In the academic year 2013-2014 much discussion went on about a revision of the educational program in the Belgian schools and about a renewal of the attitude of the Catholic Church which kept loosing more and more people. They decided to make one parish from 5 parishes so that the costs could be tempered and priests would be available to do a service every few weeks, for at least one per month in a village.
The Bible Students did not have it easy either to attract people to their services. Most people are also afraid of non-trinitarians and do not like to put away their traditions, like baby baptism, first and second communion, and other Catholic celebrations. More and more people Focus on outward appearances and are not any more interested in a Supreme Higher Being, which they can not see or do feel to have connection with.
More and more people also give a voice accusing God to be a cruel partial being, Whom let others suffer a lot and let so many things happen without interfering. Several people also became angry with those people who call themselves People of God and wanted to see a Jewish nation living in Israel the Land given by God to His Chosen People.
This last season, we looked at the apostle Peter who perceived that God is not partial, (Acts 10:34) being aware that the Greek word rendered “partial” literally means “taker of faces.” (The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures) Regarding this term, one scholar explains:
“It refers to a judge who looks at a man’s face and renders a verdict, not in accord with the merits of the case, but according as he likes or dislikes the man.”
As Christians we may be happy God gave His son to liberate us all and to give the goyim (people, nation) or heathen also a chance to become part of His people, not favouring one face over another because of race, nationality, social standing, or any other external factors.
Knowing that in every nation the man that fears Jehovah God and works righteousness is acceptable to Him, we tried to work at ourself and help others to find the right direction, growing in truthfulness and righteousness.
At the services we talked about what it means to fear God. We tried to see how we have and can respect, honour, and trust Him, avoiding anything that displeases him. To work righteousness involves willingly doing what is right in God’s eyes. Jehovah finds pleasure in the man whose heart is filled with reverential awe that moves him to do what is right.(Deuteronomy 10:12, 13.)
The Christadelphians in Belgium did not face an easy year. The Belgian Christadelphians from the ecclesia Brussel-Leuven tried to get all the different groups of Christadelphians together. Their intentions where very good, but did not take account of the human selfishness, pride, likes of power, and stubborn attitude. We do have to admit that also certain Bible Students did not like a liaison either, with certain other groups. A shame it did not work out positively and left division in the ranks.
We spend lots of time in arguing and discussing the matter of unity. Shamefully we encountered hesitation and opposition. We also experienced discrimination or prejudice which made good reason for us to take heart from Peter’s words about God. Jehovah is drawing people of all nations to true worship. (John 6:44; Acts 17:26, 27) He listens and responds to the prayers of his worshippers regardless of their race, nationality, or social standing. (1 Kings 8:41-43) We can be confident that when Jehovah looks down from heaven, he sees just one race—the human race.
Facing the problems of the Brothers and Sisters in Belgium we also reminded ourselves that Jesus foretold that the Christian congregation would come under attack. Remember, in his prophetic illustration of the wheat and the weeds, Jesus warned that a newly planted field of wheat (anointed Christians) would be oversown with weeds (imitation Christians). The groups, he said, would be allowed to grow side by side—undisturbed until the harvest, which would come at “a conclusion of a system of things.” (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) It was not long before Jesus’ words began to come true.
The apostasy made some inroads in the first century, but Jesus’ faithful apostles acted “as a restraint,” holding back the contamination and influence of false teachings. (2 Thessalonicans 2:3, 6, 7) However, once the last of the apostles died, the apostasy took root and flourished during a long growing season that lasted for many centuries. Additionally, during that time, the weeds became many and the blades of wheat were few. There was no consistent, organized channel for dispensing spiritual food.
As the end of the growing season neared, there were strong stirrings of interest in Bible truth. Recall that in the 1870’s, a small group of sincere truth-seekers got together and formed Bible classes apart from the weeds—imitation Christians within the churches and sects of Christendom. With humble hearts and open minds, those sincere Bible Students, as they called themselves, made a careful and prayerful search of the Scriptures.—Matthew 11:25.
Those Bible Students’ diligent study of the Scriptures yielded rich results and they also found their way to Europe where they originally came from. In the States as in Europe different Bible Students groups found new light and got several little independent groups spreading locally the Biblical Truth. Belgium, as a very strong Roman Catholic bastion was a difficult place to convince people of what was really written in the Bible.
When the Jehovah Witnesses found more interest by the believers the Roman Catholic Church started taking away the Name of God from their publications. They also had used the name Jehovah until the mid 1960ies, but then they wanted to avoid any resemblance with the group of Bible Students which used God’s Name but did not want to accept Jesus as the god.
There where some trials to bring different Bible Students joining forces, but last season Marcus Ampe did a last effort to bring the non-Jehovah Witnesses Bible Students and Bible researchers together. He had hoped to bring the different Christadelphian Groups, Old Paths, Central Fellowship, Amended and Unamended Christadelphians, Dawn Students, Australian and Belgian Bible Students, together with Logos and Carelinks members. To no avail. He got a ‘big slap in his face’, finding his efforts not being appreciated, and being more shunned than before. He with the Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven and with the Belgian Bible Students became more isolated because they wanted to be impartial and open to any serious Bible Student, no matter which background or organisation.
They lost their support from the English organisation and made it now clear to the public they wanted to be an independent Christian organisation, free from human directorate, giving themselves to the ruling of Christ Jesus as their only cornerstone.
They like we, want to be united under Jesus Christ, facing total impartiality in the ranks, with the impartial God as our Most High example.
We, after our bad experience this season, therefore dare to ask every person coming to us or reading these pages:
Are you moved to learn more about this impartial God?
Are you willing to become part of the People of God?
Are you willing to understand what it means to be part of the Body of Christ, understanding that there are and may be different parts or groups, like you have the kidneys, reins, stomach, veins, lungs, etc, in a human body?
Having noticed how difficult it even is in the own ranks or denomination to find the love of Christ fully, and getting to see how it is not always to get the right quality of approachability, we wondered how we could help it to bring people together.
How would you describe an individual who is approachable? You might say,
‘Someone who is kind, readily available, and easy to talk to.’
You can often discern whether a person is approachable or not by listening to what he says and by observing his body language—gestures, facial expressions, and other nonverbal signs.
Confronted with all those communication problems we looked at Jehovah how He demonstrates that He is approachable. Although He is the Almighty Creator of our vast universe, Jehovah assures us that He is willing and eager to listen to our prayers and to respond to them. (Read Psalm 145:18; Isaiah 30:18, 19.) The Belgian Christadelphians also presented a series about the way we can speak to God at length at any time or place. They looked at ‘prayer‘, how we can bring prayers which are worthy in the eyes of God.
We where happy this year in the knowledge that we always can approach the Divine Creator Jehovah God freely, knowing that He will never reproach us for doing so. (Psalm 65:2; James. 1:5) God’s Word describes Jehovah in human terms to indicate that he wants to be approached. For instance, the psalmist David wrote that “the eyes of Jehovah are toward” us and that his “right hand keeps fast hold” on us. (Psalm 34:15; 63:8) The prophet Isaiah likened Jehovah to a shepherd, saying:
“With his arm he will collect together the lambs; and in his bosom he will carry them.” (Isaiah 40:11)
We, though we had to face a very difficult time in Belgium, the last few months, still could find happiness in the knowledge that we fully could trust God Who wants us to be as close to Him as a little lamb nestled in the bosom of a caring shepherd.
We where convinced, and still are, that a key to being approachable is showing genuine interest in others. If an elder cares about others and is willing to give of himself in their behalf, his brothers and sisters, including young ones, will likely sense this attitude. (Mark 10:13-16) Of course, it is not enough for an elder to say that he is approachable; he should manifest that quality. (1 John 3:18)
Customs may vary from land to land, but usually when we give our brothers and sisters a warm smile, a welcoming handshake, a relaxed greeting, we are signaling that we are genuinely interested in them. Who should take the initiative in this? Note the example Jesus set. Matthew reports that at a meeting with his disciples, “Jesus approached and spoke to them.” (Matthew 28:18) Likewise, elders today take the initiative to approach their fellow believers and speak to them. How can that affect the congregation? An 88-year-old pioneer sister observed:
“The warm smiles and encouraging comments I receive from the elders when I enter the Kingdom Hall endear them to me.”
Another faithful sister added:
“It may be viewed as a little thing, but when an elder welcomes me to the meeting with a smile, it means a lot to me.”
This coming year we would like to continue working at the openness we do have to have, making ourselves more approachable to others. Obviously, we cannot be approached if we are not available. Jehovah sets a fine example in that regard.
“He is not far off from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27)
One way in which elders make themselves available to others is by setting aside time before and after Christian meetings to converse with their brothers and sisters—young and old.
A pioneer brother noted:
“When an elder asks how I’m doing and then stops to listen to my answer, I feel appreciated.”
A sister who has been serving Jehovah for nearly 50 years commented:
“Elders who take some time to talk to me after the meeting make me feel valued.”
We would love to give more time to those who have questions and are willing to listen to them and to give answers to the many questions people may have.
This coming new season we do want to give extra attention to the sheep showing others we are open to any body, being fair, free from having or showing bias or favouritism.
One who is impartial will pay due regard, not to an individual’s outward appearance or circumstances, but to his or her character as a person. We would like to find people who have the right attitude to come closer to Jehovah, our God, the greatest example of impartiality. His Word states that he “is not partial” and that he “treats none with partiality.”
34 At this Peter began to speak, and he said: “Now I truly understand that God is not partial,+35 but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.+ (Acts 10:34, 35)
As always are full attention next season shall go to the God of gods, Who executes justice for the fatherless child and the widow and loves the foreign resident, giving him food and clothing. (Leviticus 19:10, Deuteronomy 24:14, Psalm 146:9) Once more we shall also give full attention to hired worker who is in need and poor and protecting the foreign residents, looking carefully what shall happen to the country Belgium in those political difficult times, where the politicians do not take into account the votes of the people, and created a new sort of monarchy of the political parties, where each party delivers politicians from father to son and keeps ruling the country and creating different posts for the own political family.
We do hope to convince people how no human political system shall ever be able to bring total peace. We shall keep trying to bring them the knowledge of what the purpose is of the Kingdom of God and why it is so important we look forward to the return of Christ Jesus, the Messiah.
We do admit we with the Belgian Christadelphians hoped we could bring much more people together, clinging to each other. We shamefully failed and have to admit we should put all our hope to God, and got perhaps too much fear in man.
20 “Jehovah your God you should fear, him you should serve,+ to him you should cling, and by his name you should swear. 21 He is the One you are to praise.+ He is your God, who has done all these great and awe-inspiring things for you that your own eyes have seen.+ (Deuteronomy 10: 20-21)
We shall continue to to invite all sorts of fellow believers, including those whose background differs from ours as well as those who are poor, orphaned, or widowed. (Read Galatians 2:10; James 1:27.) Further, in the Kingdom-preaching work, we shall keep sharing the good news impartially with people of all backgrounds, including those from foreign countries.
Preceding article: An academic year ending, again a new year standing ready for us
- Words in the world
- Funeral service only belongs in church building according to Catholic Church
- Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
- Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
- Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
- Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
- Focus on outward appearances
- People are turning their back on Christianity
- Christianity to be enshrined
- Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
- Walking alone?
- Stand Up
- Quit griping about your church
- Accents in schools and tools of survival against aliens
- Two states of existence before God
- God, my father, my closest friend
- God doesn’t call the qualified
- Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
- A Society pleading poverty
- Priority to form a loving brotherhood
- Christadelphian people
- Not many coming out with their community name
- Festival of Freedom and persecutions
- Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
- Censorship possible by a person and his organisation
- Attackers silenced freedom of speech
- A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
- No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
- Delay in publications because attack from outside
- Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation
- Cleanliness and worrying or not about purity
- Christian values and voting not just a game
- Human relations 2013
- 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritually
- Preparing for an important election
- Standing aside or looking at election days
- 2014 European elections
- Yellow wave over Belgium
- Walloon politicians have proven they will never be willing to be open to Flanders
- A Jewish Theocracy
- Call for prayer to help with unity crisis
- Do You Expect God’s Answer
- Prayer, important aspect in our life
- Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
- Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
- Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
- Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets
- Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
- Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
- Praying and thinking positively
- “Prayer 2″ – Child Abuse
- Genuine prayer
- People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
- 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
- If you think you’re too small to be effective
- Does God answer prayer?
- Being sure of their deliverance
- Work with joy and pray with love
- Give your worries to God
- Prayer has comforted us in sorrow
- Nearly 6,000 attend Jehovah’s Witness convention (wwlp.com)
The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that members of Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations from across the Northeast came to Amherst this weekend. They participated in a three-day program that included sermons, songs and prayer.
- My Family Was Catholic Until the Almighty Got a Hold of Us (sandradeden.com)
Ever wonder how all the different religions came about? Well, wonder no more, because I have a highly sophisticated theory. I think entire families stand in a long line before they are born, and a deity hands out religion like an ice cream truck guy hands out SpongeBob SquarePants bars, strawberry shortcakes, and fudgsicles. How do I know this? It’s the only way to explain my family.
She liked the Jewish emphasis on family and being a good person (as opposed to say, burning in hell for transgressions). The final piece was the idea that children must be born to a Jewish mother be considered Jewish, so she converted. It was toughest on my mom. Julie’s religious departure was still based in Christianity, but for my mom, Sharon had left the fold entirely.
- A Letter to Brother Bramwell Chandrakumar’s Questions (garylordsway.wordpress.com)
Jesus has defined God for us in scripture: Jn.4:24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. If we then know God is a Spirit, because God cannot lie
- Chapter 25-Christ in the Old Testament (reformedontheweb.wordpress.com)
It is well to see that the true doctrine as to the Saviour of man is not that of the New Testament only, but of the whole Bible. The unity of divine revelation will thus appear. The testimony of prophecy will be added to that of the miracles which attended the life of Jesus and the ministry of his followers.
The prophecy of the second coming of Christ which Jude (vers. 14, 15) tells us was made by “Enoch, the seventh from Adam,” betokens a degree of knowledge to the very end of the world which, but for that record, would never have been imagined. We are therefore not to be hindered by any presumption that our first parents did not know what God was promising, from carefully scrutinizing the record left us, nor from giving to it all the fullness of meaning its literal interpretation may convey.
- Psalm 9 (kittyjonesblog.wordpress.com)
Since you provide my righteousness and appoint my cause, /I know that my enemies, /the world culture that surrounds me, /my own self-absorbed flesh / and the devil, /will stumble and perish before the righteous judgment / that comes from your throne.
- What do you need…? (prayerconfessions.wordpress.com)
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.Encounter Him as:
Elohim: the God above all gods
Jehovah Jireh: the God who provides
El-Shaddai: the almighty God
Jehovah Rapha: our healer God
Jehovah Shalom: our God of peace
- Names of God (girlfriendscoffeehour.com)
El Roi, the God Who Sees
You are My Banner, Jehovah-Nissi
The All Sufficient One, El Shaddai
Jehovah-Jireh, You Will Provide
Rapha, the Lord Who Heals
Shalom, You are my Peace
The Lord of Hosts, Jehovah-Sabaoth
- Week 15: Friday – The Great I am (bolmdevotional.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah “Is Not Partial” (byronfliwalker.wordpress.com)
Have you ever been a victim of discrimination? Have you ever been denied a request, refused a service, or otherwise treated with disdain because of your skin color, ethnic background, or social status? If so, you are far from alone. Here, though, is the good news: Such indignities, though commonplace on earth, are nonexistent in heaven. “God is not partial,” said the Christian apostle Peter with the utmost conviction.—Read Acts 10:34, 35.