The Pharisees

The dictionary defines them as:

noun

plural noun: Pharisees

  1. a member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity.
    • a self-righteous or hypocritical person

The letter of the law before the principle, the law before Agape Love, scantimonious because of their privilege and education. They described the ordinary Jews and people as the dirt they walked on in he streets. Too ignorant for salvation and beyond the love of God.

Today we have many Pharisees, these educated and privileged ones who think that they have cornered the means of morality, who can set new standards. For example, if you have strong views about marriage, gender and what morality means in the family, you’re immediately attacked for being prejudiced, narrow minded, creating and perpetuating hate. Social Justice and Intellectual Self righteous philosophy have warped society.

Christian interlopers – Modern Pharisees

Why interloper? “a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong.” Well let the Bible expalin what the Christians believed in the time of the Apostles 1 Corinthians 6: 9 “Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality,10 thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom.11 And yet that is what some of you were. But you have been washed clean; you have been sanctified; you have been declared righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful for me, but I will not let myself be controlled by anything.”

Chapter 7 requires that someone practing these things are put out of the congregation. The individual can live that style of life but not as a Christian.

Today the Christian Churches allow these practices, condone them by appointing Priests, and Bishops who openly preach that these things are no longer sin.

So how moral attitudes need to change with society. Tradition over the scripture, somehow religious people think that God has changed the more civilised we have become.

These practices were as common in the time of the Apostles as they are today, they were tied up with false religious practices and Christians shunned the practice.

The Apostle John encouraged the Christians not to break bread with those who corrupt the congregation of God.

Does Jesus Ransom extend to Pharisees?

Did you pick up on the point “that is what some of you were”? These ones who practiced these things including holding to the traditions of the day had given them up, they had changed their lives, they had washed themselves in the blood of the Lamb.

Note Romans 12: 1 “Therefore, I appeal to you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason.2 And stop being molded by this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, so that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We make the changes, we do not dilute the standards to meet our view, we bring our standards up to align with Gods.

Romans 13: 11 “And do this because you know the season, that it is already the hour for you to awake from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than at the time when we became believers.12 The night is well along; the day has drawn near. Let us therefore throw off the works belonging to darkness and let us put on the weapons of the light.13 Let us walk decently as in the daytime, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in immoral intercourse and brazen conduct, not in strife and jealousy.14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not be planning ahead for the desires of the flesh.”

We are assured salvation through Christ is open to all of us but we need to come into line. I have to ensure examination standards are met when marking work, I have a narrow range of possible answers anything less than this is a fail. There are no near fails it is clear, they meet the standard or they don’t, I send the work back to them with the mark, if they wish to resubmit the student must adjust and ammend the information presented.

God’s standards are clear, no matter what the traditionalists and modern libertarians of the Church say, God does not change, because he and his laws are perfect.

If his standards changed he could have just accepted that Adam and Eve had been wrong, rebelled and accomodated the new relationship. Rather he sent his son Jesus Christ to die for all humans and ensure that we have the chance of life as intended.

Conclusion

Those who are not wanted are the self righteous, those who make the opportunity for salvation on their own terms and promote their own superiority and thoughts. Scantimonious because their views are more appropriate than the Bible. Let the word of God speak, it is alive and exerts real power.

Find out more about the meaning of Christs sacrifice on our behalf join the more than 21,000,000 people gathering person or on zoom to comemorate the meorial of Christs death and the Last Supper,Friday 15th April as the sun has set.

Skinned and Thrown About

When looking at the nation of Israel Jesus described them as sheep without a shepherd, skinned and thrown about but in what way and by whom?

The account in Matthew 9: 35 “And Jesus set out on a tour of all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the Kingdom and curing every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity.36 On seeing the crowds, he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” He was on a preaching tour, yes people were under pressure from the Roman Taxes and the local social structure but Jesus was discussing the spiritual condition of the people.

Notice how he described their shepherds in Matthew 23:13 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut up the Kingdom of the heavens before men; for you yourselves do not go in, neither do you permit those on their way in to go in.” and verse 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you travel over sea and dry land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one, you make him a subject for Ge·henʹna twice as much so as yourselves“.

Their hypocrisy created a stumbling block for the nation. Preventing them from seeing the Messiah or Christ, they failed in their self-appointed role as custodians of God’s Law.

Sheep without a shepherd distracted by everything

Jesus Compassion

He expressed his care for the individuals in the crowds, they needed physical healing but more importantly, they needed comfort from the scriptures and real hope. That is why he said in Matthew 9: 37 “Then he said to his disciples: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few.38 Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

People needed the care of the Kingdom promised from the founding of the world, the life of Abel the first faithful human.

Literally today we are in a similar place. Those so-called self-appointed custodians of truth and faith the Churches and their leaders trap individuals into a notion that we have to die and go to heaven to experience “real life”, to be in a place of true safety.

Is this what Jesus sacrificed his life for? So those people already destined for heavenly life because of their immortal soul could somehow balance an unnecessary scale. It makes absolutely no sense. If I’m going to heaven to be with Christ why do I need a redeemer?

Christian Truth is very straightforward, but just like sheep who are left unattended to wander from pasture to pasture and never get close to the lush pastures prepared for them, they are skinned, unloved, uncared for spiritually and they are dying without intervention.

So why did Jesus have to Die?

Let the Apostle Paul answer that at Romans 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” Adams sin brought death to Humanity but note the contrast in verse 19 “For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one person many will be made righteous.” Paul also makes the point at 1 Corinthians 15: 21 “For since death came through a man, resurrection of the dead also comes through a man.22 For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive.”

If we had immortality in ourselves through a soul this statement confuses a Christian but attending the commemoration of Jesus’ Death this April on the 15th after the sun has set where you are. Join one of the Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses to hear an explanation of why Christ Died and that although close to the end of the period of harvest we are assured that there is still time to experience the compassion of Jesus Christ as we continue to be Skinned and Thrown About as sheep without a shepherd.

Studying God’s Word, his promise and understanding his plan for humanity has never included suffering and death but this is a consequence of our own human parents rejecting the source of life. Literally, they pulled the plug on their own life support. Hence the shared human condition.

Where is the compassion?

Doesn’t it intrigue you, how one person can order the invasion of a country and thousands take up arms to follow that through?

I wonder how we would feel if we were told by someone we didn’t know to walk into the neighbours property and take it from them by force if necessary and with the ultimate sanction, take their lives?

If you stopped 100 people on the street and asked the question, what response would you get? I’m certain very few would just say yes, not a problem just say when.

War – isn’t the solution

War can be essential but it is never the solution. For example, the war at or of Armageddon isn’t the solution, rather it is the Government that follows in the hands of Jesus. We are ushered into a period of peace that will heal humanity.

So what happens to those in Russia who refuse to follow the political leadership, we know political adversaries are captured, imprisoned and occasionally killed. What of ordinary school teachers, municipal workers, welders and farmers?

In Russia those who stand out as different, who demonstrate true compassion for their neghbour they are labelled extremists, tried as anti-government terrorists, their property is seized, they are frequently imprisoned, they are no longer allowed to work and they are stripped of their human rights.

Compassion – is lacking

A love of life and of humanity means that we look at suffering and feel churned up, many prompted to give money and time to support displaced people thousands of miles away. Yet we continue to watch through the eyes of the media at situations where the ordinary people are caught in the crosshairs of government ego. This Satanic control has led to individuals putting their rights, their country and their fear of death ahead of the lives of others.

Think about Jesus – he felt pity for the crowd, he didn’t raise an army, he healed them, fed them, taught them and asked them to view carefully the options. Then he gave his life voluntarily so that billions could be saved.

Are their many leaders who are willing to save their people by giving their life? They may fight shoulder to shoulder but even when they are all gone no one is better off. Jesus’ legacy improved the lives of his followers and we have the chance to replicate this in our lives today.

Find out more about those prisoners of conscience – those who will not take up arms to further the objectives of the country’s leaders. They are ordinary people who have a deep faith and they exercise it everyday

Imitate the King of god’s kingdom and show real compassion – this world is passing away, we are on the brink of a new start be a part of that start by Choosing Life – Live Forever, how? Study the Bible.

Prejudice

Will prejudice ever end?

All have experienced prejudice at some point! It could be social status, skin colour, ethnicity, education, the way we dress, each of us can think of many reasons.

Society often falls back on blaming the past for current prejudice, historical wrongs must account for modern prejudice, many ascribe religion and the conversion to Christianity or another faith as a basis for historical justification. The clergy led with the idea that God preferred one race over another. How accurate is that?

The Bible and Prejudice

The Bible, contains 66 canonical books, it is a library of Gods dealings with humans. What was Gods view on how we should treat one another? The law given to Moses is often quoted as highly prejudicial but note something outstanding here in Deuteronomy 1: 16 “At that time I instructed your judges, ‘When you hear a case between your brothers, you are to judge with righteousness between a man and his brother or a foreign resident.” There was no distinction. This standard applied to all the laws and commandments.

There was an interesting point about those who chose to live with God’s people, they had to keep God’s law. They could not practice their own faith, or live by their own. They could not require that the Israelites change their laws out of tolerance. Rather the migrant had decided to live under God’s Law. By doing so they were assured of justice.

The nation decided to accept and tolerate the foreign Gods, therefore, leaving their faith. But as soon as they did prejudice emerged.

By the time of the Christians – the new congregation, God’s people following had that standard changed? Would God tolerate injustice in the congregation? Notice the Apostle Pauls words at Acts 17: 26 to 28 “And he made out of one man every nation of men to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he decreed the appointed times and the set limits of where men would dwell,27 so that they would seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us.28 For by him we have life and move and exist, even as some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his children.’” Recognizing the same origin and the same standard.

What did this mean? Acts 10: 34 to 36, “At this Peter began to speak, and he said: “Now I truly understand that God is not partial,35 but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.36 He sent out the word to the sons of Israel to declare to them the good news of peace through Jesus Christ—this one is Lord of all.” Equal in the eyes of the creator, note the words of James the Brother of Jesus in James 2: 1 “My brothers, you are not holding to the faith of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ while showing favoritism, are you?” Prejudice is favouritism in action carry on reading through to verse 13. James makes powerful points about justice and equality.

In James 1: 25 “But the one who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and continues in it has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; and he will be happy in what he does.” we have a description of true freedom it does not link it to race, ethnicity, education, wealth or religion. Just as it was for the national of Israel Christians are required to keep Gods commandments, those who want the benefits of Christian living must also live by those standards.

What the Bible really teaches us!

The bible shows that all people are equal in God’s eyes, he doesn’t discriminate, however, to receive the promised benefits we must actively follow God’s standards, his laws and requirements. No dilution, watering down the medicine to make it more palatable. Think in terms of a Doctor providing a course of treatment, the principle is always that the medication needs to be administered in a specific way. Now you make the decision that although you have been told alcohol counteracts the work of the treatment you enjoy it and you’ll have your regular tipple. Is it right to expect the treatment to be as effective? Can we blame the Doctor if the treatment failures? Can we criticise those who follow the treatment prescribe and benefit?

This describes the basis for some much prejudice. The desire to extend the benefits to all but diluting the rules to make society palatable.

God’s standards have not change

We are all equal before God, his requirement to enjoy the benefit of that equality is keep his commandments and extend genuine love to fellow believers. Jesus words at John 13: 35 “By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves.” states the this love is the identifying mark of true Christians.

This unity exists today – there is a group of people who have put aside prejudice, seeking to live in harmony with God’s standards this link takes you to examples of how Love has changed lives follow the example of Johny and Gideon

This is just a glimpse of the promised future for those who accept God’s prescription for humanity and accept the government he has established with his Son Jesus.

These benefits are global, finding out more in the language you speak and read is easier than ever. Find out how you can live in a world free from prejudice and Enjoy Life Forever!

“Hallowed be Thy Name”

Christian daily rote prayer, yet do they know what the statement means? For example “Hallowed” the meaning Jesus put on this was straightforward – “be made holy; consecrated”.

Holiness is a concept in religion that has been blurred, bible commentators refer to holiness as clean, pure, undefiled therefore, the idea that we prayer to God that his name is spoken without reproach, and with deep reverence is lost.

Where does God’s Name Appear? Bible scholars accept that it appears more than 6000 times but in the Authorize Version it has been reduced to 4

  • Exo_6:3  And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
  • Psa_83:18  That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.
  • Isa_12:2  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
  • Isa_26:4  Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Jesus focused on the God he knew, he understood, when in the temple he called it his father’s house so Jesus referenced the name Jehovah!

The Meaning

How corrupted this has become, with the religious scholars of the today and Christian History removing the name, replacing it with loose references to a God, or supplanting Jesus, the trinity or nature for the creator.

Jehovah, Yahweh, YHWH, and the many other languages all convey the same primary meaning for the name, “he causes to become” and “I will prove to be what I will prove to be”.

Understanding the name leads us to look at what Jehovah purposes. Here is a short list:

  • The end of earthly political structures;
  • The end of sin and death;
  • Restoration of paradise;
  • Justice for all;
  • Removal of the wicked;
  • Restoration of perfection;

Too much to ask? Christian leaders point to governments, international institutions and crazy links between international bodies.

Why don’t they point to God’s Kingdom as the only solution? Because they fail to show reverence to Jehovah God. They lack the faith that God’s Kingdom will achieve these things.

Sadly sucked in by the “educated, intellectual and secular thinkers” who have learned to question everything and answer nothing with anything more concrete than “I think” or “look at history”. individuals have rejected the bible, failed to read it and more cynically focused on self.

Working with the “there is no God premise”

The idea that it is modern to think there is no God is false, 2500 years ago the bible states clearly that “the foolish one has said in his heart there is no God!” The Greeks lived by a range of philosophical constructs which promoted pleasure because there is no hope. “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we shall die”.

Life is easier when there is no hope and you haven’t much of an idea of what you are doing. Blundering from one misjudgement to another, but without accountability.

So when we pray “Hallowed be Thy Name” it requires that we understand 2 things:

  • Gods Name
  • Gods Purpose

Then the choice is ours – say the prayer with all the mean and then find out how that name is sanctified because it has a direct impact on our long term hope and the way we live our life today.

Jesus words at John 17: 3 “And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ.” indicate we start with God’s name and begin our journey to life eternal.

Is it possible to Enjoy Life Forever? The new bible study course uses clear reasoning to ensure we engage with creator and have a clear understanding of how his name is clean, pure, holy and what we can do to contribute to this.

The “label” Christian is a badge worn by billions but those real Christians number in the millions that explains why we need to get this right before God’s Kingdom takes direct action.

Need a copy of the Bible Download here from the 1,032 languages

God Is Love 1 John 4: 8

Is God’s Love unconditional? Many Christians believe that the Apostle Pauls words to the Corinthian Congregation mean all things are acceptable to God, he will love everyone no matter what they do and say. Can that be true?

As a parent I know that lines are drawn in the family to emphasise – not power but order, the order required to live harmoniously. By setting those standards we aren’t saying that we don’t love our children but what we are saying focuses on what is required to keep the family safe and together.

1 Corinthians 9: 19 – 23 “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

It is a great scriptural comfort that to gain the Christ Christians will reach out to to all people to introduce them the means of salvation and rejoin God’s people.

But why do they need to do that if everyone is acceptable to God, and they can do whatever they like so long as they believe that God is their personal salvation. It makes a nonsense of the Christian way of life. Later in that Chapter Paul describes that we may become disapproved.

Unconditional? Not when it comes to salvation. There are clear criteria.

So How is God’s Love Unconditional?

Simple Paul explains: Acts 17: 26 – 28 “And he made out of one man every nation of men to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he decreed the appointed times and the set limits of where men would dwell,27 so that they would seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us.28 For by him we have life and move and exist, even as some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his children.’”

Verse 28 explains he gave us life but verse 27 let’s us know that we need to grope for him.

Jesus gave his life because we are separated from the love of God by our sins, collectively and personally. So just as Adam and Eve were condemned by their course of action if we continue to live by our own rules how can we be acceptable to God?

To Love God acceptably requires Ecclesiastes 12: 13, 14 “The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the true God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole obligation of man.14 For the true God will judge every deed, including every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad.”

To say we love God we must accept some specific restrictions – 1 John 5: 3 “For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome,”

Some of the unacceptable things

Let’s start with the one most quoted:

1 Corinthians 6: 9, 10 “Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality,10 thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom.”

How many of the Christians you know lead lives like that. Rightly labelled hypocrites – but we all fall short of Gods standards in some way everyday.

But now notice the expression of love in verse 11 “And yet that is what some of you were. But you have been washed clean; you have been sanctified; you have been declared righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.”

Conclusion – Christians have an obligation to explain what the Love of God means, clearly state that the unconditional love is expressed in sustaining our lives now but to remain in harmony with God forever we must Keep His Commandments!

The Apostle Paul stated that in the last days of this human rulership it would be hard to be a Christian, he wasn’t referring to persecution he refers to the conduct of people including so-called Christians 2 Timothy 3: 1 – 5 “lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God,5 having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power; and from these turn away”.

Christians live for Gods Kingdom, keep God’s commandments and share the Gospel globally one organisation stands out as different, people make mistakes and understandings change but the fundamental truth remains the same. Contact them to find out how to Enjoy Life Forever.

Why Do We Suffer?

Another in the series – “Will Suffering End?”

At some point in our livesall of us are affected by tragedy, illness, death of loved ones, and unforeseen events. Like everyone around the earth at the moment, due to COVID19 and accidents, bad weather, natural disasters, war and violence we cannot escape suffering. This prompts many to ask:

Why do these things happen?

  • Some put it down to Fate – things we have no control over. Others
  • Karma, this is punishment for previous sins.
  1. Is this reasonable?
  2. Were we meant to suffer?
  3. Does our suffering prove that God doesn’t care for us?

Let’s turn to the source of understanding provided by God as religion explains. The Bible definitely states that God created humans to enjoy life. Note the words at Ecclesiastes 3: 12, 13: “I have concluded that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good during their life,13 also that everyone should eat and drink and find enjoyment for all his hard work. It is the gift of God.”

No mention of suffering there and this is not an isolated verse, look at the words of chapter 5: 18, 19 and Isaiah 65: 21, 22. Certainly the most coherent source of God’s purpose has to be his word.

So what changed?

It is simply explained in the bible. The first two humans decided to choose independence from God and they wanted to “do their own thing” “go their own way”. Which free will allows them to do, however that choice was made for all their family to follow.

That first human couple chose independence from God the source of life as a result they brought suffering and death to all of Humankind.

It is the same as making a choice that affects your unborn children, exposing them to a genetic defect that only gets pass down with each new generation until someone makes a difficult choice or a cure is found.

So the consequence of this first poor choice is explained in Romans 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” This inherited trait leads to suffering and death.

So we need a cure and the only cure that can be offered is by God because he is the source of life and he set a value on our lives Romans 3: 23, 24 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24 and it is as a free gift that they are being declared righteous by his undeserved kindness through the release by the ransom paid by Christ Jesus.”

What does this achieve?

Only Jehovah God can address the causes of suffering. This is achieved by his Kingdom that is described as a real government over the whole earth, note the promise at Revelation 21: 3, 4 “With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them.4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

Find out more about God’s promises for our future then follow the link to JW.ORG (available in 1,024 languages so share the information with friends and family anywhere in the world.)

Looking for the answer to What Is God’s Purpose for US? or a free copy of the Bible to download and read or read online choose from this selection or looking for someone to explain what God’s promises are for you and your family request a visit (it may be virtual at the moment but you will be contacted personally).

The truth of God’s care and promises for you and your family (the human family world wide) is clear and now the bible is the place for comfort for all those who are searching for real answers to why there is suffering.