This is for all those who think or say Jehovah’s witnesses are a new religion. This also shows that God has chosen people over the centuries to be his anointed followers (possibly so) since the time of the apostacy of the chruch.
Text for Thursday, December 5, 2013 *** Why People Think Jesus is God
December 5, 2013 at 8:00am\l ”
They will not put up with the healthful teaching.
—2 Tim. 4:3.
The apostle Paul foretold that after the death of the apostles, the Christian faith would be contaminated by false teachings. (2 Thess. 2:3, 7) Among those who would not put up with “the healthful teaching” were some in responsible positions. Paul warned elders in his day: “From among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.” (Acts 20:30) The New Encyclopædia Britannica describes one major factor that led to twisted reasoning: “Christians who had some training in Greek philosophy began to feel the need to express their faith in its terms, both for their own intellectual satisfaction and in order to convert educated pagans.” An important doctrine that was given a pagan twist had to do with the identity of Jesus Christ. The Bible calls him the Son of God; the lovers of Greek philosophy insisted that he is God. w12 1/15 1:9
[SCRIPTURES QUOTED IN TODAY’S TEXT]
(2 Thessalonians 2:3)
…Let no one seduce YOU in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction.
(2 Thessalonians 2:7
) …True, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work; but only till he who is right now acting as a restraint gets to be out of the way.
*** w12 1/15 p. 6 True Christians Respect God’s Word ***
A MARKED CONTRAST
9 The apostle Paul foretold that after the death of the apostles, the Christian faith would be contaminated by false teachings. (Read 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 7.) Among those who would not put up with “the healthful teaching” were some in responsible positions. (2 Tim. 4:3) Paul warned elders in his day: “From among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.” (Acts 20:30) The New Encyclopædia Britannica describes one major factor that led to twisted reasoning: “Christians who had some training in Greek philosophy began to feel the need to express their faith in its terms, both for their own intellectual satisfaction and in order to convert educated pagans.” An important doctrine that was given a pagan twist had to do with the identity of Jesus Christ. The Bible calls him the Son of God; the lovers of Greek philosophy insisted that he is God.
10 The question was debated at a number of church councils. The issue could have been settled quite easily had the delegates given appropriate weight to the Scriptures, but most did not. In fact, the majority had made up their minds even before they arrived at the councils, and they left more deeply entrenched than ever in their positions. The canons and declarations that resulted from these meetings hardly even referred to the Scriptures.
11 Why were the Scriptures not more thoroughly considered? Scholar Charles Freeman answers that those who believed that Jesus is God “found it difficult to refute the many sayings of Jesus that suggested he was subordinate to God the Father.” As a result, church tradition and opinions of later authorities were substituted for the Gospels. To this day, many of the clergy elevate the uninspired sayings of so-called Church Fathers to a plane higher than the Word of God! If you have ever discussed the Trinity doctrine with a seminarian, you have likely noticed that.
12 True Christians Respect God’s Word ***12 A notable feature of the debates at those councils was the interference of the Roman emperors. In this regard, Professor Richard E. Rubenstein wrote respecting the Council of Nicaea: “Constantine had favored and enriched [the bishops] beyond their wildest dreams. In less than a year, the new emperor had returned or rebuilt virtually all their churches, given them back the jobs and honors taken from them . . . He had accorded Christian clergymen privileges formerly granted to pagan priests.” As a result, “Constantine was in a position strongly to influence
—perhaps even to dictate—the course of events at Nicaea.” Charles Freeman confirmed: “The precedent had now been set that the emperor might intervene not only to strengthen the Church but to influence doctrine.”—Read James 4:4.
13 While church dignitaries found it difficult to determine the exact identity of Jesus Christ, many of the common people had no such problem. Since they were not interested in lining their purses with the emperor’s gold or in furthering their careers in the church hierarchy, they were able to view matters more objectively, in the light of the Scriptures. And by all accounts, they did. A theologian of the period, Gregory of Nyssa, made this derisive comment regarding the common people: “Clothes dealers, money changers, and grocers are all theologians. If you inquire about the value of your money, some philosopher explains wherein the Son differs from the Father. If you ask the price of bread, your answer is the Father is greater than the Son. If you should want to know whether the bath is ready, you get the pronouncement that the Son was created out of nothing.” Yes, unlike the members of the hierarchy, many of the common people were supporting their conclusions by using God’s Word. Gregory and his associates would have done well to listen to them!
“WHEAT” AND “WEEDS” GROW TOGETHER
14 In a parable, Jesus indicated that from the first century onward, there would always be some genuine anointed Christians on the earth. He compared them to “wheat” growing among “weeds.” (Matt. 13:30) Of course, we cannot say for certain which individuals or groups belonged to the anointed wheat class, but we can confirm that there have always been some who have courageously defended God’s Word and exposed the church’s unscriptural teachings. Let us consider a few examples.
15 Archbishop Agobard of Lyons, France (779-840 C.E.), spoke out against image worship, churches dedicated to saints, and the church’s unscriptural liturgies and practices. One of his contemporaries, Bishop Claudius, also rejected church tradition and objected to prayers to saints and the veneration of relics. In the 11th century, Archdeacon Berengarius of Tours, France, was excommunicated for rejecting the Catholic teaching of transubstantiation. Moreover, he held that the Bible is superior to church tradition.
16 The 12th century saw the arrival of two lovers of Bible truth, Peter of Bruys and Henry of Lausanne. Peter resigned from the priesthood because he could not reconcile with the Scriptures the Catholic teachings of infant baptism, transubstantiation, prayers for the dead, and worship of the cross. In 1140, Peter paid for his beliefs with his life. Henry, a monk, spoke out against corrupt practices in the church as well as the unscriptural aspects of church liturgy. He was arrested in 1148 and spent the rest of his life in prison
17 About the time that Peter of Bruys was burned alive for daring to criticize the church, a person was born who would later have a powerful influence on the spread of Bible truth. His last name was Valdès, or Waldo. Unlike Peter of Bruys and Henry of Lausanne, he was a layman, but he valued God’s Word so much that he divested himself of his material goods and arranged for portions of the Bible to be translated into a language commonly spoken in southeastern France. Some were so thrilled to hear the Bible’s message in their own tongue that they too gave up their belongings and devoted their lives to sharing Bible truth with others. The church found this deeply disturbing. In 1184 these zealous men and women, later called the Waldenses, were excommunicated by the pope and banished from their homes by the bishop. This action actually served to spread the Bible’s message to other areas. Eventually, the followers of Waldo, Peter of Bruys, and Henry of Lausanne as well as other dissenters could be found in many parts of Europe. Other champions of Bible truth rose up in the centuries that followed: John Wycliffe (c. 1330-1384), William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536), Henry Grew (1781-1862), and George Storrs (1796-1879).
“THE WORD OF GOD IS NOT BOUND”
18 Try as they might, enemies of Bible truth have been unable to prevent its spread. “The word of God is not bound,” says 2 Timothy 2:9. In 1870 a group of sincere Bible students began searching for the truth. Their method of study? Someone would raise a question. They would discuss it. They would look up all related scriptures on the point, and then, when they were satisfied with the harmony of these texts, they would finally state their conclusion and make a record of it. Does it not reassure you to know that like the apostles and older men of the first century, those faithful men, our “spiritual ancestors” of the late 1800’s, were determined to align their beliefs solidly with God’s Word?
19 The Bible is still the foundation for our beliefs. With that in mind, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has chosen as our yeartext for 2012 the confident statement of Jesus: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Since everyone who desires to gain God’s approval must walk in the truth, may all of us continually strive to be guided by God’s Word.
[Footnote]Valdès has sometimes been called Pierre Valdès or Peter Waldo, but his first name cannot be confirmed
Also it is good to know that man and woman in modern days came out of many different denominations of christendom, we took the name Jehovah’s witnesses after many left christendoms churches and the bible students understanding of the bible was clearly defined and they had cleansed themselves of false religious teachings by sticking to the bible. as time went on they made more adjustments as their understanding grew, for example jw used to celebrate christmas until we learned of the origins that are pagan and that even Jesus himself didnt celebrate it. This illustration of the wheat and the weeds was talking about the sowing of the truth and satan sowing lies. down through the ages both grew together until the time of the harvest (preaching and teaching work seperating people from the weeds the anointed) then the bringing in of the other sheep Jesus spoke about. Who are the other sheep? these are those who desire to know and worship Jehovah in truth and spirit and who stop touching the unclean things of satans world. john 10:16 matt 24:14.