All ministers, priests or religious have healing powers. Most don’t have the faith that is needed to use it. There are two provisos: our saintly priest or religious must be born again and he must be following Jesus’ Great Commission: (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world … In My name they will drive out demons; … they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Mark 16:15,17,18
“As you sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” John 17:18
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27
Each part of the body performs it own distinct function, which makes it indispensable and wholly dependent on every other part. In the same way, the whole ministry of the Church is only the sum total of all its members. The clergy have a special role of leadership, but other believers are equally joined in the Church. This interdependence means that we need to be sensitive to part which each one of us has to play. That means that you will not be only doing your own thing.
“All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines.” 1 Corinthians 12:11
Healing was essential to the ministry of Jesus because healing offered indisputable evidence that He is the Christ of God: ”Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples … these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” John 21:30-31
The root cause of unforgiveness is bitterness and hatred towards the person who has offended us.
One of the hardest things in life is to let go of old hurts. We often say, or at least think: “What you did to me and my family, my ancestors, or my friends I cannot forget or forgive. … One day you will have to pay for it.” Sometimes our memories are decades, even centuries, old and keep asking for revenge.
Holding people’s faults against them often creates an impenetrable wall.But listen to Paul: “For anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old order is gone and a new being is there to see. It is all God’s work”. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 Indeed, we cannot let go of old hurts, but God can. Paul says: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not holding anyone’s fault against them”. 2 Corinthians 5:19. It is God’s work, but we are God’s ministers, because the God who reconciled the world to God entrusted to us “the message of reconciliation”.2 Corinthians 5:19 This message calls us to let go of old hurts in the Name of God.
The view that higher education is spiritually dangerous is very common among Witnesses. Witness leadership also discourages higher education because they believe it’s a waste of time. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been predicting the end of the world since the religion’s founding at the end of the 19th century. By their rationale, time in college would be better spent out on the streets, converting persons to become Witnesses.
Watchtower organization doesn’t discourage education, but rather secular education. Higher education is supposedly spiritually dangerous. The most intelligent and eloquent professors will be trying to reshape the thinking of your child, and their influence can be tremendous. Continual association with non-believers in an academic setting can “erode thinking and convictions.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses are encouraged to make their preaching work the top priority in their life. Higher education is discouraged, based on their belief that it is futile to plan for secular advancement in a world that faces imminent destruction, as well as fears about succumbing to “worldly thinking” and concerns that advanced education might lead to a lack of humility or involvement in immorality. Because evangelistic activities take priority over educational success, young Witnesses rarely progress to college or university, which Holden (1.) describes as a source of regret in subsequent years among those who are raised in the organization and later choose to leave.
Watch Tower Society publications advise parents to recommend alternatives to university education for their children, suggesting associate degrees from community or technical colleges or short courses in subjects such as office administration, automotive repair, computing, or hairdressing. They urge young Witnesses to pursue higher education only to gain skills to obtain a reasonable living while maintaining flexibility to pursue their “true” vocation, serving God.
Author James Penton’s (2) major study of the Witnesses, Apocalypse Delayed, noted that of those Witnesses who do progress to university, few are likely to take studies in such areas as the humanities and the social sciences, “disciplines that are most threatening to the Witness world-view”.
Jehovah’s Witnesses provide religious training programs for their members, focusing on improving skills for their ministry. These include School for Kingdom Evangelizers. Some of these programs are by invitation only. Holden (1.)observed: “Despite the fact that Witnesses claim to reason from the scriptures, their theology is taught in a highly mechanistic fashion, and written publications encourage the members to learn almost by rote.”
The lack of higher education can translate into more tangible problems for Witnesses. Pew research also shows that Jehovah’s Witnesses are among the lowest earners of any religious group.
Leaving the faith at 18 changed my life completely. I went to university, where I made even more friends who showed me that being in the “world” is completely fine, and that debate and discussion is also OK. I began a life where constantly questioning and improving my beliefs and ideas and always being open to those of others were my only constant doctrines. I began a life where I could decide what to believe for myself, and I wasn’t afraid of someone telling me I couldn’t.
Jehovah’s Witness doctrines provide no method for baptized members to leave on good terms. Those who choose to depart and announce their decision to terminate their membership are regarded as voluntarily entering the world of Satan.
Watch Tower publications define such individuals as being “more reprehensible than those in the world” and direct that they are to be shunned by other Witnesses, including close relatives, with no social or religious contact and no greeting given. Sociologist Andrew Holden claims his research indicated many Witnesses who would otherwise defect because of disillusionment with the organization and its teachings remain affiliated out of fear of being shunned and losing contact with friends and family members.
While we are using our magnifying glass on Witnesses, we observe the Jehovah’s Witnesses are one of Canada’s wealthiest and least transparent charities. CHARITY INTELLIGENCE, an agency that monitors charities for Canadian donors, gives the group a D-grade because they do not provide details on how donations are spent. “Jehovah’s Witnesses have a one star rating out of five stars. That should be a red flag to donors. That should also be red flag to government.”
Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah’s Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement.
Penton, James M.(1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah’s Witnesses (2nd ed.). University of Toronto Press.
TEACHINGS OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that all other Christian churches represent renegade Christendom, and only the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (which is the spiritual leadership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses) can be trusted.
The Bible describes how the apostles could pass on their authority to future bishops: “Let another person take over his work.”Act 1:20Why should we believe
(1) that the Catholic Church lost its God-given authority to interpret Scripture and proclaim doctrine and
(2) that the Watchtower is God’s official organization on Earth with his authority to interpret Scripture? How does one know that Jesus has given the Watchtower special authority? You Will Know Them by Their Fruits Matthew 7:16
Why did Watchtower teach the following?
Taught that the world would come to an end in 1914.
Said this was a miscalculation and the world would actually end in 1915.
Said the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be resurrected when the world would end in 1925.
Strongly hinted that the end of the world would come in 1975.
In 1995 stopped printing the following message about the end of the world in its magazine Awake!: “[T]his magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.”Deuteronomy 18:22 states that a person is not a prophet if he makes a prediction that fails to come to pass.
If God were really guiding the Watchtower, then why would he allow his “spirit-led” organization to lead so many people into error about the end of the world? The simplest answer to these questions is that men, not God, guide the Watchtower, and so it should not be trusted with our eternal salvation.
6. “We see no reason for changing the figures nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God’s dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble.” Zion’s Watch Tower (July 15 1894) p.226. Over time the Watchtower started teaching that the world began to end in 1914, not that it was going to end in 1914 (even though this contradicts the Watchtower’s assertion that 1914 was not the beginning of anything but the end).
7. This miscalculation was due to confusion over whether there was a year “zero.” Russell wrote, “In view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished near the end of A.D. 1915.” Charles Taze Russell”The Time Is At Hand” Studies In the Scriptures Series II (1915) 99, 101, 242.
8. “Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection.” Joseph Rutherford, Millions Now Living Will Never Die (Brooklyn, NY: International Bible Students Association, 1920) 89-90.
9. “Whatever the date for the end of this system, it is clear that the time left is reduced, with only approximately six years left until the end of 6,000 years of human history.” The Watchtower (May 1, 1970) 273.
10. ‘When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him.” Deuteronomy 18:22
Jesus Christ is the ultimate high priest and He presents us with a description of the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ as far superior to the many sacrifices offered by the old priesthood.
Jesus said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second.And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:8-10
Hebrews 9 and 10 tells us something that is complete and permanent, something that has happened once-for-all in the one act of Jesus Christ, something that never was and never could be done by the old sacrifices. Think again of the impact this one, once-for-all,never to be repeated, permanent in its effect, sacrifice of Christ has:
The redemption it obtained is eternal. (Hebrews 9:12)
It cleanses our consciences. (Hebrews 9:14)
It liberates us to serve God. (Hebrews 9:14)
It sets us free from sins. (Hebrews 9:15)
It does away with sin. (Hebrews 9:26)
It is established. (Hebrews 10:9)
It makes us holy. (Hebrews 10:10)
It is permanently effective, finished and complete. (Hebrews 10:12-14)
It makes us perfect forever. (Hebrews 10:14)
God remembers our sins and lawless acts no more. (Hebrews 10:17)
It makes any further sacrifice for sin redundant and unnecessary. (Hebrews 10:18)
It means that we have confidence to enter the very presence of God without fear of judgment or condemnation. (Hebrews 10:19)
It means we can draw near to God with full assurance of faith. (Hebrews 10:22)
It means that our hearts are cleansed from a guilty conscience. (Hebrews 10:22)
God has given men and women the ability to discern good and evil, with the part of the mind called CONSCIENCE. It is an inner voice which calls us to do good and avoid evil. It makes us feel guilty when we do something wrong.
Have you ever wondered how it’s possible for people to do evil things and not be bothered about them? Some people can lie and never lose any sleep. They can steal and do other evil things, and it never seems to upset them. It seems that they have no limits to the evil that they could do; why is that?
WHAT IS AN EVIL CONSCIENCE?
An evil conscience is the opposite of a good conscience. A good conscience is effective—it convicts us when we have done wrong, and it encourages us when we have done right. But an evil conscience encourages the person when he does wrong and bothers him if he does something right! A person with an evil conscience is more concerned about reputation than about character. The tragedy of having an evil conscience is the damage that we do to other people.
Some of us don’t want to do good, they want to do evil. When they do something to hurt someone else, it doesn’t bother them because their inner light has turned into darkness. They also start to argue with the truth. They can explain away what he’s doing.
WHAT CAUSES AN EVIL CONSCIENCE?
Many people today take sin so lightly is that they take God very lightly. When we do not have a holy respect for God, then we have no respect for holiness or for God’s judgment of sin.
You need to be warned: If you live with an evil conscience, ultimately it will destroy you. It will also destroy your fellowship with those who love you.
According the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. That’s 40 million adults—18% of the population—who struggle with anxiety.Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand, with about half of those with depression also experiencing anxiety.
Anxiety disorder is a feeling of intense nervousness and can sometimes be known as a nervous system disorder: oversensitivity and nervousness cause an over-reaction of the sympathetic nervous system. True depression is a disease and comes from anxiety where one gets down from events and circumstances.
Normal people do not suffer when pursuing unachievable goals which may waste their energies on pointless effort. We ask a depressed person “Is there something in your life that is very important that you are trying to do but you are failing to do and you can’t bring yourself to give up?” Perhaps you are vulnerable to what you believe are catastrophic failures.
Pharmaceutical companies popularized the notion that anxiety and depression were caused by a chemical imbalance. Strict testing rules reveal how little good many of these chemical based drugs do: much like a quick band-aid on a more serious wound.
GO PLANT-BASED MEDICINE FOR YOUR ANXIETY
These “feel good” foods spur the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. They are a safe and easy first step in managing anxiety. It starts with limiting or avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
SOME CHEMICAL MEDICATION TEND TO BE ADDICTIVE. YOU SOMETIMES FEEL LIKE YOU ARE ON A MERRY-GO-ROUND AND YOU CAN’T GET OFF.
Some evidence suggests that oral lavender or aromatherapy with lavender can reduce anxiety.
Anxiety or panic attacks can be caused by a consequence of circumstances and relationships in our lives. In small doses, stress can benefit us, but when it is too great, it affects our physical and mental functions.
“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me.” Psalm 69:1-2
Many of us have felt stress as a result of the pressure of expectation—of not being good enough: good enough to make the team or good enough to be popular. When we fail to meet these expectations, disappointment can be crushing. Sometimes pressure or stress continues no matter how hard we try: it is simply too overwhelming.
To make matters worse, we may know that we are in this awful position because of our own fault. Some of the pressures of life could have been avoided with better personal choices.
We can also experience stress of waiting for God to meet His own expectations:
“I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.” Psalm 69:3
To begin with, we should never make important decisions when we are under pressure. The ramifications can affect the rest of your life.
Asking for help may seem very humbling. We have to acknowledge our personal inadequacy.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5: 6, 7
We simply say, “Help me Lord, because you are a God of mercy.”—“in Your time”
“But I pray to You, Lord, in the time of Your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with Your sure salvation.” Psalm 69:13
David chooses to find his release from stress by praising God. This is another way of saying that you trust God to solve your problem.
“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30
HOW DOES PRAYER WORK?
Will we ever know how prayer works as long as we live in this earthly existence? Any scientific explanation remains quite elusive. Scientists simply don’t know. This question is similar to the riddle of how our conscience works. These are the deepest questions pertaining to God. Albert Einstein once admitted that “Science without religion is lame.”
When you are young, you feel invincible. Life stretches before you without limits. Then you grow up and you take on more responsibilities. You have to be more ready for eventualities that require things like insurance and savings.
You start to see life as increasingly fragile and you begin to hedge your bets. Before you would just “go for it”, but now your look for the safe ground.
Then events begin to unravel around you, like the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. The world’s only super power had been brought to its knees by a handful of terrorists with box cutters.
THE POWER OF FEAR
President Roosevelt spoke about fear itself in 1933: nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror that paralyzes us. He said,” the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
David captured the immobilization of that fear:
“I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased.” Psalm 39:1-2
When we are threatened, fear clouds our judgment and can impede us from doing the right thing.
LIFE IS SHORT.
“Surely every man at his best is a mere breath.”Psalm 39:5And we “make an uproar over nothing” or “in vain we rush about” Psalm 39:6 So we must make sure that our lives count for something.
There is hope:” “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You.”Psalm 39:7
We can regret our limitations that we endure and live accordingly, or we can live our lives to make a difference. We should not to be governed by the length of our days, but by the depth of our commitment.
Only God can overwhelm our sense of futility with His purpose. Only God can defeat our temporary existence with the hope of life that is everlasting (heaven).
LOOK FOR HIDDEN ROOTS.
It is a demonic and yes, you can be delivered of it. Look for hidden roots. Examples of roots are guilt, which is defined as a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, failure, mistake, crime, or wrong, whether real or imagined. It is associated with negative feelings such as shame, remorse, anguish, torment, self-condemnation, self-unforgiveness, self-judgment.
Do you often wondered about your own problems:
An inordinate desire to please
Inability to say no to things I didn’t want to do
Always setting goals, working hard to accomplish them and then stopping short of success
Always feeling I had to do things better than anyone else
Trying to make everything around me and about me look better than I thought it was
High-potency cannabis, or frequent use, raises the risk of psychosis
Regular use of cannabis with a high potency (HIGHER THAN 10%) increases the risk of developing psychosis five-fold, according to a study published this week by the Lancet. It also found that using less potent strains daily increased the risk three-fold. This study looked at cannabis use among 901 European patients newly diagnosed with psychosis including schizophrenia. In London, 30% of new cases of psychosis in the study were estimated to be tied to strong cannabis.
In addition, the risk of developing psychosis or schizophrenia increases when cannabis use is initiated before the age of 16. Also, persons with a family history of psychosis or schizophrenia who use cannabis are at greater risk of developing psychosis and schizophrenia. Cannabis users with a family history of psychosis are 2.5 to 10 times more likely to develop psychotic disorders, compared to non-users with a family history.
The scourge of crystal meth, with its exploding labs and ruinous effect on teeth and skin, has been all but forgotten amid national concern over the opioid crisis. Meth has returned with a vengeance.In Oregon, meth-related deaths vastly outnumber those from heroin.
Mexican drug cartels stepped in and have inundated the market with so much pure, low-cost meth that dealers have more of it than they know what to do with. Under pressure from traffickers to unload large quantities, dealers are even offering meth to customers on credit.
Heroin is a depressant. It shuts you down and you’re not capable of doing a whole lot. In contrast, meth is a stimulant: addicts have lowered inhibitions and are awake 24/7, running around at night, so night burglaries abound. Eighty or 90 percent of heroin users are also using meth to temper the effects.
Like opioids, meth is highly addictive and difficult to quit.Meth has been overshadowed by opiates. Unfortunately, there are fewer tools to combat meth than to combat opioids: There is nothing like Naloxone, which can reverse opioid overdoses, or methadone, which can stem opioid cravings.
Meth or methamphetamine use is plausibly responsible for as many if not more drug-related crimes, episodes of violence, and trips to the emergency room than any other substance (discounting all of our daily opiate overdoses)
Meth first overloads and then eventually disables the dopamine system in the brain, which is not good. Meth exacerbates any pre-existing psychosis or induces psychosis altogether. Frequent users often report they hear voices, see “shadow figures,” experience severe paranoia, and endorse full-blown psychotic delusions. When you couple these sorts of psychotic symptoms with frequently hyper-aggressive and/or hyper-sexual behavior while intoxicated, you have a real public health problem. Addicts become semi-aware fragments of themselves, arousing and satisfying their darker impulses.
Meth kills by overloading blood vessels,eventually resulting in aneurysms, heart failure and strokes. As a result, long time older users are likeliest to die—in San Francisco, the average age of those who die of a meth overdose is 49.
The White House Council of Economic Advisers estimates the total social cost of the opioid crisis to the country in 2015 was as high as $504 billion, or 2.8% of GDP.Continue reading THE METH SCOURGE→
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