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Don't know if this is exactly new news. but it 'sort of' sounds interesting.
Trump Delivers on Promise to Advance Religious Freedom Abroad
This week, President Trump issued a historic executive order that ensures international religious freedom will be a major piece of his legacy. The new directive gives the U.S. government more tools than ever before to advance religious freedom globally and to penalize foreign nations that perpetrate or allow religious persecution.
Link to article at top.
"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23,24
In one publication by the organization, it uses 1 Cor 10:14 and 1 John 5:21 to explain that a true Christian would not worship God at any place of ‘special value’. Their comment is based on Jesus’ words in John 4:21-24. The publication states that doing so would incur idol worship, resulting from viewing any place as holy in itself. This article is in a public addition of the magazines, dated 2016. Search, “shrine”.
SHRINE – “any structure or place consecrated or devoted to some saint, holy person, or deity, as an altar, chapel, church, or temple.”
Kingdom halls and assembly halls have been referred to as “God’s House”, also the Bethels. (Bethel means “House of God”) Since the organization is taught as being “spirit-directed”, belonging to “Jehovah”, and owned buildings are included in his “earthly belongings”, they are all considered “holy”. The presence of God’s Spirit is assumed as being within a building, and within the organization as a whole. Rev 13:15 (see John 20:22) In fact, kingdom halls and assembly halls particularly, are frequently dedicated to God as the ancient temples were; dedicated to God, until men make the decision to treat it as real estate and sell it off.
Don’t you find it an anomaly, JWs, that God’s spirit appears to be everywhere at man’s whim, except in the hearts of your leaders, who admit they are not “inspired”? 2 Tim 3:1,5,7,8
In summarizing your leaders’ documented words, it reveals that you have been encouraged to practice idolatry by applying a special value to the organization and its earthly goods. Matt 6:19,20;19:24 Does this make JWs, “true Christians”? We are very aware that idolaters are not true Christians following the teachings and command of Christ. Isa 2:7,8; Matt 5:19,20 (The organization has a routine of speaking some truth, but putting the opposite into practice, and expecting JWs to do the same - to fall into idolatry.) (Exod 32:2-8; Isa 44:20; Rom 1:25)
“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.” John 4:21
The organization is considered “mountain-like”, prophesied to be established in the last days, (Isa 2:2,3) yet it stands in defiance of Jesus’ words spoken to the woman at the well. Can we say we believe in, and know the Son, if his teachings - his admonition about how we should worship - are not followed? Luke 11:28; John 12:48; 14:24 “Antichrist” means “against” Christ; as an opponent of Christ. In action, we can see that the organization is against this teaching of Jesus, fully contradicting his words. It continues to build its holy places, and comparing them to temples. Luke 4:5-8; John 2:19-21; Acts 7:48-51; 17:24-25
It must be confusing to believe that both an earthly organization, as well as God with His Son, can grant one salvation. Isa 46:5; 57:13; Dan 11:38; Rev 13:4 Please, sort it out in your mind and heart, JWs. You have in one hand, a counterfeit teaching that a fabricated earthly “mountain” will lead you to eternal life; that you must be baptized into “Jehovah’s organization” to receive eternal life. In the other hand, you are presented by Christ, God’s way of approved worship. His definition of Mount Zion is far different than what your leaders promote. “Daughter Zion” is not an earthly organization comprised of buildings and people. It doesn’t refer to every “Jehovah’s Witness”. It refers to chosen, faithful anointed ones who will serve the Father and Jesus eternally as “priests and kings” in God’s Kingdom. They are the spiritual descendants of Jacob, and God’s spiritual “dwelling”. This is the true Temple today; the authentic ZION. 1 Pet 2:5,9,10; 1 Cor 3:16,17;2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:20-22; Rev 3:12
“In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.” Isa 2:2
For those who reject the idolatrous way of worship highly promoted by the organization’s leaders, the “spirit-directed” idol “kills”/disfellowships any who desire to obey Christ’s teachings and search out the proper way to worship, as explained in the article. Luke 21:12; 9:24; John 15:21; John 16:2; Rev 13:15 When you compare the words in the article, with the subsequent actions carried out against its teaching, can you see the hypocrisy in this, JWs?
The organization makes the enlightening statement that the “antichrist” can refer to a false “christ”, as well as any group as an organization, or group of people that makes the claim to represent Christ; but instead, oppose him. The identity of the Antichrist today has pertinent characteristics to help pinpoint that it is for certain, the organization and its leaders.
1 John 4:1-3 addresses the spirit of false prophet/false “christs”:
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, if they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby ye know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses Jesus Christ come in flesh is of God;
3 and every spirit which does not confess Jesus Christ come in flesh is not of God: and this is that [power] of the antichrist, [of] which ye have heard that it comes, and now it is already in the world.
“A true Prophet believes and preaches the physical incarnation of the Word, into Jesus Christ. He will preach Jesus as came to Earth and put on humanity in order to redeem us all. This previous incarnation would precede the next one (Heb 1:6; Acts 3:21; Matt 17:11; Acts 1:11). Any who deny this future earthy materialization of Christ and his co-rulers (Rev 5:10; Rom 8:19; John 1:51; Rev 21:2), essentially deny the first one (John 1:14). The very concept of an exclusive "heavenly hope", promotes the "spirit of the anti-Christ" (1 John 4:2,3; 2 John 1:7).”
2 John 2:7 – “ For many deceivers have gone out into the world, they who do not confess Jesus Christ coming in flesh—this is the deceiver and the antichrist.”
Pearl Doxsey, “Prophets Within Christ’s Body/Temple Foundation” 4womaninthewilderness
Clearly, a false prophet that directs a “mountain-like” organization can be considered “anti-christ” and which was also prophesied to appear in the last days. Rev 13:1,2,5-7,11,14-17 This two-fold powerful rule, advertised as led by Christ, is “lawlessness”. 2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 13:18 It is a counterfeit mountain which preaches a message of worship contrary to Christ’s teaching of worshiping in the Spirit and in truth.
2 John 2 continues: “Anyone who does not remain in Christ’s teaching but goes beyond it, does not have God. The one who remains in that teaching, this one has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home, and don’t say, 'Welcome,' to him; 11 for the one who says, “Welcome,” to him shares in his evil works."
"God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" Matt 7:21-23
The “Man of Lawlessness” is determined to destroy God’s true way we are to worship. How? By “trampling” the authentic Temple of God; by appearing to be higher and mightier than God’s spiritual dwelling in the anointed ones; even more powerful than Christ himself.
2 Thess 2:4 - "He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God (divinity) or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God/divine.
Dan 8:11 - "It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary (Temple) was thrown down."
The organization’s perceived divinity is fueled by the men who operate it; the elder body, who are spiritual “Gentiles”.
Pearl Doxsey coments:
Mark called the Man of Lawlessness, a "disgusting thing standing where it does not belong" (Mark 13:14).
It does not belong to Gentiles/nations (Rev 11:2), to be in the midst of God's Temple (2 Chron 23:6; Num 3:10).
Even worse, to rule over it and trample it down.
Yet we see in the time of the end, God's Temple priesthood is trespassed and taken over, by the Gentiles... the Man of Lawlessness.
It is important to know what God's Temple is today, or else, how will we recognize when it is being trampled?
1 Cor 3:16 shows that God's Temple, is the hearts of his anointed and faithful priests...
"you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives within you?" (Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. )
"Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge of what is to come." (2 Cor 1:21,22)
So when we are looking for the man of lawlessness setting himself over God's Temple, we should be looking for that one, setting himself up over the anointed priests belonging to God's Temple, and those under-priests of Christ, accepting domination in their heart.
From “Christs Return – When?” 4womaninthewilderness
What about the true Mount Zion to be established in the last days? Worshiping in spirit and truth requires recognizing the given authority of Christ over his Temple “stones”. (1 Pet 2:5,9) Man’s authority that regulates all activity and oppresses the anointed in the organization, is as Pearl brought out, “lawlessness”. Rev 13:8; 19:20; Ezek 14:10
JWs, lawlessness exists in the absence of LOVE. Analyze your way of worship, coupled with the organization’s grandiose attempt to hide its blasphemous idolatry, by capping it off with this summer’s convention theme.
John 5:41-43 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” John 4:23
JWs, Jesus has spelled out quite clearly, the criteria for worshiping the Father in the Spirit and in truth. Are you adhering to that criteria, evaluating Jesus’ words against those your leaders expect you to follow? Mark 13:21-33
Whose words, carry eternal life? Matt 7:13,14; John 10:7-10; John 3:16; Matt 19:29
Pearl Doxsey, from “FAINT OUT OF FEAR”:
God DOES have a "mountain"....a spiritual one.
It is ZION, and IT is the place of proper worship "in spirit and truth", just as prophesied at Isa 2:2,3 and Rev 14:1.
It is organized, according to the divine arrangement, of Eph 2:20-22,10; 4:11,12 and 1 Cor 12:12,14,18,27,28.
It is God's spiritual Temple (Isa 2:2), established in the heavens (Heb 8:5;9:24; 12:22,23; 1 Cor 3:16,9).
[from it's founding "cornerstone" (Ps 118:22; Eph 2:20) to it's "capstone" (Zech 4:7,9-11,14; Rev 11:3,4)]
...is made of chosen, living stones (1 Pet 2:5,9) who worship in spirit and truth.
There is where you can find living waters, contained within their "fruit" (Luke 6:44,45)
(John 7:38,39; 14:17; 16:13; 1 Cor 2:12,13; Rev 22:17,1-3; Matt 7:20.
"So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'" (Heb 13:6)
I pulled out my tattered Living Bible given to me when I was a young girl, to quote Zech 4:1-14:
Then the angel who had been talking with me woke me, as though I had been asleep.
2. What do you see now?” he asked.
I answered, “I see a golden lampstand holding seven lamps, and at the top there is a reservoir for the olive oil that feeds the lamps, flowing into them through seven tubes. 3 And I see two olive trees carved upon the lampstand, one on each side of the reservoir. 4 What is it, sir? I asked. “What does this mean?” 5 Don’t you really know?” the angel asked. “No sir, I said, “I don’t.”
6 Then he said, “This is God’s message to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts—you will succeed because of my Spirit, though you are few and weak’.
7 Therefore no mountain, however high, can stand before Zerubbabel! For it will flatten out before him! And Zerubbabel will finish building this Temple with mighty shouts of thanksgiving for God’s mercy, declaring that all was done by grace alone.”
8 Another message that I received from the Lord said: 9 Zerubbabel laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. (Then you will know these messages are from God, the Lord of Hosts.) 10 Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin, to see the plumbline in the hand of Zerubbabel. For these seven lamps represent the eyes of the Lord that see everywhere around the world.”
11 Then I asked him about the two olive trees on each side of the lampstand, 12 and about the two olive branches that emptied oil into the golden bowls through two golden tubes.
13 “Don’t you know?” he asked. “No, sir,” I said.
14 Then he told me, “They represent the two anointed ones who assist the Lord in all the earth.”
Consider - “The Rise of Mount Zion” 4womaninthewilderness
In our modern western culture worship is an action directed toward Elohiym and Elohiym alone. But this is not the case in the Hebrew Bible. The word shahhah is a common Hebrew verb meaning to prostrate oneself before another in respect, or simply, obeisance. We see Moses doing this to his father-in-law in Exodus 18:7. From a Hebraic perspective obeisance is the act of getting down on ones knees and placing the face down on the ground before another worthy of respect.
scha-cah Bend Down (verb) 7812 To pay homage to another one by bowing low or getting on the knees with the face to the ground.
The English word obeisance is a valid translation for the Hebrew schacah and the koine Greek cognate proskuneo?
obeisance [oh-bay-sanss] : a bow or curtsy showing this attitude [Old French obéissant obeying]; an attitude of respect or humble obedience; a gesture of respect, as a bow; homage or an act of homage; a gesture or movement of the body, such as a curtsy, that expresses deference or homage; an attitude of deference or homage [collectively taken from Amercian Standard, Collins Basic English, and Ologies, etc]
The above is quite consistent with the Hebrew schacah, and the koine Greek cognate proskuneo - It means bow down or lie down in recognition of higher authority whether that be by Jacob toward Esau, Judah's brothers toward Judah, Nebuchadnezzar toward Daniel, malak toward Jesus whom was raised up in authority over the malak, and all things toward Jehovah - including Jesus bowing down to his god and father, Jehovah [Matthew 4:10; John 20:17, et al]. That is all it has ever meant - to bow down in recognition of relative higher authority. Could be your dog toward another dog,or another dog toward your dog, or even your dog toward you when you come home.
Proskuneo toward Jesus has always been acceptable. Proskuneo toward Jesus as or in the place of Jehovah is defined as blasphemy in both the Hebrew and Greek texts.
Proskuneo toward Jesus as or in the place of Jehovah is defined as blasphemy in both the Hebrew and Greek texts
"Worship" is an English word, and at best, has a strained abstract association with schacah - strained particularly far if one presumes that it is indicative of use in identification of Jehovah [as is the common modern Christian theory brought forth, that if the malak schacah Jesus this means Jesus = Jehovah].
That logic and reasoning, however, are shown flawed, as such logic and reasoning would then extend to present Esau as Jehovah, and Abraham's father in-law and the Canaanites as = to Jehovah as well - when in fact there is nothing in the word itself which meant the object of schacah as identification of Jehovah himself. A True and accurate translation will consistently employ the abstract sense of the English word "worship" in translating both the Hebrew and the Greek in harmony with the directive rendered in Deuteronomy.
Is this theological bias? You bet. It is however, biblically reflected and established theological bias [bowing to men does not necessarily indicate an English equivalent to worship, but biblically, throughout, bowing down to Jehovah can be supported in the more abstract sense of "worship"] - as the Tanakh establishes such bias, there are translations however, which adhere to the Tanakh written directive - only Jehovah is worshiped, all others are paid deep respect and homage - the act is the same, the object is quite differently presented biblically.
It is also out of theological bias from which so many employ the same translational approach, but add certain individual humans to switch from "bow down" to "worship" - such as Jesus wherein many late period Christian organizations raised Jesus to the level of Jehovah. Both approaches demonstrate theological bias, but one has support of the remainder of the biblical texts, and the other, the later especially, does not.
Original Word Word Origin
proskuneÑw from (4314) and a probable derivative of (2965) (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand)
to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence
By Bible Speaks
GO AWAY SATAN! IT IS JEHOVAH GOD YOU MUST WORSHIP
4 "Then Jesus was led by the spirit up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil.
2 After he had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, he felt hungry.
3 And the Tempter approached and said to him: “If you are a son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
4 But he answered: “It is written: ‘Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from Jehovah’s mouth.’”
5 Then the Devil took him along into the holy city, and he stationed him on the battlement of the temple
6 and said to him: “If you are a son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written: ‘He will give his angels a command concerning you,’ and, ‘They will carry you on their hands, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him: “Again it is written: ‘You must not put Jehovah your God to the test.’”
8 Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
9 And he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.”
10 Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”
11 Then the Devil left him, and look! angels came and began to minister to him."
(Matthew 4;1-11) NWT
By Jack Ryan
In the NWT, every time the Greek word "proskuneo" is used in reference to God, it is translated as "worship" (Rev 5:14, 7:11, 11:16, 19:4, Jn 4:20, etc.). Every time "proskuneo" is used in reference to Jesus, it is translated as "obeisance" (Mt 14:33, 28:9, 28:17, Lk 24:52, Heb 1:6, etc.), even though it is the same word in the Greek (see Gr-Engl Interlinear).
Especially compare the Greek word "prosekunhsan" used with reference to God in Rev 5:14, 7:11, 11:16, and 19:4 and used with reference to Christ in Mt 14:33, 28:9, and 28:17. What is the reason for this inconsistency? If the NWT was consistent in translating "proskuneo" as "worship", how would the verses above referring to Christ read?