“Sword of God”- with Ted R

 

 

Many visiting this site have been Jehovah witnesses, Scientologist, Bible Students or one of the denominations based on the writings or beliefs of one man or set of men. 

How can we avoid these pitfalls again, now that we have managed to get free? One major scripture was misquoted to all Jehovah witnesses for a century: "Who versus Whom"

67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

 

 

 

 

136 Responses to “Sword of God”- with Ted R

  1. travelers says:

    Well John 14:6, may we shorten it to John? The idea really would not have to be in the Bible although it is . A basic tenet of logic would be that you cannot be aware before you are aware. We know it sounds a bit simple, almost silly, but believe it, people in general haven’t worked this out.
    The Bible describes God as an inexhaustible reservoir of energy and points out that he has found nothing that has come in to being before him and nothing has come in to being after him.

    (Isaiah 40:26) 26 “Raise YOUR eyes high up and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name. Due to the abundance of dynamic energy. . .

    How God’s intellect arrived is the question; He Has no beginning?

    We know intellect did arrive for God and that everything that is, is an intellectual limitation on a quantity of God’s energy.

    (Revelation 4:11) 11 “You are worthy, Yahweh, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.”

    It says in another place it is because God believes that it is, that something exists.

    NO BEGINNING

    By reason and logic we can see that Yahweh could have no explanation for his beginning because this would require that something or someone would have to exist or have existence before him, to show or explain to him what this beginning was. Basic logic tells us that you cannot be aware before you are aware. Yahweh confirmed this basic logic when he stated the conditions he found himself in at Isaiah 43:10.

    (Isaiah 43:10) “YOU are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Yahweh, “even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that YOU may know and have faith in me, and that YOU may understand that I am the same One.

    “Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none.”

    This statement of condition, “before” and “after”, showed the rational mind the possibility of something else outside of God. Not the fact, but the possibility. This statement also separated our will from his overall reality or will through this suggested possibility. This gives us choice outside of his will, in other words free will. This is a good place to point out that fruit of the tree in the Garden of Eden only represented the statement that we give Yahweh the right to decide right and wrong; it could not have given freedom from his will. The computer is given choices and the ability to make them, but it is not free from our will. There are other conditions that God exists within, is bound by, and these will be mentioned later as they relate to each consideration(i.e., God cannot lie).

    The Bible’s explanation of our beginning (Ge 1:1) together with visible creative works shows proof of a creator. The importance of the realization that God has no beginning is that it shows us the nature of our relationship to him. Add the statement at Ec 3:15 that we must pursue that which he also pursues, truth, you can see that there is a stand to be taken.

    If the question is asked, “Why does God have the right to decide right and wrong?” we see how the two sides, Yahweh’s and those asking the question, play out. This is how we consider the possibility that something outside of his awareness may exist, by considering in reality the possible combinations: right and wrong, whom is most fit for the task of deciding right and wrong, and so on. Can governments or other religious pursuits, along with Satan’s help find a “way” to life.
    The quest taken up by Satan and his followers, along with mankind standing against Yahweh , is to find an instance of thinking or creative flaw by Yahweh based on the realities experienced. This flaw if found would mean that God would be bound to allow the questioners to continue.

    God says that he intended that man experience only good, not good and bad (Ge 2:17). The question was asked by Satan, by rephrasing this statement to suggest that God does not want us to know or understand for ourselves good and bad (Ge 3:5). For a free moral agent, the suggestion that the path called truth, takes us away from God, in fact does not lead to life through enlightenment, was the first statement of a lie ( “you positively will not die”). This asking of the question binds God to allow Satan, the angels and Adam and Eve who followed to establish an answer, as proof that we are free moral agents. Thus Yahweh was bound until the establishment of an answer, once for all time. With cleverness Satan approached Eve first which was the only approach to mankind that would involve all of future mankind in the question. Adam was not deceived but stuck to his wife and in doing so left his relationship with his Father. A detail of interest is that Adam and Eve did die in the very day that they ate of the fruit as Yahweh said they would. Neither of them lived beyond a thousand years.

    (2 Peter 3:8) 8 However, let this one fact not be escaping YOUR notice, beloved ones, that one day is with Yahweh as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. . .

    A fact that is of importance to the reader is that any stand of reason comes, by its nature, through Yahweh, and always after Yahweh in this pursuit of truth that we have in common. Since it was reached after Yahweh, it is thus an under- stand, handed down, when taken “up” by another being. Yahweh’s awareness is higher and was first to arrive. This may be confusing at first, but can be seen in Satan’s experience. If he had actually realized that there was no possibility that his direction would lead to life, as Yahweh had already stated, he would not have taken up an opposing stand, trying to put himself above Yahweh. Thus you can say that he did not understand, or take a stand under Yahweh. He tried to “raise” himself up to be equal with God, and did not understand/under-stand God’s side of the possible issues. Satan thus forsook his Father and was removed from Yahweh’s household. The realization of the original meaning of numerous words can be seen with some certainty, once you have a working framework for the true nature of what “Is”.
    A simple example that you don’t need the Bible to show of humanity’s loss of awareness is the word, used to mean incredible, “amazing”. The word “amazing”, root meaning: to confuse the mind with inaccurate information. In this case just fun to realize.

    In the issues of reality, frame of mind is all.
    The Bible was written to explain this: “make your minds over” to achieve again an approved frame of mind. Become one with the mind of Christ so that you can eventually be one with Yahweh’s mind.

    Yahweh has given to each being the ability to add to the creation of his reality, if by no other means than just each one’s presence within it. In keeping with Yahweh’s moral direction, this means that each presence must be based on right for reality to lead to life. Thus one can see that if your frame of mind is not in an approved state, neither will your actions be, creating a reality that would by its very nature be in conflict with God, and lead to death. This is all a very clear and understandable. We like to call this “way” of thinking a “trail of thought”. We are footstep followers are we not. The Bible only becomes complicated if you try to “make sense” of it with no framework of reference. The simple explanation of reality was lost quite soon after the last apostle died as was prophesied, the wolves came in. The theory of the trinity was introduced some 320 or so years after Jesus. Only because Jesus’ request to our Father that we be given the spirit of understanding, the last gift, have we been able in this time of the end to regain this understanding of the “deep things of God”. Also as prophesied, the truth has become abundant in the time of the end.

    (Isaiah 43:10, 11) . . .“YOU are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Yahweh, “even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that YOU may know and have faith in me, and that YOU may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none. 11 I—I am Yahweh, and besides me there is no Savior.”
    (Ecclesiastes 3:15) . . .What has happened to be, it had already been, and what is to come to be has already proved to be; and the [true] God himself keeps seeking that which is pursued. . .

    If continuing this train of thought interests you we should continue under the heading “Thoughts from a Traveler”.

  2. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    2 Thessalonians 3:6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching[a] you received from us.
    11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
    14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.

    Paul here is giving council regarding not being idle but we are to earn the food we eat and not be a burden, disrupting the congregation. Obviously there were some not obeying this council. Nice however that Paul does not here say to shun them and cut them off from all fellowship. While association would be limited, they would be warned as a fellow believer and helped to understand their error. They are still viewed as a fellow believer. There is no principle set here for disfellowshiping and shunning those who disagree or fail to follow the council of the apostle or the Scriptures.
    As Christians we must be cautious about having close friendship with those who are not living up to Christian standards. No where do we find that complete shunning, even by families, of those who simply disagree with the teachings of any organization or man, even if that man was an Apostle of Christ, as was Paul. This goes against the very love Christ taught us. We are to try to help those who may stray from the faith or fall into sin. To cut off friends and family in complete shunning is cruel and goes beyond Scriptural council.
    James 5:19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

  3. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Travelers
    No problem. At first I was confused then realized you were addressing someone else. Take care and our Lord bless you

  4. travelers says:

    Jacqueline, Please do we are very sorry this happened.

  5. travelers says:

    Ted R. You have our most profound apology . We’d like to say it was a simple mistake although I’m not sure how we’d call it simple. But be sure it was an honest mistake. Again We’re sorry for the post as addressed to you Brother. Thank you for setting this straight in such a kind way.

    Sincerely, the travelers

  6. John 14:6 says:

    Travelers,
    Ted did not say these things, I did. I have a heightened curiosity as I have studied many religious thoughts and many “christan” as well and I have not heard that God is seeking his own begining? Does the bible say that he has no understanding of his own begining? This question does indeed fit with the thinking of those that feel a higher intelligence has created mankind and put them here yet said intelligence has no understanding of its own begining….. Stargate🤔. Quite a mind blowing idea, one I have never heard a bible reader state so I do wish to hear where this thought has developed. Where in the bible is this idea? Scripture tends to interpret itself so Im sure there are more than 1 for such a thought……

  7. jacqueline says:

    Hi traveler, I believe that was John 14:6 that made the quoted comment, that person is not TedR.
    I can change that with your permission.
    Most on this site are argued out and just share in Christian love.
    Right now we are finishing up “faith” as one of the fruitages of the Spirit which involves being at peace with others as much as possible.

  8. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Travelers
    The point you attributed to me is not mine:
    “Of course people want to be one with God and wants things to be the way its supposed to… A God of Love that throws us all away cause we are too slow mentally to grasp his mind….. Ewww I would choose to not serve such a God…. Where did this God come from?
    What does he not know? Did he create and therefore become responsible for said creation?”
    It comes from John 14:6, someone new to the website.
    I also did not write the following:
    Hi,
    I read a lot on here and I am wondering what in the world you are talking about? It sounds as if you are some buddhist, zen, Jesus man talking about concepts that are too high for the average intellect to grasp…. People feel as if you talk down and that you are above everyone else.”
    On this website we are free to express our views and we are free to disagree. I have no problem with someone disagreeing with me as long as I know what it is they are disagreeing with. The two statements above are other posters on the site. Again, I try to keep my comments simple enough for all to understand. If you disagree or you feel I am unclear please feel free to be specific on what you need clarified, just make sure the comments actually come from me and not another poster.
    I\’m sure you have a great deal of knowledge and I would love to learn from you but quite honestly, your posts are sometimes hard to follow. It would be helpful if you could break them down and simplify them a little. Just some constructive criticism made out of love and desire to learn from your deep knowledge.

  9. travelers says:

    An addition to the following post from the travelers. The conditions that God finds himself within. Having no understanding of his beginning.
    (Isaiah 43:10, 11) . . .“YOU are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Yahweh, “even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that YOU may know and have faith in me, and that YOU may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none. 11 I—I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no Savior.”

    (Ecclesiastes 3:15) . . .What has happened to be, it had already been, and what is to come to be has already proved to be; and the [true] God himself keeps seeking that which is pursued. . .

  10. travelers says:

    John 14:6 wrote:

    “Hi,
    I read alot on here and I am wondering what in the world you are talking about? It sounds as if you are some buddhist, zen, Jesus man talking about concepts that are too high for the average intellect to grasp…. People feel as if you talk down and that you are above everyone else.”

    Thanks John14:6, We all learn beside each other, no one is ahead. It’s true that some may have covered more distance in reason on a given subject, still they are not ahead. A good deal of what you have said about the sword of God we’ve never heard, yet we consider it. Who knows all, who has no need to be taught, no one. Not even our brother Jesus, who also is under Yahweh and revealed to us the path, and enough information given to him by his Father about how to reason so that we can also make progress up that path. We do this using our now trained powers of perception. Yes we hold reason up as the standard by which God, Jesus and the Bible relay and establish truth.

    (Romans 12:1, 2) 12 Consequently I entreat YOU by the compassions of God, brothers, to present YOUR bodies a sacrifice living, holy, acceptable to God, a sacred service with YOUR power of reason. 2 And quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making YOUR mind over, that YOU may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

    The hard thing about the internet is you post and everyone reads. We’re sure that many find the depth of your consideration on the Sword of God far beyond what they’ve considered in relation to the subject, yet appreciate what they can take away as their truth from God. This is rightly so since the gift of understanding comes from him. Other forms of Godly devotion are mentioned, the advice was “don’t prove false to its power”. Who are we to say yours or ours or the other guy’s is not going to let him have a life saving relationship with Yahweh.

    Life saving, ah yes, life saving is talked about a lot. But then no one likes to dwell on the flip side of the statement, loss of life. We left God. Clearly then it is our responsibility, as a race, that life is to be lost, not God’s. It is our responsibility to “return” to God following a path of reason that only Jesus has revealed. That’s what “calling on the name of Jesus” is all about: “coming” to know Jesus and through him Yahweh. The path is “up” because the thoughts being revealed to us are God’s, they are higher. It would appear we talk down to some but really that’s not the case or the intention. You know a great deal, having a formal training. We’re sure that as you share the distance your mind has covered on a subject, the point is only to make available that distance so that your brothers and sisters can be strengthened by taking in new insights from our Father. Also we assume you use this effort as a double check to make sure there is not some unconsidered viewpoint that will make a flaw in your reason clear, thus saving you confusion on the subject. We know some of those most powerful in the Bible were “set straight”, and considered it a loving kindness to help them find and stay on the path to life.

    We have found that no one is entirely wrong when considering the Bible. God through Jesus has given us all something to share so that we and others can cross from death to life, which of course relies on a certain amount of correct information. We must then continue to make sense of it and progress up the path. We have tried to put the longer posts under the heading “thoughts from a traveler” and feel sure you’ll find the overview there of help, as we have found help looking under other headings. That is our intention.

    Life will be lost. As far as we know there is no religious pursuit related to the Bible that has not found this to be true. Is that more than most can bear? We believe this is one of the basic points of interest that must be addressed when you help someone to realize the need to be baptized. The great and loving insights being shared with us through our brother Jesus from our Father Yahweh will give us peace, knowing that we now stand on Yahweh’s side in saying this is not right, not reasonable. What you are doing, Humanity, is taking life with your “way” of thinking.

    There is no ego among us brothers and sisters, no “face” to be saved. We reason together and accept what we can from God that is helpful to us as the intentions of our efforts in common.

    No one has ever been given all the truth in any generation, not even Jesus. We are a family that works together and is inter-dependent. God knows the hour, Jesus knows what he was given and shared it. The angels watch intently as we peer into the deep things of God using the “spirit of understanding”, the gift we have been given. They have always been a little “higher” as they were gifted, and watch over us. This is all for the good of a family that will live forever in their relationship with our Father. We appreciate our brothers and sisters in heaven and on earth. We give thanks through Jesus whose new name has become “the Amen”.

    John 14:6 wrote:

    “Of course people want to be one with God and wants things to be the way its supposed to… A God of Love that throws us all away cause we are too slow mentally to grasp his mind….. Ewww I would choose to not serve such a God…. Where did this God come from?
    What does he not know? Did he create and therefore become responsible for said creation?”

    God chose to save us from ourselves. He set our wills free by sharing that he does not know what his own beginning was, in other words, “he has no beginning”. This information is the beginning of the “path”, and allows for an “unknown” and thus a question. He shared the conditions he found himself in and pursues the truth of it, as we must. Yes, he did create, and yes, he did set us free, but within the reality he created so that we could prove to ourselves all his ways lead to life. We questioned, and we created a reality within the realities that is not what God intended. God is bound to allow the answering of the question of his sovereignty to play out. Choose to serve him or not, based on the facts you can perceive, that’s your right. But we believe that the evidence of man’s own realization of his impending extinction if humanity cannot change their behavior is a clear motivator to listen to the warnings of a loving God. Warnings that this God of love has given through Jesus and the Bible in time for us to escape the coming destruction.

    We see you love God, brother. You respond with mildness and patience on hearing things that at first seem difficult to hear, a fine example to us all. It is painful to turn to the light wherever it comes from, but not forever. We, as many on this site, we are sure, have appreciated your shared insights to help set us straight.

  11. jacqueline says:

    TedR, you are so correct, many are just coming out and feel a part of us. They click to see what is said every morning and stay if something new is said. You keep doing what you do. Please don’t switch who you are because all of us are different. Do you wonder why I thought SWORD of GOD? Because when you are not on the meeting we say boy wish Ted was here he would have that scripture posted by now and Jeff would read it.
    Jeff is FAITHFUL! We know he will be there to read! But often we know where to go because you type it!
    I watch the board and the site so if anyone is having a problem getting on, they text or email me. So that is my job when at the meeting.
    Dave and Henry moderate and keep the meeting going and have studied very hard and long to prepare points. Dave posts every Thursday immediately what was discussed and I see the clicks and can tell they read it because of the minutes they stay.
    We have our many writers Larry and other writers like Greg. Our Psychologist in training and stress manager that calls everybody to see how they are coping emotionally, her name is Rene or Noona.
    Marjo will always comment and keep us real. Her page allows you to talk about big issues your family or what you ate for dinner. She is small talk and stuff.

    We all play a part.

    Then we have Travelers to keep us wondering and on our toes, to see what our spirit really is. (Smile)

    The Travelers are real to me as I am about the only one that has seen them. I love both of them Hippie Van and all! (smile) Even if I don’t understand him sometimes. He is with us, therefore, he is not against us!

    I get on a lot of people nerves I know but I also know yall love me as I am constantly trying to work my grandbabies into my life because I fear my days are numbered.
    But through it all I still keep the site cohesive.
    We all do what we do and all the core group that comes on every Thursday and Saturday is there for any new ones wanting to join us.

  12. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    I would like to clarify something regarding my posts. Generally my posts are designed for those coming out of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. So many have been abused and have had their faith shaken. So I try to keep things simple and understandable as well as upbuilding. Most of the time I select a Scripture and relate how that Scripture relates to our Christian course. My only goal is to help others realize that it is not necessary to belong to an “organization”. That they can have a personal relationship with Jesus. I have no problem if others disagree, but if someone does disagree with something I write I would appreciate it if they made clear what it is they are disagreeing with. My purpose is not to engage in arguments here. This site should be upbuilding and presented in a spirit of love. Because of my Parkinson’s disease this is one of the few avenues I have to try to help others. I claim no special revelation from God nor do I expect everything I say to be taken as Gospel. We are all on different levels on our path to get to know our creator. I like learning from others. To do that I have to understand what a person is trying to tell me. So keeping things simple and to the point will make it much easier for me to learn and advance in my faith.

  13. jacqueline says:

    John 14:6, it is bold an faithful to use John 14:6 as your identifier, because it is the gospel truth!
    Charles Russell, Joseph Rutherford and now the governing body set themselves up as the way and ruin the relationship we could have had with God. They denied the Son as The Way as he constantly said to his apostles in John 14.
    Russell stated you would go into darkness if you left reading his “Studies in the Scriptures” in just two years. He valued his books above just reading the Bible and relying on the Holy Spirit to help.
    Rutherford was concerned only with setting himself up in riches and creating an empire and substituting his and Russell’s thoughts for Jesus. The present day governing body isn’t concerned with Christ at all but tries to tear down and split up the families Christ died for.
    These Religious systems like Bible students, Mormons,Witnesses and seventh day Adventists are all one movement from Millerites who was one of many defiant day setters. They claim to know and predict what Jesus clearly stated was not known. The Bible Students have a clever phrase “well he didn’t say we would never know”.
    The creator our world,Jesus, had all the knowledge and more, than the “date setters” have, so I conclude it is in defiance of Jesus to say we can figure it our with numbers but you can’t.

    I have learned by experience that Jesus is the way, Truth and light an no one gets to the father except through him.

    Let me ask you John 14:6,have you gleaned from the scriptures that Jesus 1000 years reign is on the earth? That is what I am seeing and that he will come again and sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem.

    What do you see? And this is open to anyone.
    Also thank you so much for mentioning that you read Ted’s comments. He puts effort into his thoughts and I hope attacks at him doesn’t discourage him.
    But I know he realizes that people will assail you when you speak boldly for Christ! Christians are being behead for Christ all over the world now as Muslims push their prophet over Jesus just like the Witnesses push one man or 9 governing body members.
    Hopefully travelers will dialog back to you. Take Care

  14. John 14:6 says:

    Sorry,
    This was to traveler. I understand all here have different views. I wish to know where his are from and why he speaks in such a way is all. I am not able to post directly to who I want to talk to it seems. I dont wish to address everyone. I was agreeing with Ted in prior postings and trying to fugure out why my discernment alarm sounds when reading certain posts.

  15. jacqueline says:

    Hi John 14:6 and welcome. I have seen some of your comments and wanted to know the reason for your moniker or name. Are you an ex Jehovah witness?
    No we are not any of the religions you mentioned. Most of us are ex witnesses and have had some affiliation with the Bible Students. The website has many writers being hosted on one page, askjacqueline.life. The title askjacqueline already had web presence and would show up first in search engines because of over a decade presence.
    Now about content, you might do better to ask about a particular comment by perhaps copying and paste. Then that person can answer or any of us will join in.
    Again I would like to welcome you John 14:6.

  16. John 14:6 says:

    Hi,
    I read alot on here and I am wondering what in the world you are talking about? It sounds as if you are some buddhist, zen, Jesus man talking about concepts that are too high for the average intellect to grasp…. People feel as if you talk down and that you are above everyone else. Where does this knowledge you teach begin?? Are these of your own understanding of the great teachers words or have you yourselves been taught such things? What is your goal or aim in teaching this way or talking this way? You wish to learn yet you speak as if you are already learned. You are on a road yet you are on it ahead of everyone else. Of course people want to be one with God and wants things to be the way its supposed to… A God of Love that throws us all away cause we are too slow mentally to grasp his mind….. Ewww I would choose to not serve such a God…. Where did this God come from?
    What does he not know? Did he create and therefore become responsible for said creation?

  17. travelers says:

    Well Ted R, we really don’t know how to approach this.

    “I do not dare teach, my “approach” is without such intent”.

    It occurred to us that you might know exactly how many pages of information you have posted on this site alone in your efforts to “not teach”. If you have truth to share revealed from Jesus we certainly want to be taught. It’s ok to teach each other, call it sharing Gods insights if you feel uncomfortable because of some past inculcating influence.

    (Colossians 3:16) . . .Let the word of the Christ reside in YOU richly in all wisdom. Keep on teaching and admonishing one another . . .

    Every layman is supposed to accept with humility and joy being taught by his brother, the minister or the priest. But you can be sure that if the spirit teaches the layman some aspect of the Bible that these same ministers or priests don’t know, they will invoke the “strange teaching” cry to protect their chosen doctrine. The teachers of the nation of Israel , those schooled in Judaism, were trying to get new converts to the “way” (a new way of thinking) to return to the motherland. This was what was being challenged by “strange” teachings, teachings that did not come from Jesus. Jesus gave a foundation of information so that his followers could follow, could make progress in “reason” to draw closer to God in accurate, logical, advancement. He sent the spirit of understanding, the comforter to “call to mind the things I’ve said, and to give new understandings….”

    What we are talking about and examining here is what is already present in the Bible, not strange teachings. Yes we know that many have not pursued up the path as far as we are now considering, we all go at our own pace. But let us hope that since Jesus made the spirit of understanding available to us we can pick “up” the normal pace for humanity a bit, “God’s speed” is the thought.

    We are simply pointing out that the ideas/approach that there is a God as is generally accepted, is irrational and unscriptural, a God who:

    1. has always been without beginning,
    2. knows all,
    3. has created all things to serve his will.

    This God would be, without doubt, responsible for all the suffering and disease. This God could not be described as the God of Love.

    (Isaiah 43:10, 11) . . .“YOU are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Yahweh, “even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that YOU may know and have faith in me, and that YOU may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none. 11 I—I am Yahweh, and besides me there is no Savior.”

    In the above scripture we see the God that Jesus worshiped, the
    only “Savior”, note uppercase S. He is a God bound by conditions himself. Those conditions, before, after, formed, explain why he also must pursue truth. “God can not lie”, one more way God can be bound. Only with this God could there be a question possible. Only with this God would he have to/ be bound to allowed Satan, Adam and Eve to ask in such a “way” that it created a reality God is opposed to. God states clearly all “ways” man thinks lead to life lead to death. This God is not responsible for the pain and suffering, we are.

    There is no logical “way” to make progress in understanding or worshiping the God of the first example. As incredible as it may seem, billions do. The blind being lead by the blind. This incredible fact was seen from the start and that’s why the Bible tell us clearly, “few will find the narrow path”.

    We talk about the restoring of God’s Kingdom. The first God where everything serves his will, would have no need. This is just basic reason. We know this sounds almost ridiculous to say but there must be reason in what you consider, to learn. It must add “UP”.

    (John 7:14-16) . . .When by now the festival was half over, Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 Therefore the Jews fell to wondering, saying: “How does this man have a knowledge of letters, when he has not studied at the schools?” 16 Jesus, in turn, answered them and said: “What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him that sent me. . .

    In general the world misses the point Jesus made, “there is only one great teacher”. In fact, they, the world give worship to a man that only wanted to direct our attention to Yahweh his father so that we also might become adopted sons and daughters. Yes we appreciate what our brother Jesus did and that he risked his immortal life to allow us a chance to reconcile us to God so we could have an approach. But we must approach, draw closer, acquire the mind of Christ as we do acquiring the revealed information he shared from his Father. We may progress beyond Christ and finally be one with God as we were once in the Garden. The overview is simple, it’s the only one presented in the Bible: approved frame of mind must be achieved to have a lasting relationship with God.

    You say you don’t want to follow men, but in fact almost everything you are “not teaching” in the many pages you are posting is exactly what man has been saying for the last thousand years or so. You have an advantage Brother, you want what we want, you want to come to know God. You have the spirit of understanding available, it gives increased mental capacity. You refer to the spirit, yes we need it, but it must be used. Why is it that reason is possible on almost any subject except the Bible. We have a multi-dimension/reality representation in the person of Jesus, and the possibility of immortality in a relationship with the most powerful mind mankind has ever known, Yahweh, and yet the misconceptions prevalent in the “dark ages” still rule most religious pursuits. The theory of the trinity still misleads and holds back billions. Take heart, as the Bible suggests, an objective, logical pursuit of truth will reveal things beyond the ordinary imagination as Jesus said it would.

    This is a past post but seems useful along the lines we’re talking.

    As we walked along the bay today, I and my fellow pursuer, partner and wife, talked about your reference to us using our brain cells to look at the Bible in a different way. It seems strange that so many think of themselves as “foot step followers” of Jesus . Yet if you ask them the “steps” to reason and how they apply to the truth Jesus revealed, they just don’t have an answer. When you step out of the framework of man and try to reason for yourself using the Bible, it may seem that everything is new, when in reality you are just finally doing what everyone else in the Bible had to do before they could stand erect. You no longer bow to mankind, letting them decide right and wrong. You no longer bow to Jesus as the great teacher, there is only one that is “great”, Yahweh. You will have a chance going this way to bend a knee in appreciation for the service Jesus is and has rendered to you that secured his new name as the “amen”, that’s true. Realize that the point of the Bible’s writing and of Jesus is just to help you return, to be of one frame of mind with Yahweh as Father , great teacher, and King. This is so that all is as it was before we lost our approved “frame” of mind.

    Are you a foot step follower of Jesus?

    (Romans 12:1). . . Consequently I entreat YOU by the compassions of God, brothers, to present YOUR bodies a sacrifice living, holy, acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason.

    It has been our experience that when asked, most people do not know the steps to deliberately carry on a rational train of consideration. These steps of reason are necessary to understand conceptual information that is foreign, or in other cases so similar to already considered information, where a wrong or unconstructive conclusion may have been reached, (theory of the trinity) that it is obviously important that reconsideration be rational and carried out in very careful steps of logic.

    Becoming a “footstep follower” is the process of setting your paths straight (held considerations), and standing erect to serve Yahweh with your powers of reason. We feel the need to emphasize this concept of footstep follower because the whole process of returning to a healthful “way” of thinking, or Yahweh’s “way” of thinking, is related to making our minds over.

    When the term disciple is used, it refers to a person trained in this practice of reasoning, according to Christ’s Fathers WAY of thinking revealed by Jesus. A person who has taken up the practice of this process of reasoning. A disciple is a person who draws closer to Yahweh’s frame of mind through reason, sees or comes to know and then follows the direction or action indicated by the information revealed by Jesus. He has been orally taught, has received the spirit of understanding and is now a “taught one” of Yahweh through this gift.

    These are just pulled thoughts from past considerations we have posted . We figure that if we keep bringing “up”, up, the process of making our minds over will eventually start to remain within the considerations of the minds we are pursuing with, our brothers and sisters. Making your minds over is not a matter of guessing, of passive action. We know the nature of the transfer of God’s son’s life force to earth to be born as a man, so we know our nature as mankind. We know that the logic of retained identity (life force) would logically be retained in the grave. We then see the nature of the individual, having life in the condition of death, without consciousness. We then also see how with the addition of a new body and its brain, Yahweh can restore thoughts previously had to our life force with its identity retained now in a new body and able to receive the implanting of these thoughts, remembered by Yahweh. Through the Bible’s explanation of the process of transfer, we understand the process of an “out- resurrection” compared to a resurrection to judgment. We have the “hope” of the resurrection because we under-stand, not because somebody says we are going to get it. Jesus was the physical proof of the promises.

    When we look at the Bible I and my partner don’t see original thinking on our part, because so many have already followed Jesus, and some of them were able to write and be heard in the format of what we call the Bible. But there is no mistaking the fact that the “path”, the “way” was pursued long before the Bible, and will continue to be by us long after this writing we call the Bible. Who knows, maybe you will be a writer in the next “Bible”. Each step of reason taken in the Bible is simple. From each step taken, direction is perceived; in other words, you get a sense of where to go to look for new direction. We’ve all heard the phrase “make sense of it”. We just wanted to let you know that we owe you one for a nice walk during which we had, as it was said in the last Samurai, “a good conversation”. Yes we watch movies too.

  18. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Are we \”in the Truth\”?
    Those of us who are former Jehovah\’s Witnesses or part of the Bible Student movement are very familiar with that phrase. But what does it mean? Does it mean we follow the Watchtower organization? Brother Russell? Do we believe that anyone who does not follow these men or organizations is not \”in the truth?\” What does it really mean to be \”in the truth?\” The Bible tells us:
    Psalm 146:3 Don’t trust leaders;
    don’t trust any human beings—
    there’s no saving help with them!
    No human leader or organization can bring us the truth! Who can? Being in the truth is not about following any man or group of men! Jesus plainly tells us:
    John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me!
    Peter tells us:
    Acts 4:12 \”Salvation can be found in no one else. Throughout the whole world, no other name has been given among humans through which we must be saved.”
    And in the book of 1 John we read:
    1 John 5 Common English Bible (CEB)
    5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born from God. Whoever loves someone who is a parent loves the child born to the parent. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep God’s commandments. 3 This is the love of God: we keep God’s commandments. God’s commandments are not difficult, 4 because everyone who is born from God defeats the world. And this is the victory that has defeated the world: our faith. 5 Who defeats the world? Isn’t it the one who believes that Jesus is God’s Son?
    Yes, the only leader we follow is Jesus! The only book we follow is the Bible, Gods word. We don\’t follow a list of Talmudic legalistic rules, creeds and doctrine! We do not blindly accept the teachings of any man! We are like the faithful Bereans, examining the Scriptures daily. (Acts 17:11) We follow Pauls advice in 1 Thessalonians 5: 20 Don’t brush off Spirit-inspired messages, 21 but examine everything carefully and hang on to what is good.

    The following video is crucial to watch for those who are leaving, not just Jehovah\’s Witnesses, but any religious organization! It helps us answer the question most have; Where should we go? Who has the truth?
    It helps us to appreciate that to be \”in the TRUTH, we follow Jesus and the word of God!
    https://youtu.be/aO__Q9z6Rwg

  19. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
    We are all human! We make mistakes! We sometimes hurt others! Thats why Paul here reminds us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience. If we do this it will make it much easier to forgive. Jesus set the ultimate example of forgiveness.
    Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” He was just put to an agonizing death, yet he asked his Father to forgive them. When someone offends us, hurts us , or persecutes us, do we follow his example.
    Luke 17:4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
    As Christians we are united in our love for Christ and each other. It is the mark of true Christians. Jesus said “by this all will know you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” If we are not willing to forgive our brothers then that shows a lack of love on our part. Something all of us need to remind ourselves of and work on. Most of us on this site have been persecuted and maligned at some point for our stand for Gods Word of truth. Are we willing to forgive?
    Forgiveness does not mean we have to be close friends or that we have to agree with what they did to us or their ideas. Even in the case of some fleshly family members, while we love them, for some reason we just don’t get along. personality conflicts or differing ideas cause contention. But we still love them and if they need help most of us would step in and provide whatever help we were able to give. We are a spiritual family, full of imperfect people. We may have differing opinions of certain Scriptures. We may have personality conflicts, or we may say something that hurts our brother.
    James 3: 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
    How many of us are perfect!
    When we forgive others we help ourselves. We have peace of mind because we put these things out of our minds. We bury them! They are put behind us and we no longer harbor resentment in our hearts.
    The most important reason for being forgiving however is this:
    Mathew 6:14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
    Yes if we want Gods forgiveness for our many faults and transgressions, then we MUST be willing to forgive others. We thus manifest the fruit of the spirit and the mark of a true Christian, LOVE!

  20. John 14:6 says:

    I do not dare teach, my “approach” is without such intent. The accurate knowledge so many love to speak of will be made clear by those living the life in Christ whilst being persecuted for it. We must continue in what we have learned and firmly believed in and not be led astray by such new understandings of truth that many love to talk of. The Truth has only changed since the time of Jesus because Religious men and groups of the like have made some new light to follow in the darkness. What would we learn by reading the gospels and thinking of Christ and his words? What is it really all about? I ask this because I am curious as to your “approach”. If mine is hard to understand I will state it clearly. Jesus. His words. Old Testament, or New. Whats it all about? Who is it all about? Yahweh? Yeshua? The word which I have learned and been taught of Christ from Christ is Christ. To follow him into that darkness and let him be the light that is the truth that will get me through that I may not stumble and fall as I try and find my way. To be like him, to follow him, to be transformed by him that I might imitate him in every possible way. Who am I to be? A follower of Him….For the Lord know those who are his… Do I know the mind of God? No but I have been changed and led by him for a reason, I will not question that reason nor ask to sit on the right or left hand, I will just accept that I am here and able to say yes I am one of those people who may claim that God has made some miraculous change in my life and now my life must be His. Jesus. Truth….. Jesus…. What exactly is the discussion about and what is this approach? What is being taught? What new truth is there? We all want to know? For All brothers and sisters should be able to speak and be heard and understand one another otherwise we are not in the same household if I do not know you by your fruits then you are not of the same tree… We are all together here….

  21. travelers says:

    Well said explaining your intentions. The scripture explains it’s self in anyones tongue in this case though.

    WE appreciate the responses but lost track of were you and Jacqueline answered so we’ll post a response here, really you have our love brother even if our approaches differ.

    Thank you, an honest answer on both your parts we believe.

    (Romans 14:1-4) . . .Welcome the [man] having weaknesses in [his] faith, but not to make decisions on inward questionings. 2 One [man] has faith to eat everything, but the [man] who is weak eats vegetables. 3 Let the one eating not look down on the one not eating, and let the one not eating not judge the one eating, for God has welcomed that one. 4 Who are you to judge the house servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Jehovah can make him stand.

    We see that you both try to be of service in strengthening as large a population as possible and we commend you for it. It is interesting that in Jesus’ day the truth could be explained in an afternoon and a new disciple was born, or explained in several books like Paul’s attempts and still not be understandable by billions. Yet God felt both necessary. Making a disciple, and keeping a disciple, so that he is making progress up the path in the “way” to save his life are different problems.

    When a person picks up a book they will seldom try to read one entirely above their level of understanding, that’s natural. Without understanding the broad picture of the book, the details in the book would be of little value. Only in the case of the Bible is the beginner and the advanced person of trained perceptive powers both supposed to be able to make progress in gaining more depth. Still, as you’ve seen, it is our opinion that without knowing the why, how and where, in other words the framework of the reality, the events or details within the Bible are of little use. The reader has little chance of maintaining a stand on a straight path towards understanding, because while always able to learn something new and exciting, they remain quite confused as to what it’s all about . This approach without an overview is described in 2 timothy 3:7.

    (2 Timothy 3:7) . . .always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth.

    So we see the key thing: we write the way we do because it is either lack of insight or because of insight, but like you, we try to put it as simply as we see possible to allow the reader, so far never a person claiming to be a beginner, to make progress. It is our opinion that mankind has not made progress with the approaches that have been used so far. If yours is truly different we are sorry, we just don’t see it. We are thankful you too proclaim Jesus as the Christ however. We acknowledge that we have been wrong before.

    Having been freed from every part of the world, their religious pursuits included, it is easy to say, as does the Bible, that mankind will soon lose track of the fact that God exists at all. As for our different approaches, it is not necessary for either of us to pass judgment. We all want to help. As the scripture says, “Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Yahweh can make him stand.”

    We thank you for your responses and are thankful that you demonstrate that you will not prove false to your form of Godly devotion.

  22. John 14:6 says:

    It seems our personal ability to discern is aided by the scriptures themselves. It was the power of Gods Holy spirit and the bible which effected such a powerful change in my personal life. As a former minister myself the ability to discern inner thoughts and intentions is not of my own skills but based on scripture. A book is unable to discern anything but this book is used by God for mans overall benefit.
    (John 5:38-40)
    An argument of words in greek or hebrew is good for leading to many doctrinal differences yet allowing scripture to interpret scripture I think we can all have our innermost being delved into by an old dusty book and it can and will change our very personalities and thinking without much effort at all on our part save a little bit of prayer and meditation on the words provided for us all in our own language, that being another gift of God throughout the ages knowing that in this time of the end the many tongues of the world would need that book to be read and understood by more than one or two language groups. Jesus the Logos, the Way, the Truth and the Life… The book of men given by God has such power that such things like Gen 1:3 when God said \”Light Be\” and then it was…. The power of the spoken word is such a force that even man made in his image with many similar traits and abilities as his is able to take and speak and effect much change as well. ( James 1:21-22)
    Why has God given such written words to such imperfect creatures such as us? I think there is no more powerful a force on earth in the hands of man than a dusty old book given by the creator and even though it has been corrupted in many ways I would wager that a force such as the Creator might be able to keep intact all that he felt important and necessary for us. The bible has changed and molded me as a christian and Jesus has aided me with the promised holy spirit to carry on in this detestable world that I might in some way at some time speak a word to someone that may help them to open up that old book that it may delve deep into their very being and discern the old and help transform them that they might bemcome more than an old lost sinner. (Psalm 119:11)
    I am nothing but what God chooses to use me to accomplish as it is not about me nor what I know cause all I know I have been taught of God and no man has been a teacher of Gods word besides God own Son who does teach and allows a man to then pass on the truth. ( Luke 24:45)(2 Tim 3:14-15)

  23. travelers says:

    Some interesting ideas Ted R.
    Although it seems we may have rubbed off on you, it seems long winded and complicated. Sorry couldn\’t pass that up, brother.

    The term “word” in the Scriptures most frequently translates the Hebrew and Greek words da•var′ and lo′gos. These words in the majority of cases refer to an entire thought, saying, or statement rather than simply to an individual term or unit of speech. (In Greek a ‘single word’ is expressed by rhe′ma [Mt 27:14], though it, too, can mean a saying or spoken matter.) Any message from the Creator, such as one uttered through a prophet, is “the word of God.” In a few places Lo′gos (meaning “Word”) is a title given to Jesus Christ.

    Another conceptual trail of thought in the scriptures that is interesting to consider is the passage at Hebrews 4:12-16. In this paragraph there is no need to translate, since the understanding is plainly given. The line of thought clearly identifies the qualities and person being talked about, Jesus. Obviously neither Jehovah nor Jesus needs a book or aid to discern the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.

    (Hebrews 4:12-16) . . .For the word [lo′gos] of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart. 13 And there is not a creation that is not manifest to his sight, but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of him with whom we have an accounting. 14 Seeing, therefore, that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold onto [our] confessing of [him]. 15 For we have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in all respects like ourselves, but without sin. 16 Let us, therefore, approach with freeness of speech to the throne of undeserved kindness, that we may obtain mercy and find undeserved kindness for help at the right time.

    While we know that a great deal of power is contained within the Bible, discernment is not one of its abilities.

  24. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Hebrews 4:12
    See, the Word of God is alive! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword — it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart.

    Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
    As Christians we are told to put on the complete suit of armor. A critical part of that armor is the Sword of God, His Holy Word the Bible. The Bible comes first above any interpretation of man. Many who come to this website are coming out of an abusive religion. A religion that twists the Word of God according to their doctrine rather than following what is plainly written. They take Scripture out of context and as a result Gods Word is used as a club or to prove many false doctrines. The fault here lies with the religious leaders. The Pharisee\’s were condemned by Christ for placing their oral law above the written Torah. They placed a heavy yoke on the rank and file, going beyond Scripture. Jesus did not condemn those of the rank and file, he condemned those false teachers.
    We see this today in many religions, especially the high control groups such as the Jehovah\’s Witnesses, Mormons, and others. By taking Scripture out of context they justify their abuse of those whose sincere desire is to follow Christ. They thus break up families by harsh shunning practices that are nowhere found in the Scriptures. They allow their children to die rather than allowing blood transfusions. They place the rank and file under legalistic laws that in many cases are harsher than even the Talmudic oral law of the Pharisee\’s that Jesus condemned.
    This has resulted in many to put aside belief in God. They turn their back on Gods Word. They fail to realize that the \”truth\” that they were taught often has been the word and interpretation of an organization, not God! Our Lord taught us to love others. To be kind and merciful. To use his Sword of Truth to help others come into that love. When we go against that love by severely shunning those who disagree with us then we become like those Pharisee\’s Jesus condemned.
    Much of the Bible is subject to interpretation. Much of his Word has become adulterated due to translation differences and in some cases additions to support the beliefs and doctrine of a religious organization. But this does not make the Word invalid. There is much plain truth as well! The main focus of this plain truth is the greatest commandment, LOVE!
    John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.\”
    1 Corinthians 13 vs 1
    If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. ..
    So the first step in coming to know Christ is developing the kind of love that he had for us. Without love our efforts are in vain.
    Once we learn the plain Scriptural truth in the Sword of God, we can delve into the more complicated and hard to understand matters. We rely on Holy Spirit to help us in our understanding. But we never want to insist that others accept our own interpretation of the Word or condemn others because they have not yet reached our level of understanding. That is the cause of divisions and hard feelings among Christians rather than uniting them under the love of Christ.
    We believe that Gods Word teaches that Christ gave his life as a ransom for us. That he died so that we might gain eternal life and that he was resurrected to the glorious right hand of God. That we are to obey his commandments, the greatest of which is love for our creator and love for others! Galatians 5:22, 23 helps us in our development and shows us the qualities we must develop and manifest.
    We will all be judged by Christ! We rely on his mercy and love. We follow Christ and study the Sword of his Word so that we can draw closer to him. We rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us. We never put the words of ANY man or organization ahead of that Word. We are to be like the Boroeans, making sure of the things taught by human teachers.
    We make sure of all things, and hold fast to what is fine! 1 Thessalonians 5:21 NWT or from the International Standard version:
    19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Instead, test everything. Hold on to what is good. 22 Keep away from every kind of evil.
    At times we may disagree on some issues. Disagreements can help us learn from each other and come to a greater understanding of the Sword of God. But those disagreements should be tempered by love and respect. They should never be a cause of contention. We must put aside human pride and realize that no one in this age of man can have a complete truth because of the lies, misinterpretations, and customs of men down through the ages. Only when our Lord returns will we have the complete and true knowledge of God. Until then we learn from each other and do our best. Most importantly, we show love for one another!

  25. travelers says:

    Ted R., “ACTIONS!”

    Adam and Eve had an approved frame of mind and lost it. Abraham was in pursuit of a relationship/pursuit of truth with an honest open heart”circumcised of heart”, with God. All ACTIONS! come from frame of mind. There is no way around this, we must as Abraham was doing, draw closer to God by exercising accurate knowledge within a frame of mind based on God’s awarenesses. Paul brings out the relationship of God’s people to frame of mind, and through this “who really is a Jew”. Only those of like mind and heart, or circumcised of heart and ear, are attributed to Abraham as offspring. Likewise only those of Abraham’s offspring could be true “sons of Israel”. Righteousness does have to do with more than actions but is dead without them. Satan knows more information about God than you and I, but he has an unapproved frame of mind and a lacks heart.
    (Romans 12:1-2) . . .Consequently I entreat YOU by the compassions of God, brothers, to present YOUR bodies a sacrifice living, holy, acceptable to God, a sacred service with YOUR power of reason. 2 And quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making YOUR mind over, that YOU may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

  26. jacqueline says:

    TedR thanks for this explanation of Love. Babylon the great includes all of the religious systems that control humans often for money and prestige. I have raised my hand in the meeting and said if a man was alone on an island he could worship God and get his approval. An elder disagreed and said God would make sure that that person got in touch with his earthly organization. I told him after the watchtower study that if this is what is being taught by us then I don’t think this is where I want to be. I just walked away not too long after that without fanfare.
    Some religions claim they aren’t an organization with rules but they are and it is a system that God has allowed but now it seems He is telling us to get out of them now. The internet allows us to look up many voices on any subject and new findings and understanding of the languages and the times the Bible was written in. We now can prove the Bible is a message from beyond our plane of existence.
    He alone knows the END from the beginning because he is like a helicopter viewing a race. The helicopter pilot sees the end of the race and knows how it turned out along the way. So when He wrote this marvelous roadmap with all of it now understandable codes, It was to give us the confidence to TRUST HIM.

    1 Cor 2:9, “but just as it is written [in Scripture], “Things which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, who obey Him, and who gratefully recognize the benefits that He has bestowed].”

  27. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    What is righteousness? Is it adherence to a set of religious doctrine? As I read the Scriptures I noticed that many throughout the Bible were declared righteous and faithful who were not under Judaism or Christianity. There was no organized religion before the flood, no set of doctrine. After the flood there was no organized religion until after Moses received the Law at Mt Sinai. That Law consisted of 10 commandments written in stone! Until Moses Gods people were a Patriarchal society. Abraham was declared righteous and chosen by God not because of his religion, but because of his ACTIONS! When God created us he put in our hearts a conscience. Deep down we know it is wrong to steal, to murder, and to show honor to our parents. We were given a desire to serve God. But Adam sinned! Satan told Eve that eating of the tree would enable man to decide for himself what is right or wrong. The result was a turning away from our God based conscious and an attempt to create our own rules and Laws. Satan used this to mislead mankind into acts that would go against our inborn conscience, using our inborn desire to serve God against us. He led man into idolatry because of our desire to see who we worship. He brought in sexual perversions such as temple prostitution and fertility ceremonies as part of worship. He caused sacrifice of children in the name of these false Gods. Even today when people who claim to be followers of Christ, are willing to sacrifice their children by refusing blood or turning their backs on them by shunning them, instead of helping them through their problems, all don in the name of religion!
    So what is righteousness? Jesus told us, why aren’t we listening? We have as our foundation those ten Laws written in stone, all summed up for us:
    Mathew 22:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
    37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
    Paul emphasized this:
    1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)
    13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
    13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    Love is the basis for righteousness! Love for God, our neighbor, and even our enemies! If we inculcate love for others in our hearts we will know what is right or wrong! Religion wants to set a list of rules and conditions. If you don’t follow our doctrine you will be sent to a burning hell or receive complete destruction at the hands of a vengeful God! If you are not a Jehovah’s Witness you will be destroyed at Armageddon! If you don’t believe in the Trinity, the immortal soul, or hellfire or accepted Christ you will go to hell.
    True Christians, those who have chosen to be disciples of Christ and follow his example of love, will have a special relationship with him, just as the children of Abraham who are faithful to the Law of love set out in the ten commandments have a special relationship. But what about others? I see righteous people in all religions. The show by their actions that they love God! Who are we to pronounce judgment on these people? It is our actions and the love we show, the Law written in the heart of every human being on earth, that will pronounce us righteous or wicked.
    If we follow Christ then we have a special promise. We will share rulership with him in his Kingdom, when ALL the world will truly come to know the true God. We will have the privilege of teaching them and helping them come to truly know the will and love of our great creator. Righteousness is not based on religion, it is based on coming to knowledge of Gods love and following his laws, written in stone and on our hearts.

  28. jacqueline says:

    TedR, I always like to give my thoughts before I go read or listen to your excellent postings. So before I go, I have never believed Jesus was just an ArchAngel! I believe he is more than a messenger for God. I believe He is the WORD of God and that he is a God and as such is divine! Not in the lower position that Russell said. Russell has to leave some room for his position like the governing body does as an “instead of Christ”.

    That being said I believe from Scripture that Gabriel always carries a divine message to people from God or even Jesus. That Michael is who the Jews believe he is, a fighter and protector of the Jews.

    I always felt Russell’s teachings mixed up the standing up to fight in Daniel 12 with the Second Coming of Christ!

    I always see the Sword as Coming out of Jesus Mouth. HE SPEAKS and it is done, all scriptures except when he turned over the money tables at the Temple.

    I would really hate to see Jesus or Jehovah actually raise their hand to fight a human army! They are some Powerful God’s! Especially Jehovah who says at Jeremiah 4:22-26. “You Don’t Really Know ME!”

    I am so glad you brought this up because I cringed when I sat in Jehovah Witness and Bible Student meetings and saw the dumbing down of Jesus to just an Angel but the governing body and Russell to ones to be worshipped as so great!

    When I hear ones say I believe what Russell teaches, I say in my heart, ” when a prophet’s words” don’t come true, I got to tear apart every other profound word he says. He has afair track record if you look closely.

    A lot of words and conjecture is used to draw the conclusion that Michael is Jesus. on to get the answer. I challenge any Bible Student or Jehovah Witness to show me in black and white that Jesus is Michael.

    In Daniel when Michael went to help Gabriel, that wasn’t Jesus. Jesus warned and preached to the spirits, but I would think if he fights one being so powerful as he is he, would put them out of existence.

    Matt. 28:18 says: “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” THIS AIN’T NO COMMON ANGEL OR MESSENGER!This is a God!

    John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And for those who say “Are you saying He is Jehovah”? Use our minds and see this exception and order of power in the universe.

    1 Corinthians 15:26-28 New International Version (NIV)
    26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[a] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

    Michael to me is as always presented in the Bible, A Great Warrior Angel. I could be wrong, but this is coming from my heart and what the Spirit helps me to see. My Saviour Christ has been dumbed down so much in my life by the religious system I was born in so I must speak up and atone for putting men ahead of him. Something so important should have one statement saying they are the same, just even a tiny suggestion!
    Now I will go listen to what your link says, thank you.

  29. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    IS JESUS MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL?

    Pastor Russell believed so and this passed down to Jehovah’s Witnesses. But is this sound? Eric Wilson, an ex-Jehovahs Witness elder provides some interesting points in this regard. Watch this video and see what you think? To me he makes a lot of sense.

    https://youtu.be/gVvdZdPeyRU

  30. jacqueline says:

    Ted this is a great posting. Before I view them I will take a guest then come back to pist if I am in the ballpark.
    I say leaders over the people because I know what laity means. Pastors, governingbody, popes and some with elders arrangements create a you obey us because we are elders and we can give talks against you or in Witnesses, disfellowship you. Gestapo tactics, creating a 2 class system. All of us are brothers, neither male nor female, slave nor free man, Jew nor Greek.
    Now I will click links.
    Thanks for posting because Jesus and Jehovah hated Sect of Nicolaitan also.
    PS: Ted I listened to both and they explained the many concepts well.
    I now have added knowledge to stay away from organizations and associations with their doctrines like Cain telling God how he is going to give sacrifice of praise. Cain knew blood had to be poured out! So the rituals and following and submitting to worship of other small God’s is fully known by me that it is wrong. So individually God can say what he Saud to Cain but I recognized that worship of men is required and distance myself from it.

  31. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Rev 2:6 But you have this in your favor: you hate what the Nicolaitans do — I hate it too.
    15 Likewise, you too have people who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore, turn from these sins. Otherwise, I will come to you very soon and make war against them with the sword of my mouth.
    Who were the Nicolaitans? The videos below provide enlightening information regarding this question. The parallels with religion and the Jehovah’s Witnesses is very interesting,
    https://youtu.be/BEkinecwzA0
    https://youtu.be/KNs6Q0oyG54

  32. jacqueline says:

    Ted R, I agree with your statements and I think this whole thought pattern that Russell followers (including the many offshoots, even Johnson)have that is central is Russell obsession with ruling as a power structure in heaven. Which was what the apostles argued over. But we now have the Revelation which should clear up this notice this scripture clearly stating where rulership will be for those that Christ bought as the Kings and Priests. It clearly says on the earth. How deflating the egos will be if they found themselves on earth. The so-called “Anointed” within the witnesses might faint but hopefully, they will bow as all of us will and must.
    I find for me not filtering the Bible through the teachings of Russell but taking a fresh look allows the Holy Spirit to help me. I also know of a secret set of Bible students that are meeting to do just that. I could do it in secret but the Spirit moves me to speak openly, not fearing men. Also, a huge class of witnesses split away from their congregation in Texas and because we were open and out front they had courage they said. I am studying Revelation and hope to see if the private group is understanding what a lot of Christians are seeing. The helper, Holy spirit, can help us all because it is God who hides and reveals secrets.
    Ps25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out”.

    Revelation 5: 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

    “You are worthy to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
    because you were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
    10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
    and they will reign[b] on the earth.”

  33. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Why will Jehovah’s Witnesses never really come to know Christ?
    Watchtower 1974 June 15 p.376
    “Also, it is to the spirit-anointed Christians who will rule in that kingdom that most of the Christian Greek Scriptures is directed, including the promises of everlasting life.”
    United in Worship p.111
    “Special attention was being given to making up the government that would rule mankind for 1,000 years, and nearly all the inspired letters in the Christian Greek Scriptures are primarily directed to this group of Kingdom heirs – “the holy ones,” “partakers of the heavenly calling.”

    This was one point that always bothered me when I was “in”. Nowhere in the Scriptures is there such an indication. Any Scripture dealing with being led by Spirit or the heavenly hope they feel does not apply to them. The result is that the rank and file cannot come to know Christ and have a true understanding of Scripture. Rather than being worshipers of Christ and developing a close relationship with him, the deny that relationship. There loyalty is to the organization and the so called Faithful and Discreet Slave class! Rather than going to the Father through Christ as their mediator they have this organization as their mediator. This idea is nowhere supported in Scripture! Not even Russell claimed this type of relationship, putting himself above Christ to this extreme! Unfortunately many Bible Students have put Russell on a pedestal and accept his word above Scripture.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that those Bible Students who left the organization were engaged in creature worship by their reverence for Russell. They are unfortunately right in many cases. But aren’t they doing the same? They put the word of the Governing Body over Scripture and put them up as their mediator between them and Christ. Rather than going to the Father through Christ they go through these men and that organization, without any Scriptural backing or even any kind of proof from God. The need for constant changing in Scriptural understanding and the unfulfilled prophecies and dates prove just the opposite!
    We are told in Scripture not to put our trust in man! But with these teachings they have lost the ability to have the relationship with the Lord God as their father. They desire to be God’s friend instead of his children! The Society has been set up as an idol! When you put the words of a handful of men above the Scriptures you are effectively worshiping those men! The Scriptures plainly tell us that “we must obey God as ruler not men”.
    That is the problem with most organized religion, they follow one mans or group of mens understanding of Scripture! Rather than following plain Scripture they try to analyze and twist the Scriptures to fit their ideas. The result is the high control groups we see today and the religious persecution among Christian denominations throughout history.
    There are many things in Scripture that allow for different conclusions. As Christians, however, we are united in Christ! We share the gospel message that Christ was born of a virgin, that he is the messiah, that he died for all mankind and was resurrected into glory and that he will again return to establish his Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven (Mathew 6:10). We follow his commands to Love our God with our whole heart soul and mind and to love others, the greatest commandment! We develop a personal relationship with Christ, a love for him that Jehovah’s Witnesses will never share! Not even most of the mainstream religions have relegated Christ to a secondary position.
    We must put Christ and Gods Word first in our lives. Trust in God with all our hearts and not lean on our own or mans understanding. Allow the Holy Spirit and Gods word to direct our steps. We do not need to blindly follow any man or organized religion! We humbly listen to others viewpoints and sometimes adjust our viewpoints, but we never insist that others blindly follow us or what we believe. It is Gods Word that is important!

  34. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Colossians 2:8 Beware that no one distracts you or intimidates you[f] in their attempt to lead you away from Christ’s fullness by pretending to be full of wisdom when they’re filled with endless arguments of human logic. For they operate with humanistic and clouded judgments based on the mindset of this world system, and not the anointed truths of the Anointed One.
    18 Don’t let anyone deny you the prize by insisting that you engage in self-mortification or angel-worship. Such people are always going on about some vision they have had, and they vainly puff themselves up by their worldly outlook. 19 They fail to hold to the Head, from whom the whole Body, receiving supply and being held together by its joints and ligaments, grows as God makes it grow. 20 If, along with the Messiah, you died to the elemental spirits of the world, then why, as if you still belonged to the world, are you letting yourselves be bothered by its rules? — 21 “Don’t touch this!” “Don’t eat that!” “Don’t handle the other!” 22 Such prohibitions are concerned with things meant to perish by being used [not by being avoided!], and they are based on man-made rules and teachings.[a] 23 They do indeed have the outward appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed religious observances, false humility and asceticism; but they have no value at all in restraining people from indulging their old nature.

    As Christians we have liberty in Christ. His laws are written on our hearts, the Holy Spirit being our helper. We have Gods Word, the Bible as our guidebook. Paul here warns against those who go beyond his written word. They make interesting arguments from a human standpoint by adding to the word of God. They explain their arguments using complicated reasoning and twisting Scripture to prove their point. They attempt to put others under Talmudic laws. They remind us of the Pharisees, placing heavy burdens on the rank and file by micromanaging others and dictating the consciences of those who they presumptuously bring into bondage.
    Jesus told us that his yoke is kindly and his load is light. Any religion that employs legalistic rules with threats of shunning goes beyond this Christian Freedom, bringing others into slavery thus making the Gospel of Christ invalid.
    Jesus taught us that the greatest commandment was LOVE! Not just love for those who believe as we, but love even for those who persecute us! Christian love does not allow for the persecution and judgment of others based on man made rules that go beyond what is written. As Christians we are not under law, but under the GRACE of our Lord, Jesus Christ, our King, our mediator, and our brother! Never should we allow others to force us back into slavery and steal our consciences.

  35. Ted R (Bible Student) says:

    Mathew 10:21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

    34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

    “‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
    a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
    36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[c]

    37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

    Jehovah’s Witness’s often use this Scripture to justify and convince parents to shun their children or children to shun their parents. What a gross misapplication of Scripture! Jesus is referring here to those who choose to follow him and the persecution they might receive by non-believing family! To those who fail to put him first in their lives. No where here does he tell us to shun family and to persecute those who do not believe in him. His admonition throughout the Gospels is to love, even our enemies. If a family member persecutes us because we follow Gods word we endure and forgive, just as Christ forgave those persecuting him.
    Unfortunately, the Witnesses are the ones doing the persecuting and shunning! They have put the dictates of the Governing Body and the organization above the plain truth of the Bible! By shunning our family they have ignored the basic teachings of the Bible! Children are told to honor their parents; parents are told to love their children. Yes at times parents must discipline their children and in extreme situations may be forced to administer tough love by cutting them off for a time because of being a danger to the family. But as in the parable of the Prodigal son, these wayward youths will openly be invited back if they repent of their wrongdoing and change their course of conduct. But even this does not include a complete shunning! In no case does it involve dictates of a body of elders! Any severe action involves the parents and parents alone, for only they know the complete situations and its effect on the family! Only if a child or parent completely turns from God and becomes a real danger to a families physical or spiritual wellbeing should any severe action be taken by the family! Just because a person chooses to believe differently than an organization is not grounds for disfellowshipping or any other severe action by the congregation or family! I’ve seen too many of my friends, young people that I watched grow up, fall into severe depression and even commit suicide because they were unable to get the help they needed from their family! We are all human, we make mistakes, and often those mistakes cause major problems in our lives. Divorce, unwanted pregnancy, prison, financial failure. Nowhere in the Scriptures are we told to completely shun those who make mistakes. Christ told us to seek out those who are lost and help turn them away from wrong conduct. The Society tells us to shun them, not even praying for them!
    We cannot force someone to believe Gods word! Many who are disfellowshipped go back to the Organization so that they can have their family and friends back, not because they truly love our heavenly Father! You cannot use Gods word as a club, forcing others to follow our Lord! We win others back to Gods word by showing love for them and helping them overcome their shortcomings and problems.
    To shun family, treating them as dead, refusing to have any contact with them is wrong! Remember Jesus words:
    Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
    Our only judge is Jesus Christ. He will stand in judgment of our actions!
    Mathew23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
    Those who judge others harshly will be judged the same.
    In the meantime we, like Christ, should forgive those who may persecute us, realizing they are being mislead. Like those who put Jesus to death, “they know not what they do”. John 16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.

  36. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    The Prayer of Faith
    James 5:13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
    19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

    According to James, the half brother of our Lord Jesus, if a person sins a person should first of all ask Gods forgiveness. He also councils to confess our sins to each other and elders in the congregation. Why? It is so that others can also pray on our behalf and provide comfort. What about a sinner who wanders from the truth? James tells us to try restore that person. He is not talking here about some private judicial committee designed to judge whether a person is repentant. He is not saying go to elders alone! It is not just the elders of a congregation, it is a Christians responsibility to try to help that individual who wanders into sin to help that person. The Christian does that by spiritual exhortation, praying for or with that one. Showing loving kindness and heartfelt love for that individual. This could be a close friend or relative, someone that the individual feels free to speak with.The Scripture clearly says \”WHOEVER turns someone back\”! No where here does it say that anyone has a right to judge how repentant a sinner is! No where here does it give the elders the right to establish rules regarding proving repentance. No where here is shunning the wrongdoer given. While we may want to avoid social contact with some who are obviously engaged in wrongdoing, we do not shun them, cut them off from the family and close friends who are in the best position to restore that individual. No where are we blackmail that individual into returning to the congregation by cutting that individual off from their parents or children until a committee of judges determines that that person is repentant enough to be reinstated!
    Sometimes as parents we might have to exercise tough love if our child becomes a danger to our family. That is up to the family and individual circumstances. If an unrepentant wrongdoer is actively engaging in his sins and possibly illegal activities then we as Christians may need to access our association with that person, but that then is a personal matter and not reliant on a set of rules by an organization.
    I give an example of my son. My son was baptized at the age of 10 as a Jehovah\’s Witness. He did it to please my wife and I. At the age of 10 he had no experience with the \”desires incidental to youth\”. He hadn\’t faced the hormonal challenges of the teenage years or faced peer pressure and temptations that young people deal with.
    As many teenagers do, he had a period where he rebelled. He started smoking (which according to Jehovah\’s Witnesses is a disfellowshipping offense). He also gave in to his hormonal desires. He committed immorality. So at the age of 17 he was disfellowshipped. Instead of allowing his parents to try to help him, we are told not to have spiritual association with him or even pray for him. When he moved out of our home we were no longer to eat with him or have any unnecessary contact with him. This flies in the face of the council that James here sets out for us. I have never agreed with this type of action and always found ways to keep in contact and have limited association with him. Limited primarily because my wife, who was raised a JW set limitations. But both of us have always been available for him if he needed us.
    He got married to the girl he had relations with. Sadly my wife and I didn\’t attend his wedding, something I will always regret. We were there for him when our grandson was born and we have always been available to babysit. This gave us an excuse to keep closer contact with him than the Society dictated.
    My son is now 43 years old. He no longer smokes, he has never cheated on his wife, he doesn\’t use foul language, yet because a group of elders have not reinstated him we are still forced to limit our association. My son is always available for us and we for him. My wife, however, will not eat with him or go on outings with him. She does show him love however whenever he comes by to help us or drop off our grandson for a visit.
    According to the Society however, we are supposed to cut off all association with him except absolutely necessary family business, not even accepting a text message from him!
    I told both of my children that I would never turn my back on them! I told my wife that I will not allow any organization to cut me off from my children. At this point I am not disfellowshipped and I go to occasional meetings to keep peace with my wife. I meet with my son every Sunday morning for coffee and talk freely with him every chance I get. My wife knows we meet but so far none of our so-called elders have found out. This is one thing I will NEVER compromise with even if it means I am disfellowshipped.
    It is this unscriptural rule that has helped me open my eyes to the real truth of Gods Word. I choose to follow James council and offer spiritual help to any who have been abused by this legalistic organization. I have several close friends that I have been able to help, two of which were suicidal because of the inhuman practices of this so-called Christian organization. Jesus taught us to love others, show mercy and forgiveness, and to provide Scriptural encouragement to those who stray. No organization has the right to set rules on repentance or dictate to others, at threat of disfellowshipping, how to treat those who sin. While we must be careful that we do not fall into sin ourselves by bad association, we always want to provide spiritual help to bring that person back and help that person repent and turn away from wrong conduct.
    Remember the words of James: \”19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.\” LOVE covers a multitude of sins!

  37. jacqueline says:

    Thanks so much Ted! Hope you and your family are doing okay. I really like Ronald, he has some solid thoughts. I remember him from long ago. He took off running!

  38. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Here is a link to a fantastic Blog by brother Ron Day regarding the Faithful Servant. I have to say that I agree with nearly everything he has to say in this regard. The Blog is too long to copy and past so here is the link: http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/10/fws.html

    Please take time to read this Blog, it provides great insight on the matter of the parable of the faithful servant.

  39. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Romans 14 New International Version (NIV)
    The Weak and the Strong
    14 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
    5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
    10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

    “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
    ‘every knee will bow before me;
    every tongue will acknowledge God.’”[b]

    12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

    Yes all of us must answer for OURSELVES before God! Sometimes, as imperfect humans, our tendency is to try to impose our own viewpoint on others. We set rules that we expect others to follow if they are to be considered faithful, and look down on others who do not follow those rules, based on our own understanding of Scripture and our own conscience. Paul here recognizes that each individual Christian is at a different level in their faith. There are many matters subject to our own conscience. Unless a matter is clearly spelled out in Scripture, then we must be very careful not to impose our consciences on others.
    God is our judge and it is to him we render an accounting in the day of judgment. It is not our place to judge our brothers and sisters who are earnestly following Christ to the best of their understanding. Remember Pauls words:
    Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
    We are all servants of Christ! Never should we judge our masters servants, our Lord and Master is the judge, we are but fellow slaves!

  40. jacqueline says:

    The power of the Holy Spirit can be seen with the change in Peter. When he was with Jesus he was off the mark a lot but after the Helper, the Holy Spirit arrived he was on fire and on the mark in his writings and actions. We are different when we receive the Witness of the Holy Spirit.

    Acts 4:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
    8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders,

    Acts 4:31 English Standard Version (ESV)
    31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

    Acts 6:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
    5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.
    Acts 7:55 English Standard Version (ESV)
    55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

    So at this special time of the year, we pray for the continued indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God.

    Ephesians 3:14-21 English Standard Version (ESV)
    Prayer for Spiritual Strength
    14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

    20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

  41. jacqueline says:

    Ted I like verse 22, there is no law against love and doing right. Forgiveness and treating persons that have hurt you with respect is not wrong. People sometimes wonder why are you doing that for that person the way they treat you? Because you can always do good, there is no law against it. As you mentioned however there are laws against retaliation and hurting others.
    Ted, I don’t care if a person believes in trinity or hellfire either. I have learned more about Jesus from those men than I did in 70 years. Knowledge, correct understanding or good works is not how we are saved.
    We are saved by the Death and Ressurrection of Jesus Christ. We are saved by Grace, it is a free gift from God. Every human gets the gift handed to them. Good works was done by Jesus but that is not what was important, it was obedience on the cross to the last word. Only during JUDGEMENT Day when the truth about Heaven, hell and eternity is fully known and understood by humans, will it matter if you know, accept and follow Truth. To not do so after 1000 years will be rebellion. But for now we press on with other Christians in love.
    Christians are being beheaded for Christ! In the free world they are being shunned and emotionally abused over long torturous periods of time, for Christ. In a talk once it was said we aren’t allowed to stone now, but. Which implied that if the free world governments allowed it that religion would encourage killing your Mom, kids and others that left the religion. Love is the key as you stated from the Scriptures.

  42. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    1 John 3:19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

    A recurring theme throughout the New Testament is LOVE! Love for our brothers and sisters in Christ; love even our enemies and those who persecute us; and most important, love of God and Christ! Jesus told us: “By this all will know you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” If we love others we will cultivate the fruit of the spirit:
    Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    We will reject the works of the flesh:
    Galatians 5:19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    As Christians we are united in our love for Christ and our brothers and sisters. Jesus said the greatest of all the commandments of God was LOVE! Do we manifest love in our lives? Something for all of us to examine in ourselves. We are all imperfect, we all have things we need to work on. Isn’t it nice to know that Christ’s love is perfect? That he understands our weak human flesh and is merciful and loving? A Scripture we all know by heart:
    “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”
    If we truly believe in Jesus, it will be manifest in our lives. We will reflect the love Christ has for us by our dealings with others. By our love for others! And by our faith in God and Christ!
    Notice that it is not by DOCTRINE that we will be saved! While doctrine based on sound Scriptural reasoning is important to remember that most doctrine is just a manifest of another humans reasoning and understanding. That is why there is so much discord in the various Christian denominations. Many of these have the attitude that if you don’t believe their way that you will not be saved! I personally do not believe that belief or disbelief in such doctrines as the Trinity or Hellfire or immortal soul will keep us out of the Kingdom. It is our love for Christ and faith in Gods word and obeying his commandments all of which teach us how to love! No one has the complete truth as far as doctrine. But we do have the complete knowledge of the love of Christ, that he gave his life for us! He set the example for us, and that example is manifest in the New Testament writings. I see many true Christians in all of the denominations. I see God’s blessing on those faithful individuals. I also see many who claim to be Christian, but by their lack of love prove false to Christ! I see Christian denominations and sects with teachings that go beyond Scripture, thus causing harm to the rank and file and thus prove false to Christ! These risk the judgment of Christ when that time comes and he returns to us! Study of Gods Word is important! Doing so we can gain a better understanding of our Lord and can build our faith in his promises but only at his return will we be able to gain the full knowledge of God and the world will be filled with the knowledge of God!
    So rather than nit pick and argue over doctrine let us work on our love for Christ and each other. Study Gods word, examine the Scriptures, and make sure of all things! Be like the Boreans and make sure of what we believe. In the end, however, we have to realize that it is not we who judge, but Christ! And his chief commandment for us is LOVE!

  43. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    According to the International Society for Human Rights, 80% of all religious freedom violations are against Christians! 105000 people are murdered each year because of their Christian faith! 1.6 million people have been killed over the last 15 years because of their faith in Christ! Over 100 million Christians live in countries where they face dire persecution, murder, and rape every day because of their faith! 288 of our brothers and sisters are slaughtered each day! These brothers and sisters in Christ are not being persecuted over doctrines such as refusing blood transfusions, the two witness rule that protects child abusers, or the breaking up of families due to extreme disfellowshipping practices, all of which are a total misapplication of Scripture. These brothers in sisters are guilty of just one thing, BEING CALLED CHRISTIAN!!!!
    This is a terrible thing! I am against the persecution of our brothers and sisters regardless of their denomination. That is why it turns my stomach when I hear Jehovah’s Witnesses try to turn the persecution they receive into proof that they are Gods organization! Christians everywhere are being persecuted, not just Jehovah’s Witnesses. Stop trying to put yourselves on a pedestal using what is happening in Russia as something significant and unique to your organization to prove that you are the only true Christians! YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL!
    So how should we view these terrible acts of murder and torture?
    Christ told us that if they persecute him they would persecute his servants. That they would kill us, thinking they are doing a service to God. As he hung on that torture stake or Cross, dying a horrible death, he asked his Father to forgive those who nailed his hands and feet, beat him and scourged his body, placing a crown of thorns on his head. He asked his Father: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. What is taking place to day is a terrible tragedy. It breaks our hearts! Can we follow in Christ’s footsteps and forgive those who murder our brothers and sisters, relying on Gods justice? Let us pray to our Father for those brothers and sisters who are today being martyred for the name of Christ! Let us provide whatever support we are able to give. Let their faith strengthen our faith as we set here in relative peace, free from governmental persecution! Let us separate ourselves from those religious leaders who utilize false doctrine in the name of Christ and as a result are bringing reproach on the name of Jehovah and his son Christ Jesus! Let us unite in our love for Christ by obeying Jesus commandment: “By this all will know you are my disciples, if you have LOVE among yourselves!

  44. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    1 Timothy 2 New International Version (NIV)
    Instructions on Worship
    2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

    Paul here makes it plain that Christ is a mediator between God and ALL men and that he gave his life as a ransom for ALL men!
    The love of Christ is all encompassing! He came not to condemn the world but to save it. He opened the door to that salvation by his shed blood. Those who obey God and his word gain a wonderful reward. During Christ reign of 1000 years the true knowledge of God will be abundant! No more it it be adulterated by worldly influence and misinterpretation. We will know the whole truth! No longer will we be divided in beliefs which has caused much heartache and persecution down through the centuries among those who are sincerely trying to follow Christ! All mankind will be given the opportunity to be obedient to our King and mediator, to get to know him and the love he has for us! Until then we continue to pray for all people, for kings and rulers, for those who do not yet know Christ, and for all of our brothers and sisters in the faith. We continue to study the Word of God, that we might be closer to Him and his beloved son, who came to us that we might know his Father! We follow his example of love. He told us plainly: “By this all will know you are my disciples, if you have LOVE among yourselves!” We become doers of the word and not just hearers!
    We serve our Lord out of love, not fear of punishment! We recognize that we are all sinners! We all have faults and weaknesses that we must work on! None of us is perfect in our quest to walk in our Lords footsteps! But God loves us anyway! Let us reciprocate that love by not allowing the grace, the undeserved kindness of God, to be an excuse for sin! Lets us truly love each other as Christ loves us!

  45. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Another GREAT post from Beroan Pickets. I agree with everything he says in this video on Love, the identifying mark of True Christians:
    https://youtu.be/1toETj1oh9U

    Please take the time to watch and pass it on to anyone you think might benefit!

  46. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    1 Corinthians 13 New International Version
    13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    What is the mark of TRUE Christians? Is having truth in doctrine the number one criteria? Notice here what Paul tells us: vs 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
    While it\’s true we want to know our Bible and learn as much as we can about Gods word Paul tells us that if we do not have LOVE, all the Bible Study we do, all the knowledge we have is worth nothing. Jesus gave us one major commandment, that we love Jehovah our God with our whole soul and that we have LOVE AMONG OURSELVES! That by this all will know that you are my disciples if you have LOVE AMONG YOURSELVES. No one can say they have a complete knowledge of the word of God! No one can say that there understanding is the complete truth. But we can develope in our hearts the love that Christ had for his fellow man! Christ gave his life as a ransom for all! He died a horrible death on the cross so that we might gain everlasting life! Are we willing to die for our brothers and sisters? To show our love for them by providing whatever help we can when they are in need? To put ourselves out for those less fortunate than we. \”The form of worship that is clean and undefiled is to look out for widows and orphans and have LOVE among yourselves!\”
    Too many people argue about doctrine, insisting that you must believe a certain doctrine in order to be saved. As a result divisions and back biting have been occuring down through the centuries! In times past people have been burned at the stake, beheaded and tortured by fellow professed Christians over doctrinal matters! Today religions professing true Christianity shun and break up families and consign fellow believers to second death over doctrinal matters! While it is true that we should endeavor to learn the requirements of God and follow what is plainly written in Scripture, it is only Jesus Christ, the Master, who when he returns who will judge his servants as to who is the faithful servant. It is the one who beats his fellow slaves that will fall under Christ\’s judgment. We must be very careful not to follow into the trap of judging others! If we find something to be false that others proclaim as true, then we, as individuals, can reject that teaching but unless a person denies Christ we have no right to be judges and show a lack of love! If a person falls away, it is our responsibility to try to help restore that person out of love!
    Remember Pauls words:
    13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love

  47. jacqueline says:

    Ted, I like verse 18, where Paul recognizes and ask for the help of the Spirit. I know the great clergy-laity systems developed and persons were not allowed to read and in some centuries have access to the word of God but in our day it got down to only one man, two or a small number that dictated Christianity.
    Clearly from theses verses we know we are getting back to the WAY Jesus laid out. He said he would send the Holy Spirit back to be a helper. It works.
    Last night the brothers and all on the call were able to work out the semetics of the upcoming Memorial celebration, relying on the Bible’s outline of all sharing. Thank you for these scriptures.

  48. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    The Armor of God
    Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

    18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

    Paul is in chains! He asks his Brothers and Sisters to pray for him that he maintain courage. But he also uses this opportunity to exhort his Brothers and Sisters. He councils them to put on Christian armor, the Armor of God, that they might stand firm!
    Today we are bombarded with the wickedness of this world. We are ridiculed for standing firm for Christian principles. Because we don’t support the liberal attitudes toward wrongdoing today, we are criticized. Satan’s wicked forces are actively at work! This is evident by the school shootings, terror attacks, suicides, murder, and gross immorality we see all around us! Christians are persecuted and killed all around the world for following the teachings of Christ our Lord! Just as Christ himself told us, just as they persecuted him, we also would be persecuted! That men would kill us, thinking they were serving God!
    That is why we need Gods Armor! We wear the Belt of Truth, the truth of Gods Word! The Breastplate of righteousness to protect our hears from the worlds wicked influence! Our feet ar shod so that we can spread the Good News, the Gospel, of Christ! The Shield of Faith which gives us strength to endure under trial! The Helmet of Salvation to protect our minds that we may teach others to obtain the salvation the Lord has promised his people! And the Sword of the Spirit the Bible, by which we can defend our Faith to others who attack us!
    We are told in Scripture to be ready to defend our faith, even to rulers, whether they be government or religious! Remember Stephen who had to stand up to the Governing Body of his day, the Sanhedrin, those Pharisee’s and religious leaders! We today may be called upon to endure the persecution of those religious leaders who have put themselves on the seat of Moses, using the Word of God as a club to keep their followers in line.
    Jesus said that his yoke is kindly, his load is light. He taught us to be merciful and loving of others, not to be judgmental. But he also taught us not to be silent when we see Gods Temple being defiled by those who would turn away from the truth of Gods Word by going beyond the Scriptures and place burdens on those sheep who are desirous of following him.
    If we are to be able to stand fast in our faith, we must put on the Armor of God and become Christian solders, ready to war against Satan and those who follow him, not in physical battle, but the spiritual battle! We put on the complete suit of Armor that God gave us and follow Christ, no matter how unpopular that may be.

  49. jacqueline says:

    Ted I am reading your story, what a testimony! The depression is very real, my mate suffered from this very physical as well as emotional illness. It can be difficult indeed for the other mate especially if there are children.
    Your candid heartfelt testimony just might inspire others to write. It has a familiar ring to it of most of our experiences.
    Thank you for sharing and may God bless you and your family.

  50. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    My Story
    I wanted to post this as an introduction to who I am. My name is Ted. Since I have not been fellowshipped I will not give my last name. I have been a Jehovahs Witness since 1969. I have served as a regular pioneer, ministerial servant, and regular axillary pioneer, all while working full time and raising a family. I was not raised a JW and suffered family opposition when I first began studying with the Witnesses. This is my story!
    I was born in Fort Campbell Kentucky and raised in Ohio. My parents divorced when I was six years old, and I was raised by my grandparents. I had two brothers and two sisters. My dad later remarried a wonderful woman who also had five children, a boy and four girls. When I was about 13 they each adopted the others children, a story which made the headlines and front page of the local newspaper.
    I remember going to church with my grandparents. My desire as a child was someday to be a minister. My grandfather died when I was 14 and my grandmother had to go to work to support us. As a result I had to learn to care for myself. I never believed in war and my goal at age 15 was to go to California and join the Hippie movement. Fortunately, because I lived in a farming community, drugs were not available.
    My first contact with the JW\’s was the Paradise Book. My grandmother had a copy and I loved looking at the pictures as a child. An elderly JW sister used to call on my grandmother and leave magazines as far back as I can remember. I remember looking at them and wondering who this Jehovah was! Grandma used to send me to the door to take the magazines while she hid in the bedroom. One day, when I was 16, I took the magazines and the sister invited me to the Kingdom Hall. I remember being scared to death, I didn\’t know anything about these people. When I arrived I was one of the first ones in the parking lot. Two young brother, a few years older than myself, met me at the sidewalk. I was carrying my King James Bible so the knew I wasn\’t a Witness. They took me in and sat with me. At that time we had an hour long public talk, an intermission, and an hour long Watchtower Study. I was love bombed! I ate this up! I was not popular in high school, I had a severe overbite and was made fun of a lot so all this attention was wonderful to me. I started attending Sunday meetings. After a few weeks I noticed that there was a Ministry School and Service Meeting on Friday so I asked if I could attend those as well. Then I found out about the Book Study on Tuesdays and started attending that as well. One night after the Friday meeting the sister who invited me to the hall said to my new friend Rick; \”Rick, why don\’t you study with Ted\”. I looked at Rick and said \”yea Rick, why don\’t you study with me?\” I had been attending meetings for three months before I even knew about a study. By now it was January of 1970 and we began studying the Truth book. I started going in service with Rick after School. He was Pioneering. My first month I had been out over 30 hours in the ministry working with Rick. Six months later in July 1970 I was baptized in Detroit Michigan along with 714 others. I was still just 16 years old. About six months later I was asked to be an assistant book study conductor and at 18 I was assigned a public talk. Unfortunately that same year the new elder arrangement came in and I was deemed too young to be a servant and give talks. My first real disappointment since I loved giving talks. I had been giving instruction talks in the School and was a Watchtower reader along with assisting with the magazines. I met my soon to be wife at about 19 years old, she was 15. We kept running into each other at the bowling ally where the young ones would meet every Saturday evening. By the time I was 20 and she was 16 we started getting more serious and we were married in January of 1975, against all council since we fully expected Armageddon was going to happen that year. I was 21 and she was 17. A little over a year later in March 1976 we had our first child, a beautiful daughter. In September of 1977 we had our son.
    I was working in a foundry at that time and was appointed a Ministerial Servant. A few years later I began pioneering, which was 100 hours per month at the time while working at my secular job 50 hours per week. My son would work with me in the ministry and he was baptized at the age of ten, the worst mistake of my life! When my daughter was 14 and my son 13, my wife was involved in an auto accident and began having major hormonal issues. This began throwing her into major depression. By 1992 she had to go on disability and was hospitalized. She had tried to commit suicide because of her depression. I had to try to take care of her and the kids. My son began associating with a high school friend when he was sixteen and started to fall away spiritually. He was disfellowshipped for smoking and having sex outside of marriage with a girl he later married. I will always regret encouraging him to be baptized at such a young age. My wife had two more bouts of depression requiring hospitalization and attempted suicide. Medication just did not work for her! My son got married at 21 and I will always regret not going to his wedding. My daughter married an unbaptized person. He was raised a JW but because he was not baptized, they were not allowed to get married in the Kingdom Hall and none of the local elders would perform the ceremony. They were married at a justice of the peace and I gave the wedding talk. As the years went by I kept looking at all of these issues and the changes taking place in the organization and became more and more disillusioned. The final straw was the talk that had the video regarding disfellowshipped relatives and that we weren\’t even supposed to accept a text message from a disfellowshipped family member. It was January 2017 that I found the Bible Students. The message made a lot more sense to me that that of the JW\’s and I rebaptized at the General Convention that year. My wife still doesn\’t know that I am physically in but mentally out. Because of her delicate issues I have to serve the Lord underground and have place everything in Gods hands. As long as I am not asked to go against my conscience or shun my son I tolerate an occasional meeting. My wife is unable to attend meetings because of her health issues so she listens on the phone, so I am able get away with going to a local store which has wifi and study the Bible during those meetings. Because I now have Parkinsons I go to bed early on meeting nights, turn on the JW meeting at a low volume and go on YouTube and listen to various Bible talks. I have not gone in service for two years. I can\’t preach something I know to be false. My Parkinsons has been a blessing in this regard. It seems to keep the elders off my back and gives me an excuse to miss meetings. Theres a lot more to tell but this is getting too long so I will stop here. To those who are coming out just remember, take it slow if you can. Develop a support group! Remember to take into consideration your family and leave everything in Jehovah\’s hands. Things will work out.
    Love to all
    Ted

  51. jacqueline says:

    TedR thanks for this info. I spoke with many of these brothers over the years. I have Critical thinking channel on the bottom with videos. When I finally get home or to a big computer, I will add the other channels at the bottom also. I think it is a good idea to show by scripture that the doctrine does not conform to the Bible.
    Many are at different stages in their quest to be free so all of the other sites have merit for those that are severely hurt. There are stages to escaping abuse, even the ugly anger stage! They must acknowledge this stage also, if they skip it they will prolong their bondage. These others sites are allowed by God’s grace to help them along the path. Most on here are past that stage but the other sites that expose and let their people vent are so needed. I have spent hours per day by phone listening as some of those brothers vented and accused accurately their situation. So we need each site that God allows, just how I view it.
    I will make your links a custom link at the bottom of all pages.
    Ted keep doing what you do. You are so helpful to this site and friends click on your scriptural comments. Some are probably just holding on and you are just following the Spirit not knowing these persons exist.
    My son has gotten me to Indiana. Now the other son will get me to my home 2 hours away. This stroke has been a blessing for my family. Strange thing to say but it has brought us together as everybody had to help me. I have always been the strong helper to our family, but what a blessing to see my men step up to the plate. I feel like a Queen! My family can and will put the governing body on hold and act like Followers of Christ. I am so glad to have survived to witness this.

  52. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Eric Wilson on his Beroean Pickets YouTube Channel has a play list entitled \”Identifying True Worship\”. I think all JW\’s and even Bible Students should watch these videos. They provide excellent insight into long held beliefs, especially for JW\’s. These videos are an excellent starting point for discussion. As always, we never want to blindly accept what any man teaches. We need to examine the points anyone makes in light of plain Scripture, but as I mentioned, these are excellent, Scriptural refutations of many of the erroneous teachings put forward by Jehovah\’s Witnesses and are a very fine STARTING POINT for research and discussion. I will occasionally post links to some of these, not as gospel, but as part of my research that I have found helpful to overcome 50 years of indoctrination. There are others as well! Critical Thinking You Tube Channel, and David Aspinals You Tube Channel have been very helpful as well. These approach matters from a Scriptural, historical, and reasonable
    standpoint, not resorting to slander, half truths and lies that I see on many exJW or sites or sites that just want to downgrade Russell and the JW\’s. As Christians we are guided by the Scriptures and must accept the plain truths found in Scripture over the teachings of any man or organization. We search for TRUTH not slander! That is why I appreciate these channels as well as Ray Franz books. These are just a few recommendations. There are others as well.

  53. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Here is an excellent video regarding the \”other sheep doctrine\”. He explains from the Bible the erroneous teaching of \”two classes\” of Christians and the mistaken concept of a special \”annointed\” class.
    https://youtu.be/1DKRMwjz63M

  54. jacqueline says:

    TedR, the witnesses was set up as Companies not congregations. I grew up under a Company Servant no elders. The time turning in and counting hours is what a corporation does. The Circuit overseer was like district manager who checked on the progress just like the corporate world. They are not truly religious. Even Russell had boards and Rutherford just continued it.
    Scientology fought for religion status for tax exemption.
    In this late date, anyone that wants to leave can just walk. There are lots of help now. Those remaining actually like all the restrictions etc. It lets them know if they follow the rules they get life.
    They don’t realize they and all of mankind has been saved by Grace from the penalty of Adams sin.
    A lot that leave seem to lose their moral compass. Being controlled and told every little rule to obey handicap them. But, after a while with so many groups to help now, they are slowly finding their way to Christ. Also the shunning isn’t as effective now because xjw have friends with shared experiences. Witnesses that shunned them are seeing their happiness and acting more human. The organization is losing its grip little by little.

  55. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
    13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

    Paul wrote this letter because of divisions that were occurring in the early Church. Most Christians of that day had come from Jewish descent. They were insisting that newly grafted in Gentiles be circumcised and brought under Law! Paul in this letter is helping them realize that Christ set them free from the slavery of Law. That the Law was fulfilled by the Law of LOVE. Many religions today, especially such sects as the Jehovah’s Witnesses have brought their followers back under the legalistic code of Law. While they are acknowledging that Christ fulfilled the Law of Moses, they use that Law to establish legalistic rules that go beyond even the Pharisaic and Talmudic practices of Pauls day. While we never want to use our Christian freedom as an excuse to avail ourselves of the works of the flesh, we need to be cautious of imposing our conscience on others, using the Scriptures as a club to punish those who don’t believe exactly as we do on controversial doctrinal issues or establishing a code of rules that if violated cause us to “devour each other”, placing a yoke of slavery on our brothers and sisters. Jehovah’s Witnesses and some other religions have done just that! Everything you do or say must go along with what church leaders dictate. JW’s have to follow certain codes of dress and grooming, must be regular in the door to door work,turning in and reporting the time spent in the ministry, must attend all meetings and conventions, or they are not considered strong Christians. The new elders book has become a Talmud of legalistic rules on how to handle matters. In addition there is the oral Law, similar to the Pharisee’s oral Law, that trumps the written Law they have set forth in that book. They have gone beyond Scripture in dealing with the rank and file brothers and sisters! The result is divisions, even to the point of breaking up families! Is this following the only Law given to us by Christ, to LOVE even our enemies?
    Paul goes on to say:
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
    As Christians we are united in our Love for Christ and each other! We are not judges of our brothers and sisters! We do not impose our conscience and beliefs on others!
    We do not have the right to condemn anyone to second death and shun them just because they do not accept our viewpoints!

  56. jacqueline says:

    TedR, thank you for an example of the KISS principle.
    Interesting that the disciples asked if it was just to them or all that he was speaking. How you could get one man or a small group in the future is beyond me.
    I often wondered what made Russell skip to apply this to now? It is because of the “date setters” of his time when clearly Jesus said no one knew that but the Father. He wasn’t trying to confuse his disciples, he wanted them to grasp some of the simple truths and other ones they couldn’t bear. For instance that thousands of years would play out in some of his parables.

    John did see. I even keep his vision of seeing the 144, 000 on MT Zion simple because he gives 3 points so it is not misunderstood. Some confuse tribes of Israel with the term Jew which can be a spiritual Jew but not the tribes of Israel. It is by birth as I see it.
    It is just so refreshing to look at the Bible for ourselves with help only from the Holy Spirit. All of us in the Christian Arena are trying to understand as you stated.

    I also see the value and joy of digging into the hidden gems in the Bible.

    Proverbs 25:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
    2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
    But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

    To insist that you have to be associated with a certain group to be in touch with Jehovah is not supported by the Bible. Jesus died so we could go to him in prayer individually and in association with others. Threatening with second death, shunning and disfellowshipping by a group is sheer arrogance on their part to be the judge of mankind or saying they are the Christ who declared:

    Matthew 28:18-20 New International Version (NIV)
    18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    He hasn’t given authority to one man or a group of his representatives or an organization.

  57. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    When I mentioned in an earlier post the KISS formula I meant that we have to stop looking beyond what is plainly written in Scripture. I notice many Russelites (not all Bible Students are Russell followers) and JW’s use Scriptures out of context to prove points that seem to be unique to their doctrine. Here are two examples taken from Luke 12. Many point to Luke 12:32 to prove a secondary class of Christians, a “little flock”. But reading the context starting with verse 22 notice what he is talking about here:
    Luke 12:22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
    Jesus is telling his disciples not to worry about the necessities of life and worldly treasures. That by trusting in God these things will be provided. He then tells them to have no fear little flock. Certainly true followers of Christ are indeed a little flock compared to the wickedness of this world. He is not making a class distinction here, he is speaking to ALL of his followers.
    Now go on to the next point. Again speaking to ALL of his followers he advises them to remain watchful.
    Luke:35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” 41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?” 42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
    To me, as I read this, it is obvious he is not referring to a special man or group of men that will be appointed as a faithful servant. He is telling all of his followers, his servants, to be watchful because we do not know when the master will arrive. If we are doing the will of the Master when he arrives we will be rewarded. The meaning here is plain, at least to me.
    All of us who are following Christ are in a special relationship with him, we are indeed a little flock of his servants. The Scriptures here are not referring to a special bride class, a topic for another conversation, or a special “servant”.
    When we try to use the Scriptures as a puzzle and force pieces that do not belong we lose the true meaning of what Christ tells us. Worse yet is when others try to force us to accept these concepts that go beyond plain Scripture and ostracize and demean others, even to the point of shunning and consigning them to second death. Each of us must reconcile the Scriptures in our own mind. We may not always agree. But LOVE for Christ will keep us united in faith. We learn from each other. When Christ returns, he will reveal any error of understanding. He will be our judge, not man or any group of men!

  58. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    I got this information from the Humans of Faith Facebook page. It provides some good information regarding the memorial for those coming out of the JW organization:

    Humans Of Faith
    6 hrs
    Yearly Passover Memorial ~ Many True Christians are asking themselves: “Am I worthy to partake of the bread and the wine?” ~ Lets let one of our dear Brothers answer this for everyone, and please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below after listening to his helpful biblical answer with scriptures listed.
    Video Link Answer by: Brother Igor Kocelj
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHP4ZcJS204
    ______________________
    Some have the day set as April 18 and some April 19, 2019 according to the Hebrew Calendar.

    Yeshua (Jesus) partook of the emblems on “Thursday 18th” after 6:00 PM, which was just beginning Nisan 14 with Hebrew time. Yeshua was tried in the night hours and crucified in the morning on “Friday 19th” which was still Nisan 14. He died at 3:00 PM on that Friday in the year 33 A.D.

    According to the pattern Yeshua gave us in Luke 22:19 and 1 Corinthians 11:24,25, we would partake according to the Hebrew Calendar each year. Nisan 14 begins at 6:00 PM.

    Nisan 14 does not always occur on a Thursday evening and concur with a Friday as the crucifixion day. But the days of the week do correspond this year 2019.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/501828570314297/?multi_permalinks=550953475401806&notif_id=1552540498182625&notif_t=group_activity

  59. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    I watched Brother Carnegie’s talk again last night. It’s too bad most Bible Students don’t take this to heart. I don’t have a problem with what the Bible Students believe, I agree with much of it, not because Brother Russell taught it, but because I have proved it to myself from the Bible. I even agree with much of what the JW’s teach. But I cannot agree with going beyond what is clearly taught in Scripture. To try to make Bible prophecy fit into a concept that is not plain is dangerous! I believe prophecy is very plain if we just take the Scriptures at their word. Anything beyond such as trying to understand symbols, is opinion and speculation and can only be truly understood once the prophecy is fulfilled. To elevate any man or organization as Gods channel and condemning others who disagree is wrong! The only channel to God is through the Bible. The only mediator between God and imperfect man is Christ. The only helper we have is the Holy Spirit to help us understand the Bible! I agree with Brother Carnegie, to place any man or organization on a pedestal is wrong! While chronology, types and anti-types make interesting study and conversation, we have to keep in mind that all of this is speculation unless it is specifically mentioned in the Bible. To me the Bible is clear and straight forward. I was always taught the KISS formula, keep it simple stupid! We need to stop reading into the Scriptures more than what is there. Sometimes, because of translation issues, we need to look at context, who is the person talking to, and put ourselves in that time period. How would a Christian Jew in the first century understand the comment being made. There is nothing wrong with going to commentaries and concordances to help us understand these things. But never should we mandate our beliefs to others. True Christians are not exclusive to any religion! I just wish all Bible Students and JW’s had the same viewpoint as Brother Carnegie expressed in his talk. We should all be united in our love for Christ, regardless of our denomination. We are Christians, let us prove that by showing love for each other!

  60. jacqueline says:

    TedR, thanks for this much needed reminder.
    Time and unseen occurrences befall us all but sometimes it is satan inspired. But no matter the source it takes our focus away from our attention to worship of God. Especially studying the Bible.

  61. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Praise to the God of All Comfort
    1Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

    Paul wrote this to the Corinthians. As we know, Paul throughout his ministry endured severe persecution and illness. Yet he was comforted and helped by our Lord to endure and be comforted. We today face many trials. Some of us have had to face debilitating illness or injury. Some face persecution at the hands of family and friends for following their faith in Christ and rejecting the organization that put itself and its false teaching in place of our one and only master, Christ Jesus! Some have lost dear loved ones in death. Whatever our trials if we have faith in our Lord we can have comfort. We have the Holy Spirit. We have our dear brothers and sisters of like faith. and we have Gods word, the Bible. When we see a brother or sister in need of comfort how do we react? Remember Christ’s parable of the Good Samaritan? Are we like those religious leaders who ignored the injured man with a perfunctory comment such as “I hope you feel better” or I’ll pray for you? Or like the Samaritan, if it is in our power, to we put ourselves out for that brother or sister or fellow man and provide some real help? Sometimes all we can do is be their for them, offer a hearing ear, and pray with them. For some who are depressed, just to have someone to talk to who can listen without judgment is all they need. I have a friend, his name is Gary, who took in three young teenagers who were kicked out of their homes by their Jehovah’s Witness families after being disfellowshipped. He provided them with food and a place to sleep until they could get on their feet. This is a fine example of the true love of Christ.
    By our endurance and faith through our sufferings, we can be an encouragement to others as well who are undergoing similar trials. Paul goes on in verse 6: If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
    So when we are undergoing trials lets put our faith in God and Christ that he will help us endure, even to death. we have a wonderful promise from God that he will resurrect us into a wonderful Paradise. Jesus told us: “Fear not those who kill the body, but cannot destroy the soul.” Whatever disease we face, persecution we endure, God is with us. No disease, no persecution from man, can take away the promise of God to grant those who are faithful eternal life!

  62. jacqueline says:

    TedR thank you for the reminder on tolerance of other’s thoughts on scripture meaning as they see it. Together,like detectives we consider each other’s comments and can draws conclusions with the Spirits help. He put it there for us to dig into and consider. But as you mentioned some things are not fulfilled and we must wait to see and add to our faith that God knows what he is doing. We don’t want to put out the fire in our hearts and minds by having books written explaining every word in the Bible and we put that man or Men thoughts to memory.
    Arguing with a religion that isn’t going to change their thoughts not one inch is not for me. I just walk away from these types of dogmatic religions so not to cause them distress. Witnesses never got emotional or personally distressed if you disagreed, they just put you out or marked you with shunning, lol. The Bible Students, I found are different, they take any dissent against Russell’s writings personally, I see heartfelt pain. Witnesses hold the governing body as authority and will enforce their laws but can flaunt their laws also. Bible Students have a worshipful adulation, piety type of response. They get hurt to me it seems at heart over Russell. This observation was disturbing to me but I had come to love them as people, so rather than cause them pain I just decided to cut all contact and destroy all books to forget this stop on my journey to Christ. They shunn too,give talks against you and one Texas class has names of speakers that can’t give talks at their conventions. Quite a few classes bar speakers.They use the voting system like a hammer to keep elders in line just my observation. Power is sort after. If they were as big as the watchtower society they would be worse but their size makes their actions inconsequiential to society. Unlike witness policies because it is big and affects more families. So they don’t exert to much influence. I bring out these observations because I have been asked what I observed before others venture into the Bible Student movement. I have spent 70 years in the two systems, both based on Russell. I am not judging just reporting what I saw and I went in deep. Jehovah allowed it, so I report what I observed. I am loving hearing all the different thoughts here. Thanks for your friendly reminder scriptures. Take Care.

  63. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    1 Timothy 1:3 As I counseled you when I was leaving for Macedonia, stay on in Ephesus, so that you may order certain people who are teaching a different doctrine to stop. 4 Have them stop devoting their attention to myths and never-ending genealogies; these divert people to speculating instead of doing God’s work, which requires trust. 5 The purpose of this order is to promote love from a clean heart, from a good conscience and from sincere trust. 6 Some, by aiming amiss, have wandered off into fruitless discussion. 7 They want to be teachers of Torah, but they understand neither their own words nor the matters about which they make such emphatic pronouncements.

    While it is good to delve in and attempt to understand the deep things of God, I think we must be careful not to impose our own view points on others in matters beyond the basic teaching of our Lord and Master. That he came, sent by God, as a ransom for the sin of Adam. That he died so that we may live and was resurrected to sit at Gods right hand, soon to return to reward his faithful followers with everlasting life and to redeem the rest of mankind who prove themselves faithful when the adversary is silenced. Debating over chronologies, and unfulfilled prophecies make interesting conversation, and there is nothing wrong with that. But when we try to impose our own thoughts on these controversial matters on others then we have the divisions Paul here warns against. That is my problem with those who insist on following any man or organization, condemning others to destruction if they fail to conform. Even going so far as cutting off fellowship with those who disagree with their teaching.
    Christ himself told us that his day would come as a thief in the night, that we should be watchful. That we should be like that faithful servant who was ready when the master arrived, doing the work of the master. That work was simple; Mathew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
    Rather than debating over chronology, types, anti-types and other speculative matters, as some do, our time should be spent doing the work of the master. We should be telling others of the grand good news that Christ came and died for us. That the path of righteousness is not with religion, but with faith in God and Jesus our Lord, obeying his commandments which can be summarized by love for God and others. When our Master returns he will reward his faithful servants who are doing his will. Doing so we will be appointed over all his belongings, having a share in the reconciliation of the rest of mankind, his belongings!
    Christ said he will be with us always, and that he would provide a helper in the Holy Spirit. We are told in Scripture not to follow earthy man. Jeremiah 17:5
    New International Version
    This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
    1 Corinthians 1:11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
    Do we follow man or God. Are we Russellites, JW\’s, Baptists, Methodists etc. or are we Christians? Are we united in our love for Christ or do we allow differences of opinion cause us to be divided? Do we allow the philosophies and traditions of men influence our relationship with others who are sincerely trying to do the will of God? Let us be tolerant of others we disagree with. After all, Christ is the final judge of who is truly the faithful servant, doing his will when he returns.

  64. Greg says:

    Hi Ted. Hi Jacqueline. And Hi to everyone else.

    I’ve got a few minutes to myself this morning and wanted to express a few ideas.

    @ Ted: Thank you for posting all the things you have been posting. I’ve got some catching up to do. In response to this post:
    https://askjacqueline.life/to-whom-shall-we-go-with-ted-r/#comment-573

    It’s been my experience that keeping my observations separate from my evaluations is 1) often extremely difficult, 2) extremely crucial if I want to really make sense of my world and create inner peace. To help me come to appreciate the difference, I worked long and hard to process everything that I experience by sorting it into two baskets:
    Basket #1) What is it that I could capture with a camera (the things that everybody else would see, too)? That’s an observation! The camera SEEs but doesn’t form judgements. It only records the things that are IN the picture.
    Basket #2) What are my reactions (thoughts, feelings, impulses, etc.) to the things I’ve captured with the camera and seen in the picture? Those are my evaluations (judgements, etc.)!

    “The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.”
    ― J. Krishnamurti

    -greg

  65. jacqueline says:

    Thank you. Let me make a memorial page so everyone can vote on which day and maybe you brothers can get preparations for this together. I actually had persons from long ago call me because they couldn’t find me o fojw. They want to attend with us.

  66. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    The Memorial for Bible Students is April 18th Friday the 19th for JW’s

  67. jacqueline says:

    Ted thank you for this deep discussion and summary. I came to the same conclusions.

    When is the memorial this year? I need to put a tab and let’s see how we will do it this year.
    Any thoughts any one?

  68. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    More reference material can be found at these links. They are all coming to approximately the same conclusions.
    http://cfjp.weebly.com/tempi—the-parable-of-the-faithful-and-wise-servant.html
    https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/1105/Parable-of-Faithful-Evil-Servants.htm
    https://jesuseveyday.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/day-127-the-faithful-wise-servant-and-the-evil-servant/
    There are many more references, none that I found ascribe these servants as literal men or groups of men. Only those associated with Russel and Jehovah’s Witnesses seem to do this. If there are others I have not found any to this point. Google Faithful and Wise Servant. To me this makes much more sense and is in line with the whole Scriptures.
    My conclusion:
    The parables are speaking of Christians and their stand with Christ upon his return. Are they faithful and awake or have they become complacent and following the attitude of the world. When Christ comes will we be viewed as that faithful servant or will we come under the judgment of that evil slave who has become complacent even to the point of beating his fellow slaves.

  69. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Comments About the Faithful and Wise Servants
    The faithful and wise servant in this story is equivalent to a true disciple of Christ. He places the desires of his lord above his own and, thus, is an obedient steward who provides for his “family.” He does what he is required to do at the time, but he also steadfastly awaits his lord’s return. Verse 47 says because of this, the lord (when he returns) will “make him ruler over all his goods.”

    In the same way, God entrusts us—His own servants—to not only feed His spiritual family and do His will, but also to await His return. Our reward for doing so will be the privilege of greater service in His future kingdom. The special pleasures, honors, and splendors, which are to accompany the return of the Lord from heaven and the setting up of His kingdom, are to be a reward for fidelity and faithful service in His absence.

    The unfaithful and disobedient servant, however, is the equivalent of a carnal and nominal Christian. The word evil in verse 48 is the Greek word kakos (Strong’s #2556), which simply means “someone who has been disqualified.” It means “a worthless or injurious person.” It means he lacks the qualities that he should possess. Simply put, he is “not worthy.” This servant thought his lord would delay his coming. And this, of course, affected how he lived his life. He was lazy, untrustworthy, and cruel. He abused his position by being ill tempered and self-indulgent to those who worked with him. He thought he would never be called into account for these things because he secretly believed his lord would be slow to return.

    Jesus’ exhortation in the Matthew 24 example, “Be ye ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man will come” is critical for all of us to hear and to heed (Matthew 24:44). This means that we all must be watchful, ready, and prepared for Christ’s return at any moment. This means that we all must make ourselves equipped, fit, and suitable to co-reign—to have levels of responsibility—with Christ. This is the preparation and the readiness that Revelation refers to, when it says:

    Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to Him. For the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife hath made herself ready.

    — Revelation 19:7

    Making ourselves “ready” means we must make ourselves equipped and qualified: 1) by staying cleansed and sanctified; 2) by being partakers of Christ’s Life; 3) by being faithful overcomers; and 4) by producing good works [“fruit” produced by the Holy Spirit through us].

    We must be so prepared and so ready that when He taps us on the shoulders and says, “Let’s go!” we won’t be surprised. Constancy and perseverance are key words in this process.

    “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your lord doeth come.” (Matthew 24:42) Luke validates the same thing:

    Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

    — Luke 21:36

    https://khouse.org/articles/2012/1075

  70. Ted R (Bible Student) says:

    Here is more information regarding the Faithful Servant
    http://mikeconnellministries.com/sermons/243/Wise-and-Faithful-Servant.aspx

    “Who then is a Faithful and Wise Servant”

    25 March 2012

    1. Introduction

    Mt.24:45-51 The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant
    Context: Disciples question Jesus on the second coming and End of the Age (Mt.24:3).
    (i) Parable of the Servants – attitude to the House of God (All are evaluated

    (ii) Parable of Virgins – Intimacy with the Holy Spirit (All experience

    (iii) Parable of Servants – Productive service (consequences for

    (iv)The Nations judged – practical love (actions

    (Consequence

    (involves reward and

    (loss

    Review of Teaching of Talents and Pounds (Lk:19)
    (i) God invites all of us to be great in His Kingdom.

    (ii) Each of us has an assignment to fulfill, a race to win.

    (iii) All servants of God are evaluated and receive reward or loss.

    (iv) Partnership can greatly increase how productive we are.

    2. Parable of the Servants (Mt. 24: 45-51)

    (a) Picture of an Oriental Householder

    The Lord and Master has servants under his rule.
    The Servants have responsibilities and assignments in his household.
    Their duties revolve around the Master’s wishes and directions related to the affairs of his household. (Mt. 28:19; Heb. 3:13).
    V45 “Made ruler over his household”
    “Household” =Oiketeia NT3609= body of servants NB Eph 2:19.
    “Made ruler” =NT2525= to appoint to administer office, set a person into a
    role.

    Servant =NT1401= one who gives themselves totally to the will of
    another.

    = This is the key to greatness in the Kingdom (Mt.20:27)

    (b) The Assignment

    V45 “To give them meat in due season”
    “Meat” =NT5160= Food, nourishment, instruction.
    “Due Season” =NT2540=Kaines= at the right time i.e. sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
    Every believer has something to contribute to build the house of God.
    Rom.12:3-8 “We being many are on body in Christ – members of one another”.

    1 Cor. 12:18 “God has set the members each on of them in the Body just as He please”.

    Eph.4:15-16 “The whole body joined and knit together by what every joint supplies”.

    Each of us is responsible to build the household of God – the church.
    God requires of each of us faithfulness in His assignment (1 Cor. 4:2).
    Note Whom the Master, when He comes, find him so doing – v46.

    (c) The Reward that is at Stake

    V46 – 47 “He will make him ruler over all His goods”
    Faithful service is rewarded in each of the 3x parable e.g. Wise Virgins – Wedding Banquet.
    Rewards are not automatic; they are the consequence of how we conducted our life.
    Note Mt. 25:21 Faithful over many things. Luke 19:17 Have authority over 10 cities.
    Rev. 20:1-6 “And they lived and reigned with Christ 1000 years”.
    (i) The Millennium is a literal 1000 year period in which Jesus will rule the earth in righteousness and peace.

    (ii) The Kingdom of God will openly manifest globally affecting every sphere of life – political, social, agriculture, economic, spiritual, law, education, medical, arts, family technology and society at every level.

    (iii) God’s purpose has always been that heaven and earth be joined together.

    Heaven – the realm where God’s presence and power is openly manifest.

    Earth – the physical realm where human life, emotions, creativity is experienced.

    (iv) The natural processes of life will continue and Jesus will establish infrastructure for every sphere of life in every city and village. This will include replacing –

    · Governmental leaders with new people in every area of society. God will remove evil leaders Ps110:5-6 and establish Kingdom governmental order.

    · In a worldwide government He will bring Kingdom life, power, order and government. Food, water, power, building, economy, spiritual life, law, agriculture etc.

    (v) During this millennial period all the Kings of the earth will worship Jesus and base their governments upon His Word (Ps. 72:11)

    (vi) The Resurrected Saints will rule with Jesus as Kings and Priests

    Rev.5:10 “And have made us Kings and Priests to our God and we shall reign on earth”.

    · Priests = Worship, intercede, communicate knowledge of God, enter in and out of Throne.

    · Kings = appoint people, train, oversee, direct and manage the global affairs.

    · Rev. 2:26 “He who overcomes and keeps my works to the end I will give power over the nations”.

    (vii) The resurrected Saints will govern the affairs of God and advance His Kingdom

    · Teaching, training, restoring cities, restoring and administrating justice, dealing with sin.

    · 1. Cor. 6:2-3 “Do you not know the saints will judge the world?”

    · Dan. 7:26-27 “The greatness of the Kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people, the saints of the most high”.

    · This is not automatic – it is given to those who overcome!

    (d) The Evil Servant

    Mt.24:48-51

    Note Heart Attitude: “My Lord delays his coming”
    = Don’t worry, I have plenty of time ahead of me.

    Note His Behaviour
    (i) “Begins to beat fellow servants” = mistreat, insult, ignore welfare = “slap in face”.

    (ii) Eat and drink with the drunkard = lifestyle patterned after the world and its values.

    Consequences = severe suffering and loss of inheritance, exclusion from the blessings prepared for him.

  71. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Nearly every commentary on the topic of the Faithful servant recognizes that it is not an individual or group of individuals who present some “new light” and thus create a following for themselves. That servant represents those who are followers of Christ, fulfilling his command to let their light shine, preaching his word, and following in his footsteps. The more we take our Christian stand seriously, the greater will be our reward. Revelation tells us that we will be Kings and Priests in the millennial reign. We will thus be “in charge of his belongings”, the world of mankind. Christ gave his life as a ransom for ALL. Working along side Christ and his Bride we will have a true theocracy and help the whole world become filled with the true knowledge of our Lord.
    Who is the Bride? That is another topic we need to consider.

  72. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    The following is a commentary from Messiah of God.com The full article is at
    https://www.messiah-of-god.com/faithful-and-wise-servant.html
    This to me makes a lot of sense and seems to go along with the other commentaries I posted.
    In context, Jesus has just been discussing the fact that he will be returning at an unexpected time. For this reason, he urges his audience to be ready and watchful for his return. Jesus says, “Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions.” (Matthew 24:46-47 and Luke 12:43-44)
    Jesus then immediately warns them about the unfaithful servant.

    He says that if the servant says to himself “My master is delayed” (Matthew 24:48; Luke 12:45), and thus begins to mistreat his fellow slaves and drink (instead of working), then: “the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know. He will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 24:50-51)
    In Matthew, it says that this evil servant is placed with the “hypocrites” (Matthew 24:51) and in Luke it says with the “unbelievers” (Luke 12:46). Jesus also says, “That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating.” (Luke 12:47-48)

    Jesus is teaching his disciples that our Actions Reveal What We Truly Believe. Those who are obeying God will be rewarded, whereas those who disobey God (even if they say they belong to him) prove themselves to be unfaithful and hypocrites by their actions.
    It is just as Paul says in Titus 1:16, “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions.” Jesus also teaches that those who know what is right and choose to do wrong will be punished more harshly than those who do not know. However, both groups are punished, and ultimately it’s better to know and obey.
    See also:
    Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders

    Parable of the Two Sons

    Parable of the Wedding Banquet

    Parable of the Sheep and Goats

    All of these convey the same thought. When Jesus returns he will be judging his followers. Will they be life the wise servant, fulfilling the task that he gave them before he left or will the be like those who failed to do so? The evil slave is a good example of how those who try to judge their fellow Christians, not waiting on Christ to return. They beat their fellow slaves through persecution, excommunication, and disfellowshipping for simply disagreeing with their own beliefs! When we read these parables in this light, to me they make much more sense.

  73. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    The first Scripture is from Mark 13

  74. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Who Really is the Faithful and Discreet Slave (Part 2)
    No One Knows That Day or Hour
    32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake.[a] For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants[b] in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows,[c] or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
    All Christians are to stay awake so that we are not asleep when the Master comes! While not mentioning the FDS specifically, this scripture is telling all Christians to stay awake, performing their commission to proclaim the message of the Gospel of Christ, the Master, until he arrives. Isn’t that what the Faithful Slave is supposed to be doing?

    Luke 19: The Parable of the Ten Minas
    11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants,[a] he gave them ten minas,[b] and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant![c] Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”
    Again here we have a MASTER (Jesus) who went away. Before he leaves he gives a commission to his SLAVES. Upon his return he rewards those slaves for doing his will. Isn’t that what the Faithful Slave is supposed to do?
    For more information on this reasoning go to the following link:
    http://meletivivlon.com/2013/08/31/identifying-the-faithful-slave-part-4/

  75. jacqueline says:

    TedR, this is interesting, thanks. I asked a Chicago Bible student elder if Russell is the Faithful Slave. Then, Who is the slave since he is dead? He seemed to indicate it was his writings and Studies in the Scriptures. I said well what about the new information many of the brothers are bringing out? He said he believed and accepted everything that Russell said as the Laodicean angel of Revelation.
    So your scriptural verses give a more powerful insight into how they are rewarded and who they are instead of who “he” is. I look forward to your postings.

  76. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    I am currently doing a study on Who Really is the Faithful and Discreet Slave. As I progress I will be posting interesting articles and Scriptures to help clarify the answer to that important question. Here is the first article I came upon this morning from the Beroean Pickets archives. It makes some very good points based on Scripture. I am only posting a portion of the article but have a link to the source:
    http://meletivivlon.com/2015/04/29/gods-channel-of-communication/

    Appointed Shepherds
    Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household? (Mat 24:45) According to John 21:17, Peter appears to be the first one whom the master appointed to tend to his sheep.
    Peter subsequently instructed the elders among the congregations:

    “So as your fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings and as one who shares in the glory that will be revealed, I urge the elders among you: Give a shepherd’s care to God’s flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly under God’s direction, not for shameful profit but eagerly. And do not lord it over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock. Then when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away.” – 1Pe 5:1-4

    There is not an ounce of exclusivity in this commission: Peter freely shared the assignment and responsibility of shepherding with all the elders among all the congregations. Further proof these elders are part of the appointed slave is the reward in the closing verse: “then when the Chief Shepherd appears”. Likewise, in the parable of Matthew 24:46 we read: “blessed is that slave whom the master finds ‘doing his job’ when he comes.”
    Consequently, I suggest that the appointed slave consists of all anointed elders worldwide. (See Appendix: Gender and Appointed Servants) These elders are appointed by Holy Spirit to do the will of the Chief Shepherd: to take care of the sheep. This includes feeding them.

    This seems to fit very nicely with Christs parable.
    I will be posting more information as I progress in my study.

    The Watchtower Study Edition of July 2014 contains an article named: “Jehovah’s people ‘Renounce Unrighteousness‘”. (2 Tim 2:19) Paragraph 10 states this:

    “when exposed to unscriptural teachings, regardless of the source, we must decisively reject them.”
    Beloved ones, do not believe every spirit [inspired expression], but test the spirits [inspired expressions] to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – John 4:1

  77. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    That would be nice. The movie is only about $10 at Best Buy.

  78. jacqueline says:

    You know I wonder if Kent could upload this to the BBB and we tune in to look at it. Like buying a DVD you invite friends to view it with you. This should be possible in this digital age. The BAR library allows whole universities to use one paid service, that is why I posted mine here for all to enjoy. Any thoughts?

  79. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    You can now purchase the Apostasy movie from Amazon and Best Buy. I watched it this morning. I found it to be extremely accurate and a fair assessment of what really happens in the organization. No attempt was made to exaggerate, if anything it does not go far enough to portray what ex-JW\’s go through. You can see how JW\’s are brainwashed into putting the organization ahead of Christ. I highly recommend it!

  80. Ted R (Bible Student) says:

    I appreciate Paul’s comments at Romans 14. He talked about some of the disagreements in his day but notice what had to say. Read the whole chapter

  81. jacqueline says:

    TedR, I think this puts into proper words what I was trying to say last night on the BBB conference. Some think we should be careful questioning the doctrines passed down to us or not hold them up to scrutiny. But we should go straight to the Bible and convince ourselves individually with God. Each child talks to their father in human life and my parents had 9 children but each of us had a very personal relationship first then as a family.
    Jehovah and Jesus can deal with each of us and what we are able to understand. These men have used the expression meant to demean and put us down, Independent Thinking.” That is exactly what we should be doing. When it is a woman with insight they add the demeaning expression “Jezebel Spirit” to cut her down.
    Andre makes some good points. We need to see for ourselves what the Bible says about Armageddon, great crowd, Jesus signs, Israel and all subjects and not be afraid to disagree completely with Charles Taze Russell, governing body of the witnesses and it’s elders.
    I for one have dropped this fear of men. Thank you.

  82. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    I like this post from Bro Andre on the Berean Bible Students site:
    Secondhand “Faith”

    Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God (Romans 14:22).

    Many, if not most of those in professing Christendom have secondhand “faith.”

    It can be a wonderful thing when others share their “faith” with us; but sadly much of what many believe was simply passed to them by others, untested and unproven. The only way for faith truly to be ours is for us to go to the Scriptures themselves, to be convinced by them.

    Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (II Timothy 2:15).

    Note carefully Paul’s words, “Study to show thyself …” and earlier, “Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God.”

    God has called us into an individual faith before Himself. No one has the right to tell us what to believe, or to provide us with creeds or doctrinal statements. Our faith is to be personal, without constraint, without manipulation.

    Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand (II Corinthians 1:24).

    The walk of faith truly begins with freedom from the bondage of religious dominion, and finds its completion standing alone before God by personal faith. Embrace this true liberty: freedom from religion, to freedom of faith – the freedom to follow your own heart of faith wherever God may lead.

    Being strong in such personal faith is what brings glory to the Father.

    He [Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God (Romans 4:20).

    Do not settle for secondhand “faith,” for that is not truly faith at all – or at least it is not faith in God and in His Word – it is merely faith in men and their words. We must not merely go on what we have heard, or on our preconceived notions and supposition. God desires us to have a faith all our own, so that we may know and believe first-hand what He has said; for faith is simply taking God at His Word.

    Don’t be caught up in the mimicry of a secondhand “faith.” Dare to believe God and His Word for yourself!

    Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

    The Bible has many scriptures that can be interpreted in different ways, especially when taken out of context. When anyone or any organization insists that others follow their interpretation it leads to strife and division. Do you really believe that Christ did not foresee this? He himself said that he came to cause division! It has been over 2000 years. Many thoughts of the Bible have been misinterpreted due to translation variants and added dogmatic slants and even spurious additions. But one thing remains constant! Our Lord came to save the WORLD from the sin of Adam, that he died for us and was resurrected to the glorious right hand of God. This was the Gospel taught by the Apostles. Disagreements regarding such things as prophecy are really not salvation issues. The TRUTH and details shall be revealed in Gods due time when they are finally fulfilled. Just as the Jews expected Christ to be revealed in a totally different way, I think we too may find that our expectations may not be fulfilled exactly as we think. Is the 144000 in revelation symbolic or literal? Who really is the Faithful and wise servant? Who goes into second death? Who is Gog of Magog? There are many beliefs regarding these questions. There are many conflicting answers to these questions, all with seemingly sound scriptural reasoning. But we really will not KNOW until we actually see the fulfillment. Rather than arguing among ourselves regarding these matters and insisting on our own understanding, we should show the love and unity among each other as Christians. Unless a person manifests a spirit of antichrist, denying the resurrection and salvation of our Lord and putting themselves in his rightful place as head of the Church, we should not judge that persons beliefs. All Christians are at different points in their quest to follow Christ. Paul recognized this when he said not to judge others for eating meat sacrificed to idols or placing one day above another.There were many disputes even in Pauls time. Nowhere does Paul recommend shunning a person for disagreeing regarding these disagreements. Only when a person denies the resurrection or Christ himself do we see any indication that we should cut off that person from association. Even in the case of wrong doing the council is to readjust the sinner but to keep an eye on ourselves so that we do not fall into a sinful course ourselves and freely forgive those who are repentant. We, as Christians do not have the right or power to condemn someone to second death or a fiery Hell! When Christ sits in judgment it is he who will determine who is truly a wicked person incapable of repentance. So let us learn to love one another, forgive one another, be merciful and kind thus showing that we have the Fruit of the Spirit. Doing so we can truly follow the example of Christ and the love and mercy he showed us by his sacrifice on the cross.

  83. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    One of Christ\’s final commands to his followers was that we should be united in LOVE. Love is what identifies us as Christians. Christ taught us not only to love fellow Christians, but also even our enemies, freely forgiving them for their transgressions. One problem I see in Christianity today is the tendency to argue about who is right about some topics and who is wrong. Bickering between different beliefs, especially among those who choose to follow dogmatically the teachings of men on matters subject to interpretation.
    Paul discouraged this: 1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
    13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)
    Christians are united by there love for Christ and the Gospel of his death and resurrection for the redemption of ALL mankind. We are united in our love for each other. We follow what the Bible clearly spells out for us. Satan has been misleading people for nearly 2000 years. Erroneous teachings and understandings permeate Christianity due to following the teachings of men. As a result, no one religion, no one man, no one organization has the complete truth of Gods Word. Rather than insisting on our own views, or that we blindly follow a man or an organization, we should respect each others love for Christ. We follow Christs example of love and humility. We never want to condemn others who are sincerely trying to follow Christ. It is only when a person commits act contrary to the clear principles set out in Gods word through acts of immorality that we have any part in judging others. (1 Corinthians 15). Even that should be done with love and mercy to help that wrongdoer repent of his course. It should never be so judicial in nature that we go beyond Scripture and hurt others both physically and spiritually, such as a complete shunning and refusal even to pray for that person.
    So let us follow Paul\’s council at Colossians 3:12: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
    Yes love is what binds us in unity, not dogmatism nor doctrine. Salvation comes from our Lord, Jesus Christ; not man, not an organization, but rather his love for us as our redeemer. We are all part of the body of Christ. Each of us has a different role, just as our body members have a different role. We may not all think exactly the same, but we are unified under Christ. Unity is not Uniformity! I love my wife, we are one flesh, we are in complete unity, but we do not think the same way all the time. We are willing to put up with each others weakness and short comings. This is how those professing to be Christians should be if they truly want to follow Christ\’s example of LOVE, the greatest commandment!

  84. jacqueline says:

    TedR, I just listened to this and discussed with another person. I actually question not so much Russell’s sanity but the men who over 100 years later can’t see the godlike, want to replace Christ,attitude of this man.
    I agree that the watchtower society is from Russell not Rutherford as some are trying to rewrite history. Rutherford actually disliked this haughty attitude displayed by Russell but went on and became the same. Freddie Franz was the exact personna of Russell and he was indeed suffering from a mental illness. He thought he was gifted and his word was law as Russell and his followers now feel.
    There is no difference in Jehovah witnesses governing body and Charles Russell except at least they are alive and not a read person.
    Livingston (Africa), McClintok, Strong,Body just to name a few of the men that left much helpful information for us without claiming to be an angel of Revelation or “ye olde slave” of Matthew.
    I am so glad to have journeyed into the Russell cult so we can now better understand where the governing body got their behavior.
    It is the same game by a different name. Thanks for sharing.

  85. Jacqueline says:

    TedR, I will listen to this from Raymond Franz tonight and comment. Also your other comments. I have been at doctor appointments all day today and have more tomorrow.
    I am getting the best care and have decided to have the doctors treat me now instead of later. See you tomorrow.

  86. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Is this really much different than the attitude today? Notice the information from this commentary from Ray Franz
    https://youtu.be/xA9P-6mQtT8

  87. jacqueline says:

    TedR, some of these brothers actually came to the fojw site many years ago and I see many of them with their own sites and pages. This to me is what therapy and helping are about, not bringing persons into a new religion but to set them free to go to God directly and reach back and help others. I love “Critical thinking” as they have evolved from the first youtube. I had them on this site and I think I will add them back.
    As for other more critical pages, I think they have made the governingbody backed down! Many of these women and men are victims of child sexual abuse and treated like dogs by the watchtower organization. Without their fierce outcry of their pain this giant watchtower society would be worse than it is.
    I have many case files of the judicial committee treatment of some of these victims and the elders and governing nody should be banned and jailed. So unless I have walked a mile in their shoes I can’t condemn them but rather pray they can heal after the stages of grief are complete.
    I am about to see if I can put the BAR library on this site as I subscribed for one year and everyone should be able to use it by clicking here. Working on that now.
    I think now is the time to branch out and get to know what is really in the Bible with all this knowledge. Even ones staying within their perspective religions have freedom now to branch out and learn without fear.
    Some of the local Jehovah witness congregations have elders that are stepping up to the plate and introducing new thoughts and what the internet has allowed us to see. So tell me if you can access the BAR library from your computer when I get it up, please.

  88. Ted R (Bible Student) says:

    Yes Sister Jacqueline. David and Vivian’s videos are very informative. I follow their videos as well as Beroean Pickets and Critical Thinkers. All by exJWs. I like them because they are exposing facts and not just slanderous rhetoric like many YouTube posts.

  89. jacqueline says:

    Ted this couple has more videos following and they are revealing. The root of this whole deception is “Charles Taze Russell” then onward to Rutherford and now the present day governing body which more resembles Russell than the “Russellites” or followers of “Studies in the Scriptures” volumes study.
    I was confused when I studied on Wednesday night out of the volumes that the conductor skipped volume “four” and went to vol. five. I was the only one that protested vocally to him, others did so away from the study and he lost half of his audience. I mentioned this to a Chicago class elder and he said ” I wouldn’t study it with you either”. No explanation when I asked why. Ecclias vote on study material Wednesday conductor said you are not an ecclias just a study group! Like the witnesses he lays out your indoctrination process!
    A man writes a whole volume of “lies” that shouldn’t be studied but his other stuff is “truth”???
    When I looked at it, the pot was calling the kettle black on the friendsofjehovahwitnesses
    site and I was a part of their great deception. I try to look at it as a revealing of a religion that no one knew existed and now we can get to the root of this 19th century deception of putting men in Christs place. I often wonder if Russell didn’t phantom himself as divine??
    I say this because one sister sent to the archives to get the real divorce records of Russell and it revealed he had warrants for refusing to pay his wife her support and other brothers would pay it.
    He went on tours to evade being in the state to be brought to court on warrants.
    He didn’t have big crowds in all those cities, sometimes a few or none. Rutherford put Russell’s wife out of a house they owned together, at Russell’s request. She was making a living by renting out rooms to support herself!
    This sister has a treasure trove of info and you haven’t seen her and other sisters since they became aware of who this man actually was.
    He died in disgrace before decent people for his outlandish 1914 debacle and disregard for law. He phantomed himself as special. I find it strange that a small group still exists with this great devotion to him.
    I often wondered if I was not “born in” would I accept these teachings from a door to door encounter. Now I know my answer is No, I wouldn’t accept one man’s explanation of the Bible over Christ’s words to listen to him and the helper, the Holy Spirit to give understanding. So my sojourn into this American religion was not totally in vain as it got me to Christ. Thanks for your posting.

  90. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Another great video:
    https://youtu.be/llAFZmOPDPo
    Watchtower BLASPHEMY — trust Russell rather than Spirit, Word, prayer (Franz free 39)

  91. jacqueline says:

    Thanks Ted, I met this brother before. Glad to see his group. I will check out what he says. We had many interesting conversations, nice to see him.
    He and I have very similar views but realized it was useless like with the witnesses to explain our views.
    The shunning is called no fellowship of minimum fellowship. Same as witnesses. Apples never fall far from the tree. I wish followers of Russell no ill will as Christ died for all. I just can’t worship a man or a group of men.
    This has been a 70 year journey for me, a captive because of being born into an American religion started by Charles Taze Russell.
    My next 70 is going to be worship of Jehovah and his son Jesus as my saviour.
    Free at last!

  92. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    I found this post on the Berean Bible Student Facebook page from Brother Andre extremely refreshing and in harmony with what I believe.
    https://www.ebbereanos.org/2019/02/the-berean-bible-students-in-brazil.html?fbclid=IwAR00pAWA8FLJ9huu3B3P8IzpqgZtj1wWV0rX3VSni1qlKTmmfj63B5qE4uQ

  93. jacqueline says:

    TedR thanks for posting this I read this in the Bibliography emails.

  94. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:
  95. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Ephesians 4 New International Version (NIV)
    Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ
    4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
    11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
    14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.
    As Christians we are unified under our Lord Jesus. We must avoid contentions among us. We all serve each other and with the help pf the Holy Spirit we are able to maintain that unity. We never want to insist others accept our personal beliefs and understanding of Scripture. We worship the Father in spirit and truth! Truth does not mean uniformity in understanding. When we worship in truth we are doing so without hypocrisy, not trying to be a friend of the world with its immoral practices. We serve our Father with our whole soul, mind and body, never using the grace of God as an excuse for sin. This is Christian unity! We love and respect each other, doing good toward all, but especially those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Each of us have gifts provided by our helper, the Holy Spirit. We use those gifts to serve others. We examine all things in light of Scripture, not allowing ourselves to be “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” following the traditions and philosophies of man,
    Our unity comes from the Scriptures, following the example of our Lord Jesus, putting away all badness, and putting our Lord first in our lives. Thus we become part of the body of Christ and attain the reward of eternal life in Gods kingdom.

  96. jacqueline says:

    Ted, I enjoyed revisiting this scripture and many Christian have to review as we come into conflict.
    One aspect of this deals with perceived conflict, not a tangible like adultery or lying against another. Therein lies the problem.
    We can take away others freedom and border on control if we don’t know the difference in choice and conflict. An employee or executive may decide to pursue another career or the same field on their own. It would be choice not conflict. There may not be anything wrong with their job but they want a change. Immature employers or partners might take offense of the freedom and rights of this individual.
    Application of the above scripture does not apply. This scripture is not to be used to have an argument with your brother or control them to come over to your way. There is no sin commited against a brother but rather the other brother made a choice.
    So this is my take on the back side of this scripture to accept choices made by our brothers and not perceive an offense when they approach their worship to God differently.
    I recently had discussion with my family as my illness has brought us closer. I told them I prefer going to God through Christ with a small study group and it is going well. I said I don’t want to join an organization or association with bodies of elders but prefer where we are all brothers in Christ. It is taking days and many conversations as this is new to those who have been under the strict dogma enforced for over a hundred years.
    Our choice to reject organized religions but not Christ is difficult for the brains of some to adjust especially elders or Pastors as the laity system gives little men more power than they will ever have in a lifetime. So sin vs choice to be free.

  97. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Matthew 7 New International Version (NIV)
    Judging Others
    7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    Because of our imperfection, we have a tendency to be judgmental of others. Christ knew this, which is why we have this admonition. We all have faults. We all have sinned, some to a large degree. That is why we need Gods grace! Just because we are Christian does not free us from temptation, and at times we may give in to that temptation. So why be critical of others who, although they are trying to serve our Lord, may fall short and fall into even serious sin. Jesus taught us to be merciful and forgiving, even to our enemies. True, we never want to excuse wrong doing and use the grace of our Lord as an excuse for sin. At the same time we must be careful not to judge others and hold others faults against them. Our judge is Christ! As Christians we make an honest effort to overcome our human weakness and when we fall short we ask our Lord\’s forgiveness, repent, and make an effort not to repeat our sinful conduct.
    If we want others to forgive us, shouldn\’t we be willing to forgive them? Mathew 6:14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
    Someone may have said something to us that hurt. It may have been just a poor choice of words, or it may have been in anger or in judgment. Are we willing to overlook the wrong? Non-Christians have used the imperfections of Christians as an excuse not to serve the Lord, calling us hypocrites. While we always want to set an example and make every effort not to engage in conduct that would bring reproach upon Christ, we are human and we will say or do something that will bring criticism from others. If we do, what is our attitude? Are we humble enough to apologize to someone we may have wronged and ask them for forgiveness? Do we make an honest effort to overcome our weakness? If we are wronged by another, do we follow Christ\’s admonition to go to that person and try to talk with them about the issue? Mathew 18:15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
    Here we see that, while we should be ready to forgive, there may be times when the wrongdoer refuses to show repentance. While we should be forgiving, we are not obliged to maintain a close relationship with an unrepentant sinner. We should however, be willing to forgive if that person shows that he is honestly sorry for what he has done.
    Read Mathew 18:21-35
    Aren\’t we glad that our Lord is willing to forgive us for all the wrongs we have done in our lives? Shouldn\’t we, as his followers, also be willing and ready to forgive? If we are repentant wouldn\’t we want the forgiveness of others? Let us follow Christ\’s example and admonition thus we show ourselves to be true followers of Christ.

  98. jacqueline says:

    TedR, could you give me your thoughts please on this.
    19:8,9. I am limited on copy and paste scripture because of my fingers still stiff.
    But am I seeing here that after Israel is scattered through the world and nations, Vs 8, that they will be burned or holocaust??
    Maybe I am wrong but the Bible foretold the holocaust. Maybe this is another time period? I would appreciate some thoughts from anyone.

  99. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    I came across this YouTube video I found extremely interesting. Thought I would share it.
    https://youtu.be/VI1yRTC6kGE

  100. jacqueline says:

    TedR, I notice also the different approaches those leaving take to express their anger and disgust and I think; “what kind of teachings and abuse have they indured to cause this anger”?
    The pen and video (lol) is mightier than the sword. It at least sends a message to others to not come near an insular group like this and it make save someone from feeling the pain of being forced from your youth upward to hear only one way of understanding the Bible. In this information age it might make others consider the other men that Holy Spirit is helping, their thoughts and views. To realize they too can get understanding directly also from Christ with the help of the Spirit and their just reading what the Bible actually says, not what books say it says.
    I hear their pain when I go on You Tube and feel the courage they must have mustered to reveal these manipulated teachings based on dates and the thoughts of a few men.
    Br. Franz added the powerful support they needed to add to their story.
    God and Christ are listening also and Divine Providence is allowing these voices to speak out. You Tube, what a marvelous invention. Take Care

  101. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    As I look at various YouTube posts and comments on exJW sites I feel so much sorrow. So many of these young people who leave the organization or are disfellowshipped have left the Lord completely. It is understandable, because so many of these young people were raised to believe that the organization is the truth. When the truth is proved false, the feel that all religion is false. They are left with skeptical outlook and bitterness. As a result they turn to drugs, alcohol, and an immoral lifestyle, losing all faith in the Lord. Some have committed suicide as a result of losing the support of their families. While they must share some of the blame, the organization in my opinion has the biggest share. The unjust treatment, and extreme treatment of these poor young people is truly a discredit and blasphemy of our Lord Jesus. Christ said that he who stumbles the least of his children will be under judgment. The organization has become blood guilty!
    Another problem people have when leaving the Organization is that, while they don\’t leave God, they come again under the bondage of other religious organizations. They fail to realize, because they were never taught, that the only truth is the Bible and the only organization is Christ. Faith in the Lord is an individual thing and can only be gained with help of the Holy Spirit and Bible Study, not by following the word of man. We don\’t need organized religion to be close to God. While we look at others writings and interpretations and find it beneficial, we must be like the Boreans, examining the Scriptures to make sure that those interpretations are truly from the Bible.
    Any time we decide to look for a true religion we will be disappointed because there is no one organization that has the complete truth. The best we can do is find others who have a love for the Scriptures and share in Bible Study and association. If we choose to attend a Church we need to be careful not to put our faith in the religions creeds, the pastor, or others interpretations. We need Christian fellowship so associating with people of other denominations can be beneficial, but we must be careful not allow ourselves to be in bondage to those other organizations. Most Churches have some truth and do many things to bring honor to Christ. But never do we want to blindly follow any teachings of man. We must prove for ourselves the Word of God from the Word of God and never rely on the philosophies of man.
    We also need to be careful not to allow our bitterness to cause us to retaliate with slander, lies, or any kind of violence. I look at some of the videos and there is a great deal of this type of behavior. I have no problem with statements of truth exposing the false teachings and injustices of any religion but these should be in the form of reason and backed by Scripture and facts. Any time we distribute lies and half truths we are proving to those still in the organization that the governing body is right when it says apostates are deceptive and liars. Some of the information being distributed is not coming from exJW\’s, but from persons of other religions.
    The Scriptures tell us; \”whatever things are true, whatever things are upbuilding, continue considering these things\”. A Christians goal is to help others come to Christ, using the Bible and sound reasoning. Some, like Critical Thinkers, David Aspinal, and Borean Pickets have great information presented in an informative way, exposing false teachings without slander or stretching the truth. Ray Franz set a great example in this regard. We don\’t need to come across in a mocking, critical way. We just need to tell the truth, backed by Scripture.

  102. Greg says:

    Thank you, Ted.
    For me, Unity is about harmony, and mutual agreement about values and a shared purpose. It’s not about abandoning one’s individuality. Unity is singleness of goal, not singleness of mind, attitude, and methods.
    In my experience, it seems that the Jehovah’s Witnesses Organization’s obsession over Unity has to do with fear and an unwillingness to trust that God knew what HE was doing when gave Adam and Eve free will along with a choice. If you’re going to try to stamp out the possibility that people might do something “wrong” then you’re going to feel compelled to assume and then pursue ever-greater control. I believe that’s what JW unity is all about: Control (in a rather thin –albeit arguably effective–disguise).
    Alfie Kohn wrote, “Some who support [more] coercive strategies assume that children will run wild if they are not controlled. However, the children for whom this is true typically turn out to be those accustomed to being controlled— those who are not trusted, given explanations, encouraged to think for themselves, helped to develop and internalize good values, and so on. Control breeds the need for more control, which is used to justify the use of control.” ― Alfie Kohn, Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise and Other Bribes
    One of my favourite fictional lines come from George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm. In chapter 5, the character “Squealer” has been this to say in support the newly self-appointed Commander, Napoleon: “Comrades, I trust that every animal here appreciates the sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labour upon himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?…”
    Anyone else see the striking similarity between Orwell’s Napoleon and the Orwellian Governing Body?
    And to save everyone the trouble of looking it up on Wikipedia, I’ll quote it: “Orwellian” is an adjective describing a situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society. It denotes an attitude and a brutal policy of draconian control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth (doublethink), and manipulation of the past, including the “unperson”—a person whose past existence is expunged from the public record and memory, practised by modern repressive governments. Often, this includes the circumstances depicted in his novels, particularly Nineteen Eighty-Four but political doublespeak is criticized throughout his work, such as in Politics and the English Language. –From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orwellian

  103. jacqueline says:

    TedR, this is beneficial information. What some elders and organizations call unity of thought is actually conformity to the long held established beliefs, even if these beliefs have been shown not to be in harmony with what is clearly stated in the Bible.
    I found that sometimes what is clearly NOT STATED in the Bible. For instance the Bible does not mention a pyramid in the Bible but it is an over 100yr old misconception of it’s time. Sincere men may have been fascinated by the structure and it’s many marvels but that doesn’t mean you twist a scripture to describe it. And if you do don’t make others have to accept it or suffer a form of shunning and talks. Having catechisms, book of Mormon, Studies in the Scripture, watchtower with unchangeable dogma in books considered holy and on a par with the Bible causes insular religions to behave like tyrants and cults. They all have some truth but the push to make every one think like their self appointed holy men causes you to ignore or not accept or look into what truths they may have.
    So now I glean what I can from other voices and am trying to look freshly at the Bible. The Holy Spirit is really helping me understand just from reading,thinking and comparing to other parts of the bible. It is so uplifting.
    I received a text to join a group to read the Studies in the Scriptures in two years doing 5 pages a day then comment on the Whats app. ( from an elder)
    If it had said 5 pages of the Bible instead of a book that most have gone thru as many as 9 times one person told me, I might have considered it.
    It was a disrespectful request when I have personally said I am doing 66 books.
    I got this from an elder yesterday. It’s as if there is some sense of ownership just like the witnesses if you ever attended their meetings. But in my case worse than the witnesses and they all have one man’s teachings in common. They have built a system of conformity based on the organization He started.

  104. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Unity vs Uniformity
    Ephesians 4 English Standard Version (ESV)
    Unity in the Body of Christ
    4 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ\’s gift.
    Does Christian unity require that all Christians believe exactly the same? Does it require complete uniformity? Whats the difference?
    Notice what this article has to say:
    Unity vs uniformity: which do you mean?
    LIAN KUAL SANG 09 JAN 2012
    \”In my view, uniformity represents the past: dictatorship, societal restrictions and a lack of democracy. It does not accommodate differences in ideas, beliefs, shapes and colors. Instead, it seeks to eliminate all differences, creating a “one size fits all” society. A system of uniformity relies on force to bring about change or to achieve certain objectives. In extreme cases this means using violence to reach a particular goal. One aspect of uniformity is demanding another party change, or conform, in order to achieve agreement, peace or prosperity. Uniformity does not allow for negotiation or compromise.
    In contrast, unity values differences. It acknowledges that people have different religions, cultures and political views. It sends the message that although we may be different in many ways we can work and live together in a way that benefits both of us. Genuine unity is based on democratic values, open mindedness and the concept of multiculturalism. Unity is a nurturing environment where all live side by side harmoniously based on the principles of equality and mutual respect.\”
    Christian Unity does not require everyone believe, act, dress or behave the same. We all have freedom in Christ, unified by our love for God and Jesus.We follow Jesus example, we walk in his footsteps, but this does not require us to give up our Christian freedom to disagree over items that are not plainly spelled out in Scripture or to force others to follow our beliefs. Notice what Ray Franz says in the following two videos:
    https://youtu.be/wy4K_-UP_dM
    https://youtu.be/Y5nWKhS4OHY
    No organization has a God given right to dictate our faith and require complete uniformity. While some order must be established in any organization and there must be some rules, when those rules go against Gods inspired handbook we must, as did the apostles,\”obey God as ruler rather than men\”. Only God and Christ can judge. The Bible is very clear on the established organization for Christians. Christ is the head of the congregation and the head of Christ is God. Christ, as head of the congregation provided only one helper, Holy Spirit! While he did provide for older men to take the lead in providing assistance to weak ones he did not give them the authority to require complete uniformity of doctrine, preaching methods, dress, or conduct. He did not give them authority to put his congregation under restrictive laws and severe punishment, putting \”unity\” over Scripture. Christians have a unity of spirit and love for Christ in harmony with freedom in Christ.

  105. Greg says:

    Thank you once again Ted. I’ve not finished watching the video in it’s entirety yet, but already there are some very thought-provoking things expressed. I always enjoy learning and pondering and reassessing and refining my current beliefs.

  106. Jacqueline says:

    Ted, thank you so much for telling us about the freedom you have found in Christ.
    You men are stepping up and out to show these religious organizations and associations what love looks like.
    The more insular groups that think only of going to heaven for themselves see no need to help others now and that is okay. They can do their part and hopefully not try to stop brothers in Christ like you guys from doing what the Holy Spirit moves you to do. My observation is that Great Babylon today collectively, feeds itself and members by meeting together in groups to talk and exhibit their supposed great knowledge of scripture.
    But to see you guys get your hands dirty so to speak, warms our hearts and that of our God.

    On Christmas, why would anyone not want people to talk about Christ? I have found because they have someone normally in their religious hierarchy that sits in his place as mediator. Someone that you have to filter your petitions and beliefs through first before approaching God.
    I think you are right that the scriptures were written for those that would come with the control of what days and seasons you could observe. God knew about them.
    Thank you so much for giving our readers some thinking material to check out.

  107. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    We are in the Christmas season. As Jehovah’s Witnesses it was considered an act of apostasy to celebrate the birth of our Lord. One reason given was that Dec 25th was not the actual date of Christs birth.Most Bible scholars agree with this. So what was Jesus Birthday? I found this You Tube video that offers a compelling argument I thought I would share. https://youtu.be/ptlsXtTf6n0
    Whether we choose to celebrate Christmas is a matter of conscience. Some of us may choose to celebrate, others do not. Paul tells us not to judge another over the celebration of special days. As long as we do so for the Lord to bring him praise. What matters most is that Christ was born, the angels rejoiced at his birth as should we. Most importantly however is his death, of which there is no doubt as to the day.
    Another compelling argument can be found at this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/jUJUhZEUXa0
    Notice that both arguments make sense but come to different conclusions. Which of these make the most sense to you? Personally I like the first argument.

  108. Ted R (Bible Student) says:

    Correction. The amount of money our small Bible study group raised for Seed net today was $8700. Can anyone truly say that our Lord was not behind our efforts to praise his name and spread the gospel? This money was unsolicited. Donations were anonymous with no pressure.

  109. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    As I visit various churches and talk with others I cant help but feel that true Christians are not an organized religion. True Christianity is a way of life. When Jesus was on earth he preached to the Jews as Gods chosen people. Within those he preached to there were differences in beliefs. While all followed the Law, some believed in the resurrection, the Pharisees, some didn\’t, the Saducees, some were considered apostate by fellow Jews because they worshipped at a different location, the Samaritans. The point is that Christ did not condemn them for these differences. He taught primarily character development. Showing love and mercy to others. He taught that the greatest of the commandments was LOVE of God and of others.
    I attend a mens Bible Study group every Friday morning. There are about 20 of us. Men from different Church denominations. Most of what we discuss is how we can develop our relationship with Christ. Each year this small study group chooses a cause to support. Last year it was to a local grassroots organization called First Glance. The organization works with young people to help them stay off the streets and learn about Christ. They had a building that was in need of extensive repairs or it would be condemned by the city. Our small group contributed voluntarily $15000 to this cause through secret donations. It was just enough to do the repairs needed. Today we support a group called Seed Net. http://goseednet.com/category/video/ . Seednet goes into the worst neighborhoods all over the State and neighboring States and forms in home Church groups. They help those who are considered the lowest of society to come to Christ. One of the leaders was once a drug dealer. He converted to Christianity and now helps others who are hooked on drugs, prostitutes, thieves, and gang members to come to Christ and change their ways. They operate on a shoe string through donations. Today we raised over $1500 for this ministry! This to me is what Christianity is all about. Not adherence to doctrine. Being a Christian is following in Christ\’s footsteps. Christ healed the poor and preached the good news to those who were down trodden and being abused by those religious leaders who put more emphasis on obeying the letter of the Law and went beyond the requirements of the Law, than looking at the intent of the Law. Jesus condemned those religious leaders several times.
    Worshiping the Father with spirit and truth does not mean that we have to follow certain doctrines. It means that we truly believe, in our hearts, that Christ is our Lord and we work each day to follow his example. There reason there is so much arguing among Christians is that everyone has their own interpretation of the \”Truth\”. You must believe what Russell says, what the Governing Body says, what the Pope says, or whatever the local Church says if you want to be saved. No! We must follow Christ\’s example of love and mercy! We truly believe in HIM as our Saviour! We study Gods word with the help of Holy Spirit so that we can come to an understanding of what righteousness truly is. Since putting behind me the requirements of a man made organization, I have seen more true Christianity being shown by people I once thought of as worldly than I ever did as a Jehovah\’s Witness. The above experience is just a small sample of true Christianity at work.
    There are true Christians in every religion just as there are those who have a form of Godly devotion, they go to Church and profess Christianity, but they prove false to the power of Holy Spirit by their actions and way of life. The gospel taught by Jesus and the early Christians was simple: Believe that Jesus is our Lord and savior, that he gave his life as a ransom for all that we can be redeemed from the sin of Adam, and was resurrected to the right hand of God as our King and mediator. If we truly believe this, then by our actions and the faith we show, then we will have the promised reward. If we do sin and fall short, which we all do, then we have the GRACE, undeserved kindness, of our Lord who forgives in a very large way!

  110. Greg says:

    Even more impressive, Ted. Kudos!!

  111. Ted R. Bible Student says:

    It took two drafts and about an hour of research.

  112. Greg says:

    I think that’s an Excellent Directive, Ted. I love how you stated everything.
    Thanks for posting it here where it can be of use to others.

    Just curious, how long it did it take for you write that? How many drafts, edits and revisions? It would probably have taken me a month or longer before I could come up with something that satisfied me the way your directive satisfies me. 🙂

  113. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Because I am still not disfellowshipped or disassociated at this time and I have family that are still with the organization I prepared my own Advance Directive on the use of blood. I want my family to know my stand if this ever becomes necessary. I gave a copy to my son, I keep a copy in a sealed envelope in my glove compartment. While this might not keep me from being considered disassociated, I feel it may give an attorney ammunition in court, since it specifically says that my stand should not be considered a desire to disassociate. Here is my Advanced Directive:

    Advance Directive on the Use of Blood
    This directive is for my family and any involved medical or legal personnel. For many years I have been a Jehovah’s Witness and thus had a directive refusing the use of Blood to save my life. I am hereby revoking that directive.
    After carefully evaluating the scriptures on this matter I see no Scriptural evidence precluding the use of blood transfusions to save a life. I am very aware of the Scriptures used by the Jehovah’s Witness’s to support their stand however a careful examination shows that these scriptures are being misapplied. The scriptures in the Old Testament contained in the Law Covenant are dealing primarily with the blood of sacrificed animals and animals killed for food. Because of the taking of the life of said animals, and the fact that the life of the animal is in the blood, that blood was poured out on the ground out of respect for that life. In the case of blood transfusion, no life is taken but rather a life can be saved using a blood transfusion. All it takes is to look at the loving and compassionate way Jesus dealt with people who violated the Mosaic law in their day, from the marginalized by society, the sick and sinful people. Jesus openly showed that the life and health of people was more important than obeying the “letter of the law.” He himself quoted Scripture when he said, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Matthew 9: 10-13; 12: 1-7).
    Jesus applied what is still a rabbinic tradition, called pikuach nefesh. The Jewish rabbinical concept pikuach nefesh, is a millenary concept that defends the value or sanctity of human life above any religious tradition or doctrine. According to this concept, a life must be preserved at all costs, and it is therefore the obligation of a Jew to save his life or that of another, even if he must violate a religious law or command. For example, if someone is in danger of life, applying the pikuach nefesh means, for example, violating the Sabbath so that this life is saved, perhaps traveling by car that day to take the victim or patient to the hospital. It also enables, for example, a Jew to eat food that is not kosher if his health or life depends on it. It’s also pertinent to realize that, while continuing to follow the Mosaic Law including the commandments regarding blood, Jews are allowed to receive blood transfusions. There are therefore no Jewish religious groups, even the strictest, that prohibit blood transfusions. Thus, the preservation of life prevails over the observance of Mosaic Law: a principle known as pikuach nefesh. Similarly, Muslims are also prohibited from drinking or eating blood and blood products (haram), but transfusions are allowed to save their lives.
    It is also noted that no specific punishment was prescribed for the Jew who ate the flesh of dead animals containing blood in the Hebrew Scriptures. The person who did this would only have to “wash his clothes, and be unclean until evening,” as in the case of the Israelite, who would touch or carry an animal that had died by itself. (Lev 11:39, 40). The whole prohibition of blood in the Old Testament refers specifically to the blood of animals that were killed by humans, being an expression of the sanctity of life. Life is precious to Jehovah!
    In the New Testament the mandate regarding eating of blood again was dealing with the eating of blood of sacrificed animals and animals killed for food. In that time the newly converted Gentiles were questioning whether they should eat the sacrificed and unclean animals. Also, it was common for gentiles to drink blood as part of their diet. This was supposed to impart strength and health to the person drinking that blood. The Jewish Christians were trying to impose the Law covenant on the Gentile Christians, including such things as circumcision. Thus the matter went to the brothers in Jerusalem, where most of the apostles were as well as many Jewish Christian elders, in order to settle the matter. The issue was whether the Gentile Christians had to accept the Law of Moses, including the Law on blood. Out of respect for life and realizing that that Law went beyond Moses back to Noah the Apostles and older men upheld that mandate of not eating blood. When Noah came out of the Ark, God permitted the eating of meat. Out of respect for the life taken Noah was commanded to drain the life blood. Again, we see that a life was taken and the mandate on blood dealt with showing proper respect for that life. Refusing a Blood transfusion involves the unnecessary loss of life, thus showing disrespect for Life.
    Therefore, out of respect for my God given life, my love for Jehovah God and his son Jesus I have decided while in sound mind and while not under any pressure, that I will accept a Blood Transfusion if it means saving my life. I ask that my family respect my decision in this regard. I am in no way renouncing my relationship with Jehovah. I dedicated my life to serve Jehovah and his son Christ Jesus, therefore when I see a discrepancy between Gods law and mans, I must follow the example of the Apostles and obey God as ruler rather than man. Jesus himself condemned the religious leaders of his day for going beyond Scripture and imposing uncalled for burdens on the people. In this regard it is my honest conclusion based on scripture that blood transfusions are acceptable in the eyes of our Lord Jesus and his Father Jehovah God! Since life is precious to the Lord, I must in good conscience take any means necessary to preserve that life as long as there is reasonable hope! Please respect my view as I will respect yours!
    No one should be compelled to worship God in a way that he finds unacceptable or to choose between religion and family.” – Awake! July 2009, p. 29

    Signed ________________________________________

  114. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    John 15 New International Version (NIV)
    The Vine and the Branches
    15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 REMAIN IN ME, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you REMAIN IN ME
    5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you REMAIN IN ME and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not REMAIN IN ME, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you REMAIN IN ME and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

    9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now REMAIN IN MY LOVE. 10 If you keep my commands, you will REMAIN IN MY LOVE, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and REMAIN IN HIS LOVE 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

    I thought it interesting the number of times in these few verses the exhortation to \\\”remain in me\\\” or remain in my love\\\”. Some religions teach that once saved always saved. That all you have to do is claim to believe and you will be saved. So why is Jesus exhorting his disciples to \\\”remain in me\\\”. In fact he says: 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. So it is possible for a true Christian to fall away and lose Gods favor.
    Another interesting point! Notice that Christ separates himself from God! \\\”I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.\\\” 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you\\\” \\\”I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.\\\” \\\”everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.\\\” \\\” whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you\\\”
    So according to a Jesus own words he is not GOD!
    What does it take remain in Christ?
    Jesus answers: \\\”10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love,\\\” \\\” My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.\\\” \\\”17 This is my command: Love each other.\\\”
    Yes if we are to remain in Gods favor then our love should be manifest to all! We should be willing to give our lives for others, just as Christ did for us!
    If we are remaining in Christ, we have been grafted into the fig tree of Gods people! We share in the hope and promise Christ gave us! The promise of being with Christ during his millennial reign either as part of the Great multitude or as part of Christs Bride! I feel that Christ will choose his bride from among those who have been faithful to death and have undergone extreme persecution, even death, in his service! That does not mean that we who may not be chosen are inferior Christians! Not everyone can come in first place in a race! But as Christians we are all in the race. All we have to do is cross the finish line faithful to our dedication to serve him.
    I made the dedication to serve our Lord nearly 50 years ago! I renewed that dedication and consecration almost two years ago! My hope is to be found worthy to win the reward. My hope is to remain in the love of Christ and his father Jehovah! But I leave everything in the hands of our judge, Jesus Christ.
    All of us have been chosen by Christ, drawn to him by Holy Spirit! We show our appreciation by our life course, our faith, our love, and as a result of that faith and love for Christ, we bear fruit according to our ability.
    \\\”John 15:4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
    5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. \\\”
    16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

  115. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    That’s my point Br Greg. If you have a cause that you really believe in you will work tirelessly for that cause. The same is true if we profess to believe in Christ! If we truly believe then our whole life should reflect that belief. Anything else is lip service. That is the difference between true Christians and nominal Christians. While both receive a reward for their faithfulness, those who are truly working hard to serve Christ, according to their circumstances and take up the cross of Christ will be blessed with a heavenly hope should Christ judge us worthy. No man, however can make that judgment, only the one who reads our hearts and motives. Any one can say I believe in Christ. But do they really mean it? Faith and Belief go together. They help provide a firm foundation as we try to make adjustments in our lives to serve our Lord Jesus. From there we await our master when his day of judgment comes.

  116. Greg says:

    Ted, and Jacqueline,
    I really appreciate the insightful words and comments here. I’ve long “believed” that we don’t speak sufficiently clear when we use the words faith and belief. We often don’t adequately finish the thoughts “I believe…” or “I have faith…” I always find myself wondering, “… in what?”
    Even to say, “I believe in Jesus,” seems to me be confusing, incomplete. “…in what? That he lived? That he truly was God’s son? That lots of people claim to follow him?” It’s totally possible that I could say the words I believe in Jesus and simply mean, “that for a mythical figure, he’s sure gotten a lot of publicity?”
    What EXACTLY is it I believe about Jesus? What exactly is I have faith in?
    And Watchtower never helped either. They toss around the words faith and belief and demand you just have them as if you simply draw beliefs out of a hat. Like deciding to wear my blue shirt today. OK, the I believe in Governing Body. Why? Because they said I must. OK, so I believe they exist, and that they believe they are God’s Authorized Spokespersons. See what I mean? WHAT EXACTLY is it I’m expressing about my beliefs and faith. To me those words are often unfinished sentences, and whenever I hear them used, I’m usually left wondering, “What’s the rest of the story? I need more information.”

  117. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    I agree Sr Jacqueline. Faith and true belief go hand in hand. Without faith a person cannot truly believe. There is a difference in believing something or someone existed, even Satan believes. There are millions of people out there that says the believe in Christ or God. But saying you believe and truly believing are two different things. Hitler claimed belief in Christ but what did his actions show? He murdered thousands of Jews in the name of Christ with the full sanction of the Catholic Church! He had a belief in Christ but failed to recognize the attributes of Christ and apply them in his life. How many people do we know that claim to be Christian, even go to Church on Sunday, yet by their actions show otherwise. Why, because they lack true faith and belief in Christ!
    When we truly believe in Christ we believe and have faith in him and try our best to follow his footsteps. We work hard to develop Christlike qualities. Love for others, mercy, forgiveness, and a true desire to help others. True belief requires FAITH. Faith requires belief. From there comes action. We walk a Christian walk. Others can see that we are truly different by our words and mostly, by our actions! It is this type of belief and faith that will help us win the fine fight and gain the prize of eternal life along side of our Lord and have a share in the first resurrection to a heavenly reward.
    But we do have a wonderful God! For those who may fall short of the race, he promises a resurrection of those both just and unjust, here on earth. A complete restoration of the earth free from Satan’s influence.
    This is the hope of the majority of mankind. Those who are faithful will have the wonderful blessing of eternal life on earth promised in Scriptures.
    So what must we do? First we come to believe that Christ was messiah and the son of God. We then begin to develop faith which strengthens our belief. As we strengthen or belief and faith we begin to take action, making changes in our life and striving to develop the fruit of the Spirit. We do this with the help of our great mediator, Jesus, and the helper he so lovingly provided, the Holy Spirit!
    Who will ultimately gain the heavenly reward? Only God and Christ knows, for they are our judge! Only they can read our hearts and motives. But whether our reward is earthly or heavenly our desire should be follow in the footsteps of Christ and grow in faith and belief

  118. jacqueline says:

    Hi Ted, I have learned now that Jesus is very accurate when he says something.
    I put this scripture in the age to come, not now. Everyone will know Jesus and can believe in him and even tho they died they can learn, believe and live. Belief is all that is needed then because no faith. Faith is for unseen things but if we put this scripture in the correct time frame it is easy to understand.
    I am learning Jesus always spoke frankly with his disciples and precisely.
    As you stated Christians with faith now in this age can get a better resurrection and by virtue of their FAITH have righteousness reckoned to them because they obeyed without a reality but on faith. Millennium just requires they believe because they see him and his blessings. My take on that scripture.

  119. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    John 11:25 New International Version (NIV)
    25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;

    What does it mean to “believe” in Christ? Many people profess to believe in Christ. It’s any easy thing to say. How many people do we know who claim to be Christian but by their actions, and attitude “prove false to it’s power” ( 2 Timothy 3). If we truly believe in Christ it will be evident in our actions! It will effect every facet of our daily life!
    The True Definition of Belief. … It is the power of belief that causes things to happen in our lives. Most people define beliefs as inward convictions, a feeling of certainty about what something means. They are what you hold dear and are rooted deeply within. A belief is both mental and emotional.
    The True Definition of Belief | Ty Bennett
    https://tybennett.com/the-true-definition-of-belief/
    Belief means to put full trust and confidence in someone or something! If we are to be true Christians we know, beyond any doubt, that Christ gave his life for us! We will be willing to give up our lives rather than compromise our belief and faith in Christ!
    Many Churches teach that all you have to do is believe in the Lord and be saved, and that once you are saved you are always saved! Yet even the Apostle Paul was concerned that he would be disapproved somehow! Being a true Christian we walk a narrow path. True Christians truly are a little flock when compared to the billions of mankind who do not follow Jesus and truly believe in him! The reward for TRUE Christians is to be with him as part of his Kingdom in heaven. The rest of mankind who are sincere and striving to be good people will have an earthly inheritance. Christ gave his life as a ransom for ALL! All people will have an equal opportunity when Christ returns and his Kingdom finally comes, “on earth as it is in heaven”. An opportunity for everlasting life! We can all look forward to that wonderful reward whether it is in heaven or on earth. But for the heavenly reward we must truly believe that Christ is our Lord and King. That he died for us! And we show by our actions that we will be ready to take up our cross and die for him! It makes no difference what denomination we profess! The Kingdom is in our hearts, our innermost being, with full faith and belief in Christ! We look forward to our Lords return and his righteous judgment. Happy are those found worthy of the first resurrection to be in heaven with Christ! To be found worthy we must truly BELIEVE!

  120. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Another point from todays Scripture. Jehovah’s Witnesses use the scripture at Heb 12 :11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
    as justification for their disfellowshiping practice, saying that disfellowshipping is discipline from our God! Reading the context we see that is not so! Discipline comes from God, not an organization! Only God can truly discipline in righteousness! To turn against our children at a time when they really need their family the most shows a total lack of understanding the love and mercy our God shows us. True, there may be times when we have to exercise tough love as parents. But that is based on extreme circumstance and should never be dictated by an organization in the name of our loving heavenly father.

  121. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    God Disciplines His Children
    Heb 12:4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

    “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
    6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a]

    7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.

    Because we are imperfect we sin every day. Often that sin leads to hardships. Do we accept those hardships as discipline from our Lord? When we were growing up we often had to be disciplined by our parents, sometimes painfully. But did we hate our parents? No, at least not most of us! We realized that our parents loved us and we learned to respect them. If we go through hardships, do we blame God and turn against him? Some have! But if we are true Children of God we accept the hardships we face, realizing that in doing so we are fine tuning our life course. Heb 12:11 says No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. None of us has had to suffer as our dear Lord suffered, at least not yet. Many though have suffered even to death! Yes we are surrounded by a great cloud of Witnesses who throughout history have endured even to death. But death is just temporary! We have a far grander future ahead of us! As Gods children he rewards us for our faithfulness, just as we reward our children when they are obedient. Our reward is eternal life, with our Lord Jesus who sits at Gods right hand! So when undergoing trials remember the words at Heb 12:14
    Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
    Yes not let bitterness dwell in our hearts and turn against God! Learn from our trials and hardships!
    Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
    28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.

  122. jacqueline says:

    TedR thank you for this thoughtful scripture for the day. I read it as I sat waiting in a car with family as the men talked.
    The very first words struck me. To keep our minds on Jesu who sits at the right hand of God.
    Do elders and governing body members see this? How can people point you to any man or body of men?
    Jesus said what is truth? He says I am the way the truth and the light, your word is Truth, yet brothers will say we have the truth and when I found the truth, anyone with a Bible has the Word of Truth in their hand.

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
    John 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

    TedR finally I have found the truth. I can freely read and be confident with what the Holy Spirit reveals to me. When I speak with others, just today, we came to many conclusions on scripture as a family with the thoughts of another man or men.
    The Holy Spirit does not have any more respect of a person in helping them as Christians and even before a person finds him the Holy Spirit will help them understand what they are reading. Jesus promised it.
    Great thought for the day. Thanks

  123. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Colossians 3 New International Version (NIV)
    Living as Those Made Alive in Christ
    3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

    5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

    12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

    15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

    So much good information here in Colossians! It is these thing that our salvation and reward hinges upon. Doing these things to the best our imperfect flesh will allow! As people who have chosen to follow in Christs footsteps we have a wonderful heavenly reward. Whether or not we will be chosen to rule as part of Christ Bride, only our Lord knows. All we can do is our best in this life! Jehovah’s Witness’s and some Bible Students would have us believe that the high heavenly calling is completed. Where is that in Scripture? Are we all just second class Christians? All of us who follow Christ are promised are promised this heavenly reward! Will be be chosen as Christ Bride to rule with him? Only he has the right to make that determination! All we can do is follow the council above! The Apostles were constantly arguing about who would be greatest. What did Jesus tell them: Mark 9:33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
    35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
    We do not have the right to determine who will be part of that Bride! We are Christians! Footstep followers of Christ! Let us stop arguing about matters better left to our Lord! Stop judging others! Stop exalting ourselves! Let each of us humbly walk our Christian walk and do our utmost to obey our Lord! It is the Master who gives the reward, not the servant!

  124. jacqueline says:

    Ted, I needed the scripture about the worship of angels. I tried to explain that I couldn’t accept the Laodicean angel as someone to worship or give undue adoration to, this scripture would have helped. I knew the Catholic church did this but had never really noticed it in most religions but it must have been prevalent or the Apostle wouldn’t have mentioned it, thanks. Not “going beyond what is written” certainly applies with all the types and antitypes that cause people to make all kinds of assumptions and then plunge those not accepting this into second death, another going beyond what is written.
    So glad to know we have been set free to worship God personally and with others in groups small and large without letting an organized system of worship dictate it’s long held beliefs.

  125. Ted R. (Bible Student) says:

    Do these Scriptures remind you of any particular organization? Paul here was address some false teachings that infiltrated the Colossian ecclesia. But don’t we see such teachings going on today? Don’t celebrate certain Holy days! Don’t we see false humility, and going beyond things written, using hollow and deceptive philosophy by twisting scripture? Yes these things were going on in Paul’s day with the early congregations so why should we be surprised to see it today! Never do we want to go beyond the things written!
    Colossians 2
    8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ.
    16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
    20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

  126. jacqueline says:

    Great questions maybe we can discuss them. I am on the BBB with Greg signed in but I am painting a room and need about 30 more minutes to finish so I and others will look at this. I had you whitelisted but I see it says they won’t start applying until 11/21. I need to get this thing cleared so you don’t wait in moderation. See you in a bit

  127. Marjo says:

    Jacqueline I have used https://biblehub.com to see different Bible versions also. I’ve seen that Christian Standard Bible sounds same with Finnish translation I am using. I found an interesting Bible verse from

    Hebrews 4: 7 he again specifies a certain day– today. He specified this speaking through David after such a long time: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.

    Specify what? He means today you have to hear His word and don’t harden your heart over and over again. At first, I was thinking could he mean to specify the day of Armageddon? But I think He meant that you have to believe NOW today when you hear His word.

    And another interesting verse in Hebrews 4: 3 For we who have believed enter the rest, in keeping with what he has said, So I swore in my anger, “They will not enter my rest,” even though his works have been finished since the foundation of the world.

    In the Finnish version, it sounds like “in the promised land of the rest”. Is there another world we don’t know about? Also, the Bible is talking about the third heavens. Also, this made my mind another question, that when a person dies does their soul go to that promised land of the rest?. I don’t think it means gehenna, because God is in that promised land of the rest.

  128. jacqueline says:

    Marjo I use this internet site so I can see different translations: https://www.biblegateway.com/
    I own about 20 or more translations and I have the eight translation, here is a link to how it looks: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3661453-holy-bible

    The NIV was composed to correct the witnesses New world translation and therefore while easy, it sometimes goes too far in fighting them I think.
    I sometimes use the KJV because it has errors but wasn’t competing with anyone.
    My favorite in the New American Standard Version then Rotherham and Youngs. There are internet sites that will give you many sides by side renderings also. Take Care.

  129. Marjo says:

    Hello Ted and Jacqueline

    I also agree for the meetings with small groups.
    Yeshua Christ said in Matthew 18:20: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    I bought myself KJV english version 1979. What do you think what has been the best translation so far?

  130. Ted R says:

    It’s always good to meet together in Christian bond. The early Christians did so. I personally like smaller groups. It makes for a more intimate, personal exchange of love and encouragement. I am able to drive and would love to have a meet up sometime with our group, you and Henry and anyone else that lives close enough by. The one thing I miss is the association with friends. I consider you and Henry my friends. The Scriptures tell us not to forsake meeting together, that where two or more are gathered Christ will be there with us. Meeting online is nice but it’s just not the same.
    I will put together some scriptural topics with Scriptures on some subjects to post them here if you would like. I will try to be on the meeting tomorrow night.
    Christian Love

  131. jacqueline says:

    Ted, I found scriptures that to me say meeting in small groups and coming together at times in bigger one for upbuilding is okay: Just scriptures.
    So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart. – Acts 2:46

    And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. – Acts 5:42

    . . . he came to the house of Mary . . . where many were gathered together praying. – Acts 12:12

    Likewise, greet the church that is in their house. – Romans 16:5

    Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. – Romans 16:23

    Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. – 1 Corinthians 16:19

    Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in his house. – Colossians 4:15

    To Philemon our beloved friend . . . and to the church in your house.- Philemon 1-2

  132. jacqueline says:

    Let me go tell Henry to come on and speak with you. Both of you have a lot in common. Perhaps you two can meet in the BBB or talk on the phone?

  133. Ted R says:

    You are right, it is to WHOM we go to not where! There is no one organization to go to. I believe that our aim is to follow in the footsteps of Christ. While we can certainly gain knowledge from others interpretations of Scripture, we must make the truth our own, studying the Bible and relying on the Holy Spirit to guide us. No one religion has a complete truth. If we follow Christ with our whole soul mind and heart and rely on him, we have his blessing and the reward he has promised. I hope we can meet soon. I wish I could speak freely on our meetings. Tell Br Henry I am thinking about him. We share a lot in common.

  134. jacqueline says:

    Example of how we can tell what we got from just Bible only:
    I understand from just reading scriptures that Jesus gave up his right to inherit his father home in Nazareth, as firstborn (they constantly tried to kill him there). He didn’t buy another one because he often slept on the Mount of Olive and we see him at Peter’s home and many others homes. He put complete trust in God to sustain him.
    Life lesson: Do God’s will and he will have your back, just considering scriptures only.

    Luke 21:37 “Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.”

    Luke 9:58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”
    Matthew 19:29
    “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”
    Matt.8:14 14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. 8:15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.

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