Poisener and Troublmaker – part 4
I am not doing well. I feel threatened from all sides, since I became aware of the world in which I have to live. It is the world dominated by the devil. And I’m just a weak person, helpless, sometimes hopeless and narrow. I could be discouraged, and sometimes I am.
How the devil actually works
For the first time, I’ve clearly seen the devil work and work. So far, I imagined knowing his methods. Often enough, I was fed with simple, handy sentences that reflected a faint reflection of evil. It was just as if he came just to order that I almost had to regard him as harmless to me, who I firmly believe in God. I was warned about false dangers and turned my gaze to these rather harmless dangers. The dangers, I thought, were grounded in me, in my pride, in lack of humility, in too little “knowledge” and to think independent. That seems to me so insignificant and pointing in the wrong direction today, as the many alleged grave sins of the petty bourgeois who are really only weaknesses. But by paying attention to the little things, you lose sight of the real thing. And what was my fight for faith, my fight against the influence of Satan in the light of the WBTS (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society) doctrine? You can still read that today: praying, studying, coming together and preaching. I imagined being protected within the organization. If you do it all, you can stay true to it! That is how it is said! If you follow that, Satan will not stand a chance! “Know your weaknesses and do something about it, then Satan has no chance!” So easy was knitted, so superficial was advised.
Like a poisonous mushroom
I knew an old professor (Karl Gleu), whom I visited at my young age. This man reminded me that he often said, “When I turn on the TV, Satan will look out everywhere!” That was in the 1970’s, and I thought that was an exaggeration, an old man’s quirk. Silently, I smiled at it. Today I think differently. Today I see it as well, because the world is being decomposed by a poisonous, black fungus. This mushroom works silently, in the dark. You do not notice him so fast. He permeates everything. He decomposes everything. The end of destruction is death.
Satan has always understood how to be harmless. He disguised himself with lies and deceived and stunned his victims. When the victims begin to feel his influence, they are so stupefied that they first deny that influence. They suspect that the devil is trying to hide this knowledge from themselves. They suspect that the devil somehow influences them, but they try to suppress the effectiveness of the evils work. The devil takes possession of conscience. He bends it and manipulate it. If a Jehovah’s Witness has faithfully adhered to the organization’s instructions, then it should be impossible to be so manipulated by Satan that you do not realize how he has taken his seat and is safe in his safety. And he creates in his victims a strange fear of their own knowledge, so that one does not realize how he has taken a seat. He gives his victims blinders. Thus man can succumb to delusion if the devil wants it.
What really matters
The last verse of the 119th Psalm reads as follows:
“Like a lost sheep, I have gone astray. Seek your servant, for I did not forget your commandments! “
How is it possible that the writer of this psalm got lost? He did not forget God’s commandments! He was filled with a strong love for the law of his God. It was his life!
We need to think further than the WBTS suggests. First, a person must realize that his own efforts in the struggle for faith are necessary but not sufficient to win. Another psalm tells us, “If Jehovah does not build the house, then his builders work in vain.” (Ps. 127: 1) It is important for Christians that Heaven watches over and protects them! “Sola scriptura!”, is already a correct demand. But without the guiding and discerning spirit of God, it can not really unfold its effect.
How the fungus can destroy our house of faith
The devil is smart. He knows his way around human weaknesses and uses them brutally for his purposes. Although the apostle Peter speaks of the “roaring lion,” he does not say that Satan announces himself by shouting. He comes in through the back doors. He creeps to us by trickery and trickery. He ensnares us with flattery. He promises safety, brotherhood and love. He speaks with a gentle voice that meets with kindness and alleged understanding. He appeals to our sense of justice, our attachment to truth, freedom and independence. And under his whisper, so much seems logical and reasonable that we think we have to prove ourselves right. We begin to lie to ourselves and do not realize that it is Satan lying to us.
Methods of evil: first the falsification of the motives and of the ideals …
He has a rich arsenal of weapons to use. But it is striking that everything has only one goal: to deny God by evil deeds. To mislead to bad deeds, motives are falsified. A biblical example of this? Please, here it is: Jesus called the Pharisees and scribes a serpent brood that would not escape the Gehenna court. He threatened their behavior with extinction. And yet they just wanted to do everything exactly and correctly! They had noble motives in the beginning! To achieve this goal, they first formulated rules that should help to please God. It started almost unnoticed and became more and more powerful as time went by. Later, the rules became a law of their own, which they considered so important that only by following this law should eternal life be possible. So the motive was to please God. But in practice, this became a legalism that ignored mercy and faithfulness to God. This legalism inevitably led to hypocrisy. This has put the person of God in a bad light and blocked the way to salvation that is to lead over Jesus. Do we now understand why Jesus said that they were traveling across the vast ocean and dry land to make a single disciple who would then become even worse than they themselves (Matt. 23:15)?
Another example of adulterated motifs: In the Watchtower of 15. 09. 19 is a study article: “Come to me … and I will give you new strength.” The question is how to come to Jesus.
“One way to come to Jesus is to learn as much as possible about what He said and did.” … We can also come to Jesus by choosing to be baptized and His disciples become. … Another way to come to Jesus is to go to the elders when we need help. These men are “gifts” that Jesus uses to care for his sheep. … We accept the invitation of Jesus to give ourselves to Jehovah and be baptized. “(Cited in paragraphs 4, 5, 7)
Do we notice that at no point in the article is there any talk of faith? Faith is simply left out and the focus is on baptism. It seems to be sufficient for the authors to point out the need to learn about Jesus and then conclude that baptism could then follow. Certainly baptism can follow what has been heard, but faith still comes into this order as the unconditional presupposition for baptism: “Faith comes from hearing the message and proclaiming from the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17) For all the baptisms mentioned in the NT, faith was always the prerequisite for coming to Jesus and to enter into a close and personal relationship with him! And what about the baptism of Jehovah’s Witnesses? One only becomes a member of an organization, because it has smuggled herself into the baptismal vow. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is not expressly baptized! We also see in this little example how a motive can be falsified. The path to Jesus now inevitably leads through an organization. That’s how it is said to the baptized person without his noticing it clearly. The WBTS presents itself as the gate for Jesus disciples. It is no longer Jesus Christ, who is to be the door to God for his sheep, but the organization: “I am the gateway to the sheep. … I am the gate. If anyone comes in through me, he will be saved. “(John 10:6, 9) And another clear word from Jesus,” I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. “(John 14:6) In addition to the wrong motive for baptism, we are also dealing here with a distortion of the motives. In the last paragraph of the article is still required to act on the right motive. But it is not made aware of the “right motive”. What motive should one have to act and live like Christ? Is it love? Yes! But there is no talk of love for Jesus, only of love for the people to whom we preach. (This article is a good example of mentioning Jesus, of writing about him, but ultimately denying him!)
… then the corruption of conscience
How high does the WBTS respect the conscience of the individual? From many experiences you can see this: It has no value when it collides with the interests of the organization. Then obedience is then over conscience!
… and the corruption of the holy word of God
In the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses, one can go back to the beginning to find that human opinions were always above the Word of God. This started with Russell and his “pyramidology”, continued with Rutherford’s book The Finished Mystery, and is still evident in almost every WT article to date. That’s a fact! And that has not become a human inability, but a method. It is method because the spirit of Satan has also penetrated into the WBTS! By manipulating the conscience and the Bible, Satan gains control of the people!
Which signpost do we have in life? If it is not the Word of God, His Holy Spirit, and the conscience of man, what is left? Nothing! You could stick to your mind and declare it the sole standard. But where this leads to can be seen from the historical experience: moral chaos, arbitrariness and non-bindingness. It leads to futility! There are so many ideas and efforts today to cure the disease of the world, but before they are spoken, the listener already knows that they are not really useful. Here we are today! We have already lost the belief in the feasibility of human happiness by humans! Dawn begins! Thus, we are actually at the destination, in the end! And we notice that the devil has done a great job. He has managed to convince most people that “there is nothing up there” and “the heaven is empty!”. He has managed to erode all ideals, to fill them with wrong content. And most people believe him when they follow these beautiful-sounding ideals that have been changed by his lies and counterfeits. They are still committed to “freedom, equality and brotherhood”. Almost all go to war under this banner. In the religious field, it is then the ideal of the “right faith” and the “glory of God” for which one is committed. And they do not realize that they fight against their brother and against themselves, that they live against their own will. Today, man is well on his way to losing himself, wiping himself out. The evil worked so well. He dominates the people because he makes the word of God falsified. God and Jesus are denied and the conscience ignored. This eliminates essential signposts.
And in this world disciples of Jesus must live!
As we read the Sermon on the Mount, the question arose: How can one live in such a world according to the words of Jesus? And I have to live to be a Christian. But how will that work? I take only the demand of Jesus to give to someone who takes my outer garment, also my inner one and to stop someone who beats me on the right cheek also the left one. What would inevitably happen to me in this world, if I wanted to live in it completely non-violently? Would I be lost because I wanted to follow Jesus’ words? No, I would not be lost! Jesus, who knows the world better than me, would help me and protect me if necessary! I am convinced of that. But by faithfully obeying his words, he also prevents me from becoming the evil one (Ps. 37:1-8). Because everything boils down to it: that’s what the devil wants. He wants me to remember revenge, my own righteousness and selfishness. He wants me to defend my own righteousness and not wait for God’s righteousness. He wants to dissuade me from my way to God. He wants to pull me to his side.
I have to fight!
And I have to fight. That makes me tired. It makes me tired when I have to deal with the question again and again: Why do I believe?
I find myself again when I read the Bible. I come across Habakkuk who shouted to his god, “Why do you making me see evil? Why do you idly look at the ruin? Why do I only see outrage and violence, experience discord and strife?” Or do I think of Jeremiah: ” You are righteous, Jehovah, how could I quarrel with you? Still, I have to talk to you about the law. Why do the bad guys succeed? Why can apostates be careless? “And I notice the desperation of these men, hear their call for help and see that they have become tired.
I do not doubt God, but sometimes I do not understand him. But at least I want to try it. From the answers that Habakkuk and Jeremiah received, I gather that struggle is the life-long task of a believing person. There is no release from the fight. Why should I fight when I am so tired? My mind tells me that there is an end to devil, but the heart yearns for relief and peace. My thoughts are focused on the future that God will shape through Jesus. But I just get lost for a while. I’m going to rot. I long for death and its rest. What can I do if I consider that I am only a weak human? How should I fight if the fight has made me so tired? These are my thoughts when I am melancholy, when a great thoughtfulness fills me.
To Jeremiah, God said, “If you walk with pedestrians, and they tire you already, how will you survive the run against horses? If you only feel safe in the land of peace, how will you behave in the Jordan thicket (predators)?” And Habakkuk, strengthened by God, could wait for his deliverance: “Nevertheless, I want to rejoice over Jehovah, I want to be pleased the God of my salvation!”
I want to think about that. And I also want to think of Paul, who realized why he had to fight: “We are oppressed on all sides, but we are not crushed; we are often at a loss, but not desperate, we are persecuted, but we are not abandoned, we are struck down, but we do not perish. … Because we belong to Jesus, as living we are constantly being delivered to death, so that his [Jesus] life also becomes manifest in our mortal body. ” (2. Cor. 4: 8-11)
I will fight!
“He who professes to me before men, to whom I too will confess my Heavenly Father. But whoever does not want to know me from the people I will not know him in front of my Father in heaven.
And whoever does not take up his cross / stake is not worthy to be my disciple!” (Mt. 10:32, 38)
The Word of God tells me that my faith needs to be tested, that I have to fight for a lifetime, that I have to endure to the end! It is an effort that fills my life. And I have to look back, I have to realize that I have always received the necessary strength for this fight. God and Jesus did not leave me alone! I have never been abandoned, even though I have been associated for a long time with an organization that is clearly part of Satan’s empire. And when I ask why God allowed me to join the Jehovah’s Witnesses, then I find an answer.
Satan is everywhere!
First of all, I want to say that I could have landed in any another religious community too. That might have been the same “in green”. All religious communities are in the same situation: they are not outside of the world; they are in the world. They are not open spaces where you can live unmolested as a Christian. Everywhere is the influence of the devil, and a community just does not protect against being tempted and attacked by the devil. Wherever I am, everywhere is the same struggle for faith, for conscience and for the truth is to be waged. Everywhere I have to prove myself day by day, I have to show who I trust, who I follow and who my everything is. So, I’m not spared the fight!
I have to fight alone as a human. Nobody can take away even a small part of the fight. That’s why I can never say that I’ve conquered by human power. All I can say is that I have triumphed with God’s power and will win. That’s important to me. My comrades can probably cheer me up, give me courage, but I have to fight alone. Through my struggle I can prove to whom I believe, whom I trust and who is my one and only.
These were my thoughts, in which I stayed a long time. I do not think they are original or unique. No, I know that many other people think and feel that way too. I feel connected to these people, they are my brothers and sisters over time and space. And they all stood and stand under the same influence of the same Spirit of God, who is a good and effective counterweight to the spirit of Satan. It makes me happy! That makes me hope! Because I see that God has always worked the miracle of faith through Jesus Christ and still works today. This good spirit of God, this strong force for good works on people and proves to this world that there is a power that can defeat the devil! And I am satisfied with that!