I have been reading Paul's letters one by one at the moment and today I started into Colossians. When I got to verses 13 and 14, it really made me cry ..... again. I feel like this is all I do lately. Tears of joy as I realise that Jesus' ransom does actually cover my sins and my God does view me as holy.
You see when you are brought up as one of Jehovah's Witnesses and see yourself as part of the 'other sheep' or 'great crowd' which Jehovah's Witnesses teach are a secondary group of Christians destined to survive Armageddon and live on earth, Jesus' sacrifice does not declare you righteous. We were taught that we can be declared 'friends' of God but not 'sons' of God.
I thought this page would provide an opportunity to share encouraging scriptural thoughts together. If you have a thought to share please don't hesitate to let me know.
He has shown me that all who exercise faith in Jesus' ransom and choose to be led by the spirit are his sons (and daughters 😊) It is a dream come true!!! I thought I'd have to wait until hundreds of years away to feel like I was truly part of God's family. Of course we must be faithful until death but while we remain faithful our Father will look after us and never let us go. We are his children.
And now, out of nowhere, this wonderful truth has shone through. I CAN be a son of God now. I really CAN! Further on this thought, the words in 2 COR 6:17+18 say that if we quit touching the unclean thing (that is, get out of corrupt idolatrous organisations) Jehovah would take us in and we would become sons and DAUGHTERS to him. The word 'daughters' can only apply to women while here on earth since we are neither male nor female in heaven. Isn't that so comforting to us as women?! Our God loves us and is taking us in.
Jehovah has fulfilled the words of PSALM 27:10 for me - "In case my own father and my own mother did leave me, even Jehovah himself would take me up." I said these words to my earthly father in one of our final conversations in Nov 2015 as he told me I was poison. This was my beloved father who taught me to love Jehovah in the first place and to train and exercise my conscience. Here he was choosing the 'dark side'.
But .... Jehovah has taken me up and so I am truly happy!
Many times I heard the words, "Jehovah has always had an organisation."
Jehovah is an organised God but this statement eludes to a visible and centralised organisation. It is true that the nation of Israel was organised. Jehovah gave them the law which was extensive and the nation was, indeed, highly organised. Is it true though that Jehovah has always used this kind of organisation?
Consider these faithful bible characters and what conclusion do you come to?
ABEL, ENOCH, NOAH, ABRAHAM, ISAAC, JACOB, JOSEPH, JOB, DANIEL What organisation did they belong to?
And think of all the true Christians who lived throughout the dark ages and middle ages. Jesus told us that the wheat and the weeds would grow together until the harvest time. (MATTHEW 13:24-30) So throughout all those CENTURIES, there were faithful ones! We may not know who they were, anymore than Elijah knew who were the ones that had not bent the knee to Baal. However ........ Jehovah and Jesus knew them! They were faithful during brutal times when people were brought before inquisitors and tortured mercilessly and burned at the stake for possessing a bible. Don't you love them all?! They are our brothers and sisters! What examples of faith! And what organisation did they belong to? 🌷
It's worth doing research on God's name in the Greek scriptures (or New Testament 😊) as there are actually no manuscripts of the new testament in existence that have the divine name in them. No one can say categorically whether or not the divine name was there. Considering that Jehovah has preserved his name in the Hebrew scriptures (or old testament) it would make sense that Jehovah would have preserved it in the Greek scriptures too if this was of paramount importance.
I always thought that the New World Translation inserted the name only in places where the Hebrew scriptures were being quoted and those scriptures contained the divine name. Doing so made sense to me, as surely the disciples in the first century would have accurately quoted the Hebrew scriptures?
It has been painful to discover though that the New World Translation has gone way beyond inserting the divine name when quoting from the Hebrew scriptures and taken the undue liberty to place it elsewhere also and in so doing, have distracted from the real good news and hidden the impact of many verses.
Since leaving the organisation, my husband and I and a few friends have started reading the bible together each week and we began in the book of ACTS. How pertinent is this book??!! It's perfect reading for those leaving the organisation as the experiences of the first century Christians are so similar to what we are experiencing. We use different translations to assist our understanding and it was by doing this that certain scriptures became noticeable. The New World Translation often used the name 'Jehovah' whereas other translations used the term, 'the Lord'. It was with horror that I realised that many scriptures were in fact talking about JESUS and not Jehovah! How terrible of the translator! This is such a serious matter! I now understand why I felt so strange talking about Jesus so much when first leaving the organisation. I felt like I sounded similar to many fanatical religionists always talking about Jesus. It was disorienting. I had talked about Jehovah all my life with such passion and rightly so! But I rarely talked about Jesus, not because I didn't respect him but when you grow up in the organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses you are taught that you are not in the new covenant and thus you have no particular relationship with the Christ. We are just observers of the new covenant and the only way we have a relationship with Christ is via association with those who claim to be anointed. It is so painful to know that we have been separated from the Christ all this time. So terrible! So shocking! What we were taught was a lie!
But oh what GOOD NEWS it is to know that we CAN in fact have a relationship with Christ! If we follow the scriptural instruction to 'Quit touching the unclean thing' at 2 COR 6:17, then the scripture goes on to say that Jehovah will take us in and we can be sons and daughters to him. How WONDERFUL!!! And if we are sons of God, then what relationship must that mean we have with Jesus? We are his brothers! ROMANS 8:14 says, "For all who are led by God's spirit, these are God's sons." Once we leave a corrupt organisation, we allow Jesus to lead us and he does this by means of the holy spirit! If we allow ourselves to be led by God's spirit, then Romans 8:14 says that we are God's sons!
As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I always thought that Peter said these words to Jesus, "Lord, where shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life." When leaving the organisation, my sister said to me, "Where will you go?" It's one of those questions that everyone within the organisation keeps close to their heart. It creates a feeling that you have nowhere else to go. The emphasis is on WHERE to go. However ..... please read the scripture again and see if you can find the misconception? I was shocked when I realised that I had misquoted this scripture for YEARS! The truth certainly 'sets you free'. 😊 JOHN 6:68
As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, we always used the terms 'Hebrew Scriptures' and 'Greek Scriptures' and avoided the terms 'Old Testament' and 'New Testament'. I always thought that this was because it made it sound like the Hebrew scriptures were no longer valuable and thus I felt good about using the 'correct' terms.
Interestingly, I happened to look in the dictionary a few days ago at the word 'testament' and I was so surprised to find that the third definition listed was this: (in a biblical sense) a covenant. I never knew that! Now I can see that the terms 'Old Testament' and 'New Testament' are actually accurate and appropriate. I was shocked! For all these years I didn't even know what the term 'testament' meant. I never looked it up. I just rejected it.
The old testament (or covenant) made with the literal nation of Israel is obsolete. Paul wrote this in Hebrews 8:13, "In his saying 'a new covenant' he has made the former one obsolete." I now find those terms, old and new testament, encouraging since it highlights the good news about the new covenant - a far superior covenant based on the precious blood of Jesus Christ and with laws written on hearts.
I used to pray all the time to my wonderful God Jehovah and tell him how much I was looking forward to finally being a 'son of God'. I knew that the 'anointed' were viewed as sons right now but that I and the others in my group would have to work until sometime in the 'new system' when we would finally attain perfection and be accepted as sons of God. I was happy to wait. I truly was! But I longed for that day. It was what I hoped for most when I looked ahead to the new system.
I know that so much of what I write about is this new understanding of 'sonship' but please understand how BIG this new understanding is. It truly is the BEST NEWS EVER! And when you have good news you want to share it. This is the REAL GOOD NEWS! We are being invited through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus to be sons and daughters of Jehovah, brothers and sisters of Jesus. Who would not want to accept such a wonderful invitation?!
And that brings me to COLOSSIANS 1:13 and 14. Jehovah has delivered us from the authority of the darkness. We are no longer in the darkness. I am no longer out in the 'courtyard of the Gentiles'. I am no longer separated from Christ. I am no longer separated from my God as Father. I am no longer separated from him through sin. But, instead, the scripture goes on to say that I have been transferred into the Kingdom of the Son of his love. This must apply to us because the scripture next says, "by means of whom we have our release by ransom, the forgiveness of our sins." I am now exercising proper faith in the ransom and can thus accept the cleansing that this brings which, I guess, is why the Great Crowd in Revelation 7 are spoken of as having 'washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'