The Disease of Fear and Unbelief

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lamesa
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The Disease of Fear and Unbelief

#1 Post by lamesa » 4 months ago

[This letter was written in response to a JW witnessing letter I received in the mail. The witness replied and she said it was "encouraging." Please feel free to share this letter with your JW friends. There are links at the end.]

Who is in control of the world today? God or the devil? We see confusion and chaos on every side. Sin is rampant, lawlessness abounds, wickedness continues to “advance from bad to worse” (2Tim. 3:13). Today, everything appears to be out of joint. Unrest, discontent, and lawlessness are pandemic. Officials are perplexed and staggered. “People [are] faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world.” (Luke 21:26). Do these things look as though God has full control?

Who is in control of the world today? God or the devil? This is an important question. Because if we were to truly believe God is in control, our fears would completely vanish!

“Do not be afraid” —Jesus Christ (John 14:27)

But how? Is that truly possible?

God's power and wisdom gives him a right to govern the world. Nothing can equal him, and therefore nothing can share command with him. God holds all things in the world together, and he preserves them and conducts them as he designed them. Yet, many deny this. "They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say—Who will see them?" (Psalm 64:5) Some say outright, "'God isn't watching! He will never notice!'" (Psalm 10:11-12).

To say that God does not rule the world, is the most blasphemous thing that can be possibly said about Him! To say that God abandoned his creatures and cares no more for us, would argue a total lack of the moral attributes of God. Such conduct truly describes the character of false gods—it’s wholly abhorrent to the nature of Jehovah. The world would be better off without such a God, as to have one who is incompetent to rule, or, who wraps himself in a mantle of careless indifference, and abandons us to the governance of puny mortals, to the rule of devils, or to blind chance!

"The ostrich lays her eggs on top of the earth, letting them be warmed in the dust. She doesn't worry that a foot might crush them or that wild animals might destroy them. She is harsh toward her young, as if they were not her own. She is unconcerned though they die" (Job 39:14-16).

And so this bird fulfills the instincts of her nature, and she proves that she’s one of the lowest animals. But God's tender mercies are over all his works. His kingdom rules over all.

"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!" (Revelation 19:6).

"Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases!" (Psalm 115:3).

The many promises in God’s Holy Word prove that we have absolutely no reason to fear or faint—no matter what happens. But we are so weak and we forget (Psalm 103:14). So, whenever we feel faint, we must remember it’s because we’ve taken our eyes off of what’s real (as Peter began to sink in the water when he took his eyes off Jesus and began looking at the storm clouds, Matthew 14:30). The cure for fear and anxiety is to continually remember (Psalm 1:2, 3) and believe the “great cloud of witnesses” to the life of faith:

“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh (meaning “Jehovah will provide”). As it is said to this day, In the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided." —Moses (Genesis 22:14).

“Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you of much more value then they? … Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If God does so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:26-30).

“In the hand of the Lord is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”—Job (Job 12:10).

“God sent me before you to preserve you a remnant in the earth, and to save you alive by a great deliverance.” —Joseph (Genesis 45:7).

“Jehovah is King for ever and ever.” —David (Psalm 10:16).

O Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, that sits above the cherubim, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. —Hezekiah (Isaiah 37:16).

“Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.”— Isaiah (Isaiah 40:21-24).

“But Jehovah is the true God; he is the living God, and an everlasting King… O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself.”— Jeremiah (Jeremiah 10:10, 23).

“In Him we live and move and have our being.” —Paul (Acts 17:28).

“You ought to say, ‘If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.’”—James (James 4:15).

“the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.”—Peter (2 Peter 2:9).

So, why do we worry?! We know that God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18) and we know God’s words are true (“let God be found true, but every man a liar,” Romans 3:4).

It’s a serious matter to be an unbeliever:

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

The cure for the disease of unbelief is to always pray for more faith.

“I do believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).

“But these have been written down so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and because of believing, you may have life by means of his name” (John 20:31).

“So, then, because we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also throw off every weight and the sin that easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, as we look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1, 2).


-----------------------
NOTES:

To download a PDF of this letter, click on the link below:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2rd3s30m5yum ... r.pdf?dl=0]

This letter was inspired by Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952), The Sovereignty of God:
audio: https://youtu.be/uhXKiZ9-0Hc
text: https://www.chapellibrary.org/pdf/books/sogo.pdf

lamesa
Posts: 64
Joined: 4 months ago

Re: The Disease of Fear and Unbelief

#2 Post by lamesa » 4 months ago

This letter was inspired by Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952), The Sovereignty of God

Oh my! I should have used a different link for the audio reading of AW Pink's book! The link itself is fine, but please ignore the user's other playlists, ugh! I do not approve of the other playlists! Well, the internet is a reflection of our corrupt world, both tares and wheat, and mostly tares! ;)

Here is a clean, free source for the reading of the book:
https://librivox.org/the-sovereignty-of ... thur-pink/

User avatar
coccus ilicis
Posts: 1003
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: The Disease of Fear and Unbelief

#3 Post by coccus ilicis » 4 months ago

lamesa wrote: 4 months ago [This letter was written in response to a JW witnessing letter I received in the mail. The witness replied and she said it was "encouraging." Please feel free to share this letter with your JW friends. There are links at the end.]

Who is in control of the world today? God or the devil? We see confusion and chaos on every side. Sin is rampant, lawlessness abounds, wickedness continues to “advance from bad to worse” (2Tim. 3:13). Today, everything appears to be out of joint. Unrest, discontent, and lawlessness are pandemic. Officials are perplexed and staggered. “People [are] faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world.” (Luke 21:26). Do these things look as though God has full control?

Who is in control of the world today? God or the devil? This is an important question. Because if we were to truly believe God is in control, our fears would completely vanish!
The world would be better off without such a God, as to have one who is incompetent to rule, or, who wraps himself in a mantle of careless indifference, and abandons us to the governance of puny mortals, to the rule of devils, or to blind chance!...
"The ostrich lays her eggs on top of the earth, letting them be warmed in the dust. She doesn't worry that a foot might crush them or that wild animals might destroy them. She is harsh toward her young as if they were not her own. She is unconcerned though they die" (Job 39:14-16)
Hello Iamesa

To answer your question, I would say it is neither God nor the devil, but it is man.

God stated this quite clearly, saying: let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens, and the domestic animals and all the earth, and every moving animal that is moving on the earth, (Gen 1:26)

After the flood, he re-stated the commitment, saying: The fear of you and the terror of you will continue upon every living creature of the earth, and on every flying creature of the heavens, and upon everything that is moving in the ground, and upon all the fishes of the sea. Into your hand they have been given. Have been given, is a perfect passive verb, (Gen 9:2). And despite man's mistreatment of the earth and animal kind, they remain his responsibility.

The Psalmist confirms this saying: As regards the heavens, to Jehovah the heavens belong. But the earth he has given to the sons of men, (Ps 115:16).

What can we learn from the much-maligned ostrich? Jehovah says: For she leaves her eggs to the earth itself. And she forgets that some foot may crush them. Or even a wild beast of the field may tread on them. She does treat her sons roughly as if not hers, in vain is her toil because she has no dread. For God has deprived her of wisdom and has not given her a share of understanding,(Job 39:14-16). She nonetheless survives because she has been created to perfectly fulfil her purpose on this earth.

Unlike man, who has forgotten the reason for his being created ... to cultivate the earth and take care of it,(Gen 2:5). Who, if he cares at all, cares only for his own and condemns the rest, and has yet to learn what it means to become like God in whose image he was created. You heard that it was said, 'You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy.' However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and pray for those persecuting you; that you may prove yourselves sons of your father who is in the heavens ... For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not the tax collectors doing the same thing? And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not all the nations doing the same thing? You must accordingly be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, (Mt 5: 43-48).

So is God in control? Not yet. Jehovah comes to be God when we prove ourselves to be sons of God, and do his will on earth as it is done in heaven, (cf Mt 6:10).
LRW~

lamesa
Posts: 64
Joined: 4 months ago

Re: The Disease of Fear and Unbelief

#4 Post by lamesa » 4 months ago

coccus ilicis wrote: 4 months ago when we prove ourselves to be sons of God, and do his will on earth
Do you truly believe one can merit forgiveness and salvation? HOW is it possible that one could “prove ourselves to be the sons of God and do his will on earth”?

Compare with the Lord’s parable about the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). This is one of the great teaching passages on the significance of true salvation and repentance. The father could not have the prodigal son at his table in the rags of the far country even though he had forgiven him. When the father goes out to meet the son, he forgives the son. But before the son can come to the father's table the father puts new clothing on him, he robes him in a new robe and puts a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. And may I suggest that going out to meet him and forgiving him and justifying him is the equivalent of redemption described in Romans chapters 3 and 4. The son cannot receive all the blessedness of the father's table until he is robed in the right robe.

Now compare with Romans 4 where is says that “God justifies the ungodly” (Romans 4:5). God only saves the ungodly. God only saves the people who come back and cry out, "I have sinned," who realize they are in rags, who realize they have no resources. He only saves number one son, not number two in that story because the number two son never recognized his ungodliness.

“For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.’ Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness” (Romans 4:3, 4, 5).

Abraham is the classic illustration of the fact that “God justifies the ungodly”, that God redeems men not by their works but by their faith. This is a really hard lesson to learn because we want to believe we have some merit. But the Bible is clear:

“We are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

The natural heart dislikes this teaching. It runs counter to man’s ideas. It leaves him no room to boast. Man’s idea is to come to Christ with a price in his hand, his regularity, his morality, his repentance, his goodness, in order to buy pardon and justification. The Bible’s teaching is quite different—it is, first of all to believe:

“If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12)

“Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:15).

“Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the
only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18).

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” (John 5:24).

Some say this teaching cannot be right, because it makes the way to salvation too easy. But the fact is that many persons find this too hard. It’s easier to give donations, or do many good works, than to thoroughly receive justification by faith without the deeds of the law, and to receive forgiveness as a sinner saved by grace.

Some say this teaching is foolishness. But the fact is, this is the only teaching that will ever bring peace to an uneasy conscience, and rest to a troubled soul. A person may get on pretty well without it as long as he is asleep about his spiritual condition.

I am not ashamed of free pardon through faith in Christ, whatever some may say against the teaching. Jesus, and faith in him, is the only way to the Father. Whoever thinks he can get into paradise by some other road, will find himself fearfully mistaken. There is no other foundation but faith in Christ.

“This is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment” (1 John 3:23).

Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).

lamesa
Posts: 64
Joined: 4 months ago

Re: The Disease of Fear and Unbelief

#5 Post by lamesa » 4 months ago

But how do I PROVE that my faith is real? Many claim to "believe" in Christ, but we know it's not real because real faith is alive and produces real results ("works"). We aren't saved by our works, but our works SHOW that our faith is the real thing.

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead" (James 2:14-17).

cereyop468
Posts: 1
Joined: 4 months ago

Re: The Disease of Fear and Unbelief

#6 Post by cereyop468 » 4 months ago

lamesa wrote: 4 months ago [This letter was written in response to a JW witnessing letter I received in the mail. The witness replied and she said it was "encouraging." Please feel free to share this letter with your JW friends. There are links at the end.]

Who is in control of the world today? God or the devil? We see confusion and chaos on every side. Sin is rampant, lawlessness abounds, wickedness continues to “advance from bad to worse” (2Tim. 3:13). Today, everything appears to be out of joint. Unrest, discontent, and lawlessness are pandemic. Officials are perplexed and staggered. “People [are] faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world.” (Luke 21:26). Do these things look as though God has full control?

Who is in control of the world today? God or the devil? This is an important question. Because if we were to truly believe God is in control, our fears would completely vanish!

“Do not be afraid” —Jesus Christ (John 14:27)

But how? Is that truly possible?

God's power and wisdom gives him a right to govern the world. Nothing can equal him, and therefore nothing can share command with him. God holds all things in the world together, and he preserves them and conducts them as he designed them. Yet, many deny this. "They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say—Who will see them?" (Psalm 64:5) Some say outright, "'God isn't watching! He will never notice!'" (Psalm 10:11-12).

To say that God does not rule the world, is the most blasphemous thing that can be possibly said about Him! To say that God abandoned his creatures and cares no more for us, would argue a total lack of the moral attributes of God. Such conduct truly describes the character of false gods—it’s wholly abhorrent to the nature of Jehovah. The world would be better off without such a God, as to have one who is incompetent to rule, or, who wraps himself in a mantle of careless indifference, and abandons us to the governance of puny mortals, to the rule of devils, or to blind chance!

"The ostrich lays her eggs on top of the earth, letting them be warmed in the dust. She doesn't worry that a foot might crush them or that wild animals might destroy them. She is harsh toward her young, as if they were not her own. She is unconcerned though they die" (Job 39:14-16).

And so this bird fulfills the instincts of her nature, and she proves that she’s one of the lowest animals. But God's tender mercies are over all his works. His kingdom rules over all.

"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!" (Revelation 19:6).

"Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases!" (Psalm 115:3).

The many promises in God’s Holy Word prove that we have absolutely no reason to fear or faint—no matter what happens. But we are so weak and we forget (Psalm 103:14). So, whenever we feel faint, we must remember it’s because we’ve taken our eyes off of what’s real (as Peter began to sink in the water when he took his eyes off Jesus and began looking at the storm clouds, Matthew 14:30). The cure for fear and anxiety is to continually remember (Psalm 1:2, 3) and believe the “great cloud of witnesses” to the life of faith:

“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh (meaning “Jehovah will provide”). As it is said to this day, In the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided." —Moses (Genesis 22:14).

“Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you of much more value then they? … Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If God does so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:26-30).

“In the hand of the Lord is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”—Job (Job 12:10).

“God sent me before you to preserve you a remnant in the earth, and to save you alive by a great deliverance.” —Joseph (Genesis 45:7).

“Jehovah is King for ever and ever.” —David (Psalm 10:16).

O Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, that sits above the cherubim, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. —Hezekiah (Isaiah 37:16).

“Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.”— Isaiah (Isaiah 40:21-24).

“But Jehovah is the true God; he is the living God, and an everlasting King… O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself.”— Jeremiah (Jeremiah 10:10, 23).

“In Him we live and move and have our being.” —Paul (Acts 17:28).

“You ought to say, ‘If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.’”—James (James 4:15).

“the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.”—Peter (2 Peter 2:9).

So, why do we worry?! We know that God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18) and we know God’s words are true (“let God be found true, but every man a liar,” Romans 3:4).

It’s a serious matter to be an unbeliever:

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

The cure for the disease of unbelief is to always pray for more faith.

“I do believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).

“But these have been written down so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and because of believing, you may have life by means of his name” (John 20:31).

“So, then, because we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also throw off every weight and the sin that easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, as we look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1, 2).


-----------------------
NOTES:

To download a PDF of this letter, click on the link below:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2rd3s30m5yum ... r.pdf?dl=0]

This letter was inspired by Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952), The Sovereignty of God:
audio: https://youtu.be/uhXKiZ9-0Hc
text: https://www.chapellibrary.org/pdf/books/sogo.pdf
https://doramasmp4.me

Get out of her
Posts: 1210
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: The Disease of Fear and Unbelief

#7 Post by Get out of her » 3 months ago

lamesa wrote:

Who is in control of the world today? God or the devil? This is an important question. Because if we were to truly believe God is in control, our fears would completely vanish!

In view of scriptures like the ones below and particularly upon comparing them to the ones cited here in this thread, would this not call into question whether or not we are even asking or addressing the right questions here in the first place?

1 Joh 5:19
1 Sa 8:7
Job 1:12
Re 13:2
Lu 4:5-7
Da 7:12

We realize of course that Jehovah can easily take even FULL control of the earth at any moment he wishes. But based even on secular history alone, wouldn't the real questions here be ones much more like the following?:


Is Jehovah currently EXERCISING his power and authority over the earth at this moment, and if so, how MUCH?

Have there been periods of time in which God has exercised MORE of his power over the earth and mankind, perhaps even FULL power?

If so, how long was this in effect and what factors were involved in his decision to make changes or adjustments in this?

Will there come a time in which Jehovah will ONCE AGAIN exercise full power and authority over the earth? If so when will it be, and how long will it last on this occasion?


Upon carefully considering just the six scriptures alone that I have cited here lamesa, wouldn't you agree that we are already getting more at the heart of the real issues here?

Agape love;
Sol

lamesa
Posts: 64
Joined: 4 months ago

Re: The Disease of Fear and Unbelief

#8 Post by lamesa » 3 months ago

Get out of her wrote: 3 months ago We realize of course that Jehovah can easily take even FULL control of the earth at any moment he wishes. But based even on secular history alone, wouldn't the real questions here be ones much more like the following?:

Is Jehovah currently EXERCISING his power and authority over the earth at this moment, and if so, how MUCH?
Have there been periods of time in which God has exercised MORE of his power over the earth and mankind, perhaps even FULL power?
If so, how long was this in effect and what factors were involved in his decision to make changes or adjustments in this?
Will there come a time in which Jehovah will ONCE AGAIN exercise full power and authority over the earth? If so when will it be, and how long will it last on this occasion?
Hi Sol!
These are very important questions and after years of studying and prayer, I now realize that JW doctrine on this subject is full-blown apostasy. So, my response is directed broadly to our x-JW readers. As x-JWs, we do not read the Scriptures without fixed conclusions because we were indoctrinated, which means we don’t realize the many assumptions we accepted and therefore we miss the contextual and spiritual meaning of Scriptures. JW doctrines contain enough truth to be as dangerous as the old snake was in the garden. Satan was speaking “the truth” when he said: “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” But his goal was to deceive. This is how to look at all of the JW doctrines. They are truly from the devil.

I said that to say this: Who is more powerful? God or the devil? ‘That’s easy, God.’ Right, but do we believe that in experience, which is to say, in reality? The premise of my letter to the JW sister was that she is fearful because she is forgetting that God is in FULL control, at ALL times. Of course, this is because she’s indoctrinated, and so my challenge was to build her faith in the Scriptures, which show that Jehovah God is in FULL control, at ALL times, with NO exceptions, EVER.

The Scriptures also show, despite all appearances otherwise, the devil and/or men are NEVER in control, EVER.

[My prayer is that if I can convince my readers of one point, it is this: do not rely upon your own understanding. “Appearances” are not reliable. Only God’s Word is reliable, and so we must learn to see EVERYTHING by faith in God’s Word: “My righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him” (Heb. 10:38).]

“For what does the Scripture say?” (Rom. 4:3).

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

“ALL things work together for good,” which means NOTHING and NO ONE, including the devil, can do anything, but God makes it ‘work it for my good.’ This is why Joseph said to his brothers (who sold him into slavery after they had nearly murdered him):

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Gen. 50:20).

The teaching is called the “overruling Providence of God” (or, the Sovereignty of God) and as an x-JW, it has taken me years of study, meditation and prayer to understand and to believe it.

Jehovah God is ALWAYS in FULL control:

"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (Isa. 45:7). 'But,' someone will say, 'I thought the devil is responsible for evil'? Of course, that's true. But God takes responsibility for evil because he is God and he is ALWAYS in FULL control.

"Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” (John 18:11) 'But," someone will say, 'the devil, or the Jews crucified Christ.' And of course, that's true, but Jesus said it was his Father who gave it to him. Yes, the devil and the Jews and the Romans crucified Christ--and yet it was the Father’s will. So, who was in FULL control?

Pilate really believed that he was in control of whether Jesus lived or died: “Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” (John 19:10). Was Pilate in control? No, not according to Jesus: “Jesus answered, ‘You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above’” (John 19:11). Truly, Pilate wanted nothing to do with the matter, “From then on Pilate sought to release Him” (John 19:12), and you know how he washed his hands. So, who was in FULL control?

I could write about this for days. Elijah and Elisha were instructed by Jehovah to anoint pagan kings, showing that Jehovah God is controlling the nations (1 Kings 19:15). Jehovah God told Isaiah that “the king of Assyria will not understand that he is my [Jehovah’s] tool; his mind does not work that way. His plan is simply to destroy, to cut down nation after nation” (Isa. 10:7). Was the king of Assyria in control when he conquered Israel? Not according to the Scriptures, he was merely a “tool” of Jehovah. But also notice that Assyria WAS responsible for their evil deeds: “After the Lord has used the king of Assyria to accomplish his purposes on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will turn against the king of Assyria and punish him—for he is proud and arrogant” (Isa. 10:12). Again, God is in FULL control. The king acted of his own free will, and yet God’s Sovereign will overruled the pagan king, and then God punished the king for his sin against Israel.

How true are these words: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:9).

Almighty God is truly God and we cannot expect to understand everything about his ways. I believe there are some things that we will never fully understand. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29).

I don’t expect x-JWs to readily understand or believe this right away because it is SO foreign to JW doctrines. But once you get your head around it, you’ll find it EVERYWHERE in the Bible. I highly recommend the following booklet about the Book of Esther. I LOVE this writing and it changed my life.

Confidence in God in Times of Danger: A Study of God’s Providence in the Book of Esther,
by Alexander Carson (1776-1884):
https://www.chapellibrary.org/pdf/books/cigi.pdf

Get out of her
Posts: 1210
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: The Disease of Fear and Unbelief

#9 Post by Get out of her » 3 months ago

lamesa wrote:
These are very important questions and after years of studying and prayer, I now realize that JW doctrine on this subject is full-blown apostasy. So, my response is directed broadly to our x-JW readers. As x-JWs, we do not read the Scriptures without fixed conclusions because we were indoctrinated, which means we don’t realize the many assumptions we accepted and therefore we miss the contextual and spiritual meaning of Scriptures. JW doctrines contain enough truth to be as dangerous as the old snake was in the garden. Satan was speaking “the truth” when he said: “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” But his goal was to deceive. This is how to look at all of the JW doctrines. They are truly from the devil.
So very true; and I very much hope you come to understand (if you don't already) how much I respect and appreciate ones such as yourself and their earnest desire to help their dear brothers and sisters to grasp things such as this. Based on some of the things I find in your posts at times however, I hope you don't mind if I present a few questions for you to ponder just a bit in connection with your above comments, and as always I look forward to considering your input on them:

Particularly since "all things written aforetime were written for our instruction…," have you ever truly given serious thought to the examples that were set before us in the scriptures in these time frames immediately prior to another foretold re-establishment of genuine theocratic power and authority on the earth? (Ro 15:4) More specifically, the examples set by the ones who were chosen to actually have a share in the tremendous level of theocratic power and authority that was established on the earth at that time? (Lu 22:28, 29) (Col 1:13) (Hag 1:12, 13) (Da 2: 48, 49) (Es 10:3)

For example, in the case of the ministry or "prophesying" of the "two witnesses/son of man/faithful steward" etc. the earth experienced in the early part of the first century immediately prior to the "birth" of the 65 or so year reign of the "kingdom of the son of his love," what exactly did the 11 disciples of Jehovah's true prophets do that ultimately moved these figurative "spies" or "inspectors" to select them as fellow rulers in this renewed kingdom or nation? (Re 11:3, 7, 11, 12) (Ez 2:1) (Mt 24:45) (Col 1:13) (Jer 15:9) (Lu 19:44) (Jos 2:1) The moment they grasped the severity of what was once again an extremely dire spiritual condition of the religious and political leaders that Jehovah had appointed over them several decades earlier and realized the need to "separate themselves" from them, what did they do next? (Mt 24:15, 16) (2 Cor 6:17)

Did they perhaps begin reasoning out that some particular religious group that had long opposed Judaism or maybe at least the FORM of it that they were previously involved in must therefore have been correct all along? If they had long been a member of the Pharisees for example and suddenly realized how corrupt or false they had become, did they perhaps begin reasoning out that the Sadducees must therefore belong to the true faith, and then start digging into their literature and teachings to equip themselves to begin waking up OTHER Pharisees to their false teachings and practices?

The bottom line is this: If even the ONE TRUE nation has once again fallen into spiritual adultery by violating the holy marriage covenant, what would that imply in connection with all the nations or even religions that were ALWAYS at odds with it? Would you perhaps have some thoughts to share on this lamesa?
The Scriptures also show, despite all appearances otherwise, the devil and/or men are NEVER in control, EVER.
What a more careful consideration of the scriptures will reveal is that this statement is COMPLETELY true in the periods in which Jehovah's people or nation actually EXISTS on the earth with a kingdom covenant that for the moment at least has NOT been violated with spiritual adultery or even "harlotry" on the part of the appointed theocratic shepherds it is always formed with. (1 Cor 3:16, 17 6:15) (Isa 1:21) Just as accounts like Exodus 19:5 make clear, in a world in which mankind has altogether rejected Jehovah as their rightful king and even God, not only is becoming Jehovah's "special property" a matter of entering into a "covenant" relationship with him at a time in which this is actually being OFFERED to humans, but this covenant must also thereafter be "KEPT."

Among the many things we are always very well trained to NOT understand in ANY setting in which this spiritual adultery prompts Jehovah to "ABANDON" what up until that moment WAS his people, (the very setting that always PROMPTS another foretold "coming of the kingdom") is that the power and control that Jehovah now RELINQUISHES to satan for the time being and its commensurate devastating effects are NOT experienced by God's people, but rather by a kind of figurative …"DAUGHTER of his people"… or even "daughters" that are ALWAYS born from the spiritually adulterous relations involved in breaking the holy marriage covenant. (Jer 8:11) (Eze 23:1-4) (Mt 23:38) It is precisely for this reason that even the anointed ones that find themselves facing another foretold potential reunion or renewed marriage covenant with their heavenly "bridegroom" (another "coming of the kingdom") are described in the scriptures NOT ONLY as mere "sleeping virgins" and "widows," but even the "few" among them who repentantly prove "discreet" are actually "typified" or illustrated as a "discreet" "PROSTITUTE!" In fact not MERELY a prostitute, but even a FOREIGN prostitute such as was the case with the ancient Rahab. (Mt 22:14 25:1-10) (La 1:1, 4) (Re 21:2, 9) (Jos 2:1) This brings me to another statement of yours:
Elijah and Elisha were instructed by Jehovah to anoint pagan kings, showing that Jehovah God is controlling the nations (1 Kings 19:15).
If a king or even POTENTIAL theocratic king were NOT foreign or even essentially pagan, there would never be any NEED for a divine anointing, for they would ALREADY be anointed, and in fact in the case of an ACTUAL king even APPOINTED as well, which is vastly more important. To make my point here lamesa please consider this question:

The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel were of course ministering or even "prophesying" to their fellow Jews, were they not? Since I am very familiar with the way you have always been taught (and even if you have later delved also into religious literature that was not affiliated with the Watchtower), do I not have every reason to assume you would answer yes to this question?

The reason Jehovah explicitly identified these ministers as "prophets to the NATIONS" is because (once again) Jehovah NEVER allows HIS people to experience things like military overthrow and subsequent exile and captivity. (Jer 1:5) By strict scriptural definition a genuine Jew OR Christian is one that has actually experienced not only an anointing, but one followed by a genuine subsequent theocratic APPOINTING. This means that until the holy covenant was renewed in ancient Babylon as mentioned in Ezekiel Chapter 17 with rulers such as Daniel and his three Hebrew companions, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were the ONLY Jews on the earth. For these same reasons, as long as ancient kings like Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon or Cyrus of Medo-Persia would REMAIN as faithful "anointed shepherds" of what were ONCE AGAIN God's people, not only would they not be recognized by Jehovah as pagan, technically speaking they would not even be FOREIGN! (Isa 44:28, 45:1) (Jer 25:9)

What we want to factor in when it comes to accounts such as Elijah and Elisha is the setting that in this case is merely being REPRESENTED in a symbolic/illustrative manner. While these prophets were of course just as real as the setting they found themselves in, a complete national apostasy is what was being pictured at the time of their ministry. This is an "apostasy" which the scriptures in turn identify explicitly as a broken "holy covenant." (Da 11:30-32) This is merely one of seemingly countless "prophetic dramas" that ones like Paul refer to there at Galatians 4:24 in which this particular setting is either being represented or otherwise is actually unfolding, and this is because it is BY FAR the most important setting for us to comprehend. Moreover regardless of whether it be referred to as the "seven times," "seven strikings/chastisings of the shepherd," seven "plantings and harvests" or even "seven births of the barren woman," it is precisely for the reason that the punishment for these broken covenants would ultimately come to INVOLVE the anointing of "SEVEN kings" in the period of the "appointed times of the NATIONS" ALONE that we find anointings of kings like the Syrian Hazael being included in this drama. Compare (2 Ki 5:1, 10, 14) (Le 26:14-18) (Gen 41:22-24) (Da 4:23) (Jer 15:9) (Mt 26:31) (1 Cor 15:23) (Re 17:10) (Lu 21:24)
Almighty God is truly God and we cannot expect to understand everything about his ways. I believe there are some things that we will never fully understand. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29).
If by "we" you are referring to all the ones that will ultimately come to comprise the kings and priests that will rule over the earth during the Millennial Reign, the Apostle Paul concurs with you at least until the final member of these "incorruptible and immortal" rulers (as he says) "comes in." (Ro 11:25) (1 Cor 15:51-53) (Re 20:6) From that moment forward it will undoubtedly be at least largely due to a rather unimaginable degree of scriptural "insight" that these ones "bringing the many to righteousness" will "shine like the brightness of the expanse, like the stars to time indefinite." (Da 12:3)

There is in fact a seemingly endless stream of scriptures that will suddenly no longer appear as rather confusing, contradictory or even mysterious to us the moment we develop the habit ALONE of factoring in the specific setting being considered or even represented at any given moment, along with the sudden and extremely significant CHANGES in these settings. Changes that are so dramatic the scriptures refer to them as great spiritual "earthquakes." (Zec 14:5) (Re 16:18, 19)

Agape love;
Sol

lamesa
Posts: 64
Joined: 4 months ago

Re: The Disease of Fear and Unbelief

#10 Post by lamesa » 3 months ago

Get out of her wrote: 3 months ago
I very much hope you come to understand (if you don't already) how much I respect and appreciate ones such as yourself and their earnest desire to help their dear brothers and sisters to grasp things such as this.
Likewise! As I've stated elsewhere (forgive me if I'm repeating something I've already said here), we are no longer in a cult so we don't expect, or want, total mental conformity. Our Lord is so much "bigger" than any of us puny humans can understand, and even the apostles didn't fully agree on all things. We know Paul rebuked Peter publicly, and later Peter said of Paul's letters, "Some parts of his letters are hard to understand" (2 Pet. 3:16).

So, you'll appreciate what I say below because my understanding of these things is different. ;)
Get out of her wrote: 3 months ago Particularly since "all things written aforetime were written for our instruction…," have you ever truly given serious thought to the examples that were set before us in the scriptures in these time frames immediately prior to another foretold re-establishment of genuine theocratic power and authority on the earth? (Ro 15:4) More specifically, the examples set by the ones who were chosen to actually have a share in the tremendous level of theocratic power and authority that was established on the earth at that time? (Lu 22:28, 29) (Col 1:13) (Hag 1:12, 13) (Da 2: 48, 49) (Es 10:3)
I'm sorry but this is Greek to me, as I really don't understand what you are getting at. But I suspect we have a different view on End Times prophecies.

Note: I am not dogmatic about End Time prophecies and I don't think anyone else should be, either. We will know for sure someday and until then, we only see dimly (1 Cor. 13:12), and only "when it happens," we will know for sure (John 13:19).

But having said that, I believe every generation should stay awake (like the 5 faithful virgins, Mat. 25:13) and anticipate the Lord's return. So, while Martin Luther (1483-1546) expected the Lord's return in his day, he was faithfully staying awake, as we are today!
Get out of her wrote: 3 months ago For example, in the case of the ministry or "prophesying" of the "two witnesses/son of man/faithful steward" etc.
Since I cannot follow what you are saying, I'll share my understanding: I am now convinced that the millennium* is the period between the two advents of Christ. I believe that Satan was bound so that the Gospel could be preached among the nations. Now, I suspect that the devil has now been let loose among the nations (Rev. 20:1, 2, 3). *The Revelation is a book of signs and symbols, and the many numbers are also symbols (7 bowls, 7 beasts, 10 heads, etc.). For example, the "144,000" and the "great crowd" are the church, but viewed from two different ways. The 144,000 is the Heavenly view (God knows exactly every faithful one whom he has "chosen"), and the "great crowd" is the same faithful group, from the viewpoint of earth: we cannot judge our brothers and we don't know for sure who is wheat and tares, this is the work of the angels.) John wrote what he "saw" and the visions are like replays of a football game. The visions represent the same time periods, but from different angles, and each vision builds on the previous one to add more information.

I believe the "two witnesses" represent the church, in every era between the two advents of Christ.
The "Son of Man" is Christ, as he used that term so many times for himself during his earthly ministry, and again in the Revelation.
The "faithful steward" is the same as the "two witnesses." Except that the parable isn't prophetic like the Revelation, except to show there will be wolves in sheep's covering. The important lesson from the "faithful steward" is to be faithful (JW have massacred the parable ever since Russell).
Get out of her wrote: 3 months ago the earth experienced in the early part of the first century immediately prior to the "birth" of the 65 or so year reign of the "kingdom of the son of his love," what exactly did the 11 disciples of Jehovah's true prophets do that ultimately moved these figurative "spies" or "inspectors" to select them as fellow rulers in this renewed kingdom or nation? (Re 11:3, 7, 11, 12) (Ez 2:1) (Mt 24:45) (Col 1:13) (Jer 15:9) (Lu 19:44) (Jos 2:1) The moment they grasped the severity of what was once again an extremely dire spiritual condition of the religious and political leaders that Jehovah had appointed over them several decades earlier and realized the need to "separate themselves" from them, what did they do next? (Mt 24:15, 16) (2 Cor 6:17)

Did they perhaps begin reasoning out that some particular religious group that had long opposed Judaism or maybe at least the FORM of it that they were previously involved in must therefore have been correct all along? If they had long been a member of the Pharisees for example and suddenly realized how corrupt or false they had become, did they perhaps begin reasoning out that the Sadducees must therefore belong to the true faith, and then start digging into their literature and teachings to equip themselves to begin waking up OTHER Pharisees to their false teachings and practices?

The bottom line is this: If even the ONE TRUE nation has once again fallen into spiritual adultery by violating the holy marriage covenant, what would that imply in connection with all the nations or even religions that were ALWAYS at odds with it? Would you perhaps have some thoughts to share on this lamesa?
Respectfully, I truly don't understand any of it. Israel was the unfaithful nation, right?

The bottom line: "For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel" (Romans 9:6). "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). I believe in the priesthood of all believers, and all true Christians are the same in Christ. Ethnicity no longer matters.
Get out of her wrote: 3 months ago
What a more careful consideration of the scriptures will reveal is that this statement is COMPLETELY true in the periods in which Jehovah's people or nation actually EXISTS on the earth with a kingdom covenant that for the moment at least has NOT been violated with spiritual adultery or even "harlotry" on the part of the appointed theocratic shepherds it is always formed with. (1 Cor 3:16, 17 6:15) (Isa 1:21) Just as accounts like Exodus 19:5 make clear, in a world in which mankind has altogether rejected Jehovah as their rightful king and even God, not only is becoming Jehovah's "special property" a matter of entering into a "covenant" relationship with him at a time in which this is actually being OFFERED to humans, but this covenant must also thereafter be "KEPT."

Among the many things we are always very well trained to NOT understand in ANY setting in which this spiritual adultery prompts Jehovah to "ABANDON" what up until that moment WAS his people, (the very setting that always PROMPTS another foretold "coming of the kingdom") is that the power and control that Jehovah now RELINQUISHES to satan for the time being and its commensurate devastating effects are NOT experienced by God's people, but rather by a kind of figurative …"DAUGHTER of his people"… or even "daughters" that are ALWAYS born from the spiritually adulterous relations involved in breaking the holy marriage covenant. (Jer 8:11) (Eze 23:1-4) (Mt 23:38) It is precisely for this reason that even the anointed ones that find themselves facing another foretold potential reunion or renewed marriage covenant with their heavenly "bridegroom" (another "coming of the kingdom") are described in the scriptures NOT ONLY as mere "sleeping virgins" and "widows," but even the "few" among them who repentantly prove "discreet" are actually "typified" or illustrated as a "discreet" "PROSTITUTE!" In fact not MERELY a prostitute, but even a FOREIGN prostitute such as was the case with the ancient Rahab. (Mt 22:14 25:1-10) (La 1:1, 4) (Re 21:2, 9) (Jos 2:1)
My point was that God is always in control, even when appearances seem otherwise. For example, when God let Satan loose on Job, God was in control of the situation. This is the point I was trying to make. Ultimately, Jehovah does not abandon his own, but Job certainly felt abandoned! When we feel abandoned, we must remember:

"It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes" (Psa. 119:71).

"For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives” (Heb. 12:6).

The same was true of Israel in the OT. And so this is why I say that God is always in control.
Get out of her wrote: 3 months ago This brings me to another statement of yours:


If a king or even POTENTIAL theocratic king were NOT foreign or even essentially pagan, there would never be any NEED for a divine anointing, for they would ALREADY be anointed, and in fact in the case of an ACTUAL king even APPOINTED as well, which is vastly more important. To make my point here lamesa please consider this question:

The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel were of course ministering or even "prophesying" to their fellow Jews, were they not? Since I am very familiar with the way you have always been taught (and even if you have later delved also into religious literature that was not affiliated with the Watchtower), do I not have every reason to assume you would answer yes to this question?

The reason Jehovah explicitly identified these ministers as "prophets to the NATIONS" is because (once again) Jehovah NEVER allows HIS people to experience things like military overthrow and subsequent exile and captivity. (Jer 1:5) By strict scriptural definition a genuine Jew OR Christian is one that has actually experienced not only an anointing, but one followed by a genuine subsequent theocratic APPOINTING. This means that until the holy covenant was renewed in ancient Babylon as mentioned in Ezekiel Chapter 17 with rulers such as Daniel and his three Hebrew companions, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were the ONLY Jews on the earth. For these same reasons, as long as ancient kings like Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon or Cyrus of Medo-Persia would REMAIN as faithful "anointed shepherds" of what were ONCE AGAIN God's people, not only would they not be recognized by Jehovah as pagan, technically speaking they would not even be FOREIGN! (Isa 44:28, 45:1) (Jer 25:9)

What we want to factor in when it comes to accounts such as Elijah and Elisha is the setting that in this case is merely being REPRESENTED in a symbolic/illustrative manner. While these prophets were of course just as real as the setting they found themselves in, a complete national apostasy is what was being pictured at the time of their ministry. This is an "apostasy" which the scriptures in turn identify explicitly as a broken "holy covenant." (Da 11:30-32) This is merely one of seemingly countless "prophetic dramas" that ones like Paul refer to there at Galatians 4:24 in which this particular setting is either being represented or otherwise is actually unfolding, and this is because it is BY FAR the most important setting for us to comprehend. Moreover regardless of whether it be referred to as the "seven times," "seven strikings/chastisings of the shepherd," seven "plantings and harvests" or even "seven births of the barren woman," it is precisely for the reason that the punishment for these broken covenants would ultimately come to INVOLVE the anointing of "SEVEN kings" in the period of the "appointed times of the NATIONS" ALONE that we find anointings of kings like the Syrian Hazael being included in this drama. Compare (2 Ki 5:1, 10, 14) (Le 26:14-18) (Gen 41:22-24) (Da 4:23) (Jer 15:9) (Mt 26:31) (1 Cor 15:23) (Re 17:10) (Lu 21:24)
OK, but setting aside our differences in interpretation of prophecies, we can agree that Jehovah controls who is in power. His control is so specific that he provides prophecies to show he is in total control. In some cases, he provide the man's name centuries before the man was born (e.g. "Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd," Isa. 44:28)!

Get out of her wrote: 3 months ago


If by "we" you are referring to all the ones that will ultimately come to comprise the kings and priests that will rule over the earth during the Millennial Reign, the Apostle Paul concurs with you at least until the final member of these "incorruptible and immortal" rulers (as he says) "comes in." (Ro 11:25) (1 Cor 15:51-53) (Re 20:6) From that moment forward it will undoubtedly be at least largely due to a rather unimaginable degree of scriptural "insight" that these ones "bringing the many to righteousness" will "shine like the brightness of the expanse, like the stars to time indefinite." (Da 12:3)

There is in fact a seemingly endless stream of scriptures that will suddenly no longer appear as rather confusing, contradictory or even mysterious to us the moment we develop the habit ALONE of factoring in the specific setting being considered or even represented at any given moment, along with the sudden and extremely significant CHANGES in these settings. Changes that are so dramatic the scriptures refer to them as great spiritual "earthquakes." (Zec 14:5) (Re 16:18, 19)
Agape love;
Sol
So you can see how our different understanding of End Time prophecies (including the millennium) affects our understanding of the other prophecies and Scriptures.

My point is that I believe we will never reach the bottom of God's ways. We will always be learning, and Jehovah God is so far above us, on this we can agree! :D

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