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Marking 7 Years out of the Watchtower

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    lovelylil2 posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 17:02:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 270 of 315
    Joined 10/2/2009

    Boy oh boy where to start? Lots of changes over the last seven years. This week I had been reflecting on just how drastically my life has changed for the better since loosening the grip of the Watchtower Society.

    In brief, my life seven years ago this month looked liked this; my family was very unhappy after nearly a decade of serving the "happy God" of the Watchtower and being part of the "happiest people on earth". I really thought that since I was supposed to be happy and wasn't and just could not "get happy" there must have been something wrong with ME. I was internalizing all the unhappiness of my family and one day in early fall 2003 I sat in my bedroom while my children played downstairs with a large quantity of pills in my posession and thought about killing myself. In desperation I called a "friend" from the Kingdom Hall and told her I was so depressed I wanted to hurt myself and she in response to that .............hurried me off the phone telling me to "pray to Jehovah" and she had to go because the meeting was starting soon.

    I was completely dumbfounded. This lady, the wife of an elder lived accross the street from me and did not come over, tell her elder husband, call my husband or do ANYTHING to help me! The clock was ticking, this was the day to end it all.

    What led up to this moment was the previous evening when my husband and I had one of our many arguements about the Kingdom hall, the Watchtower, etc. and I told him I no longer wanted anything to do with Jehovah's Witnesses. I told him I do not feel God's spirit in the kingdom hall, instead I felt a wicked, mean, self centered spirit coming from most of the people I knew. Our children were sad all the time. Our 9 year old son was afraid of being destroyed at Armageddon, our 11 year old daughter suffered from depression and social anxiety and it was because no matter how much we do (meetings, service, donations, etc) we never did enough. We never felt God's love or approval or knew if we were saved. And now in addition to all that, my marraige to my husband was on the rocks because I was honest with my feelings and he responded by telling me that if I leave the Watchtower, he was leaving me and he walked out the night before my comtemplating suicide with the checkbook and credit card, which were only in his name anyway.

    So here I was with nothing. I had NO job, NO husband, NO faith in Jehovah, NO friends, My kids who I loved were a mess because of me, I literally had NOTHING to live for......................Or so I thought.

    As a hung up the phone with my "friend" a small thing occured to me. I never really knew Jehovah so why would I pray to him? He is not someone I would want to know. The God of the Watchtower is angry, bitter, self centered, keeps account of wrongs and injuries is always looking to punish, non loving. As a matter of fact he is EXACTLY like many of the people I knew at the Kingdom Hall! This is when I realized he is an invention of the WT society. Jehovah was Not the God of my childhood. I remembered the God of my childhood who was Jesus Christ, but I turned my back on him years ago. And how can I go to him now? He doesn't even know me, nor I him anymore.

    I was devasted and confused, not knowing what to do. Now I have no one and no God in my life. I felt like I was spiritually, emotionally and mentally drowning and there was no way out but death.

    Then a small inner voice spoke to me. It simply said "if you knock I shall open, if you seek you shall find". Through the despair I was remembering this Jesus of my childhood and how he said "whatever you ask ME in my name I shall do it". Even though I was afraid and shaking, I cried to Jesus and told "Jehovah" (just in case he did exist) to forgive me if this is wrong but I want to speak directly to his Son just this once. So I cried and prayed and I asked Jesus to come into my heart and mind and save me. Save me from my despair and depression, save me from the Watchtower organization, save my children from the life of HELL that I put them in, save my marriage, save everything!

    What happened next I will omit at this time. Because I saw a thread recently that was kind of anti born again. I will say this though I do agree with the article that it was an emotional experience. And that is because God promises to be with us when we are at our weakest. I also believe God takes many forms.

    However, Christ answered my prayers and many of the things I thought but did not ask of him that night.

    Fast forward 7 years.................... Is my life perfect? far from it. However, life is sooo much better for all of us. My family is thriving. Everything literally began to change that very nigh.

    I told my husband the day after I called out to Jesus and prayed to him that he could leave if he so chooses but that I found in christ a relationship with God that was soo much better than the rubbish that the WT has to offer and that I had to leave to follow Christ. But he had to make his own decision. If he wanted to stay a JW that was fine with me but he could not take the children with him or I would go to court, file for divorce and get a restraining order blocking him from taking the kids to meetings because it was harming them emotionally. This was really the first time I stood up to him and I thought I would be scared to death but I wasn't. He proceeded to scream and yell for about 2 hours telling me and the kids were are going to be destroyed, etc. etc. All the WT rhetoric. Thinking back now I can see how fearful he really was and that is why he reacted the way he did.

    Anyway, He decided to stay. In March we celebrated our 18th anniversary.

    He did stay a Jehovah's Witness for another 3 months and then decided it was a bunch of bull. I wrote a 10 page disasociation letter with scripture explaining why I was leaving the WT cult and asking the elders in my hall to stop by and correct me if they wanted to but ONLY if the used the New Testment to do it. They declined to come by. And NOT ONE elder spoke to my husband even though his entire family stopped coming to the hall and his wife Da'd herself. He began to wonder what kind of spiritual men can these be? He thought for sure they would help him correct me, but he said they avoided him like they were afraid of him. That was the decideing factior for him to leave came about.

    Both children had therapy and I was very truthful about the Watchtower and the teachings of it. The therapist explained that we were spiritually and emotionally abused by the WT and helped the children overcome their fears. My son is in 10th grade, a good student, a VERY happy kid with LOTS of friends and a really cute girlfriend.

    My daughter, the artist who suffered the most in the WT being the eldest and a girl is doing fine too. She still has some anxiety but has lots of friends, is a senior graduating in may, has applied to colleges and is expected to get a merit scholarship as she has been all honors 4 years in a row.

    I am working at a job I love and now have my own checking account and credit card........just in case.

    We are all Christians (of varying beliefs on some issues) who no longer believe in the Watchtower, the made up Jehovah God of the WT or that a christian must attend a particular religion to "be saved". We believe Christ came into the world to save it through the finishing work of the cross and not condem it. I am currently going to night school for a biblical studies and ministry diploma and my husband has gone back to school too. He graduated with a business degree in June and recieved a great promotion at work. Our lives are very full and for the most part quiet. We have real joy on a daily basis.

    As far as "church" we now understand we "ARE" the church. Meaning we are part of Christ's body of believers all over the world and do not have to attend any particular denomination. We go to a brick and mortar church when we want to and there are actually two in the are we like to attend for fellowship and two online churches we like as well. But we can fellowship and do fellowship with hundreds of Christians.

    In addition to our christian friends we now have many other true friends from all belief backgrounds. We also got to really know our nieghbors after leaving the WT and have formed great friendships with them too. Our family who we turned our backs on being a Witness because we judged them as "worldly" welcomed us with opened arms again as if no time had passed between us. My kids got to meet great uncles and aunts they never knew and have more people to love them now then ever before. This is something we never had in the WT for even though they promised to take us in as "brothers and sisters" they never did. Their so called "love" for us was conditional on our meeting attendence and field service. Our families had true unconditional love for us just because we ARE family.

    I have experienced this love in other real christian churches, We are treated by the members as being part of a spiritual family.

    The best thing that happened to us is that we became Free in Christ. We read many times as a Witness this bible verse "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free" but we never EXPERIENCED it as Jehovah's Witnesses. We now know the truth of this verse. We bump into witnesses from our old hall all the time and of course many of them shun us but we feel sad for them when this happens because we realize that they are not free, they are still enslaved to the WT. As freemen, we can speak to and smile at whoever we want to, but they cannot utter a simple hello without being in fear so they shun. They think they are punishing us in some way but in reality, they are the ones on punishment. I AM FREE, My husband is FREE, Both my children are FREE!

    We are free to live and worship the way we want. Free to spend time with whomever we choose and have friendships with anyone we want. We can celebrate holidays and birthdays without feeling guilty, attend any church or none, vote in an election, hang a flag on our home, go to any school we choose, watch any program on television we choose to, read any books we want to, etc. etc. etc. You do not really fully grasp the freedoms you had given up UNTIL you out of the Tower for a long while.

    There are still lingering scars but I think of them as battle scars. They are a reminder that we have been through a literal war, a spiritual war and came out alive at the other end. So the little scars I will carry all the rest of my life do not bother me. I've also come to realize that the WT is not unique. They are a cult of Christianity and a legalistic religion and many christians in the world are being duped by these groups and their faith is wrecked because of it. For my Christians friends, it comes down to us having the correct spiritual armor to defend ourselves against these groups. We need accurate knowledge of God, Christ Jesus and the word of God. In particular the new testament testimony of our Lord. We exchanged the lie for the truth once and it can happen again so we need to be viligent to make sure of all things.

    All the cults of christianity replace God in your life with their organization. No one can be happy in any of them because God's spirit is not in them! It is God's spirit that builds us up, the cults tear us down. They lie to us telling us God is angry at us, God does not accept us as we are, that is is looking to destroy us. That is simply not true. There is also no love in them and the fruit the bear proves it. Like jesus said you will know his followers by their fruit. Are they filled with love, patience, kindness, etc. or with everything wicked? We need to always be on the watch that our faith is not wrecked again.

    In many ways we are trully blessed. The Watchtower organization is the cause of many deaths including from suicide each year. I could have been one of the statistics. I literally was not in my right mind the night I thought death really was the answer to my problems. looking back on it now I shudder to think what might have happened to my children had they found me dead of suicide upstairs. I am sure they would not be in the good place they are now. We are all out as a family and getting stronger each day.

    I am sure some who left the WT and are no longer Christians may mock some parts of my writing and say I was just emotional and that is was not God who saved my life that night. I respect your opinions but since I am the one who experienced it, I believe otherwise. Think about how many entire families you know who came out of the WT with family and faith intack? I am sure the number is quite small. I personally believe when you are in a group with a strong hold as tight as the Watchtower has on your lives including your beliefs, emotions, friendships, family relationships, mental state, etc. that you need divine help to break through.

    And perhaps some of you will say that you experienced the same things and are NOT a Christian and so that proves God had nothing to do with my experience. To that I will ask you ...........are you sure? Maybe God is not done speaking to YOU yet.

    These are some Scriptures that have been of immense value to me and I try to focus on them regularly. Hopefully they can help others thinking of leaving the WT cult too. Good luck to all, may you all have peace in your lives, and thanks for letting me share my story. Lilly

    John 8:32
    Then you will know the truth, and the truthwillset you free."

    1 Peter 3:15
    But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Ephesians 2:8
    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

    John 3:16
    "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    John 13:35
    By this all men willknow that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

    Galatians 5:22
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness

    mamalove posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 17:08:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 76 of 972
    Joined 8/23/2010

    That was a very moving post. I am really encouraged at all of the spouses who followed after. Gives me hope for my mom and sis. I am so glad you found happiness!

    F snowbird posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 17:15:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 18518 of 23468
    Joined 5/2/2007

    Thank you, Lilly, for that powerful, articulate post.

    I've also become reacquainted with Jesus of Nazareth.

    Please pray for my 21-year old daughter that she, too, will experience His saving power.

    Thanks.

    Syl

    cantleave posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:35:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 4206 of 13182
    Joined 6/25/2009

    Thank you for taking the time to post this.

    Freedom from the WT cult is a great feelng isn't it.

    Chalam posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:58:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 3624 of 4243
    Joined 12/29/2007

    Awesome post Lilly!

    Somehow, as I started reading the opening lines I new I was going to enjoy it and where it was going :)

    Well I would like to hear the unabridged version with your born again experience. Don't let the fear of man stop you!

    Blessings in Christ,

    Stephen

    F snowbird posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 19:08:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 18525 of 23468
    Joined 5/2/2007
    Don't let the fear of man stop you!

    Word.

    Up.

    Syl

    lovelylil2 posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 20:45:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 274 of 315
    Joined 10/2/2009

    Thank you Stephen and Sylvia,

    The thing about the born again experience is that it is personal and unique to all who experience it. Yes there are some similarities but there are differences as well. Not everyone hears a voice inside them, not eveyone feels and feeling of peace and harmony but some do. For some it happens instantly and for some it is a longer process.

    Like the bible says Gods spirit "testifies to our spirit" that we are children of God. I remember reading this account in Romans many times as a jehovah's Witness and thinking oh well it must only happen to the 144,000 because I do not understand it, nor have I experienced anything like this. I also thought about when Jesus was asked "how can a man be born again?". I never fully understood the answer to this Q when I was a JW.

    These spiritual terms are NOT understandable UNTIL God's Spirit reveals the fullness of them to you. And that is what happens when you are born again.

    For me, yes I had the emotional experience and I am glad I did. If not I would have taken the pils and ended my life.

    What happened? Well something like this although I cannot fully explain it even 7 years later.

    I asked Jesus to send the spirit of God to dwell inside me and he did. IF you wish to know the simple way I asked him to do this, then pm me and I will tell you in detail.

    At that moment, I felt a warm breeze enter the top of my head and travel all the way down to my feet. This breeze when it entered enveloped me with what felt like a warm embrace. It instantly calmed me and I felt just then as if everything would be alright. It was as if the wieght of the world that was on my shoulders a second before was instantly lifted off me.

    That night I kept thinking about jesus and how he said his "load was kindly and light" and he tells his followers to "come to me all who are loaded down, I will refresh you". That is how I felt in the WT. I was loaded down with a heavy weight of works and guilt in not performing enough works. I wanted to be refreshed and asked jesus to help me.

    Looking back on it, if this did experience did not happen I would not be here today. I needed positive proof that God was with me and I would be ok because I was seconds from taking my life. But I also know from experience, this sort of thing does not happen to everyone at their moment of being born again. And really it was only the beginning of the road I was on but I knew I would be ok from that point on no matter what happened.

    After this happened, I still had a lot of spiritual work to do. It took a year to fully get rid of the WT indoctrination. But as I read the NT scriptures about Christ, it ALL started to make complete sense to me. Including the verse on being born again. When I read the bible, and even today I feel like it was written to me. It is hard to explain but it is not just words. I experience the love and feel it in my heart and soul. Perhaps other born again Christians have this experience too when they read the bible.

    I never had this before. Yes I did believe the bible was God's word but did I experience it and feel it applied to me? No! Now every word made sense and applied to me. it literally was like a veil being lifted off my eyes and the spiritual eyes were opened and now I could understand even the deeper thoughts in the bible.

    One of the biggest scriptural reversals I made that took the entire year to accept but I finally did it was that I accepted the diety of Jesus Christ. I really feel that God was with me through out my new found faith in Christ and was patient with me because it took time to break down all the old beliefs. But each day, each week I grew more and more in knowlege, accurate knowledge and my faith deepened even more.

    During this time in order not to be influenced by others I stayed away from all other churches and just read the bible myself and asked the Lord Jesus to teach me himself what he thought I needed to learn and frankly he did. I am still growing and learning every day so my conversion is still a process because I am on the right road but need to stay on it. But I now truly believe it is not the job of man or any religion to teach a Christian. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to work with the members of Christ's spiritual church and anyone who asks for and believes in the Holy Spirit will recieve the promised spirit and will flourish in the truth. Amen!

    I have many friends with similar experiences especially about the veil being lifted. The bible is not a difficult book to understand but it does take spiritual undersanding not just reading skills. It is a book for people of faith too. Not everything will make sense right way but God promises if we keep seeking we shall find. Peace to all, Lilly

    El Nunya posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 21:35:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 2 of 33
    Joined 2/4/2010

    Hi Lilly,

    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your testimony. It is an amazing ongoing saga, one that will sustain you and provide a witness without the burden. Thank you so much! Looking forward to more of your posts.

    F Gayle posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 21:51:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 1819 of 4502
    Joined 11/17/2006

    I am so happy to read your good story and of the freedom of you and your family being successful and positive!! I think it is a miracle any of us got out of that horrible religion.

    Hadit posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 21:53:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 396 of 672
    Joined 4/27/2010

    Thank you for sharing your amazing journey Lovelylil2! My jaw hit the floor when you said that the elder's wife shooed you off the phone when you were confiding in her about wanting to end your life! How awful of her. Where is the love? I'm so glad you have found peace, love and happiness and a wonderful faith to keep you strong. So nice that you and your family got out together.

    I wish you all the very best for you and your family.

    Hadit

    Woody22 posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 22:08:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 19 of 114
    Joined 1/11/2010

    Thank you lily for your story. It is so true when you come to realize JWs do not have the truth that you really find freedom.

    I am not a born again

    christian by name, but have joined another denomination and really found some loving people.

    Wishing you continued happiness in your life.

    Woody

    lovelylil2 posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 22:50:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 275 of 315
    Joined 10/2/2009

    thanks woody.

    The body of christ is supposed to be like a family. We love and support each other and although some variations in belief, Paul said to let our "love" cover these differences.

    I found the so called christians in the Watchtower to be judgemental, gossipers, ready to turn in those of different opinions to the elders or big brother as I like to call them.

    So glad you have a positive experience in your new church home. lilly

    F lavendar posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 22:54:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 473 of 476
    Joined 4/4/2005

    What a wonderful, uplifting, encouraging post, Lovelylil.

    Thank you for putting HOPE in our hearts....that someday our loved ones will see the light too...and finally realize the WTS is NOT what it claims to be.

    God bless you!

    lovelylil2 posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 23:15:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 276 of 315
    Joined 10/2/2009

    Thank you all for your comments.

    I will keep your family members in my thoughts and prayers. There is one ministry I associate with that hosts an annual day of "Prayer for the Captives". It is for captives in false legalistic religions. I often think about the JWs I knew when I think about this prayer day.

    The best advice I can give someone with loved ones still in the WT is to be very patient and love them unconditionally. This is something they are simply not used to because they are only loved (and its a fake love) if they work, work, work for it. No matter what remember their adverse reaction to you is one of fear and let them know you love them. Even if they remain in the WT.

    Do NOT get into screaming matches over doctrine. It simply does not matter what you or they believe about the bible. Simply tell them as I told my husband, if you want to remain a witness I respect that and will support you but that life is not for me. I have chosen a different path, then explain briefly without putting them down. If you are still a christian you may say, I do not believe I need the WT organization to interpret the bible for me because Jesus promised Christians the Holy Spirit and that spirit will teach me.

    When I said this to my husband he could not respond. Because if he said this was not true he knew he would be refuting scripture. So he let it alone. Eventually when he saw the kids and I were happy with our new path, happier then he was in a works oriented cult, he left. He told me if the elders were concerned about our spirituality they would have come by and corrected us lovingly with the bible and prayed with us, etc. But since they did nothing and ignored him even though he was still an active witness, they condemed themselves in my husband's eyes without me having to even open my mouth.

    My journey has not been easy, my husband lost his faith completely for a while but has regained it in the last few years. There has been a lot of angst, lot of crying, lots of therapy and rebuilding our lives. For 10 years our lives stood still, it was as if time stopped when we entered the cult. We stopped trying to exceed at work, learn new things, attend family functions and stopped making new friends. We lived in the same area for two decades and did not even know our nieghbors. Once we left the Tower, we found that time kept going and everything and everyone around us changed and grew and we had to figure out what the heck we are going to do with the rest of our lives. How many people in the world do you know who have to do that in their 30's?

    That is what a cult does. It stunts your growth and keeps you captive. We really were in a prison for 10 years. Peace, Lilly

    F CHILD posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 23:21:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 155 of 154
    Joined 11/28/2006

    Congratulations!

    F Quandry posted Thu, 16 Sep 2010 23:28:00 GMT(9/16/2010)

    Post 3266 of 4145
    Joined 5/17/2006

    You know, it is interesting that you posted this.

    Today I was talking to a woman at work who is Bhuddist, but her brother has become a Seventh Day Adventist.

    She knows I was a JW and was asking me questions about the Bible. She knows next to nothing.

    I was explaining to her that althought I do not belong to any denomination, as they all have their own interpretations, I do consider myself a Christian, due to the wonderful teachings of Jesus, and the life he led, and the fact that he demonstrated such love to others.

    I am so glad that your prayers were answered and that your family has a measure of peace.

    lovelylil2 posted Fri, 17 Sep 2010 00:59:00 GMT(9/17/2010)

    Post 277 of 315
    Joined 10/2/2009

    I do not belong to a denomination either. I personally believe to do so would be dividing the body of Christ. We are Christians because we follow Christ. I think the bible likens the Christian church to belonging to one body for a specific reason. Jesus did not come to start another religion, there was plenty of religions already available in his day.

    Instead, he started a new way..........something radically different than what people experienced up until that time. His words pointed many times to this new way before the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. For instance, when he met the Samaritan women at the well she said to him "my forefathers have worshipped on this holy mountain", but your followers say to worship in Jeruselem", and Jesus told her "the time is coming and it is now when you will worship in Spirit and in Truth". He also said "the father is looking for such like ones to worship him". This is a very profound statement. Jesus was really saying the PLACE of Worship Is not important at all. Another verse that comes to my mind is this "God does not live in temples made by hands". (John 4:19-26, 1Corinthians12, Acts17:24)

    That is because We (the church) are now part of a living breathing entity, the body of Christ. This is not a brick and mortar establishment. We are literally the living temple of God (our bodies) wherein God's Spirit dwells.

    In my studies on early Christianity, this is exactly the view the early church had. That THEY (the people) were THE church and met together in many private homes, along the road, etc. with no building with roll calls or denominational names. Not that there is anything wrong with a Christian attending a brick and mortar church but we need to keep it in perspective. We are simply Christ's followers first and foremost. Our allegiance is to him, not our denomination. If we can keep that in mind we will do just fine on our path. Peace, lilly

    Chalam posted Fri, 17 Sep 2010 09:36:00 GMT(9/17/2010)

    Post 3625 of 4243
    Joined 12/29/2007

    Thanks for posting your experience Lilly :)

    At that moment, I felt a warm breeze enter the top of my head and travel all the way down to my feet. This breeze when it entered enveloped me with what felt like a warm embrace.

    My wife had a similar experience with the baptism of the Spirit. She felt like her head was lifted off and a warm jug of water was poured inside which flowed down into her body. This happened one night, a few months after she came to faith. Not many days after, as she was praying she felt like something was 'stuck in her throat'. My pastor told her to 'let it out' and immediately she was speaking in tongues, not just a word or two but full on heavenly dialect. She soon found a strong prophetic gifting too, visions, words of knowledge and such.

    My own experience of baptism in the Spirit came one day, quite some time after I came to faith. I was certainly born again and people had prayed and laid hands on me to receive the baptism in the Spirit. However, I felt nothing! Some weeks later I was laying on the grass, looking up and the sky, thinking about life and my faith. At that point I felt overwhelmed with God, His majesty, His creation, His love. The feeling I can best describe as I felt high!

    It instantly calmed me and I felt just then as if everything would be alright. It was as if the wieght of the world that was on my shoulders a second before was instantly lifted off me.

    That night I kept thinking about jesus and how he said his "load was kindly and light" and he tells his followers to "come to me all who are loaded down, I will refresh you".

    Just like Jesus promised :)

    John 14:26 (New International Version)

    26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

    John 15:26 (New International Version)

    26 "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.

    One of the biggest scriptural reversals I made that took the entire year to accept but I finally did it was that I accepted the diety of Jesus Christ.

    Understood, as Jesus is THE way, THE truth, THE life understanding who He is is core.

    John 1:1 (New International Version)

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    During this time in order not to be influenced by others I stayed away from all other churches and just read the bible myself and asked the Lord Jesus to teach me himself what he thought I needed to learn and frankly he did. I am still growing and learning every day so my conversion is still a process because I am on the right road but need to stay on it. But I now truly believe it is not the job of man or any religion to teach a Christian.

    Agreed, primarily Spirit teaches us, He lives within us all 1 John 2:27 He enabled us to test all things, keep the good and disregard the bad 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    However, there is a gifting for teacher and God has not changed His mind, we have certainly not reached the point of verse 13 here

    Ephesians 4:11-13 (New International Version)

    11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

    2 Timothy 1:11 (New International Version)

    11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.

    Hebrews 5:12 (New International Version)

    12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!

    James 3:1 (New International Version)

    1Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.


    Finally, bear in mind this

    Romans 11:29 (New International Version)

    29 for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.

    Agreed, we are the church. We are the living stones being built into one temple, not many! 1 Peter 2:5

    However, the churches are those who congregate in a particular geographical location. For example, Jesus addresses the seven churches in Asia Revelation 1:4 The denominational labelling will probably continue, even when we become one, even as the Father is one with Jesus John 17:22 . Denominations do not appear in the New Testament but certainly, different groups do appear. There was a different culture in the church in Corinth compared to say Ephesus or Galatia. Also, other groups are mentioned, the Beareans etc. Acts 17:11 , 1 Thessalonians 1:7

    It is almost impossible to stop this labelling. As soon as you start a "non denominational" church it soon becomes a denomination in itself!

    We must remember first and foremost we are all part of Christ' body and to ourselves from denominational pride.

    Once again, thanks for posting. It is great awesome what the Lord has done in you and your family, such a message of the power of God and hope!

    Every blessing in Christ,

    Stephen xx

    lovelylil2 posted Fri, 17 Sep 2010 10:27:00 GMT(9/17/2010)

    Post 282 of 315
    Joined 10/2/2009

    Thank you Stephen. I agree with all your comments. I do now attend two regular churches but keep it in perspective. I am loyal to Christ first, not my denomination or church group. God bless! Peace to you and yours, Lilly

    Chalam posted Fri, 17 Sep 2010 11:26:00 GMT(9/17/2010)

    Post 3628 of 4243
    Joined 12/29/2007

    Amen!

    Look forward to hearing some more :)

    Blessings,

    Stephen

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