Overcoming Addictions With God’s Word with Lee Anthony

 

THIS IS MY STORY: by Lee Anthony

“Note: My background is not just in Bible study, but I am qualified from personal experience and on the job training from working with those having substance abuse issues to answer questions and give counsel to anyone suffering from the affliction of addiction whether it be you personally or someone close to you. This is part of my ministry in my walk with Christ.”

                        

GOD’S WORD HAS POWER

 

I began my Christian walk in 2009. Prior to my conversion and baptism, I was in no way shape or form a Christian. I did not meet Jehovah’s witnesses until mid-2012, this was during a three-year period that I will describe as a sabbatical. I spent 8 or so hours a day during the week reading, studying, attending Christian meetings and studies, listening to radio programs, watching t.v. programs, even writing letters to ministries asking for information. I spent most of my time during this period searching for the right church. I figured there had to be a church somewhere who had it all right, who knew love and unity as taught in scripture. Before I start, I will go back to before 2009 for a little more background information.

I was involved in alcohol and substance abuse all my life. I was selfish and did not treat others well at all. I was arrested on occasion and did some time in different types of institutions because of drug use and other activities. I began my spiritual walk at around 13 years old when I became interested in an involved with witchcraft. This was how I identified myself for the next decade and a few years thereafter. In 2006 I studied some and took on some forms of eastern religion as well, Taoism and some Zen Buddhist type stuff. I mixed religions for a few years, always being close to but still far from Christ as I always ended up with at least one friend who was a Christian and I learned some here and there but never could accept the idea of God or Christ and the bible being a book from God. In 2009 I hit rock bottom and ended up losing everything and had nowhere to turn. I read a book by a former Rock star turned Christian, it happened to be my favorite metal band, and something about the story set me to searching and I began attending a small bible study group. I listened yet never said much and stayed away during the prayers. This went on for about 2 months 2 times a week, and I finally started to read the bible and ask questions. I read more testimonial type books and talked to my grandfather some about things as my grandparents were always churchgoing Christians. Very good loving and forgiving people, always taking us grandkids to church as children. I don’t remember the day or what exactly moved me to do so but I decided one day while reading that this God was real. Jesus was historically real, I could not find evidence to the contrary and somehow it all started to make sense. I dedicated myself to do whatever I had to do to serve Jesus right then and there. I attended the meeting that week and told them I was ready to give up my old life, I was baptized the next week, this was around November or so of 2009. That is when I began my three-year search for truth.

I began with the Rapturists, moved on to Baptist, Pentecostal, numerous non- denominational groups, and even into Adventist and other 7th day groups like the living church of God and followers of Armstrong. I found very little in the way of what Jesus taught but did take bits and pieces of each that seemed to fit with scripture and discarded the rest. I read into and studied with Greek lexicon and Hebrew word study bibles, I figured English was not the best way to understand the Bible as so much is lost in translation as I learned some Spanish and French and realized that translating one language to another is not word for word and not really all that simple. The reason I began my study with Witnesses is because many of the things they were teaching I already had come to believe on my own journey. The trinity was false, hell was not a burning place of torment for mankind, the soul and death were not as taught in mainstream Christianity and Jesus was the Son of God and not God himself. That was the tipping point for me, as I believed in a sort of duality, as God and Jesus are one, but the Holy Spirit is not God. This is a rare teaching I found, and one taught by followers of Armstrong, and to me made sense yet I found it to be false according to further scriptural examination. I was drawn to witnesses because of these basic teachings and began attending meetings with them and started a bible study with an Elder in 2012. I was finishing up school at the time, which is what I did during my Sabbatical, and I decided to become a witness since they seemed to be what I had been looking for those past few years. At this point I had already made all the necessary changes that were required by J.W.s, I was clean, I was not involved in any relationships, I had quit smoking and drugs etc. in 09, I cleaned up my language and had moved hours away from home, so I was no longer around old friends. I was not involved in politics at all nor did I celebrate holidays, this was easy as my old religions all my life did not do Christmas or anything. I only had to give up Halloween, a pagan holiday from my past and I had to accept the faithful slave teaching and that I had to be baptized again. I decided this was easy and put it to the side and went ahead and did it. I moved in early 2013 up to the City area 4 hours from home and started attending the local kingdom hall and I went to work doing Landscaping, something I had gone to school for when I was 19 and never really got into. I had just finished culinary arts, had my certification and decided not to even use it, but after my baptism in November of 2013, just 8 months after joining the J.W.s as an unbaptized publisher, I began auxiliary pioneering and because full-time work got in the way of preaching and helping at the kingdom hall, seasonal work fit the bill. Six months after baptism, which is how long they made us wait, I started pioneering, a.k.a. the full-time ministry. This involved 70 hours minimum per month of preaching, and I was also being trained to be a servant in the Kingdom Hall. I already had my own meeting days for service and was giving talks and doing the literature servant position as I had all the time I needed to do these things. I was working a job for a drug rehab center that gave me free rent in a studio as part of my pay and I had started my own mowing business so that I had more time for the J.W.s. Both jobs gave me a lot of freedom as I set my own schedule for one and I was required to only be available during certain time periods each week for the other. Having so much responsibility helped me maintain my focus and stay clean, as did working with those who had substance abuse problems.

I pioneered for 2 years, and It was during this period that I met my wife and we began dating and decided to get married. She had two children, one of which was still living at home with her, so this was a new responsibility for me, one that I knew would involve me stepping down from my pioneering sooner rather than later. I had already had some doubts about how things were handled with me at the hall. I did not quite accept the faithful slave teaching and some of the constant changes that were made but I kept this all to myself. I began drinking again on a nightly basis and this became a habit that would get worse later. I had to change my live-in job at the rehab center not only because I had started drinking more again but because I lived in a one-room apartment on the grounds of the center itself and outside people were of course not allowed to live with me. After I was married I moved with my new family to another kingdom hall in a low- income neighborhood that was not exactly safe. It was during this time I began to see things were strange at the meetings, I was not treated the same in the new hall, I had no responsibilities and was expected to start over, I did not like this and I started to stay home from service and was depressed, I stopped pioneering and we decided to move and start over in a smaller safer place. I got a job close to my old home, a few hours away in a rural area. A local elder offered me a position that was hard to turn down as it was a part-time job that paid full-time wages. We moved to this new small area with a small hall and they put me to work and I liked the way things were for a little while. Not long after, along came my son. At the time I had been struggling with alcohol and other problems again cause of the depression I had gone through. They took me and reprimanded me and stripped me of all my privileges at the hall. That is when I began to question things, they treated my wife badly when I stopped attending meetings, love was not shown and after my second meeting with the elders, I decided I would never attend the hall again. I had already begun researching the J.W. history, something I would never have done before, I read books by Franz and found the friends of J.W. site and contacted Greg and Jacqueline. During this period my wife and I had a really hard time as she was still an active witness pioneer, and she had just had our son and things were not well. She persecuted me, and I patiently tried to show her using the watchtowers own literature that the J.W.’s were wrong. It took some time but with the publications and the way her and my oldest son were treated at the hall she finally realized the love found there was conditional. She attended a bible student convention with me and met Jacqueline and this is where she really began to see things differently. She stopped meetings around this time and we started all over spiritually. I kept searching, she became a baptized bible student, but I would not be baptized again. I started slowly getting things back in order. I rebuilt my business and bought a home in a small area away from the hall and went from J.W. to bible student to free thinking Christian. My wife is now also seeing some flaws with the Bible Student Movement as well, as many follow a man and that man is not Jesus. I am essentially right where I began with one difference. I am no longer searching for the truth, I found it in Jesus, and I know the church. They are everywhere, they are revealed by their fruits, and the love they show, not by the knowledge they have or the group they are part of. I am truly a student of the Bible now and as I have always done and learned, I will stick to Christ and not stray from his word. Scripture interprets scripture and prophecy is of no private interpretation. I must live by every word of God and, I must keep my eye on the footsteps in front of me. Jesus gives me the eyes to see where he has walked ahead of me and Its up to me to stay on the path without detour.

I would be willing to talk to others and together search the scriptures for help and support.

Thank you

20 Responses to Overcoming Addictions With God’s Word with Lee Anthony

  1. jacqueline says:

    Lee Anthony, also the two things I am looking into is that the:
    70years of captivity and exile that need when Cyrus released the Jews, is not the same:
    70 years of the DESOLATION of Jerusalem.
    I am looking at Jeremiah around 37 onward where he says don’t resell against Babylon because although conquered Nebuchadnezzar didn’t burn the city. They didn’t listen so he resonated the city by burning it down.
    2 different 70 years beginning at different times.
    Now that is as far as I have gotten on this but will listen to your links and see if we see the same issues.

  2. jacqueline says:

    Thanks Lee Anthony, I will go look for the one I heard also tomorrow.
    It is a shame we missed this that there are 2 seventy week periods in Daniel but they begin at different times.
    Now the 42 months make sense.
    If God is talking only to one organization why didn’t they see this. I know it might not have been time for understanding but to insist we stick to old teachings and not question this if you saw it years ago isn’t right.
    Glad we can search and pray for Holy Spirit help in understanding and recall.

  3. Lee Anthony says:

    Jacqueline,
    Here are two talks I think are related and talk on daniel and what we were talking about if I remember correctly.

    http://www.labiblestudents.org/2019/carnegie_bob__prophecy_and_humility_part_6.mp3

    http://www.labiblestudents.org/2019/Carnegie_humility_and_prophesy_part_7_the_man_of_sin.mp3

  4. Lee Anthony says:

    Jacqueline,
    From my experience alcohol just like medication or even illegal drugs often work as another way to help deal with, cover up, or make a problem seem better or more bearable. Eventually it becomes just part of the problem, or another one all together.. Like pain killers alcohol can dull the pain. Drugs or alcohol are often not even the problem but just a way to deal with many other issues, changing ones thinking and ways of dealing with stress is what is needed for a person to truly get better so with mental issues its usually another coping mechanism. Not always but most of the time a drug or alcohol problem is just a side effect of something deeper like ptsd.

  5. jacqueline says:

    Lee Anthony, so let me ask you, what could you say to explain why a veteran or anyone suffering from trauma or PTSD would turn to alcohol?
    What is the correlation, how does alcohol help or hinder?

    During this season my company will be among the veterans community. I talk about God and forgiveness for those that remember the horrors of their experiences. I do one on one, mostly. M.I.N.D.S. is a concept of changing minds one at a time and that person helping another.

  6. Lee Anthony says:

    I can see how there are many similarities between the two, addiction is also a mental disorder, Im sure clinically they agree though I dont much like the textbook viewpoint on some things, they have tried making treatment a political issue and even change terms based on what may or may not offend. There are those who care and those who want a paycheck. My wife has a friend who suffers from ptsd, It is certainly not easy and is a day to day struggle which is something I can relate to.

  7. jacqueline says:

    Lee, I forgot to allow comments, I fixed it. Also I thought about making this a part of your page but forgot to discuss it with you. You are better for the veterans that I spoke with.
    Tomorrow I will reconfigure this to refer to your page so they will see that we have a person to help. Feel free to open up the conference call to speak one on one or as a group. I will refer to your page. We are a 501(c)3 for PTSD for veterans and everyone suffering from Spiritual abuse on dealing with their lives.

    I need to be at the computer instead of this tablet to make changes tomorrow.

  8. Lee Anthony says:

    Jacqueline,
    I couldnt post on the Broken page but thanks for that one! This is fitting for those who are like me and have addictions cause most of us are broken and think at one point there is no being fixed. I got the word tattooed on my chest cause I thought I was broke forever. Rock bottom. Jesus saw me down there and picked me up. Thank God the Father! Oh another scar I have to look at 😞.

  9. jacqueline says:

    Lee Anthony, when you get the chance can you listen to this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd6sNvWawr8&t=1318s at about 18:00 it shows that the two religions are so similar. I wanted to invite him to the Saturday program. I have been listening to his comparisons between the witnesses and the Bible Students because so many are asking about them. Henry is viewing it right now also.

  10. Lee Anthony says:

    PATTERNS in Gods word:
    Parallels Between Adam & Noah

    1. Both were on the Earth after it emerged from the water.
    2. Both were appointed to be the master over creation.
    3. Both were required to be fruitful and multiply.
    4. Adam was placed in the Garden to dress & keep it; Noah was a farmer.
    5. Both fell from God’s Grace after partaking of fruit.
    6. In both of them, their sin exposed their nakedness
    7. Both in being naked were covered by another.
    8. Both had curses placed on their succeeding generations.
    9. Adam’s 3rd son (Seth) would produce the Messianic Line; Noah’s 3rd son (Shem) would also produce the Messianic Line.
    10. Both had major prophecies as a result of their fall: Adam – the Seed of the Woman; and Noah – the destiny of his three sons.
    11. Adam’s & Ham’s sin: Failure to honor his Father.

  11. jacqueline says:

    Lee I am presently looking at all the patterns of saying it is like “a woman in labor pains”. It is used throughout the Bible.
    I just got back and will post all scriptures I find in Isaiah and different places.
    Got to take a rest after so much driving.

  12. Lee Anthony says:

    PATTERNS in Gods word.
    The ark (tebah) built by noah saved from water and the ark (tebah) made by moses mother in Exo 2 also saved from water. This word is not used in any other way in scriptures but these two places. The word in Exo should be ark and not basket in order to see this in english. Just a fun fact and something often missed because of most english translations.

  13. Lee Anthony says:

    Interesting fun fact… Food sacrificed to idols was an issue specifically pointed out as 1 of 4 things to the gentiles in acts 15 and it is repeated in a couple other places so we know how God views these things, 3 of these 4 are of the dietary laws and the other is also from the law so its safe to say they didnt just make it up for a new religion, it was just being taught to gentiles who knew nothing or very little about God as they were accepting the Jewish Messiah. If you ever see food at the store marked as Halal it has been prepared accetably for muslims to be able to eat. One thing to keep in mind is that Halal has been dedicated (sacrificed) to their God otherwise it cannot be called Halal. So as a follower of Messiah Jesus we must ask ourselves according to scripture, NOT conscience, is it o.k. to eat? I personally am very careful what I eat and read labels. Here are a few scriptures.

    Act 21:25
    “With regard to the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter containing our decision that they should keep themselves from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled, and from sexual immorality.”

    Rev 2:14
    “But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block in front of the Israelites: to eat meat sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality.

    Rev 2:20
    “But I have this against you: You tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat meat sacrificed to idols.

  14. Lee Anthony says:

    Info for study. This is not intended to sway the thinking of anyone else it is for informational purposes only and something I feel is important.

    1st, Jesus gave us a NEW commandment In John 13:34-35, or it seems as if it were new, however this love one another as I have loved you and to Love God, these being the two greatest commandments as Jesus said ARE NOT new at all but are being expressed by Jesus in a new way, this type of love was new to the apostles. To love your enemies and to lay down ones life for another is beyond what the command in the law stated. Levitus 19:18)Duet 6:5) Not new at all if we read the Old covenant scriptures….. 1 John 2:7-8)
    Jesus stated that he came to fulfil not to destroy the law, or he came to magnify or to give full meaning to it. Mat 5:17-19) He said not one jot or tittle will by no means pass from it till all things are fulilled, not just the cross but ALL things, til heaven and earth pass away, he states not to break nor teach to break these commandments. He then went on to talk about and give the true meaning to the commands such as killing is hating one in the heart and not just literally killing VERSE 21… ISaiah 42:21) tells us Jesus was to do this in his ministry.
    It is said that Jesus did away with the law including the moral code and 10 commandments by nailing it to the cross. A reading of (Col.2 and 3) gives context. We must decide for ourselves how to live. Included in the 10 is the Sabbath day, one that most churchs say is no longer part of the christian life even those that say the other 9 are. The law was a tutor that led us to Christ, after faith we are no longer under a tutor. Galatians 3:23-25) This is stated clearly, we are not justified by Law but by Christ and his shed blood, yet our faith working through love is what leads us in our walk with him Gal 5:6) Considering how God feels about things is important, reading the law is still good as it shows how God feels about such matters and if we do not murder or steal so that we show love to God and neighbor do we also know how God feels about his creation and his day that he has made Holy
    God gave the Law directly to moses and it was written in stone by Gods own hand, it was not inspired but given orally. Yet before this was even given God way back in Genesis set the 7th day apart and said it was Holy. All the other 6 days were called literally 1st day 2nd day 3rd day and so forth however the 7th was the only one given a name with any meaning besides just 1 2 3 4…. Shabbat means stop resting or working. So Sabbath as we know was a special Holy day declared by God from the very beginning. Jesus said in mark 2:27 that the Sabbath was made for man not just Jews but men in general. In Exo 31:13-17) it is said to be a sign between him and Israel forever. He repeats this command over and again and actually calls it a perpetual covenant, so it is stated as an eternal and everlasting covenant. As gentiles who are grafted into Israel does it apply??
    The apostles kept it and the church kept it until the Catholic church changed it a few hundred years or so after Christ. They were persecuting Jews and it was viewed as a Jewish idea to keep the original sabbath so they just made it sunday the day the Romans worshipped the sun god in times past that being the 1st day.
    There is no clear thought in the greek scriptures as to wether christians should keep this day as holy. We are not under law and that is clear however when it comes to the moral code and commands of God it is clear by Jesus words that we are to still adhere to these and actually are to act our faith out in such a way as to go overboard in trying to be holy, we are to to be holy in all our conduct. 1pet.1:15) We are always told to REPENT of our sins when coming to Christ so this implies action, we know faith is not simply belief as the demons believe! (James 2:19) Showing Love to others and God is done by following Jesus commands and also his fathers (John 15:10)
    Romans 13:9-10) \”For the commandments, You shall not commit adulturey, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in ths saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.\”
    Jesus did away with sacrifice with his own sacrifice and many things have changed, but did God change? Did his feelings about the 7th day change? Did Jesus or men really do away with something the Almighty set aside as holy and called an everlasting covenant? This is something that as a christian we should all at least study and if you decide it is important or not this is of course your own choice. I have presented the information in as short a form as I could as there is much more but this is history and can be found through researching the early church and the writings of Moses and the rest of the inspired word of God. It seems that the church has been divided on the subject over the years and we know satan divides us all on matters of scripture and as I am currently revisiting every topic I have ever learned from men to prove to myself if it is so I felt this was important enough to post here and to consider further. The question I guess is this, is this a moral issue or not? Are only 9 of the commands given on stone tablets still valid? Are none valid? Are all 10?

  15. jacqueline says:

    Lee, this is the information that many requested from the Saturday night Testimony meeting. I emailed the Brother and He kindly sent this answer.

    It is Reprint 5284, “Doctrines More or Less
    Important,” August 1, 1913. It is a more or less famous article, known
    to many brethren, but cited more in past years than in recent years.

    R4685 — Is the Reading of “Scripture Studies” Bible Study? —- (Para
    11) These Scripture Studies are a great assistance, a very valuable
    help, in the understanding of God’s Word. If these books are to be of
    any value to us it must be because we see … them to be in full
    harmony with the Word and not antagonistic to it. Therefore, in
    reading them the first time, and perhaps the second time, and before
    we would accept anything as being our own personal faith and
    conviction, we should say, “I will not take it because these studies
    say so; I wish to see what the Bible says.” And so we would study the
    Scriptures in the light of these Scripture Studies; we would prove
    every point, or disprove it, as the case might be. We would be
    satisfied with nothing less than a thorough investigation of the Bible
    from this standpoint.”
    “… If … in any future reading, we should come to a place where
    something did not seem clear to us and we thought of some Scripture
    which seemed not as harmonious with it as we had previously thought,
    we would think it our duty to refer at once to the Scriptures, because
    the Scriptures are the standard, and in that reference to the
    Scripture it would be with a view to discerning whether or not we had
    been mistaken in our previous examinations.”
    (Para 14) “Further, we would say that now, having satisfied ourselves
    respecting what the Divine Plan is, we would understand that we had
    reached the place that the Apostle speaks of as being a qualified
    ambassador of God, a qualified minister of the New Covenant, and that,
    as a servant or minister of the New Covenant, we now had a
    responsibility in making known these things that we had learned.”

  16. jacqueline says:

    Lee Anthony hello and thanks for replying. Long-suffering is what comes to my mind when I heard what you are experiencing. I too look forward to our Thursday and Saturday meetups. I feel as Jeff stated Saturday: “I don’t feel so alone.” Everyone on here has had the same experiences and we have made terrific progress by having our study in only the Bible and researching other men of faith also. All of us are accepting now that it is the Holy Spirit from God that helps us understand his word.

    It seems strange that leaving one religious system, going into another has been revealing to me that Jehovah is trying to show us it is the source of both the systems that are the problem.
    Both systems are “Captives of a Concept” of only one man. There are others also that came from the “Miller Movement”. Seventh Day Adventist, Mormonism, all have the same “Concept” problem. Because they refuse to look at the Bible with fresh eyes they persecute people that leave their organizations.
    The “Witnesses” are not the only people that shun I have found out. And that is what the “Teacher, the helper”, Holy Spirit has helped us see.
    We needed to totally cast off all the teachings we have been exposed too as they are one man’s thoughts and not Gods.
    Good, we found out they too will gossip and punish you just like the witnesses.
    This has been an experience that pushed us where God wants us to be, directly listening to him and realizing and believe that his Holy Spirit is powerful and can cut thru to help us discern the “Will of God”.

    You hang in there, you don’t need any help from people that shun you if you don’t study old books. We are adults and they are no the boss of us. They are humans answerable to God also. We all are.

  17. Lee Anthony says:

    I must live peaceably with all if I can accomplish it. (Rom. 12:17-18)
    Lately I have found difficulty in being peacable and in not returning evil for evil. I learned this past week that I must have more patience. I waited many years for things to be a certain way, and I worked extra hard to get where I am after all of this, patience should have been something I had in abundance, yet I have found that learning something like patience is not as simple as is 2+2=4… We learn it and we know it but with patience it has many different levels and aspects that change in the different situations we face daily. I see that only through Reliance on God and through the help we get from meeting w/ one another can we truly face the day that tomorrow will bring. Thanks to all who are on the call and share each week.

  18. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Welcome Lee Anthony. I look forward to your comments. When we met at the General Convention, I got to know you a little. I hope to get closer to you. Please feel free to contact me any time. Sister Jacqueline has my contact information and she is free to give it to you. If you are ever in Ohio call me so we can meet up.

  19. Lee Anthony says:

    “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of the soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” ( Heb. 4-12)

    Getting to know myself and learn how to grow from old to new was a long road and change only came as a direct result of daily study of the bible.
    one of the functions of the Word of God when it comes into us is that it penetrates very deep—like a sword through tough, hard layers and makes judgments about what’s there. Hebrews 4 when read is very rich and full of so much, just the one verse can be broken down and discussed in detail for quite a study in and of itself. Daily reading and meditation on just one scripture is an excellent place to begin the road to recovery, the cleansing power of Gods word will most certainly begin a work in you that will deliver you from darkness.
    If reading the bible is something that is difficult then a daily devotional is a good place to start.

  20. jacqueline says:

    Lee Anthony, I am moved by your struggles, journey, and devotion to Christ!
    It took courage to tell your story. Welcome to the site as a facilitator, your experience is better than any words. With the help from God’s Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ, you may be able to help others in ways unseen.
    Thank you

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