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Posts tagged ‘Witnessing’

Not withholding the Good News

When on holiday probably you may meet different people on places where you have not been before and where you shall not come again soon. It are places where probably nobody knows you. When you are there it is with your attitude, your example, the way you treat others around you, how you act and speak that you shall give an impression of what and who you are.

Geographic features of Southern European countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea

When being a Christian it is very important that you give others the right impression. The last few weeks from the South of Europe we got a lot of images in the new of protestors against the many tourists who behave badly. Over the years we also have seen pictures of visitors to those places in the South of Europe behaving badly, which makes us understand why so many of the locals are fed up with those impolite visitors, drunkard and order disruptors. A big problem with the consumerism and growing tourist industry is that at many places some hotel-owners think they have to provide enough entertainment for their customers and provide all day long noise which may disturb the local inhabitants.

'National embarrassment': Ding Jinhao, from Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu Province, wrote: 'Ding Jinhao was here' over hieroglyphics on the wall of an ancient Egyptian temple in Luxor

‘National embarrassment’: Ding Jinhao, from Nanjing in east China’s Jiangsu Province, wrote: ‘Ding Jinhao was here’ over hieroglyphics on the wall of an ancient Egyptian temple in Luxor

At the coasts of Europe we do find many places where there is a lot of noise going on until late at night, with all sorts of events which disturb not only locals but also several other people who came to have some rest.
Many tourist places also have problems with vandalism and litter from tourists. This not only a problem for Europe, as we can see how many cultural and important historic sites are damaged by visitors.

Banners reading ‘No tourism apartments’ hang from balconies in Barcelona.

Banners reading ‘No tourism apartments’ hang from balconies in Barcelona. Photograph: Albert Gea / Reuters/Reuters

As Christians we should show our respect to the inhabitants of the places we are going to visit and should treat those places with respect, having eye for nature and keeping those places clean and not making unnecessary noise.

But at those places where we come it would not be bad to be a witness of our faith and to show others how when we all would come under Christ could be living in a peaceful world full of respect for all around us.

In the Holy scriptures we are counselled fair dealing with our fellow-men. When we are able to travel we should be pleased that we can belong to those who can afford it. In the Book of Proverbs we can find the precept that expresses the great Scriptural thought that the so-called possession of wealth is but a stewardship; that the true owners of what we call our own are those to whom, with it, we may do good. Not to relieve them is a breach of trust.

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” (Proverbs 3:27 NIV)

Summer Visitors by Maurice Prendergast (1897)

Summer Visitors by Maurice Prendergast (1897) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At our holiday resort we should show the right attitude and may not withhold good from those to whom it is due. When it is in the power of your hand to do good, to help others, to give some extra, you should do it. But this is not only for material wealth. You also can contribute with spiritual help. You can use the occasion to talk about your believes and to show your faith to others. At those resorts, hotels, campings or places where you stay to relax you make take advantage of your free time to share your faith with others. Sharing is part of showing your love for others. Sharing the Good News of the coming Kingdom is a necessity. We do have to warn people of the coming dangers. We should make them aware of the coming Great War, a horrible situation wherefore we should prepare us, making sure that we shall be spiritually strong enough to stand the many temptations, dangers and horrors. “A warned man is worth two” you should think and out of love you should warn.

You should remember the sayings from the Bible, the Law of God. You should remember what you have heard in your ecclesia (or church) and faith community. You also should practise what you remember and let all obedience be from the heart.

“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.” (Proverbs 4:5 NIV)

“Let thy heart keep my commandments.”

“Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden.” (Deuteronomy 4:23 NIV)

When we are there at those places of holiday making we should not forget God but be with Him and trust Him. All actions we undertake should be in praise of the Most Highest. And how can we not do it with spreading also His Words? There, for sure, there shall be moments to chat and to have little conversations also about what you believe, where you stand for, and how you have put your hope on the son of God and are looking forewards to his return.

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Preceding articles

Summer time to spend some more time at the growing process of your faith

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

Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses preach?

Glory of God appearing in our character

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Additional reading

  1. Loving and having respect for the woman
  2. Respect for all
  3. Is being a humanitarian enough to convey the full love of Christ?
  4. 7 Ways To Become A Better Christian
  5. Crisis man needed in this world
  6. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  7. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  8. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  9. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  10. High time to go out telling the world about Jesus
  11. Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news
  12. Preaching by example
  13. A Christian has to have eyes and ears and a tongue to use in good ways
  14. Proclaiming: a task given to Christians
  15. Go! Proclaim! Testify!
  16. Go and make disciples of people of all the nations
  17. Scriptures and Thoughts about: Proclaim
  18. Preaching Christ Is Not Enough
  19. To proclaim the day of vengeance
  20. Witnesses of Christ and of his gospel
  21. Witnessing because we love

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'F**k tourism': Vandals deface Paris' Sacré Coeur basilica

People walk past grafittis reading “Come on stand up great star hunters” written on the Sacre-Coeur Basilica in the Montmartre area in Paris on March 19, 2014. (AFP Photo / Martin Bureau) / AFP

Further reading

  1. Fire in Greek refugee camp was intentional and will happen again: Eyewitnesses (Middle East Eye)
  2. The Tinderbox That Is The Balkans
  3. 7 cringe-worthy cases of tourists defacing natural and cultural landmarks around the world
  4. ‘Ding Jihao was here’: Chinese tourist, 15, defaces 3,500-year-old Egyptian temple and his family issue national apology
  5. Vandal tourist seen destroying pieces of Great Wall of China by kicking it Kung-Fu style
  6. China instructs its citizens on how to behave abroad
  7. Ancient Egypt Temple Vandalized by Chinese Tourist Graffiti
  8. Barcelona anti-tourism activists vandalise bikes and bus
  9. Damaging selfie: Student breaks 19th century statue in Milan while taking pic of himself
  10. Gov’t slammed over reaction to Irianna verdict, Athens vandalism by protestors
  11. “Go away!”, frustrated Venice locals tell tourists
  12. ‘F**k tourism’: Vandals deface Paris’ Sacré Coeur basilica
  13. Vandalism and tourism settings: An integrative review
  14. Rome, Italy
  15. 5 Things to do in Rome | Fariha Ansari Javed
  16. When in Rome don’t sit, dip, eat, drink in fountains
  17. A weekend in Venice
  18. Abruzzo. The Italian region ready to be revealed
  19. Discover Malta
  20. Malta & Gozo
  21. Portugal
  22. How to mimic George Clooney’s motorcycle adventure through Spain
  23. Visiting Lisbon last year
  24. E28 Tram Lisbon: tourist jam
  25. Meteora, Greece
  26. Athens, Greece
  27. A few hours to spare in… Athens
  28. France and its Fantastic Summer Festivals!
  29. A tourist in the U.K.
  30. What is Respect Nowadays? (1 min read)
  31. Do to others…
  32. Agape

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Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses preach?

Typical preaching work of Jehovah's Witnesses ...

Typical preaching work of Jehovah’s Witnesses Português: Trabalho de pregação típico das Testemunhas de Jeová (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It sounds so strange “trying to get her hours in as it was the end of service year.” Jesus asked us to go out into the fields, into the world and to preach the gospel. That bringing Good News did not have to tear us down or exhausts us so much that it would become a burden. Christ came to this earth to liberate us from the chains of this world. That means also taking away our bondage with worldly organisations.

Where do JW get it from that in a certain year a regular pioneer would need to put in a total of 840 hours? In this world were every body has to work hard for a living those 70 hours a month look quite a lot. though it might depend how you look on it; Does it conclude all sorts of preaching? One can witness all day around at work, on the streets, in public transport … there are so many occasions that one can occasionally talk about God and His system.

untruthful - not expressing or given to expressing the truthWhat is the use of JW’s who would falsify their hours just too keep the elders off their backs. And would they not consider that lying or being untruthful? Not telling the truth is considered a lie and as such also a sin, according to the Bible. But when many people would do such a thing this would give a false picture to the elders and the organisation. Because then they would have the impression that what they ask is possible to do by the majority.

English: Chart of active Jehovah's Witnesses b...

Chart of active Jehovah’s Witnesses by year. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Just imagine if a quarter of a congregation of say a hundred members are giving in fake hours, how much of that yearly report is pure fiction? Are they faking their hours out of malice? No, its out of fear because they don’t want the elders to start boring their eyes into them wondering what is wrong.”

It is totally wrong to think

” You cannot be a Witness and not preach pretty much,”

Preaching and witnessing have nothing to do with quantity but all with quality of talking about God, His commandments, His promises and His sent one, the salvation which is hanging above our head, not by the amount of hours we spend knocking at doors, but by the way we behave and treat others and keep to God’s commandments.

When people do have to bring in a report every month to prove their ‘field service’ it looks more like they do not trust their congregation of being devout witnesses. No where in the Scriptures is indicated that elders should monitor the ‘spiritual health’ of the flock in such a way. Never has Jesus done such a thing.

When it is out of fear that Jehovah’s Witnesses go out to witness

because they don’t want the elders to start boring their eyes into them wondering what is wrong.

than their motivation is wrong and than all what they are doing is to no avail, because God only wants us to honour Him out of love for Him and not out of love for man or fear for man. We never should fear man, but fear more God.

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Preceding articles:

Oklahoma City Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Random Observations From My Most Recent JW Convention Experience

You Are The Truth

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

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We Chose Freedom

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I’m not looking for the usual answer  that they will probably repeat to you verbatim. “Because Jesus did”, or “we are only following Jesus’s example”.

Let me tell you a little memory of mine about a Jehovah’s Witness regular pioneer. I will call her R in my story, she was a friend of mine, in fact she was one of the first friends I made in the congregation when I was still ‘in’. She regular pioneered for years straight out of high school, she  worked part time in order to make sure she could still be in full-time service. Her one ambition (if I may say so) is that she wanted to go to Bethel. At that time the South African Bethel hardly ever took in single sisters, so she did finally get in by marrying a bethelite. Roughly seven years later she left bethel with her husband and is…

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Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly and a Pillar to freedom

A Mother and daughter

An other strange story which caught our attention. Again somebody who went to meet other Jehovah’s Witnesses, to attend the Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly. This time that person could be a Jehovah’s Witness herself but did not like it so much, so why did she go in the first place.

She wrote

Between my being confined to the Jehovah’s Witness “way of life” and my parents being… the way they are, it makes it a challenge to maneuver things in order to spend those days with him as much as possible. {My Mother, the Bully}

She seems to be a daughter of a homemaker, a dedicated worker, a good JW, sensible, practical, giving, and responsible. She is a creator, artistic, free-minded, quite rebellious, self-focused according to her own saying {My Mother, the Bully}. Whilst her mother is repressed, self-disciplined, and morally bound she finds herself to be fluid, experimental, and abstract.

Could these things be at the root of a kind of jealousy? {My Mother, the Bully}

she wonders and let her thoughts linger

Does my reaching for more freedom trigger insecurities in her about her complete lack of it? {My Mother, the Bully}

Instability and felt mislead

Last April she felt like she exploded in anger and frustration towards “The Org”,

“telling M that I felt as if I had a “tiny elder in my head, screaming scriptures at me.” {Two Pillars of Freedom}

In this world everybody needs , and most of all youngsters are seeking some kind of stability when it comes to their spiritual beliefs or non beliefs and want to build up a spiritual life full of spiritual well-being. For many it may take years to find a place in the world of atheists and believers. Lots of people have to go on a calvary route to find their way to a belief, believing in God or not believing in a god or the God.

English: Personal bible study Português: Estud...

Personal bible study essential part for coming to the truth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For us serious bible students it surprises us that this girl, though when grown up in a JW family came to believe she is been completely misled about the Bible, and that she feels she is never really been taught about God. Not being JW, not knowing their exact ways of teaching in the church community, we only can see what they let the outside world to be known. From their public publications we can only get the impression they do everything to get others to know God. All their teaching seems very God centred when you leave out the misleading teachings of their organisation and the position of the 144 000.

A bait to trap many

We are aware of the danger where the writer finds her possible anger and disappointment. It is true that

The Organization could’ve used any bait to trap the masses. Organizations do it every day. Cults appeal to people’s desires for all kinds of things – this one appealed to the desire to understand the Bible & know “the truth” about God.

and then she gets to the core of the big problem (we think)

The Bible is only the bait for them, a secondary issue – The Organization is the primary concern: gaining and keeping peoples’ complete unquestioning obedience. If they can use the Bible in order to accomplish that, so be it. {Two Pillars of Freedom}

That last bit is naturally a serious accusation. But we fear that what we said already to so many people that those questions in their magazine and the way how they treat verses can be sometimes dubious and often smell to brainwashing (mind control)or indoctrination, the organisation having thought control over all its members.

Reminding who is the Way

Too many JW, like lots of so called Christians do forget that Jesus told he is the Way to God. The Bible also tells us that this sent one from God has become the high priest and the one mediator between God and man. This last saying excludes all human organisations as a necessity to link to God. Jesus (rabbi Jeshua) is our link to the Only One True God of Israel.
We do not need ordained priests, ministers or organisations to dictate what the Words of God say and to dictate what we do have to do or may not do, and control us. Guidance belongs to the Word of God itself. God did not provide such a difficult word to understand for mankind, which would exclude all uneducated people (Bété people or ‘bast shoes‘). No, all people, those who have been to school but also who have not been to school, should be able to understand God’s Word.

The bible does not speak about One and only one organisation that He would take, but He gives an indication by His only begotten son that there may be many different groups and organisations, all part of the Body of Christ and necessary for that Body of Christ. Many people think religion is wrong and endangers man, because than man would control them, but than they have chosen the wrong religion, because in the religious ways of the True God there is no man who should be in control of others, all man should give themselves into the hands of God, the Divine Creator, Who is not a man but a Spirit.

As people we can give ourselves to Christ, willing to be under his guidance. That is our choice and makes us to become Christians or ‘being Christian‘, it is following Christ Jesus.

Jehovah for millennia not using an organisation

Since the early Christians continually there were people who stayed truthful to Christ Jesus his teaching, no matter of the false teachers and churches coming into being. even when the pressure from the Roman empire became so great that lots of Christians chose to agree with Greco-Roman teaching of a three-headed god and chose to accept the Trinity. Though the Roman Catholic Church came into existence and later got many schisms, several God faithfully abiding continued their life of worship of the One and Only One True God. There was no world wide organisation at all to lead God’s People, like there was also no such organisation before the birth of Jesus. The shepherding of God’s People was done by individual men and women, who were chosen by God Himself (the nevim or prophets) or went for God, allowed by God to live and preach. The words given to mankind for enabling to find eternal life was not provided by man or a human organisation, but by God Himself. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

The JW Organisation claims erroneous that Charles Taze Russell is their founder. But he never claimed to be a prophet nor wanted a human directive organisation. He, like many  Biblestudents, very well knew that the gathering of people is done by God Himself and that The Word is a quality or aspect of God Himself.

As Facts About Jehovah’s Witnesses writes

Watchtower makes the claim that “Jehovah has always guided his servants in an organized way.” (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth p.192) If that is the case, how were they guided and organised during the dark ages? What group represented God’s organization immediately prior to the formation of the Watchtower Society in the 1884 by Charles Russell, and why didn’t Russell just follow them? {Does Jehovah require an Organization?}

Does Jehovah require an Organization?

Watch Tower headquarters in Columbia Heights, Brooklyn.

When the Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower Bible and tract Society in Brooklyn with their different corporations [Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Religious Order of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Kingdom Support Services, International Bible Students Association (IBSA), Associação Torre de Vigia de Bíblias e Tratados (Brazil), Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses of East Africa, Los Testigos de Jehová en México, Wachtturm-Gesellschaft, Selters/Taunus (Germany), Watchtower Bible & Tract Society Of Australia, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada, European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses (EAJCW)] would be the sole organisation under the direction of God and when it is changing so many times of its teachings, would this mean that God is not giving the full truth to His own chosen ones or that God is not sure what He can give them for information?

How can it be than when the organisation is God’s only instrument that members of it dispose one of their very important main writers like Raymond Franz, former member of the Governing Body? Does that mean that God first tells others a person is one of the 144 000 but then takes somebody else in his place and get rid of him after he has been used to produce an enormous amount of good literature? He was one of the researchers who created Aid to Bible Understanding, the first doctrinal and biblical encyclopedia of Jehovah’s Witnesses, published in full in 1971.

When the leaders of the Watchtower Society, the Governing Body, say themselves that they are appointed by Christ and the only means by which he directs his true followers today, how can they than demand certain people from the board to resign?

They themselves write

“Consider, too, the fact that Jehovah’s organization alone, in all the earth, is directed by God’s holy spirit or active force. (Zech. 4:6) Only this organization functions for Jehovah’s purpose and to his praise. To it alone God’s Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book.” Watchtower 1973 Jul 1 p.402

Saying this they also give the impression the bible is not yet complete or is not able to give full biblical Wisdom to mankind, without that body of God, their organisation.

“However, the Governing Body are appointed through the holy spirit under the direction of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ.” Watchtower 1990 Mar 15 p.18

 

When that Governing Body is appointed by God through His Holy Spirit how can it than be, when led by His Spirit, that there have been taken place so many disputes and that such dismissals occurred?

Would the organisation be the only means God can have contact with people nowadays? According to us that would place man above the Power of God, Him being not able to call people for Himself and to give them wisdom. As in the precious centuries it is still God Who calls people and gives insight to those who are willing to open their heart to Him, whatever there being The Organisation, a organisation or no organisation at all near to them.

Witnessing for Jehovah

A Jehovah’s Witness distributing literature at Marble Arch tube station in London

We are sure the Jehovah’s Witnesses may be part of that Body of Christ, members of people under Christ witnessing for Jehovah. But in many other denominations or churches you may find also people witnessing for this One and the Same God.

Strangely enough the organisation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses does not believe that individual people are able to bring men and women to God without their organisation. They consider themselves the only righteous way to God. This dismisses totally the position of Christ Jesus, who according to the Bible is the Way to God.

Key factor to being a Witness

According to us the key factor to being a Witness for Jehovah is to stand up for Him and not for one or another earthly organisation and when the Jehovah’s Witnesses Organisation would be a Godly organisation why did so many teachings changed and why did so many prophesies by them did not come through? Were people not warned for those who prophesied and whose prophesies did not come through? are we not told that such people could be false teachers?

We kindly ask our readers and all people walking around this earth to know that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not the only ones witnessing for Jehovah God.

It is belonging to the “Organization” that distinguishes one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and makes them feel solely worthy of salvation, but Jesus died for all people and God’s grace is given to all living souls.

Requirements for Salvation

The way the WBTS presents itself to mankind gives the impression that membership of their organization is essential for salvation. If this would be so, why were we not told by God Himself or by His son?

The word “organization” never appears in the Bible, yet organization appears 16,789 times on the 2006 Watchtower Library CD. This is because belonging to an organization is not a Scriptural requirement, but rather a common concept amongst high control groups as a technique of building a member’s high degree of conviction and uniformity. {Does Jehovah require an Organization?}

Though the Watchtower claims that belonging to an organization is essential for salvation.

To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.” Watchtower 1983 Feb 15 p.12

When you read the whole bible, the Hebrew and Messianic books, nowhere shall you find an indication of God going to provide a worldwide organisation other than the theocratic government of rabbi Jeshua from the new world’s capital Jerusalem.

It is not stated in either the Old or New Testaments that membership of an organization is a requirement of eternal salvation. The Scriptures repeatedly state that it is faith in Jesus and the Father that results in everlasting life. Instead we are told of salvation by the blood of Christ. It is not by keeping to certain rituals or organisations that we can receive salvation. We do not need to be a soldier of a worldly organisation but should be soldiers for Christ by whom salvation comes to us.

2 You, therefore, my child,+ keep on acquiring power in the undeserved kindness that is in Christ Jesus; and the things you heard from me that were supported by many witnesses,+ these things entrust to faithful men, who, in turn, will be adequately qualified to teach others. As a fine soldier+ of Christ Jesus, take your part in suffering adversity.+ No man serving as a soldier involves himself* in the commercial businesses* of life, in order to gain the approval of the one who enrolled him as a soldier. And even in the games, anyone who competes is not crowned unless he has competed according to the rules.+ The hardworking farmer must be the first to partake of the fruits. Give constant thought to what I am saying; the Lord will give you understanding* in all things. …  10 For this reason I go on enduring all things for the sake of the chosen ones,+ so that they too may obtain the salvation that is through Christ Jesus, along with everlasting glory {2 Timothy 2:2-7, 10)

    • 2 Timothy 2:10 Kingdom Interlinear
    • 10 διὰ through τοῦτο this πάντα all (things) ὑπομένω I am enduring διὰ through τοὺς the ἐκλεκτούς, chosen (ones), ἵνα in order that καὶ also αὐτοὶ they σωτηρίας of salvation τύχωσιν they might obtain τῆς of the (one) ἐν in Χριστῷ Christ Ἰησοῦ Jesus μετὰ with δόξης glory αἰωνίου. everlasting.

Faith in the sent one from God

It is by faith in the sent one from God, rabbi Jeshua, the Kristos or Christ Jesus, we may have the opportunity not to become destroyed but to have everlasting life. We all should all remember that everything which is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: he that comes from heaven, the sent one from God, is above all. Him being above any organisation is the one we could and should follow, as brothers and sisters in him who has eternal life.

14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,+ so the Son of man must be lifted up,+ 15 so that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life.+

16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son,+ so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.+ 17 For God did not send his Son into the world for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him.+ 18 Whoever exercises faith in him is not to be judged.+ Whoever does not exercise faith has been judged already, because he has not exercised faith in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.+

31 The one who comes from above+ is over all others. The one who is from the earth is from the earth and speaks of things of the earth. The one who comes from heaven is over all others.+ 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard,+ but no man accepts his witness.+ 33 Whoever has accepted his witness has put his seal to it* that God is true.+ 34 For the one whom God sent speaks the sayings of God,+ for He does not give the spirit sparingly.* 35 The Father loves the Son+ and has given all things into his hand.+ 36 The one who exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life;+ the one who disobeys the Son will not see life,+ but the wrath of God remains upon him.+ {John 3:14-18, 31-36}

Connection with the son of God

Let us be sure to come to Jesus first, because not an organisation here on earth would be our gateway, but because Jesus is the door to the Kingdom of God.

44 How can you believe, when you are accepting glory from one another and you are not seeking the glory that is from the only God?+ {John 5:44}

So Jesus said again: “Most truly I say to you, I am the door for the sheep.+ All those who have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers; but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved, and that one will go in and out and find pasturage.+ {John 10:7-9}

This means everlasting life,+ their coming to know you,* the only true God,+ and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.+ {John 17:3}

Living under Christ Jesus

Those who want to have everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of the Only True God, them having regret of what they have done wrong and asking for forgiveness, wanting to live under Christ, the one whom Jehovah sent forth and who belongs to God.

16 Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple+ and that the spirit of God dwells in you?+ 17 If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, and you are that temple.+

18 Let no one deceive himself: If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this system of things,* let him become a fool, so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, for it is written: “He catches the wise in their own cunning.”+ 20 And again: “Jehovah* knows that the reasonings of the wise men are futile.”+ 21 So let no one boast in men; for all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or A·polʹlos or Ceʹphas*+ or the world or life or death or things now here or things to come, all things belong to you; 23 in turn you belong to Christ;+ Christ, in turn, belongs to God. {1 Corinthians 3:16-23}

The Organisation playing the mediator of man and God, man and Christ

As the female writer of ‘Finding the truth: In recovery from Jehovah’s Witnesses & alcoholism‘ at last came to see, when she sees a

WT quote in direct opposition:

“The other sheep should never forget that their salvation depends on their active support of Christ’s anointed “brothers” still on earth.” WT March 15 2012 pg. 20 {Two Pillars of Freedom}

She concludes

Check and mate. It seems so obvious, so simple. The Org has taken it upon themselves to become the mediator of man and God, man and Christ; completely ignoring what the Bible has to say on the matter and making themselves Lords over man. {Two Pillars of Freedom}

There are more things, of course, that have been giving me evidence that The Org is not God’s ‘spirit-directed organization,’ but these two points seem to be building some kind of foundation in my mind. They seem to be the things that come closest to unraveling the whole thing; the answers to the tiny screaming elder in my head. I’ll keep building more until I can silence him completely, or maybe one day oust him permanently. {Two Pillars of Freedom}

We only can hope more people shall come to see the twists in their teachings and their focus on the organisation instead of focussing more on the works of Jesus and his heavenly Father.

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Preceding articles

Oklahoma City Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses

An atheist writer meeting Jehovah’s witnesses far from home

Politics and power first priority #1

Charles Taze Russell and what he started

Was Russell and Rutherford “Illuminati”?

A Society pleading poverty

Following articles:

Jesus’ footstep followers, irrespective of sectarian lines

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

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Additional reading

  1. Religious Practices around the world
  2. Religions and Mainliners
  3. Denominationalism exists because?
  4. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  5. Why is it that Christians don’t understand Muslims and Muslims do not understand Christians?
  6. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
  7. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  8. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  9. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  10. In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
  11. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  12. Breaking up with a cult
  13. Christianity without the Trinity
  14. Writers needed to preach to non-believers
  15. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  16. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  17. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  18. Quibbling siblings united or allied children of an organisation or a church
  19. On the Affirmation of Scripture
  20. Not many coming out with their community name
  21. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  22. Around C.T.Russell
  23. Russell himself never claimed to be a prophet.
  24. Misunderstandings concerning C.T. Russell
  25. Surprising figures about Jehovah Witnesses
  26. Russell and his beliefs
  27. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  28. Bijbelonderzoekers en Russelism / Bible researchers and Russelism
  29. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  30. A visible organisation on earth
  31. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  32. When seeing a biblically sound church
  33. Ecclesia to exist, grow and communities to have people communicating with each other
  34. The Big conversation Why it matters
  35. Soviet Witnesses
  36. Date Setting
  37. A British judge rules that mother can’t indoctrinate son with religion
  38. Retrieving some older articles previously placed on Multiply
  39. Bringing Good News into the world
  40. Deaf helped in their ability to progress in this community
  41. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  42. Russia’s battle against the Jehovah’s Witnesses
  43. Jehovah’s Witnesses Shunning ex-members adverse effects on family relationships
  44. Disappointed expectations
  45. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  46. Saved through grace not through keeping rituals
  47. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  48. Sealed in their foreheads
  49. Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts
  50. The Bride New Jerusalem
  51. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  52. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  53. The one who set the standard
  54. Revelation 1:8 – Who is Speaking?
  55. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  56. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  57. The longer you wait
  58. Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

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Further related articles

  1. Celebrating Christendom’s Demise?
  2. Nineteenth Century Protestant Doctrines of the Trinity
  3. “Should You Believe in the Trinity?”
  4. Why I Am a Christian.
  5. Christ didn’t come to help us, He came to Include us
  6. Change Your Village
  7. Pouring Into Others
  8. Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?
  9. “Ye Are My Witnesses, Saith Jehovah Baldwin: Arkansas Man Arrested For Firing Shots At Jehovah’s Witnesses Who Approached Him On His Lawn
  10. Rosary No More!! Why I Stopped Praying The Rosary!! (Testimony of a Former Roman Catholic)
  11. The Semiology of Jehovah’s Witnesses
  12. Prophecy, power and weakness
  13. Serena Williams and Jehovah’s Witnesses
  14. A Hymn From Christendom in July 2016 JW Broadcasting?
  15. Is it blind faith, or tradition?
  16. The Decision
  17. I Am Not A Victim
  18. Jehovah’s witnesses
  19. It is not a trip at all
  20. Day in the life..
  21. Why Do Some JWs Live A Lie?
  22. Do people get a second chance?
  23. Why do EX – Jehovahs Witnesses struggle to find a church?
  24. Conditional Love
  25. Sheep and Wolves
  26. Warning: You Might Get Kicked Out of the Kingdom Hall by a Donkey
  27. What to do with Jehovah’s Witnesses?
  28. Exodus Chapter 8
  29. Witness to Jehovahs like Frank & Joe Hardy
  30. Jehovah’s (False) Witnesses
  31. Trust issues…and then some
  32. Charles Taze Russell – “Don’t read your Bible”
  33. Watchtower Study June 5, 2016—Being Faithful Leads to God’s Approval
  34. Finding the Way
  35. World’s Fastest Growing Religion?
  36. A fallen Prince
  37. Prince found ’real happiness’ as Jehovah’s Witness, talking about Bible, longtime friend and bassist says
  38. A Different Sort of Church History 1
  39. Who were the Arians and what did they believe?
  40. Two Pillars of Freedom
  41. Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses preach?
  42. Two Classes Of Christians?
  43. Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian?
  44. My first false baptism
  45. You are Welcome to be Unwelcome….
  46. The Sting of Slavery
  47. Jehovah’s Witness Convention 2016—A Weekend of Robbery and Manipulation
  48. Review of talk at “Remain loyal to Jehovah” 2016 convention of Jehovahs Witnesses
  49. Jehovah’s Witness Convention 2016—Maintain Loyalty Symposium
  50. On False Prophets and False Accusers
  51. Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Worship of Jesus
  52. Growing up a Jehovah’s Witness—Anxiety at a Young Age
  53. Sgt. Robert Wilson III Ceremony for Valor Showcases Watchtower Hypocrisy
  54. Late Prince honored by Jehovah’s Witnesses
  55. The Picture of the Governing Body
  56. Witnessing to JW’s Enhances Witnessing to Others
  57. Is Watchtower Running out of Money?
  58. How Jehovah’s Witnesses Think
  59. Dating A Jehovah’s Witness
  60. Reminder for uncertain times: “Heeding advance warning can save your life!”
  61. Numbers in Scripture
  62. The Mark in the Forehead
  63. Who Do You Say Jesus Is?
  64. Religion Roundup
  65. #Islam & Muslim’s and the #Murder of a #Catholic so called #Priest in #France. More lying #Propaganda for the deceived Catholic’s. They actually think that they are being persecuted for their belief’s, but actually, it is simply the #Ignorance of #Islam. — Boot The Door And Shout Through The Crack
  66. In the dust of the Rabbi- Day 67
  67. Spiritual Sobriety: Stumbling Back to Faith When Good Religion Goes Bad
  68. On the Russian evangelism law
  69. Is doctrine important? What’s the danger in deviating from sound doctrine?
  70. Religions are Cults: I Refuse to Let Another Man Control my Life
  71. Suspected Cult Leader Disguised as Anti-Cult “Expert”
  72. Dangerous Cult: House Of Yahweh
  73. Goin’ Through The Gate
  74. Why you wouldn’t want to be a Jim Jones liberal
  75. Reclaiming the Church of God
  76. The Master Manipulator
  77. Ungracious “Grace” Leaders
  78. Bunkeroos vs. Scientologists
  79. Scientology Floggers
  80. China, Cults, And Persecution (oh my!)
  81. Beware of Shincheonji!!
  82. Video on the Shincheonji Cult!
  83. Is Young Life a cult?
  84. The recons flee defeated on Christology

+++

Helping websites to prepare for the last days

When you know or think we could be coming closer to the Last Days it can be interesting to have some comfort in helping material to make yourself strong enough to withstand the coming troubles. To make yourself immune against the adversary of the world its Creator, two new websites in English and three in Dutch came unto the market.

All of them are directed to those people who are looking for God and/or are aiming at those who are looking to build up a good relationship with God, the Divine Creator and to come in harmony with His creation.

It is not always easy to stand up against the treatment of this capitalist and over-consuming world, but we can armour us and help each other to be strong in the coming times of temptation and of uproar.

Relating to God (Weebly website) About page

Relating to God (Weebly website) About page

Man can not see God and live (Exodus 33:20), but we do believe man can have a very good relation with this unseen God, Who is for many people in the world also an unknown God. Therefore we would love to get more people to know this loving God who wants to have a loving peaceful relationship with His creatures. “Relating to God” and Relating to God – blog” want to give an idea how to look for God, how to see and to take the right way to God, how to find God and how to make such a strong connection with the people around us, Jesus Christ, the son of God and with God so that the heavenly Father may be pleased with us.

Relating to God - Blog (WordPress) Relating-to God is it possible - article.

Relating to God – Blog (WordPress) Relating-to God is it possible – article.

Our life is limited in time and it is crucial to make the best of it. The five new websites shall try to show their readers how we are able to make the best of our life and how we can ensure an even better life in the future.

The Dutch websites together are forming a triptych. As a three-master it wants to sail trough heavy waters of this system of times and things and bring people into the safe harbour which is prepared for all who want to come to God.

Op zoek naar God - 1° Component of the triptych about looking for God and the way to Him to come into a good relationship.

Op zoek naar God – 1° Component of the triptych about looking for God and the way to Him to come into a good relationship.

The first component is especially created for those who do not known much about God and wonder if He exists and what He can do for us. Being for those who are looking for God it has the appropriate title “Op zoek naar God” (Looking for God). The second component wants to show that in this world we do have different roads in front of us. We can choose out of many highways, but which one do we best choose to reach our destination? And which destination do you want to reach?

De weg naar God (The Way to God; 2° component of triptych)

De weg naar God (The Way to God; 2° component of triptych)

With “De Weg naar God” (The Way to God) we want to show that the Nazarene rabbi Jeshua (Jesus Christ) is the way to God we should follow. This second component shall (for parts) also be integrated in the “Relating to God” sites (but than in English).

God vinden - Gereedsschapspagina (Tools page of Finding God)

God vinden – Gereedsschapspagina (Tools page of Finding God)

As final part in the triptych you may find “God vinden” (Finding God), which shall tackle the important matter of finding God and to make an ally with God. The subjects spoken off there shall also be spoken off at the “Relating to God” sites.

We believe all people should be able to hear the Voice of God and find His Words to read easily. Therefore we want to proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom on the internet to reach as many people as possible. Those who know and love God already should be the ones who help to spread the Good Message. You too, can help to spread the good news by forwarding our messages and by liking them and sharing them on social media so that more people may come confronted with them.

If you do not have the writing pen in you, you do not have to think you can not help in the preaching work. Getting word around is part of our preaching work you can do as well. Witnessing comprehends the sharing of the material available to come to more knowledge. With those five new websites the Belgian Christadelphians do hope to bring the Gospel message to even more people. Wherever you are, whichever language you speak, you can bring others in contact with those websites so that they may find more material to read and to examine and to help them to comprehend the Holy Scriptures.

May we count unpon you, students of the Bible and all those interested in God, to share the existence of those new websites and the already existing and older websites to bring people in a good relationship with God, Jesus and each other?

++

Find additionally to read:

  1. For those on the Quest of their life
  2. A way to prepare for the Kingdom
  3. A Word and helping sites to give answers
  4. When looking for God or wanting to relate to the Most High Divine God

+++

A new school-, academic and church year

The first of September is in many countries the beginning of the new school year and the first of October the beginning of the new academic year.

That first day of a new year brings a lot of excitement and many questions with it. Every  “Beginning” brings expectations with it and brings an exciting experience. Some of those experiences bring over and over again, each year, new tensions or get us nerve system working strong. The adrenaline gets high.

Such a beginning of a “new year” gives us the opportunity to bring a brush-stroke over the previous year. We take the opportunity to make a new start again. We also dare to give free space to new ideas and projects which can stimulate us and others to continue with renewed energy.

The freshness of a new project or a new relationship sharpens our senses. When that novelty diminishes, though, it’s difficult to maintain the same level of excitement. so often when the year progresses people become less enthusiast or tired. They loose energy and are not so willing any more to spend energy in what they started earlier.

On the first of September many little toddlers face their first day in “the big world”. From then onwards their protected little world of the safe ‘home’ shall not be there always. They shall get to face the cruelty of the world, with others not liking them, or being jealous. By time they shall become confronted with infliction of physical or mental distress. Throughout its life the growing up person will have to find compromises between the claims of the narcissistic pole of his drives and the intensity of his love for the object. They shall have to proof themselves and to defend themselves, making sure they can stand straight  and endure all the hardships which shall come over them.

For many it will be looking afraid at the day, which according to the Hebrew mode, is conceived as a measure to be filled up. The apostles also once had taken refuge in their small safe house.

From the second day of unleavened bread they for fifty days had got very strange experiences which frightened them so much they had closed all doors and did not dare to come out and meet the people who laughed at the followers of the man which was impaled and could not bring any message in public any more because he had become part of the dead.

Christ his disciples were also in doubt and in expectancy.  In those days of expectancy they felt that they had to stick together, united in the thoughts of their master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ). A cycle of seven times seven days, from the time of the gathering of the sheaf of first-fruits, had past. At the day of the anniversary of the Law covenant at Sinai they suddenly where shaken.

The same eleven apostles who witnessed their master’s ascension were in the upper room complying with the injunction of Jeshua, waiting in an attitude of prayer and expectancy, and in readiness to begin their mission. Following the order to stay together and to come close to each other in prayer, they had enough time to think about all the things that happened in those three years of public preaching of Jeshua.

Пятидесятница. Около 1497. Собор Успения Богор...

The decent of the Holy Spirit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At that moment they did not know yet they where going to go through something very unique which would give them the nerve to get out of their enclosure. They would receive Power from above which was going to give them enough guts to dare to speak about unbelievable events.

For many a new year going into a new initiative demands a plan which shows great daring.

In Acts 2 we can find a process of fulfilment described.  As in the other writings of the Book of books we get an inside view of how God worked to gather a new community of believers to Himself. Pentecost and the arrival of the Holy Spirit signalled a new era and produced a new community, as both Jews and “devout men from every nation under heaven” converted to what would be later called the Christian faith (Acts 2:5).

“Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.” (Acts 2:5 NIV)

Now, many centuries later, it’s easy for us to see Pentecost as the pivotal moment in the history of the Church — an unparalleled event that changed the world forever. It must have been incredible to see those young men  coming onto the street and having them speaking in so many tongues that all sorts of tourists and inhabitants could understand them.

There where Christ Jesus never brought so many to convert and to be baptised those shy disciples over-won their fear and got on the street to speak in the name of God, telling what for importance Jesus is for humankind. Three thousand people came to faith.

When we celebrate the holiday of Pentecost, however, we are remembering the firstfruits of the harvest — the coming of the Holy Spirit and the original community of believers under Jesus Christ. Firstfruits are only the start of a harvest; they hint at future abundance. Every year we can see how plants are coming up again and how the cereal crop comes nice brown to be reaped. The grain crop harvested brings again new seed for the next year. Every-time there has to be sown and harvested, over and over again. In schools and as a service in Christian churches in many countries the people have a harvest festival, a celebration of the annual harvest, but also a thanksgiving for the fruits they may receive and bear.

The harvest the Greek writings is speaking of is the continuing process of people who get inspired by the work of Christ and his disciples and follow the master teacher his commission. We as a community do hope we can bring the seeds in fertile ground and shall be able to fertilise it well, so that it can bear good fruits.

 

As the young children at school have to respond to the bell, giving the sign to enter the class. We also should enter the class of the disciples, following our teacher, the rabbi Jeshua. Fresh at the beginning of the year we should be eager to learn new things and be curious what we can find in all those Books. God has prepared the Knowledge for us. We can take it or leave it. It is our free choice. Nothing is pushed forward, but the call of Jesus sounds all over the earth and everywhere the gospel of the Good News should be preached.

Each person that calls himself or herself a Christian should every year again take up the good spirit to tell the world what happened with the impaled Nazarene and his followers, who gave an example for the world to follow.

The wonders that began at Pentecost should still be happening today. On that day when the Holy spirit came over the disciples the start was given to a new era. A new beginning could take place.  It were the first days of the church which had to come into being.
Today there are still many places on earth where such seeds should be planted. Belgium is no exception. It is a very difficult ground. Like there are many clay grounds in Brabant, hard to work on, we do have to work hard to get people coming to our ecclesiae (churches). In Belgium there are many ‘babies’ waiting to go to kindergarten or school, to find more knowledge. They only have to find ways in doing it, finding the right knowledge.

At the beginning of a new church year we should offer our services to God and should express our hope that our community shall be blessed by Him. That we may find strength to continue the important work and receive enough knowledge, given to us by God’s Power (the Holy Spirit). We ask God that we can have enough patience to continue to preach His Word and to plants seeds wherever He wants.

Each of us should open his or her mind and heart for the teachings of Jesus and should be eager to come like Christ. We all should do our best to put on the armour of Christ and to open our mouths, bringing the Good News to the world. Witnessing about the coming Kingdom of God we should allow God to work in us and to have Him renewing us. He is active and present in our lives, just as He was gathering His Church about 20 centuries ago.

We need a fresh perspective. The beginning of the new academic and church year may bring that. We need the motivation and the boldness of the apostles and followers of Christ Jesus of the first hour. We need to rekindle our original excitement when announcing that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, because He is at work, in us and around us.

To have a successful new year the ecclesia needs the Light of the Spirit. Without the Power of God we are nothing. Like the apostles received the comforter from above, we also do need Light coming over us to be able to preach and to reach people, to bring them closer to God.

Let us pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten us and give the force to go out in the world, making people aware of what God is willing to give to His People and how He wants us to be His children. It is God Who needs to give us power to be able to contribute to the formation of His Church. We can only hope we may be a work-instrument with many others, being thankful that we can receive so many blessings already here on this earth, preparing ourselves and others for the Kingdom of God.

 

English: A Protestant Church altar decorated f...

A Protestant Church altar decorated for Pentecost with red burning candles and red banners and altar cloth depicting the fire and sound of blowing wind of the Holy Spirit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Preceding article: An academic year ending, again a new year standing ready for us

++

Additional readings:

  1. First Century of Christianity
  2. Promise of Comforter
  3. Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus
  4. Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1
  5. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1
  6. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2
  7. The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2
  8. The day of the festival of Pentecost
  9. Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2 v1-13 Working Spirit
  10. Speaking in tongues
  11. Meaning of “speaking in tongues”
  12. Tongues a sign of authenticity or divine backing
  13. Coming to the end of the year
  14. A new year with hopes and challenges
  15. Passion and burn out of a teacher
  16. An academic year ending, again a new year standing ready for us
  17. Move forward, not standing still
  18. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  19. Bringing Good News into the world

+++

  • undefined (spiritualconnectedness.wordpress.com)
    Each of you acquires opinions and beliefs about yourself during your upbringing. You absorb ideas and images from your parents, family, peers, school, etc. You begin to play certain roles without questioning them, and you soon develop something called a “personality”: a set of habits, behaviors, and thoughts. But at some time in the course of growing up, something else awakens in you. First, it is no more than a whisper; a memory that you cannot place; a knowing that you are more than what is just determined by the world outside yourself. There is something deeper, a layer that cannot be contained and understood by the human intellect. Herein lies your core, that which precedes and survives the earthly sphere – your soul.
  • Differences Between Pentecost and the Jewish Feast of Weeks (differencebetween.net)
    The children of Israel are also important on this occasion. In celebration of Pentecost, they are to bring two loaves of leavened bread to the temple. These loaves of leavened bread are used as wave offerings. They can only be eaten after the harvest ceremony is fully completed. The Jews also offer burnt animal offerings before the Lord. They can share and eat the meals with the poor people, and even the strangers.
  • Pentecost (rjowles.wordpress.com)
    The Apostles and disciples were praying together and the Holy Spirit came, sounding like a forceful wind and “tongues” of fire settled on them and they began to preach. Saint Peter began to preach a sermon and the multicultural and multi-ethnic crowd each heard him preaching in their own language. Of course, many have attempted to explain this.
    +
    If Saint Peter preached and everyone, regardless of language, understood what he was saying in their own language (either by the Holy Spirit speaking a special language through him that is like the “Master Key” language that everyone understands, or through the Holy Spirit interpreting what he was saying within their own hearts), then Pentecost is the undoing of the confusion of language at Babel. If you remember the story of the Tower of Babel, before that time everyone spoke the same language and after that time God confused the language so that different people started speaking different languages. Perhaps, what happened is that the Holy Spirit was active within the world and after the Tower of Babel incident, the Holy Spirit retreated from the world at large, occasionally moving through people but not the world itself, until after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I will leave it to you to decide for or against that idea as you see fit.
  • It’s Time to Celebrate! (tamimyer.wordpress.com)
    Pentecost is  a “firstfruits” celebration for us, too, meaning that we are offering to God our first and best–not our leftovers–both as an expression of gratitude for what He has given and also as a statement of confidence that He will provide again.
    +
    An interesting Jewish tradition on Pentecost is to read from Ezekiel 1, a passage which refers to a great windstorm and to fire. Perhaps these images were in the disciples’ thoughts as they then encountered for themselves the sound of a mighty wind and the sight of fire.
  • Call Sinners to Respond to the Gospel! (defendingcontending.com)
    A child of God could faithfully give the gospel, speak of God and His character, man and His desperate need, Christ and His sufficient atonement, repentance and faith in clear terms, but one element that evangelists seem to omit is the urgent call for sinners to respond to the gospel!
    +
    Often, in the Temple against the backdrop of the hypocritical, works-righteousness system of Judaism, Christ would teach how He came down from heaven as the living Bread, as the water of life, as the door to heaven, as the Shepherd for the sheep, as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and he invited all to come to Him. If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me. He exemplified not only the clear and bold proclamation of gospel-truth, but he also modeled urgent and compassionate exhortations to respond to the gospel. We must do the same.
  • The Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) (yehudafm.wordpress.com)
    The early summer harvest of Shavuot in Israel was a small harvest in comparison to the larger harvest that came in the autumn of each year. This has prophetic significance. Strange as it might seem to mainstream Christianity today, God is not trying to save the whole world right now. He has planned a far larger harvest of souls when Jesus returns. Those of us who are saved today are only part of the smaller harvest. When most people in this present evil age are traveling the broad road to destruction, we have been uniquely called to enter in by the narrow gate that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14) and make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10).
  • Firstfruits? Can an Old Testament holiday apply to your life today? (lightenough.wordpress.com)
    The ancient Israelites had an annual cycle of feasts or holidays (also called festivals) that they kept throughout the year as appointed by God. Four of these were in the spring, and three in the autumn. These holidays were a sacred time to remember God’s provisions in the past, His work in the present, and the hope of future provision.
    +
    By offering God a portion of the first fruit to ripen, it was also seen as a pledge, or an earnest, for the full harvest that was yet to come. It anticipated the harvest that would be reaped in the following months, even though it had not yet been received.
  • “Ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit,” (tru3j0y.wordpress.com)
    At this present moment we have the first fruits of the Spirit. We have repentance, that gem of the first water; faith, that priceless pearl; hope, the heavenly emerald; and love, the glorious ruby. We are already made “new creatures in Christ Jesus,” by the effectual working of God the Holy Ghost. This is called the firstfruit because it comes first. As the wave-sheaf was the first of the harvest, so the spiritual life, and all the graces which adorn that life, are the first operations of the Spirit of God in our souls. The firstfruits were the pledge of the harvest.
  • In the Spirit — A Reflection for Pentecost (Gathering Voices) (bobcornwall.com)
    That was Jesus’ command to the gathered disciples on the day of his ascension. He had given them an assignment – go and be my witnesses to the ends of the earth. But to do this, they would need the baptism with the Spirit (Acts 1:1-11). This baptism with the Spirit would come on the day of Pentecost.
    +
    Pentecost offers us an excellent opportunity to consider the nature of our ministries and the way in which we are engaging the Spirit of God. Are we focused more on organizational principles learned from the secular world (not that we have nothing to learn) or are we rooting our ministry in the work of the Spirit?
  • Acts 2 – The Image of Pentecost (readingacts.wordpress.com)
    The imagery of Pentecost may be important. Pentecost is a pilgrim-holiday also known as the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot.
    +
    The point of the festival was “to declare God’s ownership of the land and his grace in bringing forth food. According to a tradition found in the book of Jubilees, Pentecost was the day on which Moses was given the Law (cf. Tob 2:1, 2 Mac 12:32). This tradition is based on the belief that the Israelites arrived at Sinai 50 days after the first Passover (Exod 19:1). Some scholars (Knox, Snaith) have made a connection between this tradition and the gift of the Holy Spirit (ie., Moses gave out the Law to Israel on this day, Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to the church). Fitzmyer thinks Luke was aware of the tradition since there are some indirect allusions to the giving of the Law in Acts 2, not the least of which is the image of fire descending (Exod 19:18).

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The official website of Michael Bradley - Author of novels, short stories and poetry involving the past, future, and what may have been.

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