Jehovah's Witnesses. As you're dying, you see a vision like Stephen's . To whom will YOU pray?
Question: Acts 7 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Best Answers: Jehovah's Witnesses. As you're dying, you see a vision like Stephen's . To whom will YOU pray?
I doubt it, In Relation to this Passage, It is difficult to describe exactly what Stephen saw. We can’t say if this was a personal vision or if some sort of “window to heaven” was opened, but going beyond the plain description of the text is pure speculation. It is significant to note Jesus is standing here, as opposed to the more common description of Him sitting (Matthew 26:64; Colossians 3:1) at the right hand of the Father. Why is Jesus standing here? Jesus stands in solidarity with Stephen at this moment of crisis. He does not impassionately react to the problems of His people. We might also consider that Jesus is standing to give a “standing ovation” to Stephen, whose fate makes him unique among believers. Stephen is the first of all martyrs among the followers of Jesus. “Stephen has been confessing Christ before men, and now he sees Christ confessing his servant before God.”
16 O you lovers of Jehovah,” exhorts the psalmist, “hate what is bad.” (Psalm 97:10) Your choices in entertainment need to show that you truly do hate what Jehovah hates. (Galatians 5:19-21) Keep in mind, too, that what you do in private, more so than in public, reveals what kind of person you really are. (Psalm 11:4; 16:8) Hence, if you have a heartfelt desire to reflect in all aspects of your life Jehovah’s feelings on moral matters, you will always make choices in accord with Bible principles. Doing so will become your way of life.—2 Corinthians 3:18. 17 What more can you do to ensure that you will act in harmony with Jehovah’s way of thinking when choosing entertainment? Reflect on the question, ‘How will this affect me and my standing with God?’ For instance, before deciding whether to watch a certain movie, ask yourself, ‘How will the content of this movie affect my conscience?’ Let us consider what principles have a bearing on that subject. 18 A key principle is found at Philippians 4:8, which states: “Whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.” Granted, Paul was discussing, not entertainment, but the meditations of the heart, which should center on things that please God. (Psalm 19:14) Yet, Paul’s words can be applied in principle to the matter of entertainment. How? 19 Ask yourself, ‘Does my choice of movies, video games, music, or other forms of entertainment fill my mind with “whatever things are chaste”?’ For instance, after you watch a movie, what mental images are left dominating your mind? If they are pleasant, pure, and refreshing, then you know that your entertainment was wholesome. However, if the movie you watched makes you think about things that are unchaste, then your entertainment was unsound, even harmful. (Matthew 12:33; Mark 7:20-23) Why? Because thinking about things that are morally unclean disturbs your inner peace, scars your Bible-trained conscience, and can ruin your relationship with God. (Ephesians 5:5; 1 Timothy 1:5, 19) Since such entertainment has a harmful effect on you personally, be determined to avoid it. (Romans 12:2) Be like the psalmist who prayed to Jehovah: “Make my eyes pass on from seeing what is worthless.”—Psalm 119:37. 20 Paul mentioned a key Bible principle that needs to be taken into account when making decisions on personal matters. He stated: “All things are lawful; but not all things build up. Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.” (1 Corinthians 10:23, 24) How does that principle relate to choosing wholesome entertainment? You need to ask yourself, ‘How will the entertainment that I choose affect others?’ 21 Your conscience may allow you to enjoy a certain form of entertainment that you view as “lawful,” or acceptable. However, if you notice that other believers with a more restrictive conscience find it objectionable, you may decide not to pursue it. Why? Because you do not want to “sin against your brothers”—or even be “sinning against Christ,” as Paul stated—by making it more difficult for your fellow believers to maintain faithfulness to God. You take to heart the admonition: “Keep from becoming causes for stumbling.” (1 Corinthians 8:12; 10:32) True Christians today heed Paul’s considerate and perceptive counsel by avoiding entertainment that may be “lawful” but does not “build up.”—Romans 14:1; 15:1. 22 There is, though, another side to the matter of seeking the advantage of others. A Christian with a more restrictive conscience should not insist that all in the Christian congregation conform to his narrower view on what is proper entertainment. If he were to do so, he would be like a driver on a highway who insists that all other drivers using the same road hold to the same speed that he prefers. Such a demand would not be reasonable. Out of Christian love, someone with a more confining conscience needs to respect fellow believers whose views on entertainment differ somewhat from his own but are still within the bounds of Christian principles. That way, he lets his “reasonableness become known to all men.”—Philippians 4:5; Ecclesiastes 7:16. 23 Avoid entertainment that injures your conscience, and be willing to forgo forms of entertainment that might wound the sensitivities of others, especially those of fellow believers. May your firm decision to do so bring glory to God and keep you and your family in his love. [Footnote] Some more principles applicable to entertainment are found at Proverbs 3:31; 13:20; Ephesians 5:3, 4; and Colossians 3:5, 8, 20.
Acts 7:57-60: At this they cried out at the top of the voice and put their hands over their ears and rushed upon him with one accord. 58 And after throwing him outside the city, they began casting stones at him. And the witnesses laid down their outer garments at the feet of a young man called Saul. 59 And they went on casting stones at Stephen as he made appeal and said: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then, bending his knees, he cried out with a strong voice: “Jehovah, do not charge this sin against them.” And after saying this he fell asleep [in death]. Though some claim that prayer may properly be addressed to others, such as to God’s Son, the evidence is emphatically to the contrary. True, there are rare instances in which words are addressed to Jesus Christ in heaven. Stephen, when about to die, appealed to Jesus, saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Ac 7:59) However, the context reveals a circumstance giving basis for this exceptional expression. Stephen at that very time had a vision of “Jesus standing at God’s right hand,” and evidently reacting as if he were in Jesus’ personal presence, he felt free to speak this plea to the one whom he recognized as the head of the Christian congregation. (Ac 7:55, 56; Col 1:18) Similarly, the apostle John, at the conclusion of the Revelation, says, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.” (Re 22:20) But again the context shows that, in a vision (Re 1:10; 4:1, 2), John had been hearing Jesus speak of his future coming and thus John responded with the above expression of his desire for that coming. (Re 22:16, 20) In both cases, that of Stephen and that of John, the situation differs little from that of the conversation John had with a heavenly person in this Revelation vision. (Re 7:13, 14; compare Ac 22:6-22.) There is nothing to indicate that Christian disciples so expressed themselves under other circumstances to Jesus after his ascension to heaven. Thus, the apostle Paul writes: “In everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God.”—Php 4:6. The article APPROACH TO GOD considers the position of Christ Jesus as the one through whom prayer is directed. Through Jesus’ blood, offered to God in sacrifice, “we have boldness for the way of entry into the holy place,” that is, boldness to approach God’s presence in prayer, approaching “with true hearts in the full assurance of faith.” (Heb 10:19-22) Jesus Christ is therefore the one and only “way” of reconciliation with God and approach to God in prayer.—Joh 14:6; 15:16; 16:23, 24; 1Co 1:2; Eph 2:18;
You say of Jehovah's Witnesses, "If you look back when they first started you can see that they barely follow any of their principles then so how is now any different?" A principle is a rule of conduct, a standard by which one conducts himself. The golden rule, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a principle. How have the standards by which they conduct themselves changed? To take a leaf out of your book on a recent question you posted concerning CT Russell, "I'm not going to just take in what [you] say without question[ing] what [you] say." "Once again you fail to post any information regarding on why this is [true]. If I were a betting man, I would be prepared to wager that their principles would scarcely have changed. There might be some difference in understanding of beliefs, but the only fundamental belief that I can recall that has changed is that the remnant of the anointed were not raised to their heavenly calling as they thought would happen in 1914. You made the assertion that JWs "barely follow ANY of their principles then so how is now any different?", asia n, so where is your evidence to show that for then and now? Let's have a brief look at their beliefs. i) They believe that Almighty God has a personal name; that appears in tetragrammaton form [YHWH] almost 7,000 times in the OT scriptures alone, and that in English, its common pronunciation is Jehovah. [Psalms 83:18; Exodus 6:3 KJV] ii) They believe that Jesus Christ, the Word in his pre-human existence, is God's only begotten son, and that all other angelic sons of God and all other creation came into existence through that one. They cite Colossians 1:15,16; John 1:2,3,14,18 and Proverbs 8:22-31 to back up that claim. iii) They believe that Jesus willingly offered his life as a perfect man as a ransom to equal the perfect life that Adam forfeited when he sinned. Jesus' shed blood was the legal means by which he could purchase back on behalf of sinful mankind what had been lost - perfection. The perfect 'scales of justice' having been met [Deuteronomy 32:4], his sacrifice opened the way for humankind to come back into a favorable relationship with their creator and thus have the prospect of fulfilling God's original and unchangeable purpose for the earth; of unending life in a global paradise. [Genesis 1:27,28; 2:17; Isaiah 55:11; 65:17-25; Psalms 37:29; Matthew 5:5; 6:10; Revelation 21:3,4] iv) They believe that only 144,000 are taken from the earth as spirit persons to reign as kings and priests with Jesus Christ in heaven; that God's spirit identifies with their spirit that they are his chosen ones with this specific destiny. [Revelation 14:1,4; Romans 8:11,16] v) They believe that there is no consciousness in death; that there is no fiery hell where the immortal souls of the damned are tormented day and night forever; that hell, being the English word for the Hebrew word she'ol, is simply the grave. They cite Ecclesiastes 9:5,10 to back up that claim, and Ezekiel 18:4 to show that the soul is mortal, and that both humans and animals are created as living souls [Genesis 1:21,22,24; 2:7] vi) They believe that billions who have died over the past millenniums await a resurrection in God's due time into a new earth where righteousness will dwell, and provided they embrace that new earth, they will have the opportunity to live forever. [2John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15; 2 Peter 3:13] vii) They believe that God's Kingdom, under Jesus Christ, is what will bring about the changes needed to restore the earth to the way God originally intended, removing all wickedness. [Daniel 2:44; Matthew 6:10; Revelation 19:17-21] viii) They believe that Jesus' prophecy at Matthew 24:14 should be taken seriously and so, in line with Matthew 10:11-14 and Acts 20:20 they preach the good news of the Kingdom publicly and from house to house, and look to make disciples, as Jesus instructed them to do. [Matthew 28:19,20] There are other beliefs, of course, but these I have listed are the core ones that could be said to make JWs stand out as different to other religions who claim to follow the Bible. As Adam's Rib put it so well, "There has never been new light on anything that would hinder salvation." In the end, asia n, you'll no doubt believe what your slanted view dictates, unable to see the forest for the trees.
they can not see, they can not hear. pray that their eyes open, that their minds and hearts are protected. in Christ our Lord and Savior, Eternal Father, God.
I love it. I don't know, perhaps it's because of the way I at one time use to be (punk-rock), but I find it both thrilling and exciting. Before I had any knowledge of the truth, I was attracted to punk rock because of it's bold rebellious attitude and message against the corrupt world (system) established order. The corrupt political system, the corrupt religious order, the corruption which exists on the so called war against crime, while meanwhile many of those who are in high office of power are corrupt and or are in league with they who are corrupt, the folly of men and women with noble hearts who truly want to make a difference only to be either executed because of their intent, they realize how corrupt the system truly is and realize they are in way over their head and can't live up to their "promises", they themselves become corrupt or when they leave office someone corrupt takes their place... etc... etc. I had ENOUGH, I would sing my heart out on stage with my band, with such intense passion and fuel of hatred for the system that it would send the crowd into a frenzy. Then it happened one day when I learned the TRUTH, when I realized that the system I was so strongly against... I WAS IN FACT PART OF. However, Jehovah through Christ showed me the true way out, the true way of how to be no part of this world, he opened up an entire new world and hope to me which I in my wildest dreams (or drug induced states) would have NEVER imagined possible. I did what I had to do, studied intensly and came "home" in Jehovah's organization where I truly belong. Brothers and sisters, I have tears in my eyes now, I mean, when you are at the meetings, do you sometimes just look around to behold where you TRULY are... have you ever just LOOKED at it? Before the meetings, during the meetings, after the meetings, in field service, at get togethers, at our assemblies and conventions.... have you ever just stopped to stare at it and take it all in? We are truly the most priviledged people on earth. Admitedly, when I first learned the truth I was ON FIRE as a unbaptized publisher in the early months of 1994, to the point that there were times when I "burned" myself LOL! Looking back, I remember the elders meeting with me in the downstairs of the Kingdom Hall because they received a complaint that I had went into a Baptist Church and caused a commotion. It was true though, I was out street witnessing by myself and went into a Baptist church while church service was taken place, I stopped the service by shouting to the "pastor" in the aisle; "Why are you teaching these people falsehoods?! Why do you deny these people the truth of Jehovah's Word the Bible?!". The "pastor" told the ushers to get me out of the church, however I told the people to read Psalms 83:18 in their Bibles, before I was thrown out. Wow, I was so "stupidly" bold (lol). Anywho, you can only imagine what the meeting was like with me and the elders, however, in the end, they were loving, patient and understanding. They asked me; "Why did you do it, what caused you to go into a church and disrupt it's service?", I replied; "I use to be a member of that church and I was angry at the lies I was told and the fact that they were lying to those precious people, robbing them of the truth". I also told them that I read our "Proclaimers" book about the time of Brother Rutherford and how BOLD the brothers were then, to which one of the elders said; "Brother, do you realize how long ago the time of Brother Rutherford has been?" (he said this while trying to hold back laughter). :0) When I was in the world I was bold, when I discovered the truth, the boldness that I had increased, however, Jehovah molded it to the honor of His glory as He patiently trained me in loving disciple (sometimes very stern discipline) to walk in His ways instead of my own. I would happily DIE for any of you, you are the family that I have always dreamed of without ever knowing a family such as you were possible. So by all means, let the nay sayers, haters and apostates say what they wish, do as they wish, rant as they wish and whatever else they choose to do... BRING IT ON, because NOTHING that they do can stop what Jehovah has purposed, NOTHING. Our Father is so beyond awesome that what they do isn't even worth the time of day to give too much thought to as our minds are focused on things in which they can't even fathom.... especially being so close to the end as we are. I absolutely have no hatred for people, I love people, I even love those that are mean and rude to us, however, I absolutely hate it when people are taken advantage of and shall bodly proclaim the truth and assist those whom I can that are in darkness due to being misled and denied even a "flashlight" by those they look to for guidance! The haters / apostates increasing attitude of hate, rants and negativity create a certain "calm" within me. It strengthens me in the FACT that we have THE truth of the sacred Scriptures. Certain Scriptures are becoming even more powerfully focused such as: "But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up [with pride], lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away. 6 For from these arise those men who slyly work their way into households and lead as their captives weak women loaded down with sins, led by various desires, 7 always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth. 8 Now in the way that Jan′nes and Jam′bres resisted Moses, so these also go on resisting the truth, men completely corrupted in mind, disapproved as regards the faith. 9 Nevertheless, they will make no further progress, FOR THEIR MADNESS WILL BE VERY PLAIN TO ALL, even as the [madness] of those [two men] became. 10 But you have closely followed my teaching, my course of life, my purpose, my faith, my long-suffering, my love, my endurance, 11 my persecutions, my sufferings, the sort of things that happened to me in Antioch, in I·co′ni·um, in Lys′tra, the sort of persecutions I have borne; and yet out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 In fact, all those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted. 13 BUT WICKED MEN AND IMPOSTERS WILL ADVANCE FROM BAD TO WORSE, MISLEADING AND BEING MISLED." - 2 Timothy 3:1 - 13 "If the world hates YOU, YOU know that it has hated me before it hated YOU. 19 If YOU were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because YOU are no part of the world, but I have chosen YOU out of the world, on this account the world hates YOU. 20 Bear in mind the word I said to YOU, A slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute YOU also; if they have observed my word, they will observe YOURS also. 21 But they will do all these things against YOU on account of my name, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW HIM THAT SENT ME." - John 15:18 - 21 "Young children, it is the last hour, and, just as YOU have heard that antichrist [one who is against Christ] is coming, even now there have come to be many antichrists [ http://www.watchtower.org/e/20061201/article_02.htm ]; from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is the last hour. 19 They went out FROM US, but they WERE NOT OF OUR SORT; for if they had been of our sort, they would have remained with us. But [they went out] that it might be shown up that NOT ALL ARE OF OUR SORT [the weeding out of Jehovah's organization ALL they that are truly not of our sort MUST take place, as it is written]." - 1 John 2:18, 19 "YOU originate with God, little children, and YOU have conquered those [persons], because he that is in union with YOU is greater than he that is in union with the world. 5 They originate with the world; THAT IS WHY they speak [what proceeds] from the world AND THE WORLD LISTENS TO THEM. 6 We originate with God. He that gains the knowledge of God LISTENS TO US; he that does not originate with God DOES NOT LISTEN TO US. This is how we take note of the inspired expression of truth and the inspired expression of error." - 1 John 4:4, 5 Just think how it must have been for Noah and his family during his days. What he and his family had to deal and put up with for so long. The scoffs, rants, hate and negativity they had to endure when preaching to the people (2 Peter 2:5)... and in the end only Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives (8 people) survived. It's no different today, with the exception that there will be far more than only 8 people who survive the end of this system of things, however, in comparison with the entire population of the world, those who survive will be FEW indeed (Matthew 7:13, 14). I don't know, I have had the strongest feeling for a long time that I am going to die during the great tribulation because of sacrificing my life for my brothers and sisters. I want to SEE Jehovah's day of vengeance at Armageddon so bad, when He sanctifies His holy name and vindicates His Sovereignty, however, I get the feeling that I won't get to see it. It's okay, it would be an honor and priviledge giving my life for any of you, I would have been PROUD to have served alongside with you. *Cont below*
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