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Posts tagged ‘Biblical truth’

False teachers and false prophets still around

When Jesus was alive he warned already for a time that false teachers would come along. Soon after he died, was risen and gone up in the skies to his heavenly Father several teachers found something interesting in the rabbi his teaching they could use for their own teachings. They mixed it with Roman Greek ideas and popular traditional thoughts.

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout the years deceitful individuals managed to lure people into false teachings. Worse was it when a majority of church leaders did agree with Constantine the great to come under its authority. To cease the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire some found it better to agree to those Roman Greek teachings and several gods. By agreeing to make Jeshua into a similar figure as Zeus, making his name into Issou or ‘Hail Zeus’ the worst false teaching entered in Christendom. It was a terrible turning point for Early Christianity, By some referred to as the Triumph of the Church, the Peace of the Church or the Constantinian shift.

But already before that great turning point of the introduction of the false Trinity doctrine there where also other false teachings brought by many who tried to get people around them. We can find the apostles warning about such people who twisted the words of Jesus and mixed it with popular human philosophy and popular thoughts. Those different teachers because of the more popular ideas and giving in to pagan rites could often gain more popularity than the strict followers of Jesus Christ. Lots of people believed in demons, monsters and stories about horrible beings where much enjoyed. When there were sick people there where preachers, who tried to gain there living by so called driving out such demons, they were asked to come to help and cure. That practice of exorcising went on for a long time and never disappeared. Today we still can find exorcists all over the world.

Painting of Saint Francis Borgia performing an exorcism, by Goya

Paul said to the elders of the congregation in Ephesus:

“From among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things.”

And Peter wrote in a letter to several congregations:

“There will also be false teachers among you.”

This should warn us that false teachers even may come from inside the community or congregation. Already from the early times onwards there where people who did not agree with what was going on or who rebelled against the teachings made in the community. Such a rebellion against true worship and an abandoning of it was called “apostasy” and the agitators and false teachers apostates.

Today also we can see similar apostates or people trying to infiltrate the believers in One God and followers of His only begotten son, by entering Facebook Groups or other communities wanting

“to draw away the disciples after themselves.”

The disciples Paul is talking about are the disciples of the master teacher Jeshua, Jesus Christ who as a Jew believed in the Only One true God of Israel. Everywhere in the world there are people trying to get those who want to believe in that One God of Israel and in His son to become confused and to come to accept that what seems to be believed by the majority of Christians, but is therefore not the truth. These false teachers try to take, or steal, disciples from inside the congregation of real followers of Christ. Jesus said that apostates are like wolves that eat the sheep. Apostates want to destroy the faith of the members of the congregation and want them to leave the truth. (Matthew 7:15; 2 Timothy 2:18.)

Lots of men concerning the truth have erred on many aspects, and their ideas which are all false often seem more plausible or attractive, because pagan, and so many other people believe in it, like extra internal beings or spirits, good and bad angels, who are inside man and bring them to do good or bad, or so called immortal souls that leave the body after death to go into an other body or into an other space, like heaven, purgatory or a hell by which they think it is a place of torture by eternal fire.

We can see that from among our own surroundings we find people who will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the followers of Jeshua after themselves. {1 Timothy 4:12 Timothy 4:3, 4; 1 John 2:18, 19Acts 20:30} We also can hear that they call themselves Christian, what should mean they should follow the Christ or Jeshua. After Christianity became poisoned by the Trinity doctrine in Christendom also came more and more different groups and/or sects,+ so that those of them who kept following the teachings of the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) who are approved may also become evident.(1 Corinthians 11:19)

The inspired utterance, the Spirit speaks expressly that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1) Still today we can see that several people will drop out of the faith, giving their attention to misleading spirits and the teachings of demons. Being fooled by false teachers often in a very clever way. Several tricks are used. Apostates for example can “quietly” bring their ideas into the congregation, like criminals who secretly bring things into a country. Apostates use “counterfeit words.” This means that they say things that make their false ideas sound true, like criminals who make false documents look real. Lots of Christians often twist words of the Bible like when there is written “the son of God” they read or say “god the son”. By twisting such sayings in many passages others start believing what they are saying. Or they use such twisted wording saying “look there it says he is god the son” and here he says “I am” so he must be God. They try to get as many people as possible to believe their “deceptive teachings.” Peter also said that they like twisting the Scriptures. They explain Bible verses in the wrong way to make others believe their ideas. (2 Peter 2:1, 3, 13; 3:16) Apostates do not care about us. If we follow them, we will leave the road to everlasting life.

Often they also try to convince you what they are telling, are things you should believe because they are to difficult for a normal human being to understand. They try to convince people around them that the Trinity is beyond human comprehension and therefore we should accepted like it is. Though it might well be that certain things in Scripture are not always so clear and can not be understood straight away, god is a God of order and clarity and did not make His Word so complicated only scholars could or would be able to understand it. However, some things in them are hard to understand, and these things the ignorant* or those people who then are unlearned and unstable, unsteadfast wrest and come to twist, the same as they do the rest of the scriptures, to their own bane, their own destruction. {2 Peter 3:16}

When hearing people saying there is something written in the Bible, dare to ask them to let it see what is written and be alert yourself, daring to say when they say it is about ‘god the son” and there is written in the bible ‘the son of God’ to point out how they wrongly interpret Scriptures.

In Romans 16:17; 2 John 9-11 clear instruction is given in the Bible.

Romans 16:1: 17 Now I urge you, brothers, to keep your eye on those who create divisions and causes for stumbling contrary to the teaching that you have learned, and avoid them.+ 18 For men of that sort are slaves, not of our Lord Christ, but of their own appetites,* and by smooth talk and flattering speech they seduce the hearts of unsuspecting ones.

2 John 9-11: Everyone who pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God.+ The one who does remain in this teaching is the one who has both the Father and the Son.+ 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your homes+ or say a greeting to him. 11 For the one who says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.

Bombarded by lots of words wanting to have you to believe other things than are written black on white in the Bible you should be fully aware to always compare their sayings with what is written in the Bible. Always remember you must be aware that there are lots of false teachers around but that the simple warning in the bible is:

“Avoid them.”

That means that we have to stay away from them. The warning from the Bible is like a warning from a doctor who tells you to avoid a person who has a disease that may spread to others. The doctor knows that if you get this disease, you will die. His warning is clear, and you will do what he says. The Bible says that apostates are mentally diseased and that they use their teachings to make others think like them. (1 Timothy 6:3, 4) Jehovah is like that good doctor. He clearly tells us to stay away from false teachers. We must always be determined to follow his warning.

 

You always should know that God gave us His Word, the Holy Bible, to come to know Him and to come to understand Him and His Plan. Each person god has given the opportunity to learn about Him and to find guidance to come to Him.
When trusting God and allowing the Word of God come to you like it is written, done away from all the human doctrines, you shall be able to find the Biblical doctrines.

Instead of listening to false teachings that go against the truth in God’s Word, trust God and listen to His Word. (Psalm 31:5; John 17:17) As followers of Christ Jesus we should be careful when it comes to those who attack you and your faith. You always should know the bible itself should be your Guide. You always should have your ear to that Word of God and take the words like they are written in the Holy Scriptures. Listen to God’s Spirit Who is warning you that what certain people are teaching doesn’t sound quite right, then search the Scriptures and judge correctly. God gave you His Spirit to lead you into Truth. Don’t ignore His Spirit, but instead allow the Spirit to guide you today, tomorrow and every day of your life. Never let yourself be discouraged or weakened because you seem to stand alone in your understanding of the Scriptures.

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Preceding articles

Object of first woe

Raising digression

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:21-26 – 1. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:13

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit

Good or bad preacher

From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah

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Additional reading

  1. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God
  2. Inner voice inside the soul of man
  3. Who Gets to Say What the Bible Says?
  4. God’s forgotten Word 4 Lost Lawbook 3 Early digressions and Constantinic revolution
  5. Leading people astray!
  6. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  7. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  8. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  9. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  10. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
  11. Shariah and child abuse – Is there a connection?
  12. Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share
  13. Responsibility bigger than those who talk about worldly matters

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Further reading

  1. The Blood of Jesus
  2. Fruit FidelityI pray not to fall prey: judging good fruit from the bad
  3. Thessalonian Christians
  4. Beware of False Preachers
  5. 7 Marks of a False Teacher
  6. My experience today with detecting cults / false churches
  7. False Teachers List & False Prophets Exposed
  8. Broken Wolves Masquerading as Sheep
  9. Judging the wolves
  10. False Preachers
  11. True Grace, or False Grace? #1178
  12. The Spirit Abides In Us
  13. The Epistle of Jude: Contend for the Faith
  14. The Shepards, The Goats, The Sheep and The Wolves…
  15. Cookie a day: Can A Christian Believe That Jesus Is Not God And Still Be A Christian?
  16. Is God’s Name Blasphemed Because of You?
  17. Ways to Handle False Teaching
  18. How to Debate False Teachers
  19. My Thoughts On “The Hebrew Roots Movement”
  20. How much error does a false teacher need to exhibit before they’re considered false?
  21. Gary’s Blog This Month on “False Teachers”From Whom Does The Gospel Come From John Calvin Or The Holy Spirit?
  22. From Whom Does The Gospel Come From John Calvin Or The Holy Spirit? (Part 2)<
  23. When our False Evangelical Leaders Met with the Pope…Dirty SpotsBe wise to false teaching
  24. Christian Ghosting: The Destructive Christian Practice We Don’t Talk About By Benjamin L. Corey
  25. A call to feed the sheep<
  26. Can apostates be Christians?
  27. The snake, the sparrow, and the sword
  28. God is our author and our editor
  29. What will the church look like in the last days
    Considering the following Hillsong video, what does it say about the state of the church in these last days, surely this video demonstrates we are witnessing the precursor to the prophesied great falling away

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Related articles
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Gates to different belief systems in this world

A housewife with four grown children and grandchildren looks at her blog at the many different systems of belief. She also knows that

Everybody knows  that there are people  in this world  whose word  simply cannot be trusted.     They might have attained the status  of top leadership  in the country,  they might be very wealthy,  they might be considered very intellectual,  they might be spiritual leaders — whatever the case may be,  it is noted,  often by their deeds,  that their word should not be trusted. {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

Everyday we are confronted with a lot of words, news-gatherings etc.. these days it is even fashion to have several people trying to manipulate others and spreading false accusations or what a certain American person would call real news whilst naming the other and real facts ‘fake news’.

Some people use their words  to gain political power over others;  some use words to illegally gain wealth;  some use words  to intimidate others  with their supposed  “knowledge”;  and there are false spiritual leaders,  who desire to rule  over others spiritually  with their words. {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

These days many people, certainly here in West Europe and in the Middle East can feel the damage which is caused by those who trap in the mousetrap of some of those false teachers who do more damage to the faith they are so called defending, than doing good to it are creating reasons for non-believers to come to believe in Allah/God or to get them converted to real Islam.

With the Internet,  TV,  radio,  books,  newspapers,  etc.,  each belief system  is trying to spread what they claim  is the absolute truth.     What in the world  should we believe  — if anything? {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

asks the American mother, adding

Most belief systems can almost be seen as  “agreeing”  quite a bit  on what is  “good”  behavior.     So, does it matter which one we  “prefer”?     Many will say it does not matter  what you believe,  just so long  as you are sincere  and  “try”  to be good. {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

English: Two symbols among more than 40 that a...

Two symbols among more than 40 that are authorized for use in National Cemeteries on headstones and markers, symboling religious or belief systems of the deceased. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several Christians will say that all people are saved now and that we do not have to do any works any more (And looking at some of this mother her writings we get the impression she thinks too.). They are either mislead by their leaders or just are not very well accustomed with the Words of the Bible (The Words of God). Those not knowing their Holy Scriptures, be it the Hebrew Bible, the Messianic Scriptures or Greek Bible or the Quran are an easy pray for false teachers and for faith groups which prefer their own dogmatic teachings instead of keeping to the Set-apart or Holy Scriptures.

The mother who wants her web site to just glorify God and the salvation He offers to all of us, does not want to debate anyone’s doctrinal beliefs or holding discussions on various subjects. Her web site just wants to give some quiet time to consider various verses in God’s word.

Writing

There are so many different belief systems in this world. It should be obvious that it matters which is the right way to go. Out of all beliefs, only the Bible has shown itself to be true through all the fulfilled prophecies written there. {The Narrow Gate}

she must come to recognise that we can not avoid talking about the doctrinal issues because

even within those claiming to accept the Bible’s teachings, not all will reach their goal of heaven. How can that be? {The Narrow Gate}

She too must know that not all those denominations are teaching “teachings from God Almighty” and has to see that even in Christian denominations there are those who totally ignore that history proves they are presenting not only teachings from sinful men but that many of them even do not live according to what they preach.

Many people are afraid of their neighbours and afraid of the traditions of the world. They want to “fit in with the rest of the crowd”.

They’re afraid of what their neighbours, family, and friends might say about them. And, you know what? Everybody’s afraid. We all want to “fit in”. {Far Away Hearts}

It is fine to see that the mother has seen what happened in history and that

Going back to Jesus’ statement in Matthew 15:7-9,  we need to realize that the church from 1500 years, or more, ago,  accepted these traditions of men, only because they wanted more heathens to join the church.    The church leaders were so intent upon adding numbers to their church enrollment,  that they condoned heathen influences,  in order to draw heathens into the church.

Those ungodly decisions have influenced us to this day.    So,  we don’t have to feel alone in our dilemma of dealing with the fears and superstitions we influence our children with.    This sort of stuff has been going on since the beginning of time.

That is why Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12,

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,  but against the rulers,  against the powers,  against the world forces of this darkness,  against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore,  take up the full armor of God,  that you may be able to resist the evil day,  and having done everything,  to stand firm.” {Far Away Hearts}

Looking at the world today, not much has changed between people. They still have many arguments with each other. They still fight against each other. But concerning faith and doing the works of faith we do see that these days there is less and less interest in the Divine Creator.

It is a pity the mother herself is taken into the trap of those who did agree with the Roman emperor to make Jeshua into the equal or similar person as Zeus, changing his name to Issou (Iessous/Ishi/Jesus) or ‘Hail Zeus” and making him into a three-godhead. She thinks Jesus to be God, though she says herself:

That very narrow gate”  “that leads  to life”  is a simple faith  in Jesus only  as our Lord and Savior.     We can’t add anything to that  —  or take anything away  from that. {The Narrow Gate}

We only can hope she shall come to see that she, like you and us shall have to come to believe in Jeshua, Jesus Christ, to be the only begotten son of God, the son of man, who is the sent one from God who got authorised to handle and to speak in the name of God and who was taken in the heavens to be seated next to God and not to replace God, and to be a mediator between God and man.

That belief in Christ is an essential part of salvation, too many forget. Lots of Christians do not come to see how important that is. Lots of Christians also do not recognise the grand effort Jesus had to do to bring salvation to mankind. They ignore that Jesus did not do his will but the Will of God. (Namely when Jesus is God, like they say, Jesus would always have done his own will.) They also seem to forget that Jesus gave his life and really died. Man can do God nothing and God can not die, but Jesus really did.

It is by ignoring the biblical facts that people exclude themselves from those who Jesus meant to be followers of him and to be the real lovers of God and not of the world.

Strangely enough the mother herself acknowledges

Jesus is pointedly showing us  that it is only faith  in Him  “that leads  to life”.     If we add  or subtract  from that simple truth,  we are widening  the “gate”  —  leading ourselves  and others  “to destruction”.      When describing the “narrow”“small” gate,   Jesus realized  that there would only be “few  who find it”.

We can only hope many more shall find the right road. it is even the task of believers in Christ to show others the Way (which is Jesus) to God. It are those believers in Christ and believers in God who have to show that

God’s word is the only “belief system” (if you will)  {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

English: Example of appendix from New World Tr...

English: Example of appendix from New World Translation of The Holy Scriptures, study edition, Danish Dansk: Eksempel på tillæg i Ny-Verden Oversættelsen af De Hellige Skrifter, studieudgaven, dansk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is in the Word of God, the infallible Word provided by the Most High, namely the Bible (i.e. Old and New Testament) that we should go searching for the Truth, in the knowledge that That Word of God – The bible is the only Source of the Full Truth.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Religious Theology – The wide gate!

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Additional reading

  1. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations

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Further reading

  1. Origin of Edom, Babylon, and Rome, or Christianity
  2. Jews, God and History by Max I Dimont
  3. History of the Christian Church: Schaff, Philip, 1819-1893
  4. The changing global religious landscape
  5. Cult Mentality
  6. How someone just accepted how completely unfathomable the Trinity is, by faith. Reflection: The Trinity
  7. Faith Groups Urge Congress To Protect The Integrity Of Houses Of Worship By Maintaining Johnson Amendment
  8. Trump Signs Executive Order Easening Tax Burden On Religious Groups
  9. Bold Justice promotes civil citations
  10. Sacred Arts Tour in Coral Springs
  11. God vs Science
  12. Quick Ordination to Perform a Wedding or Two
  13. Will you see the glory of God?
  14. Strange Teachings
  15. Jesus’ Teachings were for Now
  16. My Own “Perfect” Path
  17. Dear God

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You Are The Truth

The truth is in a way always to be looked at in the Self. In case a person does not love him or herself that person can not love others, but also can not develop properly and will have doubts about lots of matters, hindering to come to see clearly.

Inseparable from who you are, you as a person shall receive or receive not insight. Depending how much you want to open your heart, you shall be able to receive a clear mind of what goes on outside you.

Too many christians do forget that Jesus is the way to God and not God himself, but they want to be caught in human doctrines which gives enough space to hold on on all those many pagan activities and festivities mankind has had for centuries.

To come to the truth we all have to take Jesus his words at heart and make place and time for the Word of his heavenly Father, the Only One True God.

Not only the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that they are the only real truth bringers and only right denomination in Christendom or in Christianity. It may bring their heart at ease when the JWs are so sure that they are the only correct ones in a world of complete and utter wrongness. The religion being referred to, within their ranks, simply as “The Truth,”, but we can find the same saying in many denominations of Christendom as well.

Man must be very careful and shall have to remember always that we all are fallible men and women. No one of us is perfect and no one of us can have all knowledge or all truth. That is just impossible.
When part of a community we also should know that all those speaking in that community may be under their human faults able to have things wrong as well. We always should have to check that what is said by who so ever. Nobody is perfect. (Also not elders, ministers, priests, bishops, nor even the pope or a governing body.)

The ” ‘we-are-right-they-are-all-wrong-and-they’ll-die-for-it’ attitude” is unacceptable and yes perhaps we may go so far as calling it shameful.

It is all inconsistent with God’s Word to think that one person or organisation can have all the knowledge and all the truth. It were just such ideas which brought lots of people away from the truth and from the Only One True God.  Look for example at the many religions where many gods are praised or where Jesus is also worshipped as god.

If there is a man than it is only Jesus, who should be the one who we may accept as all the truth. He alone is the one with such a pure heart and with all knowledge about his heavenly Father. In him we should trust. In this son of God we should put our faith and believe he is the only one from God who can liberate us from the chains of this world.

All who want to find God have to be Truth seekers, working on themselves and on others.

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Preceding articles:

Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly and a Pillar to freedom

Jesus’ footstep followers, irrespective of sectarian lines

Authority from the One God to one mediator between God and men

Random Observations From My Most Recent JW Convention Experience

True God giving His Word for getting wisdom

Daily portion of heavenly food

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Additional reading

  1. He who knows himself, is kind to others
  2. Blindness in the Christian world
  3. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  4. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship
  6. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  7. The God of hope filling us with all joy and peace
  8. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  9. Background to look at things
  10. Hearing words to accept
  11. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  12. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8
  13. Necessity of a revelation of creation 2 Organisation of a system of things
  14. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures
  15. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  16. Necessity of a revelation of creation 12 Words assembled for wisdom and instruction
  17. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  18. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  19. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  20. At the end of your life

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Further related articles

  1. God Is Who?
  2. GOD
  3. The wrath of God
  4. Wisdom that matters
  5. Which countries still outlaw apostasy and blasphemy?
  6. Problems of life Today (Remedies to the Solution of Problems)
  7. What About Other Religions?
  8. The family of religions in China
  9. A Longstanding Heated Debate That Can Be Easily Resolved
  10. A paraphrase-evidence of the Revealed Book of Muslims. Chapter: The Cow. Verse 66.
  11. Is there complete truth in single Religious Scripture
  12. The Pursuit of Unhappiness: Part 2
  13. Pawlpi sungah Politics ( Politics within the Church)
  14. Siampi leh Tuucing ( Priest and Pastor)

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On April 21 brother Nelson, in the world better known as Prince was lost

The Very Best of Prince

The Very Best of Prince (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the well-known Jehovah witness singer-dancer Michael Jackson the movement lost again a pop star. As an adult superstar musician Prince became a Jehovah’s Witness and went regularly to a place were there was no dance club or a recording studio, were there are not even any musical instruments except for a piano hidden in a closet that no one uses. The walls being of various shades of beige encloses a hall were nothing shines, and nothing is purple. Nothing about it says “Prince.”

Prince's Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall

The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Minnetonka, Minn., where Prince was a congregant. (Matt Pearce / Los Angeles Times)

English: Prince performing at Coachella 2008.

Prince performing at Coachella 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Auditorium A in the Kingdom Hall of the St. Louis Park Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses was the place were Prince reflected on his life and knew who was the real big superstar of this universe. Prince Rogers Nelson was not celebrated in that hall as Prince, the music megastar, but was like all others a Brother, brother Nelson, the Jehovah’s Witness. Here, one of America‘s greatest sex symbols didn’t arrive in spandex and stilettos but in conservative suits and ties. He was often hard to spot among the congregation of dozens unless you were looking right at him. And that wasn’t the only way he blended in.

Too many people forget that artists and even so called ‘world stars’ or ‘superstars’ also can leave at certain moments the world for what it is. They too can know that there are more important matters in this life and this world than ‘stardom’ in this world or than all the glory people want to give them. They too can know to whom the real glory belongs.

Over the final decade of his life, Prince worshipped at Auditorium A in the Kingdom Hall of the St. Louis Park Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Also people with fame can have enough wisdom to analyse the Bible and to come to the Biblical truth, willing to put human doctrines aside and preferring to give everything to the Word of God. Like Michael Jackson Prince was a fellow believer in the Jehovah’s Witness tenets: that Jesus was a saviour but was lesser to God, that these are the final days of civilization, that the dead will be resurrected, and that the world will live under a global government lead by Jehovah, a Hebrew name for God. Among the St. Louis Park congregation, Prince wasn’t a celebrity but an equal in faith.

For believers like us, this star was accepted as a brother. Congregant Josephine Parker, 74 said on Sunday April the 24th

“He wasn’t treated as maybe the world would treat him.”

Remembering Prince as a gentle soul and a “mild spirit,” and his death at age 57 braking her heart, she added

“I look forward to the time we can welcome him back on the Earth.”

Lots of things may be said about his life, lots of guesses may be made about his death. No matter how long we’ve made it, no matter our race, our colour, our creed, our sexual orientation, all of those who live in the land of music, will have felt his departure from this world as an earthquake, and for the brothers and sisters it came also as a surprise.

On April 21, 2016 the world lost a great musician. What the world perhaps did not know, that it was also a man with a soul, an inner feeling and a mind who was conscientious about more important things than all the glitter of this world.

Prince first visit to ireland

Prince first visit to ireland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Strangely enough for some, his flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress and make-up, and wide vocal range was put secondary at certain moments of the week. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility Rolling Stone ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of 100 Greatest Artists — “the most influential artists of the rock & roll era”, he was humble enough to be a brother like the others in the Christian community of worshippers of the Most High Superstar, Jehovah God.

News went around that Prince may have been already 6 hours death before his body was found. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune one day before his body was found, Prince was also given intravenous fluids at a Minneapolis area hospital. Prince’s publicist said he was suffering from the flu.

Kirk Johnson who was also at the scene sent a statement to CNN through his attorney saying in part:

“I greatly respected Prince’s privacy, and ask in turn during this difficult time, others respect the privacy of those who worked with and represented him.”

But fans coming to know Prince was a Witness also started blaming the cause of his death Prince refusing a blood transfusion as a Witness. Those fans and acquaintances who have wondered whether Prince’s religious beliefs may have even contributed to his death, because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in taking blood transfusions for scriptural reasons, do forget that believers like us accept other and safer medical treatments.

Prince, who was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist, was converted — or at least helped along — by Larry Graham, the former bass player for Sly and the Family Stone.

“I don’t see it really as a conversion,”

Prince told the New Yorker magazine in 2008.

“More, you know, it’s a realization. It’s like Morpheus and Neo in ‘The Matrix.’”

Prince embraced the faith and even proselytized his neighbours around his Paisley Park estate in the Minneapolis suburbs, who were sometimes shocked to find the star on their doorsteps.

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Additional reading

Lawrence Wright’s 2013 bestseller made in documentary ‘Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief’

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Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

When calling yourself a Christian this has to mean you are following Christ Jesus, the Nazarene Jew who God declared to be His only begotten son.

Calling yourself Christian also means you want to become one with Christ, like Christ is one with his Father, the Only One True God. Such oneness shall not make you into God like it did not make Jesus into God. But your condition of your heart should come close to the condition of Jesus’ heart, full of joy in the willingness not to do your own will, like Jesus did not do his own will (which he would have done when he is God) but prepared at all times to do the Will of God.

As a follower of Jesus (what being a Christian also would mean), your heart should be full of love for others like Jesus had an incredible love for other people, even willing to die for them. All things were delivered unto Jesus of his Father. This man we should follow revealed the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Jesus asked us to come unto him, all that labour and are heavy laden, and he will take care that we may find rest. As followers of Christ we do have to take Jesus’ yoke upon us and learn of him, for he was meek and humble of heart, and we shall find rest for our souls.

“27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:27-29 NIV)

We have our heart which functions as the source of thought and reflection.

“Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”” (Isaiah 6:10 NIV)

“21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’.”” (Mark 7:21-23 NIV)

As Christians we should hear and try to understand what Jesus Christ tells the world and may we not ignore those things he says, like about his heavenly Father being greater than him. With our heart we should come to understanding

“Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.” (Deuteronomy 8:5 NIV)

“So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.” (Isaiah 42:25 NIV)

The biblical truth we should take at heart and not the human doctrines which bring fog in our eyes and ears and wants us to believe doctrines which are not written in the Bible.

Therefore let us take the words of the Bible at heart in the knowledge that they provide wisdom to understand but also to rule justly and wisely, and discerns good and evil.

“I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” (1 Kings 3:12 NIV)

“The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.” (1 Kings 10:24 NIV)

“The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the LORD will repay you for your wrongdoing.” (1 Kings 2:44 NIV)

Following the master teacher rabbi Jeshua, like the son of David, his ancestor and the other prophets send to the world, our heart should also represents the idea of will and conscience.

“Afterwards, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe.” (1 Samuel 24:5 NIV)

“David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”” (2 Samuel 24:10 NIV)

Let us request for a pure heart as a centre for decisions, obedience, devotion, and intentionality, which is the desire for a new and more perfect conscience.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalms 51:10 NIV)

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NIV)

“For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.” (2 Samuel 7:21 NIV)

His Only-begotten Son and the Word of God 1885...

His Only-begotten Son and the Word of God 1885-1896 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within the heart we can meet God’s word, listen to it and take it at heart. It is there where it has to ripen and grow and where the seed has to be planted to become a disciple of Jesus, following his tasks, like going out into the world to preach that Word of God, bringing the Good News of the coming Kingdom. Like Jesus feared his heavenly Father and was a faithful servant to Jehovah, the God of Abraham, we too should become such a faithful servant and consider all the great things which come over us by the Grace of God.

“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24 NIV)

“I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.” (Jeremiah 32:40 NIV)

“O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains.” (Psalms 116:16 NIV)

“”Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” (Matthew 12:18 NIV)

“Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”” (Acts 4:30 NIV)

“”No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24 NIV)

“But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’” (Matthew 24:48 NIV)

“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”” (Luke 17:10 NIV)

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—” (Romans 6:6 NIV)

“But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Romans 7:6 NIV)

“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” (1 Corinthians 7:23 NIV)

“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13 NIV)

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14 NIV)

“”You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”” (John 18:37 NIV)

“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17 NIV)

“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42 NIV)

We may have be bound by the world but our heart should leave that world of human beings who have no interest in God. Our heart should be open for them to call them to come to Jesus and his God, the only One true God, the God of Israel.

In our heart should be the location where conversion takes place.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalms 51:10 NIV)

“”Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”” (Joel 2:12 NIV)

“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”” (Acts 2:37 NIV)

When our heart is at the right place, sharing the love of Christ with others, making us to a good example for others, we shall be able to bring those who may come open to receive the call of God, closer to the gates of the Kingdom of God, which is open for all those who come by Christ and live according to the Wishes of God.

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Preceding articles:

Words to push and pull

As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude

Life is too precious

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Additional reading

  1. A book of life and a man born more than two thousand years ago
  2. Letter to a Non-Christian Nation
  3. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  4. First mention of a solution against death 4 A seed for mankind
  5. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  6. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  7. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  8. The God of hope filling us with all joy and peace
  9. Counterfeit Gospels
  10. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  11. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  12. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  13. A disciple of Christ “hating” the world
  14. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  15. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  16. The Mountain: Radical Love
  17. To be chained by love for another one
  18. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  19. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  20. Church has to grow through witness, not by proselytism
  21. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  22. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  23. Preaching by example
  24. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  25. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  26. Honor your own words as if they were an important contract
  27. If You want to start winning the war
  28. Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked
  29. What’s church for, anyway?
  30. Following the leader
  31. Followers with deepening
  32. Called Christian
  33. Only I can change my life
  34. Foundation to go the distance
  35. Let not sin reign in your mortal body
  36. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  37. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  38. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  39. Not he who prays most or fasts most is the greatest saint
  40. Life is like a ten-speed bike.
  41. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  42. Can we not do what Jesus did?
  43. Life and attitude of a Christian
  44. Hope does not disappoint us

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Related articles

Different approach in organisation of services #3

Radio calls and booklets

Today the Jehovah Witnesses are the biggest known Bible Student Group in Belgium. At first they could find Bible Students groups associating with them and start growing from the previous preparations of those groups. But they too had to see members leaving them.

Français : Jumet (Charleroi - Belgique) - Chap...

Français : Jumet (Charleroi – Belgique) – Chapelle Notre Dame de Heigne (XIIe siècle) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As result of the broadcastings in the mid 20° century, in French and sponsored by the Brethren of Dawn from the U.S; 3 Belgian families were interested in the Present Truth. It was Brother Armand Lechien who got in touch with Brother Félix Pilarski through the mail service of Radio Luxemburg: Brother Félix aimed him towards Jumet. These 3 families left the movement they were members of (the Jehovah Witnesses) because they thought the teachings they heard were not in harmony

with the Scriptures. The Polish-Belgian Brother and Sister Wlodarski had got French brethren and sisters in their circles and found more brethren from the French Association des étudiants de la Bible coming more and more frequently to serve the Word of God (brother François Wozniak, Kosmalski A. Liszka, T. Kubiak, J., Osorowski S.,TF et Ed. Pilarski, Speil, a few from Saint Etienne and many others …..); the family Kula, their younger daughter and one son attended the meetings, in the following years just like in France, pilgrim brethren came from the United States and later from Poland.

Courcelles coal mine ” 6 périer ” Souvret

The families – Armand et Louise Lechien – Ernest et Helena Duchateau –  Edmond et Jeanne Henrioule decided to have meetings during the week (on Wednesday and Thursday) to study the Figures of the Tabernacle. With their agreement, the families Wlodarski and Kula joined them. The studies were held in two languages with the help of a translator (2 languages were spoken French and Polish).

Brother Félix Pilarski and other brethren worked a lot for these meetings because they spoke French perfectly.
Brother Félix Pilarski made a handsome contribution to the development of the meeting of Courcelles with edifying biblical discourses and his visits. He was also personally active in the country of Liège and in Brussels where he had a deposit of booklets. Other brethren also paid many visits; among them we can mention Brother Joseph Wozniak, Adolphe Debski, and others.
After Brother Ernest Duchateau died suddenly, meetings continued for some time. When Brother Lechien died after a quite long disease, we could see a repetitive thing around the house churches, the ecclesia of Courcelles disappeared in the mid 70’s.

Former town hall of Jumet, where the film “Why did He come to earth?” of the Bible Students was given.

On October 24th 1987, the ecclesia of Jumet organised two projections of the film “Why did He come to earth?” in the community City Hall of Charleroi. Those shows were announced with advertising: posters in public places, advertising in the city with loudspeakers, spots on local newspapers radio and TV, display on electronic screens, distribution of leaflets.
More than hundred persons attended these film projections. Leaflets and tracts were given to the participants but only few asked for further information and other booklets.

Soothed to sleep with man’s talk

Very soon in history the majority in Christendom went running after the false teachers. The myths were more pleasing to the ear than the actual truth. They were soothed to sleep with it. Early on the Brothers, as true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, were in the minority. Their faith of the true gospel was of ‘origin’ pure, by the human impurities it was swung back and forth by the years gone.

In Belgium and the Netherlands remained Bible Faithful following Jesus’ command and continued preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.
The first nor the second world war had kept them from it, even though many of them were anxiously looking forward to the action of the two warring camps, because they were against fighting, and because they adhered to a faith that was not liked by anyone.

That Jesus and his apostles spoke about the news that there would be established a Kingdom on earth, that would be ruled by Jesus Christ and in which the faithful of all ages would have a place alongside their Lord: i.e. as co-rulers, this sounded obviously not fine in the ears for them (the German Fuehrer wished to be the only ruler). But the cheerful message for humanity survived now the fight under people and brought unprecedented peace in some families.

The doctrine of Christ’s reign on earth was first treated as highly symbolic, gradually became labelled as a very questionable and useless thought and was ultimately rejected as an absurd invention of heresy and fanaticism.
God’s light happily extinguishes not; it is an eternal flame. The people of Israel in ancient times also reached detritus. They even served other gods. Nevertheless, there remain at this time believers in the One God and history now could repeat itself. Faithful to God those bible students wanted to share their findings and in spite the continuous opposition dared to go against the most popular doctrine of men.

Getting a base in Holland

After attempts from the Netherlands were made to bring Truth to England (in the 16th Century) and having a flight of truth seekers to the New World in the 19th century, now letters of truth seekers from the New World could again send truth to Europe.

The teachings of Elias Smith and John Thomas now, the time was ripe, an opportunity was given to a ‘resurgence‘ of Bible Faithful. They also found their way across the ocean and in all English-speaking countries they could find a foothold.

Through the centuries, the Gospel of God’s Kingdom, which was preached by Jesus and the apostles, showed a dynamic force which has all the opposition of powerful religious groups defied and still serves as the sole basis of faith for those who want to search God.

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands - Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands – Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

In 1956 in the Netherlands finally the group of Brothers in Christ could get solid and communities as “de Broeders in Christus“, arose in Den Haag (The Hague), Amersfoort, Ede and Groningen.

From 1957 officially recognised, seeing it as our duty to our Lord to make his name known among the people in our area, as well as among other nations, they made work of it to go around billing leaflets. They kept their focus on the Bible as the source of all knowledge and followed the guiding principle of the word of our Lord, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” They also began to spread the magazine “Met Open Bijbel” (With Open Bible) of which Rudolf Rijkeboer was the driving force.

Vanishing interest

It clearly appeared that after the ‘golden age’ with the children boom and citizens of Belgium having their life becoming better, the interest for the biblical message of Truth is vanishing with time passing on.
The Bible Students saw their number of members in ecclesiae decreasing.The visiting brethren and sisters from the Christadelphian Bible Mission (CBM) for 25 years made regular visits to put leaflets and pamphlets in the postboxes. Their short visits trying to get people on the street interested in the works of Christ and in the promises of God, did not work out. At the time (early 21° Century) they wanted to give it all up and several Christadelphians left Holland to return to England or to go to Australia.
At the end of the 20° Century some Bible Students with ex-Jehovah Witnesses formed the Vrije Christenen or Free Christians. In that movement was also the non-trinitarian Baptist Marcus Ampe very active. Even before he himself became a Christadelphian he had already brought others to the Christadelphian faith. In Flemish Brabant and in Hainaut, plus on the net, with him, again an effort was made to bring the Good News of the coming Kingdom.
The Belfry in Mons

The Belfry in Mons, one of the meeting places of the Free Belgian Christadelphians

Last year brother Marcus tried to get several Bible Student groups together, but failed because of their will to have a certain power and the will to keep everything in control themselves. Plus some, like our confrères which we ourselves could not get over the bend to join the other Christadelphians in Belgium, made it impossible to have the different bible Students exchanging ideas, meeting sessions and information about their where-about and working. For our Australian brothers, of the Australian Bible Students, the CBM members were not close enough in following the teachings of brother Dr. John Thomas and mixing with the too loose teachings would dilute the whole system (they thought).

The man from the North and his organisation, have most of the Bible Students (except the JW) living in Belgian. But they resisted in giving the addresses of their ecclesiae in Oostende, Gent, (Brussels) and Antwerp. this made that the few but very active Christadelphians from Brussels, Leuven and Mons, could not meet with more Christadelphians in Belgium.
We too had to face the difficulty of bringing people together in peace and where confronted with a loss in our ranks, but our invitation is still open to join as members of the Body of Christ, united in the love of Christ.
We are convinced that our preaching work is important and that even when we do not reach so many people in Belgium, we do hope we can reach some others far away from us. We do hope that our voice may also sound in the darkness and bring some light to people we do not know, but who we do hope to meet in the Kingdom of God. We look forward to meet many new faces, happy to be under the Guidance of the Lord and not bounded by single people, but constructed on the cornerstone Jesus Christ.
Though we may have a different approach in organisation of services we do believe we all should go for the same truth and for the unification under Christ, by which each group might have a different name, but is willing to be united in spirit, sharing to build up and construct positively working to help each other entering the gate of the coming Kingdom.
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Preceding articles:
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Please do find out more about the Christadelphians and find further related articles:

  1. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  2. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. What are Brothers in Christ
  5. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  8. About the Belgian Free Christadelphians
  9. What Christadelphians teach
  10. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  11. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  12. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  13. Breathing and growing with no heir
  14. Commitment to Christian unity
  15.  Parts of the body of Christ
  16. What part of the Body am I?
  17. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  18. United people under Christ
  19. Fellowship
  20. The Ecclesia
  21. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  22. The ecclesia or Christadelphian church
  23. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  24. Our ecclesia or Christadelphian-church
  25. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  26. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  27. Communion and day of worship
  28. Christadelphians today
  29. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Harvest in Belgium
  34. Building up the spirit of the soul
  35. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  36. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  37. Change of name
  38. Quibbling siblings united or allied children of an organisation or a church
  39. Small churches of the few Christadelphians

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Different approach in organisation of services #1

Based in a Catholic country

The Belgian Bible Students and the Belgian Free Christadelphians both started a new year like the Catholic Church in Belgium and the schools, universities and clubs started a new year.

For the Catholic Church and for us there is the promise to the young girl Miriam (Mary/Maria) which let us look at the beginning of a new era, the time of salvation at hand. We, in contrast with our brethren and sisters from the Central Fellowship, like the CBM and CIL Christadelphians, start already now with reading about the Glad Tidings and the beginnings of the New Testament. The members of the Belgian Free Christadelphians in their ecclesiae follow the Bible Reading Plan by Robert Roberts and start only on the 1st of January with Genesis 1 & 2 plus Matthew 1 & 2.

Because there are so many Catholics in this country we like to show them from their readings, their religious year readings, what the Bible really says. Because every year they choose an other Gospel author as their main writer which they will follow, we also do take that writer his writings to put in the spotlight. It is a matter of coming closer to them and to have a better play on the ball with their readings and their traditions.

Different traditions

About those traditions, the Bible Students and several Amended Christadelphians may have a different feeling, because some Central Christadelphians join the pagan Christian festival and celebrate Christmas and Boxing Day. For us the real birth of Christ,on the 17th of October 4BCE is an other good reason to start in September/October with the new ‘church year’. But we do have to abstain from the pagan based holidays, like Christmas and the Catholic and some Protestants their Easter. The Easter we do have to celebrate and which the Free Christadelphians in Belgium also keep to is the remembrance day installed by Jesus Christ before he was going to die, on the 14th of Nisan.
Like the Belgian Catholics we may find that there is a time of advent in the Autumn, a preparation time to receive and celebrate the Good News of the one who brought us the Kingdom of God. Last year we looked at Luke and this year we shall therefore have a closer look to the Book of Matthew, the 1st book of the New Testament. There are more allusions to the Old Testament in this Gospel than in the others. It was clearly written for Jewish Christians, the purpose being to prove that Jesus was the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament and therefore it is also a very good book to introduce to those who do not know Jesus or to those who have a wrong view of this Nazarene man.

This year the Free Christadelphians in Belgium, like us, looked back at the awful year they had, and showed their good spirit to stand up again and to go forwards through the breakers which dash against our coast. The ecclesia Brussel-Leuven also found it wise to give an idea how the Christadelphian movement came into being and how it developed.

In the Gospel of Matthew is written how the Lord Jesus himself announced the work of Harvest of the Gospel Age.

“Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”” (Matthew 13:30 NIV)

Adolf Daens, Flemish Jesuit priest from Aalst who is especially known for his socio-political involvement after he joined the diocesan clergy. He created the Daensist movement from which originated in 1893 the Christene Volkspartij inspired by Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum.

Adolf Daens (1839–1907) Flemish priest from Aalst. Daens was a Jesuit from 1859 to 1871 but is especially known for his socio-political involvement after he joined the diocesan clergy. He created the Daensist movement from which originated in 1893 the Christene Volkspartij inspired by Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum. The Christene Volkspartij forced the radicalisation and democratisation of the Catholic party.

Sowing the seeds in the 19° century

Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871) founder of the Christadelphian movement, a Restorationist religion with doctrines similar in part to some 16th-century Antitrinitarian Rationalist Socinians and the 16th-century Swiss-German pacifist Anabaptists. - Dr. John Thomas (1805-1871) grondlegger van de Christadelphian beweging, een herstellers van religie groepering met doctrines vergelijkbaar voor een deel met een aantal 16e-eeuwse Antitrinitarische Rationalistische Socinianen en de 16e-eeuwse Duits-Zwitserse pacifistische wederdopers of Anabaptisten.

Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871) founder of the Christadelphian movement, a Restorationist religion with doctrines similar in part to some 16th-century Antitrinitarian Rationalist Socinians and the 16th-century Swiss-German pacifist Anabaptists.

Brother John Thomas in the 19° century tried to sow the seeds. He found many listening ears. One of them was Brother Charles Taze Russell who visited Antwerp and Brussels in 1891. Already at that time the fresh new country seemed to struggle with the Gospel Faith. The Roman Catholic Church was a very strong bastion with her hand in the political system and favouring the rich instead of helping the poor, priest Adolf and his brother Pieter Daens, or Pie Donsj for those from Aalst, an exception.

Brother Charles met there a Christendom that was ignorant of biblical truth. The fear of the clergy and of the fire of hell, doctrine that has no foundation in the Scripture, kept people away from opening the Bible.  But the Catholic Church had taken care that the people would not come to see the truth, by forbidding them to read the Bible. Mass was done in Latin and the readings as such, in that language, did not say so much to the people, who had not studied enough to get to know Latin and Greek.

The Bible translations in Dutch, French or German were forbidden and blacklisted.

Walloon grocery and mining

Because there was so much French spoken Russell did find it a good idea to have a modest Swiss forestry worker named Adolphe Weber to proclaim “the good news of great joy” in the French speaking countries of Europe. Adolphe Weber began the translation in French of books of the “present truth” and published in Swiss, French and Belgian daily newspapers advertisements referring to the first volume of the studies in the Scriptures and some booklets.

Location in the municipality of Charleroi

Jumet is a section of the Belgian town of Charleroi within the Walloon region in the province of Hainaut. It was a commune of its own before the merger of the communes in 1977. – Location in the municipality of Charleroi

In 1901, a grocer named Jean-Baptiste Tilmant (father) working in Jumet-Gohissart, city located near Charleroi, answered one of these advertisements and asked for some literature. As a result, a small group of bible students started meetings at his house in 1902 and used material from Russell.

Urged by his desire to know more about the truth, Jean-Baptiste Tilmant wrote to the Swiss brother asking to receive more information. As an answer to his demand, Brother Weber came to Charleroi during his missionary tour, to strengthen the faith of this small group.
In 1903, the periodical “lighthouse of Zion Tower” was published in French for the first time. The light of truth began to
shine so brightly in this mining area. Indeed, each Sunday morning, a small group of Biblestudentsastheywerecalledat the time, were going “in the fields” to sow the seeds of truth contained in this eight pages periodical; they waited for instance at the exit of churches. That is how the two first editions of “Zion’s Watch Tower” were largely distributed.

Borderareas

The Borinage is an area in the Walloon province of Hainaut in Belgium

The small group of Jumet Gohissart pushed away the limits of its territory to the south in the French part of the country. Some time later, the truth of God’s Kingdom also expended among the Flemish population.

In the month of august 1904, ten years before the First World War, these brave messengers of the Good News went to Denain in France, to offer booklets to people getting out from a Baptist temple. In Belgium and France the non-trinitarian Baptists mostly were not openly known, because of the fear of persecution.
The results of their activity was that two years later, a congregation started near Denain in Haveluy.
Jean Baptiste Tilmant and his friends continued to bravely preach the biblical truth and other groups appeared to face this big growth, a deposit of books was opened at brother’s Tilmant house in Jumet Gohisart and in 1906 a bible student community was founded in Denain.
The “Lighthouse” of August 1904, page 64, mentions for the first time the name and books from “Dawn”; (It has to be Volume I of the Studies in the Scriptures); subscriptions to the “Lighthouse” and request for free booklets and papers.
In 1906 the leaflets “Do you Know?” and the “Wage of sin” two other booklets and Volume 1 were to be published in Dutch and delivered in Brussels.
In 1908 Heinrich Brinkhoff published the first edition of The Watchtower in Dutch: De Wachttoren

Throwing pearls to pigs

Around 1910, François Caré who had known the truth in France went to Liège to a protestant friend named Edouard Verdière. He could not help it speaking with him about the truth. He wanted to help him leaving the false religion. His friend was so opposed to the message of brother Caré that at the end he finished by telling him
“ I don’t want to argue with you any longer , I don’t want to throw pearls to pigs “
After these words, he went to bed , these words bothered Mr Verdière all night long. The next morning, he asked brother Caré to tell him what he meant. He told him that he will no longer speak about the truth to him because he did not appreciate the “pearls” he was offering him. After this explanation, his friend became more conciliating so that after his return to France brother Caré started to send him regularly periodicals. He also dispatched a few volumes of Studies in the Scriptures. It did not last long before Edouard Verdière accepted the Truth and even began to speak in public. In another district of Belgium, light began to break through the darkness.

From Catholicism to Protestantism to coming in the Truth

The Rosary (from Latin rosarium, meaning “Crown of Roses” or “garland of roses” , in its most commonly known format as the Dominican rosary, is a form of prayer used especially in the Catholic Church or a string of prayer beads used to count the component prayers

In the coalmine where he worked, Edouard Verdière had a colleague named Léonard Smets searching the truth. He was a sincere catholic; he diligently attended religious services with his family. He used to pray with a rosary. This man from Flemish origin lived in Heure-le Romain near Vivegnis (Liège). In 1900, a protestant offered him a Bible saying, “I have the Book of God”. Another day, at the confessional, Léonard Smets confessed to the priest that he was reading the Holy Scriptures. The priest said that if he still wanted to receive absolution for his sins he had to give back his Bible. From that day on, Léonard did not attend the service any-more. He thought,

“If they are sincere, they will come to meet me, because they have to come and catch back the lost sheep”.
However, the priest never came to see him. Léonard Smets began to attend the protestant temple.
File:Collegiale-Thann-p1010106.jpg

A confessional is a small, enclosed booth used for the Sacrament of Penance, often called confession, or Reconciliation. It is the usual venue for the sacrament in the Roman Catholic Church. – Traditional confessional in Saint-Thiébaut Church, Thann, France

Even on his working place, in the coalmine, Smets was reading the New Testament. One day, Vedière noticed it. He was curious to know which his religion was; he began to sing a protestant hymn. “I was protestant”, answered brother Verdière “but I have something better for you.” He offered him a copy of the “watchtower of Zion” and witnessed with all his strength of the truth. It happened in 1912. Léonard Smets did not keep this truth for himself; he shared it with a Flemish colleague named Joseph Poelmans, father of seven children. He was disillusioned by the teachings of  Catholicism and chose Protestantism. However when he read the periodical that Smets gave him, he recognised the accent of truth.

Later, the three coalminers Verdière, Smets and Poelmans questioned the protestant minister of religion of Herstal (Liège) about the doctrine of immortality, trinity and Hell. Instead of helping them, the pastor was very angry and threw them out. They realised he was not better than the catholic priest, so they decided to meet and to study the Scripture with the help of the books they received from France.
In 1908 5000 “watch Towers” were distributed in Belgium.
In 1911 Brother Russell could only stop for a few minutes in Liège where dear brethren Pétré and some others were waiting to greet him on the train: sister Miss Peerkings (an English sister living in Liège where she learned about the Truth) served as an translator. With the same train, Brother Russell arrived in Charleroi where he took the road to arrive in Denain in the evening.
Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as "Judge" Rutherford, president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, who played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah's Witnesses. - Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869-1942), ook wel bekend als "Rechter" Rutherford, voorzitter van het Wachttorengenootschap, die een primaire rol in de organisatie en leerstellige ontwikkeling van Jehovah's Getuigen had.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as “Judge” Rutherford, president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, who played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In 1912, there were seven municipalities: Haine-Saint-Paul, Flémalle-Haute, Engis, Amay, Ampsin, Liège and JumetGohissart. Each of these groups was organizing monthly meetings and was welcoming Brother Weber from the Swiss office for periodical visits.

At Pentecost on June 26th and 27th 1912 there was a a general meeting or their first general assembly in Jumet Gohissart.

Brother Rutherford was in Jumet on Monday 22nd September for a private meeting.

The group also grew strongly in the most northern part of France and in 1913 more than 1,000 people attended a lecture by Joseph Franklin Rutherford when he visited Denain. On August 31, 1913 70 Belgian supporters visited a conference in Paris where Russell was present.

+

To be continued: Different approach in organisation of services #2

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 1

++

Please do find out more about the Christadelphians:

  1. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  2. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. What are Brothers in Christ
  5. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  8. About the Belgian Free Christadelphians
  9. What Christadelphians teach
  10. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  11. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  12. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  13. Breathing and growing with no heir
  14. Commitment to Christian unity
  15.  Parts of the body of Christ
  16. What part of the Body am I?
  17. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  18. United people under Christ
  19. Fellowship
  20. The Ecclesia
  21. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  22. The ecclesia or Christadelphian church
  23. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  24. Our ecclesia or Christadelphian-church
  25. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  26. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  27. Communion and day of worship
  28. Christadelphians today
  29. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  32. Harvest in Belgium
  33. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  34. About the Belgian Biblestudents
  35. What the Belgian Biblestudents believe
  • 37 “Theses” Nailed to the Front Door of the First Baptist, Evangelical, Protestant Church (blackchristiannews.com)
    Some may think that it is prestigiousto be invited to meet with the Pope and to go and actually meet with the Pope. But it is not. In fact, it is foolishness and dangerous. And it flies in the face of what we have learned from church history about the thousands of people whose bloodwas shed because they opposed false Catholic teachings. We believe that this is a Satanic attempt to soften up the true church of Christ so that the Pope can, in the future, gain influence over Baptists, Evangelicals, and Protestants, and get them toparticipate in doing things that are contrary to Christ and the Bible.Many scholars believe that the “Great Whore” of Revelation is the Catholic Church situated in Vatican City in Rome. According to Christian apologist Dave Hunt, “There is only one city on the earth which, in both historical and contemporary perspectives, passes every test John gives, including its identification as Mystery Babylon. That city is Rome, and more specifically, Vatican City…The first thing we are told about the woman is that she is a ‘whore’… Against only one other city in history could a charge of fornication be leveled. That city is Rome, and more specifically Vatican City.”
  • Event Transcript: Religion in Latin America (pewforum.org)
    Latin America is home to more than 425 million Catholics – nearly 40% of the world’s total Catholic population – and the Roman Catholic Church now has a Latin American pope for the first time in its history. Yet identification with Catholicism has declined throughout the region, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey that examines religious affiliations, beliefs and practices in 18 Latin American countries and one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico).Historical data suggest that for most of the 20th century, from 1900 through the 1960s, at least 90% of Latin America’s population was Catholic. Today, the Pew Research survey shows, 69% of adults across the region identify as Catholic. In nearly every country surveyed, the Catholic Church has experienced net losses from religious switching, as many Latin Americans have joined evangelical Protestant churches or rejected organized religion altogether.
  • Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholic churches in U.S., Canada, Australia… (catholicculture.org)
    The Vatican has lifted a longstandingbanonthe ordination of married men to the priesthood in the Eastern Catholic churches.The tradition and discipline of the Eastern churches allowsforthe ordination of married men to the priesthood. (Bishopsmust be unmarried, however, and once ordained, a priest cannot marry.) The Vatican has repeatedly approved this tradition, while insistingonthe importance of priestly celibacy in the Latin rite.However, in the late 19th century, with the arrival of many Byzantine Catholic immigrants in Canada, Latin-rite prelates complained thatthe presence of married Catholic priests could create a “grave scandal.” The Vatican eventually ruled that the Eastern churches could not ordain married men in the countries where their communities forma minority of the Catholic population. The rule has historically applied primarily to Canada, the US, and Australia.With a decree approved by Pope Francis, and signed on June 14 by Cardinal Leonard Sandri, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has now rescinded that ban. Catholic bishops of the Eastern churches serving in eparchies (dioceses) in the West are explicitly authorized to ordain married men.
  • Catholic ‘cannibalism’ (cruxnow.com)
    One evening a couple of years ago, I saw a bloodstained Eucharistic host.It was displayed in a home in Worcester, Massachusetts, about a five-minute drive down the street from my house. The host was the sixth Eucharistic phenomena associated with the late Audrey Santo — a young woman who was left mute and motionless after an accident in 1987.Up until her death in 2007, “Little Audrey,” as she was called, became the focal point for intense devotion as a “victim soul” who offered up her own sufferings for the salvation of others. Her case also attracted intense criticism, particularly given the claims about supernatural happenings in her presence.
  • Priests as Husbands and Fathers? (nytimes.com)
    This week, Pope Francis announced plans to visit the United States in 2015. The trip will be watched for signs of how U.S. bishops are adapting to the shift in tone coming from the Vatican. Not only has Pope Francis called for an open discussion on the Catholic Church’s views on gays and divorce, he’s also talked about priestly celibacy — a policy that a growing number of Catholics are pushing to change. If clerical marriage became more common, how would the Catholic Church change?
  • Victims of historic child sex abuse speak out, after Catholic Church refuses to accept “liability” for the crimes of their priests (secularnewsdaily.com)
    The Catholic Church is refusing to accept “liability” for long-term sex abuse that went on at the Mirfield Junior Seminary, despite paying out £120,000 to eleven victims of child sex abuse.
  • Cleric urges girls, women to shun abortion (dailypost.ng)
    Olanrewaju, who is also a former Parish Priest of Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Church,Ijegun, Lagos, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).He spoke at the end of a rally on `’Walk for Life” organised by the churchtosensitise public on the dangers of abortion to human life.Olanrewaju said: “abortion, in any form, is an irreparable harm done to the innocent.“Any female, who procures a completed abortion, incurs excommunication by the commission of the offence as provided by Canon Law of the Catholic Church.

    “Human life must be respected and recognised by the civil society and the state from the moment of conception as an embryo until death, “ he told NAN.

    The cleric also urged relevant authorities to provide appropriate sanctions for “every deliberate termination of human life”.

  • Florida High School Implements ShoreTel Mobility on iPads (shoretel.com)
    Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High is a Roman Catholic college preparatory school of the Archdiocese of Miami, Florida. Located in nearby Southwest Ranches, with a student enrollment over 1,500, the high school is among the top private schools in the U.S. On the cutting edge of technology, McCarthy High School has a one-to-one iPad program to enhance the student learning environment.  Within the school’s progressive tech-savvy learning environment has been the ability to quickly reach teachers, anywhere anytime. Classrooms were not equipped with desk phones and the estimates to install them and wire the buildings were cost prohibitive. Also, the existing phone system and infrastructure were due for upgrades.
  • The Third Way ~ curated by Tom Cutts (UTS’83) (utsalumni.org)

    The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church. A 40-minute documentary film focusing on the Catholic Church’s teachings regarding Homosexuality.

    “Original Sin for all of us, for every human being on this planet, has disoriented our desires. We often find ourselves hungry for things that do not satisfy the ache.”

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