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Dec 21 13 9:38 AM

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  One thing we learned as "Witnesses" was to find parallels from biblical examples to help explain why those in Christendom were "on the wrong road today.
A case in point were the three Hebrews who wouldn't bow down to the image of the king of Babylon and how we shouldn't get involved in nationalism and elevate one's own country above God.
Then, how Jesus condemned the Pharisees for following and even adding to traditions instead of following God's word and how wrong the churches of Christendom are today for doing the same thing.
Knowing this to be the mindset of those we're trying to help discern the real truths from God's word, is an approach I hope to use more and have to a small extent already used with positive results.

 As I was reading over 2 Thessalonians, specifically chapter 2, had a similar observation as to verse 7 where it says "the secret power of this lawlessness is already at work". There seemed to be some misinformation concerning Christ's second coming at that time, which was causing some to stop what they were doing and just wait for this to happen. This sounds eerily familiar to the Watchtower repeatedly calling attention to this same thing, although there's more confusion than ever after the July 2013 Watchtower as to when Jesus actually came. I believe now they are being taught that he came in kingly power in 1914 (or "around 1914" per excerpt in their new bible) and will come to judge sometime in the near future (sheep and the goats). In the past, the Watchtower referred to actual months and not even years to Armageddon. The result time and time again were that some discontinued their "normal" living, sold homes, quit their jobs, put off starting a family to ready themselves for this to happen sooner and ignore Christ's admonition to be ready all the time, because nobody but his Father knows the "day and the hour". This "day and hour" is a whole other subject, but suffice to say this seems to me to hit awfully close to home.

 Even though similar, I'm wondering if anyone has a "take" on "the secret power of this lawlessness" referring to an attempt by prominent ones then to remove Christ and the New Covenant from the equation as I read on in chapter 3 and verse 6,..."to keep away from every believer who is 'idle' and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us". I'm reminded of Paul's earlier experience when he had to travel back to Jerusalem to correct the misinformation of prominent ones that traveled from Jerusalem to Antioch in order to teach those there that it was necessary to be circumcised, which, I think we know was really an attempt to reintroduce the Mosaic Law as necessary for salvation for the newly formed "churches" and if successful would in turn invalidate the need for Christ to suffer and give his life as a ransom. The GB today has successfully (IMO) removed Christ as well as the anointed from the equation by focusing on salvation from Jehovah's name and not Jesus as a pretty good starting point. This is all with the understanding that this (calling on the name of Jesus) is necessary until he actually hands over the kingdom to his Father and it becomes God's Kingdom.

 I had shown a few Witnesses the Greek Interlinear translation of Romans 10:9 where it refers to salvation resulting from declaring Jesus as Lord, but how the NWT changed verse 13 to "calling on the name of Jehovah", when it should read "calling on the name of the Lord" (Jesus). Recently, I started using the Society's Greek Interlinear in my personal Bible reading and am really wowed by how many times the WTS has changed Lord to read Jehovah, especially in the letters Paul wrote to the congregations (actually anointed meeting in individual homes). I read over Pearl's article again on the "Man of Lawlessness"  and since it's describing the elders in that role, because the "wicked slave" (GB) doesn't want to get their hands dirty, is it possible that the false anointed back then had their "minions" that they appointed as elders do their dirty work in traveling around trying to reinsert the Mosaic Law? I apologize for being a bit "speculative" on this aspect, but if it was found to be the case, would make for an interesting parallel account. 

 Also in 2 Thess. 2:4 where it says that "he will oppose and exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God", is this possibly when he (the beast) at Rev. 17:16 "exposes her" (the harlot) and is left standing? They are at one point "serving together for one hour", but we know it doesn't last. I think we all understand the "players" in prophecies like this, thanks to Pearl's writings, but when I came across this verse, thought of a particular timing of this in relation to Revelation 17. Just thought I'd share my thoughts and inquiries and wondering if anyone else had any success in finding ways to "witness to Witnesses".

Ryan

 

 

Last Edited By: elsinore777 Dec 21 13 9:43 AM. Edited 1 time

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Dec 21 13 6:52 PM

Hi Ryan,
I put your post up at Obadiah Blogs.  I tweaked it a little so that it might read better in different languages.  Some languages use different idioms and such.  If you don't like how it reads, or want to add/ change anything , let me know here or try to edit your post here again.  You should be able to.  Then I can just copy your changes and re-write it over the one on Obe, blogs.
I can't get into conjecture here on this post...I certainly understand wanting to find more gems, or gold nuggets though.  Sometimes I wish Holy Spirit would teach me the way it teaches the anointed, but that ain't happening.  
As to how to witness to witnesses...that's not easy.   Mainly show love to those you knew.  Don't even act as if you have anything to be ashamed of...you... don't. They expect you to hang your head in shame.  It surprises me how they get caught off guard when I say "Hi"  or nod to them and smile. Nothing is wrong with this. They have known you for ...years......who is acting stupid now?  I have often gotten a hello back and a smile....maybe they are "awake , but hiding". (Home but Hiding)
About those witnesses that call on you at the door or you meet in publc (Those that don't know you)....you don't have to say...Oh,  I'm disfellowshipped. (Get that "mark of the Beast" off of you for good...you do not have to follow Society protocol or accept it's label)  Nope...How about listening politely (like they do) and then ask them a question back...possibly based on what the subject they are talking about or redirect the subject gently...(for example...as a suggestion...based on the article "The Name of God" that I wrote).   Remember how we used to say to people at the door..."you have a name, don't you?"  "Well how do you feel when people don't call you by your name?"   I found this to be faulty reasoning.  I never called my father by his "first" name.  I never even called my friend's father by his first name.  God doesn't have a "first name" (It is a descriptive name) Not that we can't refer to him as the God who made all things...like Paul did.    Perhaps if we even knew how to spell or pronounce the descriptive divine "name", "He causes to become",  which by the way we don't, we could address that, however I don't believe that would even scratch the surface of what God's descriptive name covers .  Jesus called him father. That seems pretty safe.   Read the article and you will have some ammo to ask them thinking questions.   Ain't that a switch....we are asking them thought provoking questions.  That might make them start to use their brain a little.  Don't give a "full on drone attack"...about things using "WT language".  The shields will go up.  Use generic language based on the bible. When they ask a question...respond with a gentle inquisitive question...they do it...why can't you?
We had years of training right along with them..., we know their strategy...we have an advantage... we should use it.  Is that a deceptive thing to do?  No ,  I don't think so....they do it all the time...they know where they are going with their presentation.  They are not really interested in your answers...only how they can use them to springboard to the next step in their presentation.  
Like the Apostle Paul dealing with the Jews.   Having an improved understanding of the bible helps...but think about this...if  Holy Spirit is helping us reach...ones that are interested in truth...they will be reached.  Those that are not really hungry for truth won't be reached.  I hope these thoughts help.

Agape,  Obadiah

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Dec 21 13 7:09 PM

Hi Ryan,
Good to see you. I will reply more on the points you make, but for now I just wanted to comment on "Witnessing to 'witnesses'".
We expect our witness to our former associates to be difficult of course, knowing the orientation constantly drilled into them.
The initial times I saw former "brothers and sisters" I really gave thought as to what to do. I had known them for decades, and it was unnatural to ignore them.
Why would I? Sure, we know what's expected of those cast out for "apostasy", but only we know the real motive behind the tough choice to be loyal to God alone.
We make allowance for their deceived condition. But most importantly, we should remember that we are not the ones who should be ashamed. If we act ashamed, does that tell observers the truth?
These thoughts helped prepare me for doing what I could to wake them up.
Next I thought about what to say. Is there really any doctrine that will be received from us? Not likely.
After many considerations and imagined scenarios, what I ended up doing turned out to be spontaneous, and seemingly effective.
I walk right up to those I see, and just quickly say in a soft tone (while I touch their arm gently if I can)
that "I want you to know that I forgive everyone, and I understand why all this is happening. I am praying for everyone still under the wicked steward."
I then immediately depart, to relieve them of any sense of obligation to rebuke or reject me.
I do this for their welfare (Luke10:16).

This brief and sincere comment always makes it out with no interruption...and they are so stunned that they listen to all of it and respond with acceptance.
I think that they are so convinced by the Org. that we are demonic, rabid, and mentally diseased; they just don't know how to fit that lie in with the reality of our confidence, assurance, genuine love, and lack of shame.
Because the statement is brief, the content is remembered. The thought of a wicked steward over them is the last thing they ever could have imagined. But with a little thought, they may remember Jesus' warning,
which they have been so carefully taught to ignore.
That conscious alternate possibility of reality is like a seed, which can be watered by what is really going on in congregation politics, magazines articles, and meetings.
In time, it just may (with God's spirit), wake them up. They will remember that we were warm and genuinely concerned for them and their condition. I have had a couple of them later approach me for more information.

We cannot expect Satan's veil to be lifted by us alone. We know how much we had to learn (and are still learning) and the personal effort it took,
before our eyes became fully opened to the horrific spiritual reality of the Great Tribulation. It is not a truth many can handle. Yet the point is, it does take personal work, combined with God's mercy and help.
We can not do this for them, but we can at least put a crack in their delusion and pray for them. Their own heart will have to decide from there.

Good topic, Ryan! I hope more of us will post any such experiences. I know Debbie had one. I hope she adds it.

Will comment more when I can,
Love in Christ,
Pearl

Last Edited By: Pearl Doxsey Dec 21 13 7:22 PM. Edited 4 times.

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Dec 22 13 6:46 AM

"witnessing" thought

imageHi.  I'm Debbie.  This happened to me. Love,

Debbie 

A knock came at the side of my house last week.  Who's there? A Jehovah's Witness.,someone replied.  Stop clowning,I said.   Well, it really was a Witness.  I didn't know him because this house is in a different territory. When I told him I was disfellowshipped, I decided to tell him why and share scriptures with him. He stayed for at least 15 minutes.  I had to stop and take a breath because the words that were poring out of my mouth surprised me and he seemed to be listening and even agreeing. Anyway, after all that he backed out of my long driveway when he could have just gone forward in the circle.  Am I an RV or a do not call?Although anxious to know the things you have been given, I have been studying past lessons.  There is so much and I get a deeper understanding and appreciation in the subject and the unique way the scriptures are written.I have so many things to tell you. My typing is so slow. Next time I will use seri.I hope this letter will make you happy.  Yes, it is so good to focus on truth and trust in God.  And like with Ryan a seed was planted.

Last Edited By: Deborah Dec 24 13 7:18 PM. Edited 2 times.

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Dec 22 13 7:01 AM

"witnessing" thought

  Thanks guys for that.

 I like the idea of using "our Father" and have "defaulted" to using that with my wife around the house and she likes it too. Jesus did refer to Him that way in his model prayer.
I also like the reasoning point that we wouldn't refer to our father by name, but call him Dad,....wish I had thought of that,...lol

 Pearl, I absolutely love the remark you have made with those still under the wicked slave. Every time I'm out in public, I try to rehearse how I'm going to respond to those I've left behind, but have never felt any shame and have carried myself as I would if they were a total stranger, although I would not act as if I didn't see them. I've often thought that it would be more awkward for them to see me and not know how to react and by me approaching them might actually take some pressure off,....kind of a "win/win" situation where I can still give a witness to them at the same time.

 I hold out hope that there will be better opportunities as time goes by and since my wife is still in contact they will know that I haven't changed at all and in some ways have even improved. My whole life, I've suffered from major anxiety and only when I was in my late thirties found out what was really going on. I had no idea what a panic attack was, even though I suffered for years with them. I was "diagnosed" with agoraphobia (social anxiety) and even took an online course with the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety with Lucinda Bassett. My two daughters suffer from it as well and my youngest went through the course and said it reminded her a bit of the Dale Carnegie Course she was required to take for her job and though it was helpful. I told my wife years ago that the only time I experienced the "bad" anxiety was always when I was going to the Hall for service or the meetings. I never felt it when I was actually in the ministry or when I was teaching from the platform. I knew from the course that when you're teaching, you're focused on who you're talking to and not "internalizing" and as a result somewhat stress-free. Now that I understand the wicked slave's involvement and how the Kingdom Halls are the "epicenter", realize how important it was to get as far away from there as possible.

  Quite some time ago, my wife and I were talking with some friends around our fire and relating what we were looking forward to in the "new system" and they all kind of looked surprised when I said "having peace of mind". My wife understood and now she can see for herself that I actually have that and the only thing that has changed is that I left the organization and now even more devoted to studying God's Word. She's responded to people when they ask how I'm treating her now that I'm nicer than ever and jokingly refers to me as "monk-like" in that I'm always reading my Bible and doing research. Most people that leave start doing all the "worldly" things they were never allowed to do, so they think I'm going to start going to biker bars and acting all crazy,...lol. It might take some time for the "dust to settle" after the CO got the whole circuit worked up over my letters, but in time I'm hoping that when some have their eyes opened, will not see a dust storm.

 BTW, Obadiah, feel free to make whatever adjustments you think might help to my post and thanks for offering to share it.

Love in Christ,
Ryan

Last Edited By: elsinore777 Dec 22 13 7:08 AM. Edited 1 time.

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