was human, but here he is saying he was God. Could he be both at the same time? The answer is yes – he was both man and God, but that is no easy thing to get your mind round so people have been struggling with the idea ever since. There is no point in me trying to argue in these brief notes how Jesus could be both God and man at one and the same time. What I am going to do is point out some of the main reasons the early Christians decided he was God as well as a man.

The first and probably main reason is that they found themselves having to worship him and you could not worship someone who was not God (the pagans did worship heroes who were human but that was not even a possibility for the many Jews who were in the early churches). Thus when he was healed the blind man said, ‘“Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.’ (Jn 9: 38). When they saw him go back to heaven it is said of the disciples, ‘they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy’. (Lk 24: 52). There are many praise statements scattered through the epistles such as 2 Pet 3: 18, ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever’. There is plenty of evidence that this is what happened and continued to happen in the early church after the New Testament was complete.

The second reason was the many things that he did and said which could only be said or done by God. Thus when Jesus said to the paralyzed man in Mk 2: 5 “Son, your sins are forgiven,” religious people watching immediately started to think and say, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus also had the ability to command the creation. When he and his disciples were caught in a storm on the Sea of Galilee Mark reports that , ‘He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm’. Only God had control over the created world.

The third reason is perhaps best expressed in the words of a famous writer who said ‘he was either mad, bad or God’. He was pointing to the fact that no one could say the things that Jesus said unless he was indeed God. Otherwise it was the most extraordinary show of pompous self-promotion and blasphemy imaginable. He said, ‘Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’ Really! Who could possibly say that of themselves? Jesus did.

Our God is that astonishing thing a Triune God: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit: three persons but only one God. We shall never get our minds round that completely but that is what Scripture presents us with. We shall see the remarkable results of that in our next study. What an amazing Lord and God we follow and worship.




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Aug 28, 2015

Friday Prayers 28 August 2015

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

28th August 2015

A prayer of Praise!

We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity! Come! Let us pray together!


O God, you are the most beautiful and most priceless One!
O God, you are the most glorious and uncreated One!
O God, you are the eternal and holy One!
O God, you are the infinite and blessed One!
O God, you are the immense and Living One!
O God, you are the Everlasting and wise One!
Accept these words of praise from our mouth and our hearts!

O ever-loved & ever-loving One;
Make us, O holy God, your treasured one;
Make us, O glorious Lord, your precious one;
Make us, O highest Good, your longing one;
Make us, O blessed Word, your chosen one;
Make us forevermore your loving ones.
Amen


(Based on a prayer of Cardinal Newman)

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Aug 27, 2015

Jehovah Witnesses 04

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Part 4 - Beliefs about Jesus Christ

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It is common among many different religions and cults that all apart from Christianity fall short in giving Jesus Christ His rightful place and giving Him the due honour to His name.

In this study we shall look closely at His person and His work. Jehovah Witnesses I need to remind you speak of 7 principles which they impress upon us that they stand by. Let me remind you of the first three. They say that they:

  • Exalt Jehovah as the true God
  • Recognise Jesus vital role in Jehovah's purpose
  • Adhere closely to God's Word

Because they say they exalt the Scriptures, Jesus Christ and Jehovah God they should have no difficulty in agreeing with me as I go directly to The Word of God to substantiate these facts.

So lets first look at what Jehovah Witnesses say about Jesus Christ in their own writings:

  • Christ was the created archangel Michael and although a 'god' and a 'mighty one' yes He was not Jehovah. (Watchtower Feb.15th 1979 p31.)
  • 'Despite a virgin birth, Jesus was no more than a perfect mortal man while on earth. Two things happened at His baptism - he was born again and He became the Christ or Messiah.'

May I suggest to you that they have no grounds whatsoever for those statements. Where do you find Jesus described as an angel called Michael in the Bible (unless you slip it in yourself) In fact the scriptures make it crystal clear that Jesus was not an angel.

Hebrews 1:5,8: "For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son?" "But about the Son He says "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever....Or again in verses 10-12 in the same chapter these words are applicable to Jesus Christ "In the beginning O Lord you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands" (Interestingly you will find those same words are a quote from Psalm 102: 25-27;) Why is that? Because the writer (probably Paul) writing under the inspiration and authority of God clearly saw they referred to Jesus Christ.

In His human nature Jesus was filled with The Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:16; & Luke 4:1; refer to this. But born again at his baptism? There is no record of that in fact we know that He was already The Messiah from his very birth into this world. The promised Messiah of The Old Testament. Hear what Luke writes concerning the amazing virgin birth of Jesus Luke 2:11; "Today in the city of David a Saviour has been born to you, a Saviour who is CHRIST THE LORD"

Paul the apostle writing to the church at Colossae writes in chapter 2:9; "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form." This particular verse is perhaps the strongest affirmation of Christ's deity in all the Scriptures. What is clearly pointed out to us here is that in Jesus of Nazareth, God was uniquely and bodily among us. Since the power of Christ rested in Jesus Christ, Christ overcomes all other powers. Jesus Christ is the complete revelation of God to humanity.

In Revelation 1:8; we have a description of Jesus Christ as what? The Almighty! "The Alpha and Omega Who is, and Who was and Who is to come. It is abundantly clear this description can only be given to One Being God Himself.

Yes I am aware that Jehovah Witnesses find it difficult to believe in the Trinity of which Jesus is One of the Persons within the Trinity. God in three persons blessed Trinity. Remember God is unique and is able to do anything.

You only have to go as far as the very first chapter in Genesis and discover the Trinity. The name for God there in the Hebrew is Elohim. Elohim is composed of three component parts. 'El' meaning one, 'O' added makes the name plural and 'him' finally added makes the word mean more than two. In that same chapter God says concerning the making of man in verse 26 "Let us make man in our image" Who is the Creator? God you reply. Quite right . So here is a conversation going on between the three persons within the Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All are involved in Creation All are distinct from each other with distinctive work to do but all vital and necessary. From eternity God knew man would need a redeemer, a Saviour and planned to come to earth in His own Son to do this vital work.

What do Jehovah Witnesses say about the work of Jesus upon the cross?

"Jesus atoned only for the sin of Adam and not for our personal sins. His death provided an exact payment for what Adam lost, namely, perfect human life in Eden. This ransom sacrifice was not a finished work. Rather it is the basis from which individuals work to provide their own salvation.('You may survive Armageddon' p39 )

What does The Bible have to say about the work of Jesus upon the cross at Calvary?

The central theme in the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans is Justification. (How can a man get right with God) Paul shows how impossible it is for man to get right with God. He cannot earn his own salvation by just deeds. Paul explains it is a gift. (Romans 6:23;) In his letter to the Ephesians he wrote "For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God not of works lest any man should boast for we are His workmanship created unto good works which God has before ordained that we should walk in them." Only through Christ's work of atonement can a man stand justified before God. It had to be achieved by a perfect righteous Person is and to be received through faith and repentance towards God (our part)

So going back to where we started this fourth study as to what Jehovah Witnesses believe and teach. Do they explain the Bible truth about Jesus Christ like this? Do they explain his vital role in the purpose of God to redeem us? It was not for Adam's sin only that Christ died but for the sins of the world. His sacrifice was sufficient and efficient to save anyone from their sins. (John 3:16; ) Christ's death upon the cross did not only remove sin inherited from Adam but includes every sin committed during the believers life both before conversion as well as afterwards.

Romans 5:9; "Much more then having been justified(past tense) by his blood we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him (it has nothing to do with a believers work added to Christ's work which Jehovah's witnesses advocate.) Much more having been reconciled we shall be saved (absolute assurance) by His life".

1 John 1:7; The blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanses us from all sin"

Next time we shall see how important the resurrection of Jesus Christ is to the believer and I do mean a bodily resurrection.

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** Disclaimer: The author of this article, Jim Allis, is a guest podcaster and Partake Ministries may or may not agree with his opinions and writings, either in their entirety or part thereof.

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Aug 26, 2015

Wednesday WOW Worship - 26 August 2015

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Worship Wednesday


Order of Service

Welcome

Opening prayer

Bible Reading: Leviticus 22:31-33

Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:18

Song: Oh for a heart to praise my God

Bible Talk: God's Love for you reflected

  • Cleansing

  • Sanctified

  • Transformed

  • Your status

  • Your practise

  • Its devotion

  • Its love reflected

Song: Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Time of Silence for praise and prayer

Benediction Hebrews 13:20-21


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Aug 25, 2015

POD - Psalm 30

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Psalm 30

(as read by Adam Skirton.

Pastor of Poulner Baptist Chapel)

A Psalm. A Song for the Dedication of the Temple. By David.

30:1 I will extol you, Yahweh, for you have raised me up,
and have not made my foes to rejoice over me.
30:2 Yahweh my God, I cried to you, and you have healed me.


30:3 Yahweh, you have brought up my soul from Sheol. Y
ou have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.


30:4 Sing praise to Yahweh, you saints of his.
Give thanks to his holy name.


30:5 For his anger is but for a moment.
His favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.


30:6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.”


30:7 You, Yahweh, when you favored me, made my mountain stand strong;
but when you hid your face, I was troubled.


30:8 I cried to you, Yahweh.
To Yahweh I made supplication:


30:9 “What profit is there in my destruction, if I go down to the pit?
Shall the dust praise you?
Shall it declare your truth?


30:10 Hear, Yahweh, and have mercy on me.
Yahweh, be my helper.”


30:11 You have turned my mourning into dancing for me.
You have removed my sackcloth, and clothed me with gladness,


30:12 To the end that my heart may sing praise to you, and not be silent.
Yahweh my God, I will give thanks to you forever!


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Aug 24, 2015

Think Spot 24 August 2015

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24th August 2015

G'day! Welcome to Partakers Monday Think Spot helping you into this new week! Come on in and listen!

Job: a man of integrity


Whether you have read about Job in the Bible or not I am sure you must have heard some mention of his name in association with his sufferings or the term 'Job's comforters'. Job suffered immensely, losing his family, wealth and health but never lost his integrity with what he went through. Neither did he curse God for what he was put through.

He could even have lost his sanity as he had no warm hearted friends to console him, only those who were supposed to be friends but they certainly were not comforters to him in his distress. Instead they blamed him for what he suffered. They believed he must have done something wrong in order for the tragedies in his life. However if you read the very beginning of Job, in the very first chapter you will discover that Job is singled out by God as a righteous man. A man who loved and served God with all his heart.

Job was mystified for a while (we see this in the first twenty chapters) but then as his three so called comforters continually attack his righteousness assuming he was responsible for the suffering he was enduring, saying all manner of cruel things about him which were totally untrue, suddenly in replying to one of these three accusers he says “ I cannot see God and all the ways He takes “But He knows the way I take”. He sees me continually and knows all about me. Then Job having understood the intention of God in his ufferings says “When He has tested me I shall come forth as gold, fine gold.” Job knows there is a purpose to his sufferings.

If gold is being separated from impurities in a refining process the heat has to be intense for the separation to take place and for gold to emerge as fine gold. Perhaps you too are going through a testing time at the moment and asking why? Why? Why? The 'hospital visitors ' to Job had no knowledge of the purpose of Job's sufferings and counselled him without wisdom. Perhaps If grapes had been in a bowl beside him perhaps they would have eaten them and thought they were doing Job a favour.

How careful we need to be when helping someone who is going through some form of suffering that we take the time to do more listening than talking to the patient.

Compassion is something that Jesus certainly had and plenty of it. The lepers,the bereaved, poor, lame and those unjustly treated all became His concern and from morning to night he spent his hours ministering to their every need. His wisdom was not always listened to but when it was people were greatly benefited.

How we need to look at Jesus life more in the gospels and see how He talked and listened to people and responded to their cries. He never ever passed by on the other side when he saw a need. When someone cried out he responded.

Joy’s Prayer


Lord, we are often complaining when we have nothing like the experiences of Job or others like Gladys Aylward to compare with. Forgive us for our moaning and grumbling. Help us to see as the scriptures say our 'light afflictions are but for a moment '.

When we think of Jesus and His sufferings for us we are put to shame. Thank you we have such a wonderful God as indeed You are to comfort us in our afflictions. “Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits who forgives our iniquities, heals all of our sicknesses and diseases and whose mercy ,reaches unto the heavens. ... Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, serve the Lord with gladness”.

Lord help us to do this for Your names sake.
Amen

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Aug 23, 2015

Sunday with Sammy

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23rd August 2015


Hillsong Kids have a great song, they have many and they’re all very catchy! One in particular tells us…
The greatest treasure,
The word God's people wrote,
It's in the bible,
Where Noah built a boat.
And it rained and rained!
Chorus: The rainbows in the sky,
To show God's promises are true,
The rainbows in the sky to show the world,
He's the only way,
For your everyday.


It’s a simple ditty, and if you search for Hillsong Kids and The Rainbow song you’ll hear what I mean. Well is certainly has been raining. A lot. Even the most hardened European cannot help but to comment on it – the Europeans think it is a very strange British trait to always be discussing the weather! The rainbow IS in the sky to show God’s promises are true. For some I know this is small comfort when all they can see for miles is water.

Way back in Genesis 9:11 God says “I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And in verse 13 He continues, “I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.” His bow, the rainbow.

There is a lot of anger of the recent flooding, understandably from people affected; but also from people who are fairly unaffected by rising water levels and waves breaking over sea defences. There is blame being bandied about. Who could be to blame? The Government for not doing more to strengthen the sea defences? How about the local authorities for allowing houses and dwellings to be built and sited on at risk areas… I’m sure they are called flood plains for a reason! How about the building companies, or the solicitor’s and estate agents, or the people themselves for buying properties in such areas??? And, of course, God is being blamed. I have heard that He is punishing Britain for allowing same sex marriages to take place.

So, what do we do now?? Pick one, appoint the blame where we feel it is most prevalent and then just get on with our own lives? Sell everything we have to financially support people who are in dire straits? Neither of those are very sensible or Christian. Yes, we are to give our talents to God, but we still need to pay our own bills! Talents. Our gifts. Physical and tangible. These people don’t need sympathy they need empathy, and they need your prayers. Of course if you’re in a position to help financially and that’s what you wish to do then don’t let me stop you.

But first, ask God what it is HE wants you to do. Just throwing money at a situation and then burying your head in the sand can sometimes be worse than accepting there is nothing you can do and just praying God sends the right people to what is needed. Prayer won’t stop the rain, or the floods just as it won’t stop the sun rising or Earth turning. But prayer is such a wonderfully powerful tool that we all possess. No one thinks they pray well. No one ever says, oh yes I’m brilliant at prayer, it just rolls off my tongue and I have the right words for any situation at hand. Never! But God does hear you when you speak to Him. Sometimes a prayer is answered straight away with a resounding yes, sometimes it’s a straight no, and sometimes it’s a ‘maybe’. These are the hardest to hear and these are the times when you have to put your trust in God more.

I pray that when water levels start to subside, and people can return to their homes, that they can still rely on others to lend a hand, and hug, or a give a loaf of bread, and that the community spirit that we seem so easily to lose sight of when the media tell us it’s ok to, will still warm their hearts, and those from whom they are receiving their gifts, and that they and we ALL may continue to love our neighbour as Jesus asks us to.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, send comfort to those who are sad and lonely this day. To those who feel there is no end to the misery they are encountering. Send your holy angels to dwell with them, to drive away all negative thoughts that the enemy fills their heads and hearts with. Send people to them who can really make a difference and help them in the ways they need. Protect them and bless them and all those who care for them. In Jesus’ name we ask this.
Amen.


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Aug 22, 2015

The Normal Christian Journey of Faith - Part 15

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The normal (Christian) journey of faith


Chapter 15: What next?




After life comes death – or passing on, or meeting the Lord, or being promoted to glory, or kicking the bucket, or any one of the many ways we have of avoiding using that final word – death. There is a fundamental problem in talking about what follows life. Everything that can be said about it has to be expressed in terms of this life. And, that is not an easy thing to do. This shows very clearly in the range of different words that the New Testament writers use. Matthew talks about the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ (which is really a way of saying the Kingdom of God but avoiding the use of the word God) and a wedding banquet; John talks about ‘eternal life’ – or, more literally, the ‘life of the ages’, or, more interpretively, ‘God’s new age’; Paul talks about our ‘citizenship in heaven’; Peter talks about an ‘inheritance’; the writer to the Hebrews calls us to ‘the city that is to come’.

But even the width of that range of words gives us some important clues as to how we should think of where we are going. In two ways: first, all those expressions, without exception, refer to a place of relationships – a kingdom is where the King is, wedding banquets are a celebration of relationships, eternal life is about life, citizenship is shared, inheritance is about continuity of life and a city is people. Secondly all those expressions have a strong hint in them that we are already there: we are in the Kingdom, the life of the ages must have started already, we have to have a passport to know our citizenship, inheritance means we are part of an ongoing family and cities have a great ongoing life to them. One thing we can be sure of: we shall not be sitting around on the clouds playing harps, as so much popular thinking has it!

You and I do not know what it will all look like, however hard John of Patmos may have tried to explain through his word pictures in the book of Revelation to enthuse us for what lies ahead. (You will note that I do not rate those who think they have perfect knowledge of what he means in every verse and every sentence!) That does not matter.

The one great puzzle is where and how the idea of ‘the new heavens and the new earth’ fits in. The phrase comes from the prophecy of Isaiah and is picked up by Peter and John of Patmos. It suggests that the future is not totally different from the world we now live in, which we should therefore take great care of and look after as best we can.

There have been all sorts of suggestions that after we die we will start in one place, proceed to another and then another and so on, possibly depending on how good boys and girls we have been. All such ideas should be rejected.

What is abundantly clear is that in some sense, still hidden from us, life after death for the believer will be in a place where we shall be in close proximity to the Lord of All, the King of the Ages, our Lord Jesus Christ. In some way we cannot begin to understand we shall be fully content with that, time will be of no significance, nor will other people. HE will be all in all to us.

So What?

No Christian should be frightened or worried about being dead. We may indeed be worried about dying, which may turn out to be a lengthy, unpleasant and uncomfortable business. We may be deeply concerned about the future of our loved ones that we will leave behind, perhaps to a difficult and poverty struck or loveless existence, and that rightly so. To be that way is to be concerned about the breaking of the deep loves of our life, and the more we have loved the more difficult is the thought of love fractured. There is certainly nothing to be ashamed of in being worried by such thoughts.

We shall die when our time comes. Except if we take part in highly dangerous and risky enterprises this will be entirely within the hands of our good and gracious Lord. Why some should die young, and others live to a difficult old age we shall never know. Job said “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord”. But that is in the first chapter of his book and he goes on to a long and tortuous argument with his friends, struggling with the multiple calamities that have overtaken him. Only in the very last chapter of his book does he get to saying, “I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge? ’
Surely I, Job, spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me. ’
My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.”

Like Job, we too will struggle with the things that happen to us, particularly in the death of friends and loved ones and then perhaps when our own day to depart comes. Don’t let that worry you beyond the natural worry of such things. Rest in the hands of the Lord. Paul said “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” So it is for us. Don’t forget it!

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Aug 21, 2015

Friday Prayers 21 August 2015

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

21st August 2015


We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity! Come! Let us pray together!

   

Gracious and Holy Father,
please give me:
intellect to understand you;
reason to discern you;
diligence to seek you;
wisdom to find you;
a spirit to know you;
a heart to meditate upon you;
ears to hear you;
eyes to see you;
a tongue to proclaim you;
a way of life pleasing to you;
patience to wait for you;
and perseverance to look for you.
Grant me:
a perfect end,
your holy presence.
A blessed resurrection,
And life everlasting.

Amen




A prayer of Benedict (480-547)

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Aug 20, 2015

Jehovah Witnesses 03

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3 - Organization and God’s Word


At the end of our last study we looked at their own assessment of what a Godly organisation should be like in character and were they true in saying they adhere closely to God's Word. I couldn't agree more that they should but do they in fact keep strictly to God's Word? This we shall look at more closely in a moment but first



Here is an outline of how they operate as an organisation:

They stress:


(a) Door to door visitation

They say that they are the only organisation going from house to house. This is not true as many churches do a great deal of outreach and meet people where they are. We recognise them at our front door as they give themselves away by their dress and manner.
Never do they start with the line "we are Jehovah Witnesses."
Why do they go from house to house? To present the good news of the gospel? Wow!! if it were true. Or is it out of fear of displeasing their organisation if they fail to do so?

What Good News do they bring to the householder? Its all about their own organisation and offering a Book study group to join. Note a book study not a Bible study. Again we do not see them going directly to the Bible and certainly not the NIV or New King James Versions not even the King James Authorised Version but their very own version which they have manufactured HAVING REMOVED OR ADDED TO PARTS OF THE BIBLE THEY ARE IN DISAGREEMENT WITH.



They say categorically "No one is allowed to criticise the hierarchy of the movement. " I quote " We should meekly go along with the Lord's theocratic organisation"(The Watchtower November 15th 1981 page 80.)..."What is your attitude towards directives from the faithful and discreet slave? Loyalty should move you to be ready to obey." (Watchtower Dec. 1st 1981)



One ex Jehovah Witness referring to her previous experience in the movement said...."I hated every minute, every hour of being a witness. But I thought it was the only way to survive Armageddon and live on Paradise earth. Many times over the years I would have left if someone had only presented the gospel to me." I have heard a good number of similar testimonies from those who feared the movement which had such a strong hold over them. This tight reign prevents them leaving the organisation especially if their close friends are going to ostracise them which the organisation insist they do..



(b) What kind of meetings do they hold each week?

Usually it amounts to five meetings per week. Four of them require audience participation. Included also is a study of their weekly journal 'The Watchtower' by means of questions and answers. Prior to the study a public talk is given from its outline.

On another evening the ministry school trains every Jehovah Witness how to present their beliefs and overcome objections. Witnesses are expected to prove their faithfulness by attending all the meetings. Each witness must spend a minimum of ten hours per month in door to door visitation. Others known as auxiliary and special pioneers spend many more hours knocking on doors.

Last year I attended by invitation their annual communion service. Yes only once a year. We were told the elements were only to be taken by those who were 'born again' Who are the born again in their eyes? Did the speaker point us to Nicodemus in John 3:3; no way, not a mention of it! .Instead we were pointed to a couple of references in the book of Revelation including one in chapter 14.

Here there is reference to great multitudes of people worshipping and praising God in Heaven. Included in that number, ( for it goes on to stress there are so many people there they cannot be numbered from all nations on the earth) is the number 144000.

We were told by the presiding elder that the 144000 were the particular born again Jehovah Witnesses who were pure, undefiled, ransomed, redeemed and follow the Lamb closely.

So there were two classes we were told. One to inherit paradise and all other Jehovah Witnesses would have the lesser blessing in eternity of spending it on the renewed earth. So only Jehovah Witnesses who considered themselves in the 144000 group would be allowed to participate and take the bread and wine that night.

I had been invited by an Witness elder who was sitting next to me . As the dry crackers and wine were being passed from hand to hand I quickly asked the elder whether I was expected to eat it straight away or wait till all were served. He replied "no its only for the "Born Again" I replied quickly as the elements drew closer to where we were sitting "But I am born again"

As it happened I never got much of a chance to take either as they were passed swiftly along and it appeared that no one was participating!

Afterwards I asked my friend "Did he know of any "born again Jehovah Witnesses" in the congregation (there were 200 people there) He said "no not personally but I think there are one or two living in the county."

I think the Holy Spirit was grieved that night at a meeting which should have been filled with the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His redeeming work on Calvary and his words to his disciples "take eat, do this in remembrance of Me"

However, He was virtually cut out of the meeting which he brought into being
. I was told it was left to the individual to take but with such a warning, who would?

To be born again was for the elite Jehovah Witness. My Bible tells me it is for sinners, repentant sinners who trust only in Jesus righteousness and His shed blood to redeem an deliver us from our sins. And through that sacrifice we can be cleansed from all sin and be welcomed into heaven (all of us who repent and believe)1 Corinthians 11:23-26: Romans 3:23; 5:1-3: and verses 8ff



When I began this third study I referred to the Jehovah Witness principles which they said they said they adhered to. One was "We recognise Jesus' vital role in Jehovah's purpose." I am certain they do not.

Jesus Christ is central in the Christian faith and in my next study we shall focus on what place Jehovah Witnesses teaching does give to Jesus Christ and contrast it with what the Bible clearly teaches and I can assure you there is a vast difference and one that greatly affects the true way to God through The Lord Jesus Christ, We shall see Who He truly is and what He did achieve at Calvary for all who will believe on Him.

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