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Struggles, Trials & Strife

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Joshuastone7, Nov 30, 2017.

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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    What can I say about the struggles of mankind, and the strife that we deal with and live with in our every day lives? Perhaps the only credence I can offer this post is to speak from my own perspective, for we all have struggles, trials and strife in life, and we all suffer in our own ways.

    There are times I feel like I'm stuck in a bog, in a pool of quicksand, and that every movement I make I become even more stuck, even more exhausted from struggling. As well, it feels as if this bog is in the center of a battle field, right in between two combatant armies, with blood and death all around. I could go on with metaphor after metaphor representing pain and suffering of this world, that each of us endure, but I suppose I wanted to ultimately post this thread to help each other come together with encouragement, and discuss why we have these struggles, and what is behind it all...

    The first thing that comes to mind at this moment is a question. What would have Jesus done in times of struggle, trials and strife? I believe that answer is clear, he would have prayed.

    Mth 26:41 "Keep on the watch and pray continually, so that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit, of course, is eager, but the flesh is weak.”

    One of the biggest and most important changes I have ever made in my every day service to Jehovah is something I think is appropriate to share here. I'm sure you've had those moments when you pray at night, before falling asleep. What happens? Your prayers are usually short because you are tired, or you simply don't finish your prayer after falling asleep, and regretting it the next morning.

    Instead, I would like to share what change I made in this regard. Subsequently I dedicated a room in the house that I could go to in privacy at a certain time of day, and I would dedicate that time to prayer, when I was fully awake, and with my full attention. I have to exclaim that this is no doubt one of the most important changes I have ever made in my service to Jehovah in my daily life. I would highly recommend everyone reading this post to consider taking such actions if they have found themselves in prayer at times where they could not offer their full attention.

    From my experience I find that my struggles and strife are usually of my own making, from choices in life, to consequences of actions. Not least of which the thorns in my flesh are ever present due to inherited sin, however it is my closeness to Jehovah, and my relationship with him that is at stake, and my sin results in this perceived distance from him. I find that I can whether the storms quite tolerably if I only maintain that closeness with our creator, but all to often it seems it is my own weak flesh that pulls me away from that close relationship with our God, rather then anything in this world hindering me. In essence, I only have myself to blame...

    Please read the following scriptures;

    Rom 8:31-39 "What, then, are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who will be against us? Since he did not even spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, will he not also, along with him, kindly give us all other things? Who will file accusation against God’s chosen ones? God is the One who declares them righteous. Who will condemn them? Christ Jesus is the one who died, yes, more than that the one who was raised up, who is at the right hand of God and who also pleads for us.

    Who will separate us from the love of the Christ? Will tribulation or distress or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or sword? Just as it is written: “For your sake we are being put to death all day long; we have been accounted as sheep for slaughtering.” On the contrary, in all these things we are coming off completely victorious through the one who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    It is impossible for us to not sin, we have inherited this condition through our genealogy.

    Rom 5:12 "That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because they had all sinned."

    But just like everyone else in this world I have my own struggles in life, and I don't know if it's my desire to grow to perfection, or to simply write it down to visualize it, but I wish to share a bit of what's going on in my head at this time.

    Recently I had a conversation about sin and the pleasures of life with one of our brothers. We discussed whether some pleasures of this world were a hindrance, such as alcohol, or activities that could push the limits of decency. I don't mean to say this brothers opinion was any more lackadaisical then my own, but just that the difference of opinion got me thinking. The statement that stood out the most from him was; "Personally, I don't think that we'll be approved by personal asceticism." What an interesting statement that was. Some may not have paused and considered that comment further, but to me it sparked a huge debate in my mind, and the very first thing I did was look at that word he used, "asceticism".

    as·cet·i·cism = "severe self-discipline and avoidance of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons"

    While on the surface it seems that he's right, and we aren't saved by our fasting, but yet it remains a part of service to Jehovah. Let me explain...

    The next thing that comes to mind are individuals in Biblical history, such as Moses, Jonah and John the Baptist. Moses didn't want to go back to Egypt, he killed a man and new that there was a possibility it was a very bad idea to return.

    Jonah in no way wanted to go to Nineveh, but in the end he did. Why?

    John the Baptist ate no delicacies, nor drank wines, but lived on locusts and wild honey in the wilderness, and was denoted by our Lord as the greatest man to have lived up to that point. Why did John sacrifice his fleshly desires in such a way that many others didn't, wouldn't have, nor perhaps even were expected too? That's the question I want to focus on for a moment.

    Sacrifice of our fleshly desires is a part of service to Jehovah, otherwise there would be no such thing as sin. We would be able to do whatever our fleshly desire deems is appropriate, however we know this is not the case. But yet one could take the other extreme and live a life of complete physical asceticism. What is appropriate?

    First, we do have clear cut understandings from our Lord as to what makes up sin, as we are all fully aware of, but there can be grey areas, where personal judgement must come into play.

    The three men I mentioned all had similar circumstances as to the reasons they made the choices they did in their service to Jehovah. Moses spoke to God directly, Jonah spoke to God directly, and no doubt John was given the information that God spoke to his parents through his angel (Whether all were most likely representatives of Jehovah is irrelevant to the conversation). So then the choices they made in service to God, and their responsibilities were based on direct correspondence with God, except perhaps John (In these three examples). So then we have more in common with John, then we do with these others, as our service is not based on direct communication with God, but rather that of what we have learned from what has been given us through eye witness accounts.

    This brings me to a question about sacrifice. At what level do we sacrifice or fast as to our personal indulgences in this world in order to do Gods will? Is it responsibility or the role we play in Gods kingdom that is the deciding factor? And given we don't have a direct communication channel with God, other then the Bible itself, how do we determine the correct level of service, or better said, the correct level of asceticism?

    At which point I'm brought to the next statement by our brother: "I think that you must let some things go, I mean, what you think is important to fight against may not be what Jehovah sees as important, and let Jehovah's Spirit fashion you as He sees fit." And this statement got me thinking, this really is a huge part of our faith, as to what level of service or what responsibility we have in Gods kingdom.

    Let me brake it down even a little further. Let's think about a few individuals that we are associated with in our modern world. Some of which may or may not have direct commissions from God, or may or may not be part of fulfilling prophecy, but unlike many of Gods servants in the past, none of these modern men have a direct communication channel with God, so the only thing they do have to go on is their own convictions, knowledge of scripture, and Gods Spirit that works within them.

    Now, we do know that with extra responsibility more is expected;

    Luk 12:48 "Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him."

    So here in lies the detail in this train of thought. Even though John the Baptist had knowledge of God speaking with his father, we are not told he had a direct communication channel with him, and yet he decided to live a life of fasting from many pleasures of life. Why? Is the answer; It was God's Spirit within him that directed him, and molded him into the style of life he lived because of the great responsibility he carried in Gods work? John was spoken of so gracefully by Christ Jesus because he excepted that life of fasting in accordance with the great responsibility he fulfilled in prophecy. It was by Johns acceptance of his role in God's kingdom, and by his ascetic lifestyle, that he was spoken of so well. It might be said that the Spirit in John directed him to live such a life, because of the responsibilities he carried in fulfilling his role in prophecy.

    And this leads me to our brothers last statement: "Perfection isn't attained by working against our fleshly drives but by letting God's Holy Spirit deaden them, otherwise it's a losing battle"

    As I get older, I am beginning to understand that when we get into grey areas of indulgences of life, or the fasting from them, this is a matter of conscience based on the Spirit that resides in us from God. When we have two faithful brothers discussing the struggles they face in the world, it appears that many times it is the struggles against the Holy Spirit within us we are fighting, or not fighting that brings about many struggles of life. The Holy Spirit that resides in us is directing us, molding us, forging us by fire through our struggles and strife, and it is that Spirit of God that drives our conscience, that inner voice that is telling us we are either on the right path, or that we need to make adjustments in accord with God's will for us.

    Rom 8:16 "The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children."

    1Joh 2:27 "And as for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to be teaching you; but the anointing from him is teaching you about all things and is true and is no lie. Just as it has taught you, remain in union with him."

    Stay strong my friends, and rely on Jehovah's Spirit that resides in you...
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    We may want to apply the following scripture to explain the struggles, trials, strife, and I’ll add, sorrows.

    Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!” ( 2 Co 12:7 NASB )

    As long as we continue to pray; no matter how often, or how we say it, we are acknowledging who our owner is. We will not get away clean. The demons of this world will continue to lay all these woe’s upon us. The only way to escape them is to give in. NEVER DO THAT!! Don’t become discouraged.

    The record shows that all of Jehovah’s servants will experience these, as long as they stay loyal. There are those who are having worst situations. We should always pray for them. They should always be first on our list.

    That is why it is necessary for us to pay more than the usual attention to the things we have heard, so that we never drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved to be sure, and every transgression and disobedient act received a punishment in harmony with justice, how will we escape if we have neglected so great a salvation? For it began to be spoken through our Lord and was verified for us by those who heard him, while God joined in bearing witness with signs and wonders and various powerful works and with the holy spirit distributed according to his will.” (Heb 2:1-4 NWT) We must be careful to not “drift away”.

    http://e-jw.org/index.php?threads/what-music-do-you-listen-to.54/page-52#post-19810



     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    I have heard many theories as to what Paul was referring to with the thorn in his flesh. Do you have any insight into this detail of his writing?
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    You know, I was just thinking... Paul mentions something interesting in this sentence that goes along with my first post, and greater responsibility. If you notice, he gives the reason for the thorn in his flesh, and that is his being given "revelations". In essence it would appear he is saying, do to his role and responsibilities in God's will, more is expected of him, for he is tormented by his imperfections, and the thorn was given him to keep him from exulting himself. Perhaps Paul was battling with pride? Where another man may not have had such restrictions on him, is it possible do to his role, Paul was expected more of?
     
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    wallflower

    wallflower Moderator

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    Yes, that's happened to me many times.

    Just wanted to say that it's encouraging to see brothers and sisters continue to serve Jehovah despite dealing with various situations in life - not easy to do so.
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    The only thing I can add, as far as understanding is concerned, is this: The thorn is (as Paul says) “a messenger of Satan”. The word translated as “messenger” is aggelos (ang’-el-os) = angel. It also holds the meaning of “one who is sent”. There have been many famous bible scholars who have attempted to identify what the “thorn” was. At least 12 of these men have listed it as mainly a physical illness.

    So, my understanding is that the “messenger” is anyone trying to dissuade Paul from standing firm in his teaching which he received from the spirit of Jesus and Jehovah. Satan uses his tried and true methods used in prior events. (Gen 3:1-7, 4:3-8, 6:1-4, 11:1-9, Ex 17:1-7) And, on an on, even today. Man’s genetic code holds that selfish gene. “What’s best for me?”

    In this case with Paul, he was continuously being challenged by the Israelites, the Greeks, the Romans. Even those within the congregations tested him. How about Peter? (Gal 2:1-14)

    One scholar, Coffman, states: “Understanding the thorn in the flesh as the savage animosity of hardened Israel explains a number of things which otherwise would have no explanation: (a) the humiliating effect of this upon Paul himself. He had even dared dispute with the Lord in his protestations that the Jews would believe him (Acts 22:19); but their stubborn refusal was a continual humiliation to Paul throughout his life. (b) No bodily infirmity could have had the counteractive effect upon Paul's pride that was implicit in the rejection by Israel of the gospel he preached. Every town he ever entered, he went to them first, only to be despised, rejected, hated, persecuted, stoned and prosecuted by every means at Satan's disposal. Furthermore, this was directed against him who loved Israel so much that he would have given his life if they could have been saved, declaring: “I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites: whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises” (Romans 9:3,4).

    Our biggest challenge to keeping our faith in Jehovah and His Son Jesus, is our fleshly desires, no matter what they may be. Mine are many! We are all guilty of sin. There is no escaping it. Our only hope is the saving blood of our owner and Lord, the person we know as Christ Jesus.
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Intelligence. A word with more than one meaning.
    1. capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.

    Example: “He writes with intelligence and wit.”

    2. the gathering or distribution of information, especially secret information.
    Example: “They have been maintaining intelligence with foreign agents for years.”

    “Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid” - Homer

    Think positive!
    Pepper and Salt.jpg
     

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    Utuna

    Utuna Administrator

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    Hey Josh ! I haven't read your post in its entirety so please, just take my answer as a general statement. :)

    What's a cilice ?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cilice

    The concept according to which spiritual purity is attained through physical suffering is typically Catholic. Some concepts among the JWs' official teaching, among the X-JWs and also the way certain elders view and promote such a credo remind us of it, like for example the need for X-JWs to be a spiritual kamikaze to be approved by God, even if what they believe in henceforth is way more nonsensical than what the GB teaches :



    "Saint Francis De Sales for example, was known to use the discipline (self-flagellation, using a whip, rod, or lash), as well as an iron belt and hair-shirts. Saint John Marie Vianney was known for his austerities in fasting, as well as frequent use of the discipline. Saint Jose Maria Escriva often wore a cilice (a band of chain links with small prongs, typically worn around the upper thigh). In more recent times, we have the example of Blessed John Paul II, who often slept of the hard floor, or Mother Teresa, who with her sisters voluntarily lived in extreme poverty. To us today, these practices may seem foreign. And indeed, the idea of penance and mortification has all but died away in the West. Yet such austerity and self-mastery has always been part of the Christian life, and even common-place among many religious orders throughout history until the mid-twentieth century.

    Saint Alphonsus De Ligouri: "Hence St. Paul exclaimed, that he wished for no other delight or glory than the Cross of the Redeemer...Again he says, that the crucifixion of the flesh is the test by which the true lovers of Jesus Christ may be known...As the indulgence of the body by sensual pleasures is the sole and constant study of worldlings, so the continual mortification of the flesh, is to the saints, the only object of their care and of their desires... Worldlings go in search of sensual gratifications, but the followers of Christ seek only corporal austerities.

    Saint Jean Marie Vianney: "Oh, how bitterly shall we regret at the hour of death the time we have given to pleasures, to useless conversations, to repose, instead of having employed it in mortification, in prayer, in good works, in thinking of our poor misery, in weeping over our poor sins; then we shall see that we have done nothing for Heaven. Oh, my children, how sad it is! Three-quarters of those who are Christians labor for nothing but to satisfy this body, which will soon be buried and corrupted, while they do not give a thought to their poor soul, which must be happy or miserable for all eternity.

    Why? What is its purpose?

    In short, the end of aceticism is love, namely; it enables love to fully mature in the human being. Why? In an attempt to be succint

      • The call of the Christian life is love. This is the greatest commandment.
      • To love means to make a total gift of self to another, to give oneself away fully (a common ecclesial definition is "to will the good of the other")
      • But, one cannot give what one does not have.
      • Therefore, it is necessary to first posses oneself, in order to fully give oneself away.
      • Therefore, self-mastery is required.
      • And self-mastery only comes by way of aceticism, i.e., denying the inordinate desires of the flesh through self-denial, penance, and mortification.
      • Therefore, aceticism is necessary to love, i.e., to being a Christian.
    As Saint Alphonsus says, penance and mortification are necessary to"restrain the inordinate inclinations of self-love"."

    Source

    bla bla bla
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    What a beautiful post brother, I appreciate your honest considerations and the deep discussion.

    A few thoughts you provoked:

    • perhaps I'm reading my own experience into your post, but I will say that life in the "Western world" is very easy currently, our greatest struggle beyond witnessing to those in our "bubble" is "which type of wine should I have with my steak?" (bit-o-hyperbole)
    • money doesn't satisfy ... ever. I've had a lot, I've had a little. None of it matters, only our relationship with God. When I ignore his voice, I'm miserable, when I listen to his voice, I'm content.
    • the experiences of Jehovah's people have been varied in regards to the flesh; Solomon on one extreme, and as you mentioned, John the Baptist on the other - but I'll guarantee you that for the "long investment" John is significantly more fulfilled internally and externally and eternally

    The flesh as it pertains to sensory experiences is a gift. Gifts can be abused.

    "all things are lawful, but not all things are beneficial", and it's up to each one to work it out ... which is what I gathered from your post.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings brother! This is exactly the main point I fished out of my post. It's not that we all are expected to live as John, but individually Jehovah's Spirit may direct some of us to fast from certain things, while others it may not.

    Jehovah's Spirit that resides in us is the communication channel directly from him, that guides us, molds us into the service he wishes for us, as long as we listen to it, and that's the key feature that I have more fully understood, "if I listen, and do". Actions that may be benign to one man, may be a source of discomfort or grief to another. Whether that be the movies we watch, the things we concentrate on, alcohol, food, whatever, Gods Spirit is the means by witch he can communicate with us in real time. (Rom 8:16)

    All to often I find my grief is self inflicted because I work against his Spirits will, and once I understand that, that his Spirit is real time communication, I no longer want to continue to make the same mistakes, I want to live in harmony with that Spirit...

    Not that I wont make mistakes and sin of course, but I am happier, more peaceful allowing Jehovah's Spirit to be my guide in the little things in life, not just the big things.

    Many times I have quarreled within myself as to what path I should take, while all the while his Spirit was guiding me the whole time. I am miserable with one choice, while joyful with another.

    Perhaps I've just become more in tune with Jehovah's guiding force as I've matured, but here's to pray that I can continue to listen and do, hence the plight of human imperfection brother.
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Here is another viewpoint. Quite interesting. Something to think about. Several months ago my aunt told me to watch this “preacher” on her local channel, in Southern California. He is titled “Apostle” Frederick K.C. Price. I enjoyed his method of teachings. Three weeks ago I happened to find his channel on our television stations. When JoshuaStone started this subject of Struggles, Trials, Strife, I happened to find this subject of “Suffering” as part of a series by Price. It touches on the statements made or covered here. Understand; I am not espousing this as against the WTB&TS's teaching, or this being right and true.

    This is segment no. 5. It runs 1 hour. Here is the link. You can forward to about 2:00 minutes to bypass the introductions and get to the meat. This is about that “thorn” in Paul’s side.
    http://www.faithdome.org/media/eiftv2/

    Go here to see all the segments titled: “Why Should Christians Suffer, Bible Study, Apostle Price.
    http://www.faithdome.org/schedules-listings/

     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    While I don't disagree with you brother, I would offer an alternative view for consideration.

    Why was fasting practiced by the Israelite's, not the least of which our Lord? Why did John the Baptist live the life he did?

    While I do not believe that simply fasting for the sake of it is what brings more spiritual enlightenment, but that the Spirit within us either directs us or not to fast, and it appears to me throughout the pages of the Bible that this usually goes hand in hand with responsibility in Gods kingdom.

    Sacrifice has always been a part of service to Jehovah, whether that be by dressing in sackloth and covering in dust, to the burnt offering at the temple that would have been a sacrifice monetarily. So with our finances, with our bodies and with our time, we sacrifice, and indeed fast in the service to God.

    Heb 10:22 "let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."


    I might suggest you read the entire post dear brother, for the main point is really based on individual choices in our service to God. While the Spirit that resides in us may direct some of us to abstain from certain indulgences of life, it may not others. As an example, you could have two brothers who love the fruit of the vines, and savor differing wines of the world. While the Spirit in one may direct him to restrain from continuing to indulge in alcohol, the other brother may have no such restrictions. I believe we see that in the comparison between our Lord Jesus and John...

    Mth 11:18,19 "Likewise, John came neither eating nor drinking, but people say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of man did come eating and drinking, but people say, ‘Look! A man who is a glutton and is given to drinking wine, a friend of tax collectors and sinners."

    So, why did our Lord take advantage of some indulgences of the world, while John did not? The only answer can be, the Spirit of Jehovah within them, and the direction and dedication it required from each of them. So with that in mind, if the one in whom the Spirit of God does not direct him to refrain from alcohol decides he should abstain because he thinks it would show more dedication would in fact be going against the Spirit within him and would probably be at conflict with it, within himself in some way. (Hence the concept of your "Suicide Squad" video.)

    I have the feeling that although this subject seems simple on the surface, it is in fact quite complex, for the actual implementation of it is not so recognizable. When I consider what it's taken for myself to recognize the Spirits wish within me, I see struggles, trials and strife over many years, a trial and error if you will...

    All love from the center of Egypt... ;)
     
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    Londoner

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    Hi Joshuastone7 :)

    It's comments like these that restores my faith in humanity. These are issues we've all faced. It means you are still spiritually alive - we all are spiritually alive, and still care.

    Londoner
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you brother! This is the reason for our little congregation here, so that we can come together and know that others are doing everything they can to serve Jehovah in action, spirit and truth, just as we are striving to do each and every day. There is no end to the arrows that are shot at us each and every moment in this world, but Jehovah does give us the skills in order to dodge them, if we know how to listen...

    I deeply hurt that many of the friends that were once regulars here, haven't signed in, in years. That doesn't mean they no longer are serving Gods kingdom, but we all certainly do encourage each other.

    Thank you for your participation here brother...
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    CATASTROPHE, CHRIST, AND CHEMISTRY

    "Our elected representatives do not understand the gadgets and machines which have come into being, or their consequences, or their social implications, or even the reason for the existence of many of them. Soil erodes away. States become dust bowls. People are unemployed and famished, Prices rise. Bread grows scarce. The radio blasts away all day and night without the dimmest notion of responsibility for the effect of what it says. Men and women harbor in their houses machinery the workings of which they do not have the intelligence quotient to learn to comprehend by any possible means of instruction. Men and women drive automobiles which are so much better and more dependable, as natural objects, than the minds of the drivers that the net result, aside from universal escapism, is a homicide total higher than that of all our war casualties put together."

    "But science continues irresponsibly to tender new tools—airplanes, for example—and it is not bright of science. There is nothing wrong with the tools. The trouble is with the people. I would declare no truce against discovery. But I do suggest new lines for scientific investigation. Men unequipped internally but overloaded by objects are sure to stumble and fall to fighting. Again—one should not hand loaded pistols to the youngsters in a day nursery; but that is the learned procedure of this century. The proliferation of goods mounts and mounts again. Avarice, imitation, the lust for money, power and glamour—all primitive and unrestrained impulses—control the consumer public. The demented dogma of classicism re-imbues the scientists with the urge to continue the proceeding irrespective of all result. And so they burn late oil, to freedom’s glory—or Hitler’s."

    "Our boots are not merely seven league: they stride the globe. Our eyes see through light years. Our ears hear voices from every city on the planet. Our biceps tear down cliffs. In every material sense, we have reached the end of the legends, the finale of the fairy tales. All the physical imagining of man, when he was limited to the power of his own body, has been realized. But not any good whatever has come of it—only the greatest evil man has yet endured." (Philip Wylie - Generation of Vipers, 1942, Pg. 15)

    Be More Like Christ.

    The world (of mankind) has not changed from the time of Jesus Christ or the apostles. Jesus left us a perfect model to follow. The only thing that has changed is technology. Yet, technology has not helped mankind improve.

    You are the light of the world. A city cannot be hid when located on a mountain. People light a lamp and set it, not under a basket, but on the lamp-stand, and it shines on all those in the house. Likewise, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your fine works and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens.” (Mt 5:14-16 NWT)

    Either you make the tree fine and its fruit fine or make the tree rotten and its fruit rotten, for by its fruit the tree is known. Offspring of vipers, how can you speak good things when you are wicked? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man out of his good treasure sends out good things, whereas the wicked man out of his wicked treasure sends out wicked things. I tell you that men will render an account on Judgment Day for every unprofitable saying that they speak; for by your words you will be declared righteous, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Mt 12:33-37 NWT)

    Now this is the basis for judgment: that the light has come into the world, but men have loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were wicked. For whoever practices vile things hates the light and does not come to the light, so that his works may not be reproved. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that his works may be made manifest as having been done in harmony with God.” (Jn 3:19-21 NWT)

    Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him by his fine conduct demonstrate works performed with a mildness that comes from wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and contentiousness in your hearts, do not be bragging and lying against the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above; it is earthly, animalistic, demonic. For wherever there are jealousy and contentiousness, there will also be disorder and every vile thing. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical. Moreover, the fruit of righteousness is sown in peaceful conditions for those who are making peace.” (Jas 3:13-18 NWT)

    Little children, we should love, not in word or with the tongue, but in deed and truth.” (1 Jn 3:18 NWT)

    Beloved one, do not imitate what is bad, but imitate what is good. The one who does good originates with God. The one who does bad has not seen God.” (3 Jn 1:11 NWT)
     
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    Londoner

    Londoner Member

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    Hi Joshuastone7 :)

    I like your new Avatar! :cool:


    Londoner

     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    ;)

    I'm taking my work in the service to Gods kingdom to the next level... I have this urge driving me to step up the work. I'm sending out an information campaign on "Twitter", and gearing up for a new stream of videos, as well as an aggressive mailing campaign. Along with new articles at Joshuastone7.com.

    It's time to go public and reach as many people as possible!

    All love brother...
     
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    Londoner

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    I saw your Twitter comments on your Joshuastone7 website and you say 1914 is a lie and the WT will go down! (These things are true, but that's beside the point!) I understand you are a current brother in good standing. Aren't you worried that a brother/sister could see those comments and report you as an apostate?

    Londoner
     
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    It's time for me to turn over a new leaf. After I wrote this thread about Struggles, Trials and Strife, I have been able to really understand more what Jehovah's Spirit is directing me to do, it's helped me to be more in tune to his Spirit within me, and allow me to be directed by it. This thread has been one of those life changing events...

    2018 is a special year, it's one of only a handful of times in each century the Jewish holidays yet to be fulfilled, line up with the chronology of prophecy, and I feel a deep urgency to get this message out to as many people as possible.

    It's time for me to start my work in earnest, it's time for me to take care of my responsibilities before Jehovah, as his Spirit directs me....
     
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