The Story of the White Stone and Those Who Are Born-Again


WHO WILL RECEIVE A WHITE STONE?

To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it. Revelation 2:17

The significance of a white stone isn’t common knowledge today, however, when the apostle John was writing on the Isle of Patmos all people knew the significance of receiving a white stone.

A ‘white stone’ meant a criminal or law breaker was declared ‘not guilty’ if they were presented with a white stone. It was an acquital of the crime of which a person was accused.

In biblical times, juries in a court of law used a white stone for a not-guilty verdict and a black stone for guilty. A white stone also gained the bearer entrance into such events as banquets…Our Daily Bread

White Jasper Rough Stone | Revelation 21:19-20/gems | Pinterest

Those whose lives were endangered due to their crimes and offenses must have been extremely relieved when the judge handed them a white stone and not a black stone.

THOSE WHO OVERCOME RECEIVE A WHITE STONE

There will be a point where time as we know it will end. Jesus told us in the passage below that the ones who ‘overcome’ will be given a white stone (declared not guilty). Others will find that Christ is at war with them and His weapon will be the sword of His mouth.

So who are the ‘overcomers’ spoken to in Revelation 2:17? They will get not only a white stone, but will also have a new name and be fed with hidden manna?

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:  13‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15 ‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 ‘Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. 17 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.Scriptures at Bible Hub

Eight times in the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Christ promises blessings to those who ‘overcome.’

WHO DOES GOD SAY WILL OVERCOME THE WORLD?

God has told us in the Bible what it means to ‘overcome.’ Here is what we find.

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5

Because the person who has been born of God will overcome, it follows that they will not fall victim to false teachings. Neither will they follow or practice the teachings of humans in place of the Living God and His word. Reread the above passage for what marked those who were not receiving a ‘white stone.’

In Pergamus, there were those who stood fast and remained witnesses for Christ. They did not deny the faith, even when they saw Antipas killed for standing fast and not denying, and even though they were dwelling in the place where Satan’s throne is. We must conclude that these were they who have been born of God or born again – born into a new life that is lived ‘In Christ.”

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… Ephesians 1:3

May we hear and believe the word of our Lord Jesus Christ:

John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”…7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.

How can these things be? Paul wrote these words to help us understand:

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

Born again believers who have faith in Christ will receive a ‘white stone.’

Because Jesus has overcome, we are safe in Christ. Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

 

 

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Five Ways One Cult Misuses Scripture


2 Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation…2 Peter 1:20

FIVE WAYS CULTS MISUSE SCRIPTURES

                 (Examples will follow)

1. Scripture is taken out of context and said to teach a doctrine not supported by the entire body of scripture.

2. Scripture may be changed by adding or detracting words.

3. Incorrect conclusions drawn and taught and scriptural.

4. Claims to have outside sources with authority to teach what a particular scripture means.

5. Ignoring scriptures that do not support the doctrine of a particular cult.

ONE EXAMPLE OF EACH

1. Watchtower uses Ecclesiastes 9:5 to teach that when we die we are not alive in any way until God or Jehovah recreates us. In teaching this they must ignore many scriptures: See Life After Death

2. Colossians 1:16 reads “For in Him (Christ) all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him.” Yet the NWT done by Watchtower reads: “because by means of him all ‘other’ things were created through him and for him.” The Greek interliner shows the word ‘other’ was not in the original manuscript.

3. With nothing to go on but their own ideas and the Watchtower’s writing of doctrine the organization has decided and even teaches as fact that Jesus was Michael the Archangel before coming to earth and returned to being Michael after He ascended. On their website they write, “Since God’s Word nowhere indicates that there are two armies of faithful angels in heaven​—one headed by Michael and one headed by Jesus—​it is logical to conclude that Michael is none other than Jesus Christ in his heavenly role.”

An intellectually honest study of scripture rules this out because not only does scripture clearly tell us who Jesus is, also, in verse 9 Jude tells us “But even the archangel Michael, when he disputed with the devil over the body of Moses, did not presume to bring a slanderous judgment against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Michael leaves the rebuking of Satan to Christ. Also, we learn in 1 Corinthians 6:3 that we will judge the angels. We will NOT judge Christ. He is the judge. In Hebrews, angels are commanded to worship Christ Jesus the Lord.

4. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit will teach us and lead us into all truth. The cult known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, however, have a source outside of scripture who claim to be the faithful and discreet slave mentioned in Matthew 24:25. They have NO basis for making this claim other than being self-appointed. They run an organization called Watchtower Bible and Tract Society that has usurped the role of the Holy Spirit and of Christ’s church. They interpret the Bible, establish doctrine, and set rules by which their members must abide. They publish massive amounts of literature and even make numerous prophecies (that have all failed), yet they continue to claim that the Governing Board is the faithful and discreet slave mentioned in Matthew 24:25. They claim to be ruling under the direct authority of Christ who has said in His word that He has established only one body on earth and that body is His church over which He is head. We know that it does not consist of one organization as He addresses churches in the Book of the Revelation separately with no mention of an organization of any sort.

5. While there are multiple scriptures that Watchtower does not teach to their members, one example is Romans 10: 8 “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.…” It is certain that the GB are aware of the truth of this verse, however, it doesn’t match with their doctrine, which teaches that one benefits from Christ death if they serve, saying, ‘… many now living may yet begin to serve God, and they too will gain salvation.”

 

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Christ Jesus restores our sight…


Jesus went about doing good and restoring sight to the blind. He is able to restore spiritual sight to those in darkness and deception.

THE BIBLE SPEAKS CLEARLY AND HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES, SO WHAT CAUSES A PERSON TO BELIEVE A LIE?

The LORD told Isaiah to  prophesy to the people and to say:

Isaiah 6:9 He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ 10“Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.”

WHY DOES A LOVING GOD SEND STRONG DELUSION TO BELIEVE A LIE?

2 Thessalonians 2:11 “For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie…”

What is this reason?

2 Thessalonians 2:10 “…because they refused the love of the truth that would have saved them. “

Deception begins in a person’s life with the rejection of God’s written word and the Living Word. God will not allow a person who makes a choice to believe “every word” to be deceived. If, however, one chooses to add, detract, or reject any part of God’s word, deception follows:

Romans 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever worthy of praise! Amen. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt (lived) among us…” John 1: 1,14

GOD’S WORD IS CLEAR

4 But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Many today are caught up in false religions, false beliefs and deception. How does this happen when we have a book from our Creator that teaches all truth and we have the Son who came in flesh and dwelt among us showing us the Truth?

SO WHAT IS THE FIRST LIE LEADING INTO DECEPTION?

Think about all cults and false religions. They all refuse to accept the true identity of Christ and will not believe verses that teach Christ as being God who gave His blood for our sins. Perhaps even more deadly is their denial of the person of the Holy Spirit in spite of teachings from the Bible. Among the passages rejected are the following:

28Keep watch over yourselves and the entire flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.

“Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled…’Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.'” Matthew 1: 22,23 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.…John 1:1-2

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him.…Colossians 15:5-6

Zechariah 12:8 “In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem,…10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced;…”

There are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. There are different ways of working, but the same God works all things in all men.…1 Corinthians 12:4-6

ONE CANNOT REJECT THE LIVING WORD AND THE HOLY SPIRIT WITHOUT ALSO REJECTING THE WRITTEN WORD

Whenever a group rejects portions of scripture or adds words to change these scriptures, to be believable to their congregations, they must teach that God’s word was corrupted over time and they alone are able to make corrections . This flies in the face of what God Himself has spoken: Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Covenant Promises, Grace of God, Holy Spirit, Jehovah's Witness, Jesus, New Covenant | Leave a comment

How do we overcome the world?


Many promises are made to those who “overcome” including:

To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’ Revelation 2:7

How do we overcome as Christians?

1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome, 4 because everyone born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.”

Posted in Bible, Bible prophecy, Bible Teaching, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Covenant Promises, Heaven, Jesus, New Covenant | Leave a comment

God provided The Ark of the Covenant


GOD’S SPECIAL PURPOSE

Ark – A shelter or refuge

Covenant – to cut; a testament 

God uses the lesson of an Ark to teach us of His mercy and salvation. Even very young children can comprehend the lesson of the safety of the ark that Noah built where he and his family were spared from death by drowning because Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. His covenant assures us that we can trust a His divine mercy and salvation if we trust and obey.

The Ark of the Covenant was a structure made by the Israelites as directed by the LORD God. We find God’s instructions for building the Ark of the Covenant in Exodus 25. 

This ark, like Noah’s Ark, represents safety for mankind. God is a God who keeps His covenants with His people. The covenant required a cutting.

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The Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Most Holy Place where God dwelt.

1 Kings 8:6, 9 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims…There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.

CUTTING OF A COVENANT

The seriousness of a covenant is demonstrated by the killing of an animal and cutting the animal in half. The parties to the covenant walked between the halves of the animal. Here is what happened when God made a covenant with Abraham:

“Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness. Then he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

“As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him. Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know this for certain, that your offspring shall be aliens in a land that is not theirs, and shall be slaves there, and they shall be oppressed for four hundred years; but I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for yourself, you shall go to your ancestors in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land […]” (Genesis 15:5-18)

God’s covenants are important. God’s ark is important as well. The Ark of His Covenant means for us that we can depend upon a place of safety if we are in Christ. Because we are sinners, the Ark of His Covenant contains a Mercy Seat.

THE MERCY SEAT

Along with the fact that the Ark represented the very presence of God, the importance of the Ark is seen in the Mercy Seat. As was stated at Got?Questions…

The real significance of the Ark of the Covenant was what took place involving the lid of the box, known as the “Mercy Seat.” The term ‘mercy seat’ comes from a Hebrew word meaning “to cover, placate, appease, cleanse, cancel or make atonement for.” …The Mercy Seat on the Ark was a symbolic foreshadowing of the ultimate sacrifice for all sin—the blood of Christ shed on the cross for the remission of sins. The Apostle Paul, a former Pharisee and one familiar with the Old Testament, knew this concept quite well when he wrote about Christ being our covering for sin in Romans 3:24-25: “…and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” 

God uses the Ark to teach Israel about Himself, about His mercy, and about His steadfastness.

Numbers 10:33 And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days’ journey, to search out a resting place for them.

THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT 

We are blessed to be covered under the fullness of God’s promises in the new covenant that God promises for all who will trust Him.

Hebrews 9:14-14 How much more surely shall the blood of Christ, Who by virtue of [His] eternal Spirit [His own preexistent divine personality] has offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice to God, purify our consciences from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the [ever] living God? [Christ, the Messiah] is therefore the Negotiator and Mediator of an [entirely] new agreement (testament, covenant), so that those who are called and offered it may receive the fulfillment of the promised everlasting inheritance — “since a death has taken place which rescues and delivers and redeems them from the transgressions committed under the [old] first agreement. (Amplified Bible)

FINAL REVELATION 

The final mention of the Ark is in the book of Revelation when John is allowed the vision of  the temple of God in heaven.

Revelation 11:19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

Judgment is pending for many, but the ark remains for those who have faith in God the Father and Son, Jesus Christ.

 

See Also:

Did You Know?

Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Christ, Christianity, Covenant Promises, New Covenant

Five Signals an Organization or Religious Sect is A Cult


FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT BEFORE JOINING A GROUP 

1. Has someone or a small group obtained excessive wealth through the organization? One sure sign a group is a cult will be someone or a small group at the top will be very rich at the expense of the members.

2. Do they use the name of Jesus but deny what the Bible teaches concerning Christ? The group may be using the name of Jesus and claiming to follow Biblical teachings while recruiting, but core teachings will follow man-made doctrine and always deny the true identity of Christ.

3. Are members being told not to read or listen to those outside the group? Asking questions is either discouraged or not allowed.

4. Does the organization discourage your association with family and friends? Relationships outside the group will be either frowned upon or disallowed.

5. Does the group go beyond suggesting what is good and acceptable behavior? There will be strict rules and requirements used to control the member’s conduct and what the members are allowed to read and view.

Warning – Some groups “love bomb” potential members before teaching all that is required of them in order to get them into the cult.

SEE ALSO:

Characteristics Associated With Cultic Groups

Families Against Cult Teachings and Abuses

Cult -An Outline Analysis

The Watchman’s Post

How can I recognize a religious cult?

What is a cult? Recognizing and Avoiding Unhealthy Groups

Posted in Cults, Jehovah's Witness

A Covenant Relationship and Our Mediator – Stepping out of deception –


IDENTIFYING THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN

Who mediated the Law Covenant according to the scriptures? JWs teach Moses did this, but I think this is one of the first steps taken in changing the gospel and New Covenant of the Lord Jesus Christ to what they teach as a “Kingdom Covenant.” Please stay with me and see what you conclude!

Search the scriptures and one will not find any covenant after the establishment of the New Covenant.

The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.) that there is only one Mediator between God and man. This is backed up by what Paul wrote to the Galatians. Christ has always been the only Mediator.

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DID MOSES OR CHRIST MEDIATE THE LAW COVENANT?

Christ wasn’t known in person when the law was given. However, it was by promise and the Law Covenant cannot be fully understood without understanding the first Covenant God made with Abraham, which was unconditional. It is found in Genesis 17 and explained in Romans 2:29. A careful reading of Galatians points to Christ as the Mediator of God’s covenants with mankind.

Galatians 3:15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”i meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one. (God mediated the first covenant, and the last covenant. God in the Person of Christ is our Mediator.)

WATCHTOWER  ATTEMPTS TO TRANSFER ALLEGIANCE FROM CHRIST TO THE KINGDOM

Watchtower Bible and Tract Society on their website have a page called “You Will Become a Kingdom of Priests.” On this page they teach that there is a Covenant called “The Kingdom Covenant.” The only mention of this covenant is in their New World Translation where they have changed Luke 22:28-30The change is verse 29 which reads “29And I bestow on you a kingdom, just as My Father has bestowed on Me, which is changed to “and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom..” From this they teach the “Kingdom Covenant.” They have a purpose in making this change. The Bible does not teach anything about a Kingdom Covenant between God and men. The LORD, God Almighty established the New Covenant in Christ’s blood for the redemption of mankind.  Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel spoke of it. Ezekiel called it the EVERLASTING Covenant. Malachi made sure the people would recognize Christ. Jesus was the writer of the Covenant with His own blood. Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:19-20, Romans 11:27.

On the JW website they make a bold statement. It reads, “There is no doubt that the Kingdom is the only solution to man’s problems.” Thus, allegiance is transferred from Christ to the kingdom for those who believe in and cling to Watchtower.

Those willing to transfer their allegiance from Christ and the New Covenant according to Watchtower and come under the Kingdom Covenant must make major changes to the gospel. Christ is no longer their mediator, but rather Watchtower teaches that the New Covenant was only instituted for 144,000 who will be priests for all who join Watchtower’s JW organization. They call them’ the great crowd or multitude’ mentioned in Revelation 7 who come out of the tribulation. (I don’t think JW recognize or teach Corinthians 15:51-53 or the Rapture.)

WATCHTOWER WOULD CHANGE THE ROLE OF CHRIST AS MEDIATOR AND ASSIGN IT TO THE 144,000

It is with this great heresy that they are then able to teach that Christ is only the mediator for 144,000 of the anointed JWs.

This may not be the first time this doctrine was taught, but in 1986 a Watchtower publication contained the following:

Jesus Christ is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is the Mediator between his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000 members.” —Worldwide Security Under the “Prince of Peace,” 1986, p. 10

WATCHTOWER SPEAKS OF GRACE, BUT BELIEVES AND TEACHES SALVATION BY WORKS

Here is a copied and pasted message from their web-site. I am going to underline and place in italics the lines that are either troublesome or are unsupported and need to be considered because they are used to rewrite the gospel. Keep in mind that JWs will be directed to the New World Translation that has been written to teach their doctrine. While JW deny they preach a salvation of works look at the last line of this passage.

14. Who clearly benefit from the new covenant? 14 Upon learning that the 144,000 are in the new covenant, some may have thought that only these benefit from it. Perhaps they thought so because only anointed ones are to partake of the emblems at the annual Memorial of Christ’s death, where the wine represents the “blood of the covenant.” (Mark 14:24) Recall, though, that those in the new covenant are to be associates with Jesus as the “seed” of Abraham, by means of which all nations will be blessed. (Gal. 3:8, 9, 29; Gen. 12:3) Somehow, through the new covenant, Jehovah will fulfill his promise to bless all mankind through Abraham’s “seed.” 15. What role are the anointed foretold to have? 15 Jesus Christ, the primary part of the seed of Abraham, serves as High Priest, and he provided the perfect sacrifice that makes possible forgiveness of error and sin. (Read Hebrews 2:17, 18.) Yet, God long ago pointed forward to “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Ex. 19:6) In natural Israel the priests were from one tribe, and the kings were from a different tribe. So how would this promised nation of king-priests come about? The apostle Peter directed his first letter to ones who were sanctified by the spirit. (1 Pet. 1:1, 2) He referred to such ones as “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession.” (1 Pet. 2:9) Anointed Christians in the new covenant will thus serve as underpriests. Think of what that means! We daily struggle under the influence of sin, which still ‘rules as king.’ Those serving as underpriests will have had a similar experience. (Rom. 5:21) They will be aware of how it feels to make mistakes and grapple with guilt. So along with Christ, they will be able to sympathize with us as we overcome sinful tendencies. 16. What encouragement can the “great crowd” gain from Revelation 7:9, 14? 16 At Revelation 7:9, 14, the “great crowd” are seen “dressed in white robes,” which implies a clean standing with God. To be in line to survive “the great tribulation,” that great crowd is now being formed. Hence, even now these gain a certain righteous standing before God. They are being declared righteous as Jehovah’s friends. (Rom. 4:2, 3; Jas. 2:23) What a benefit that is! If you are part of the great crowd, you can be sure that God is willing to work with you as you strive to remain clean in his eyes.

A major difference in what Watchtower teaches and what the Bible teaches is shown in how we become clean and are declared righteous.

Philippians 3:8-9 More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ  and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT

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Christ came from heaven, the Word living in flesh to do the will of the Father. Jesus was His name on earth and He lived a sinless life only to be crucified by His own people. He died as our propitiation and was resurrected, overcoming death and the grave for all mankind. The entire Bible points to Jesus and teaches “whosoever will.”

In the New Testament Christ said our work is to do the will of the Father. In John chapter six, Christ tells us what that work is…

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent…

Our righteousness is found only in Christ. Those with white robes are cleansed, not by works, but by blood.

Revelation 7:13 “Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO PERVERT THIS GOSPEL?

Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

STEPPING OUT OF DECEPTION

It must be a personal decision. The only way to be free of deception is to decide that Christ is the Savior/Redeemer of mankind and that the Bible teaches the truth – the written truth and the Living Truth. Refuse to add to or detract from God’s word or follow a group who would do this. Finally, repent (turn) and believe the gospel.

1 Timothy 2:For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the mana Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

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