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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Transcript Of 'Beware Of Human Apostates'

In case you were interested in reading....

Audio recording is available here.

Beware of Human Apostates

You cannot be partaking at the table of Jehovah and the table of demons.  These inspired words of the apostle Paul, found at 1 Corinthians 10:21, show that two figurative tables are set before us.  For the last day-and-a-half, you have been partaking at the table of Jehovah, and haven’t you found it to be good?  (applause)  Jehovah uses human representatives, the faithful and appointed elders, to dispense truths for those eating at his table.

The apostate Satan disseminates falsehoods in a similar way.  He mimics Jehovah by using human representatives.  Who are they?  If Satan and his demons are chefs in this evil kitchen, then human apostates are his helpers.  Wicked humans imitate the original apostate, Satan.  Like Satan, human apostates are unruly men, who cook up wicked reasoning, and season their brew with poisonous lies that deceive minds.  Human apostates have sat at the table of Jehovah.  At Jehovah’s table, they enjoyed a table of well-oiled dishes, a banquet of wine kept on the grapes.  They were domestics.  Part of the household of faith, and partook of Bible truths, prepared and dispensed by the faithful steward, the Governing Body.  But, they pushed away from the table of Jehovah.  Their preference is to partake of falsehoods at the table of demons.  This action of pushing themselves away from the table of Jehovah is described for us at 1 John 2:19.  (Scripture read)

Apostates do not drift away from the truth.  They deliberately decide to go out from among God’s people, because they are not our sort.  Human apostates are part of the see of the serpent, spoken of in Genesis 3:15.  If we wish to please Jehovah, we cannot sit at his table and, at the same time, be nibbling at the table of demons, eating from the hands of Satan’s helpers, human apostates.
So, for the next few minutes, we are going to discuss how to identify human apostates, and what you must do to protect yourself from the poison of apostasy.  Let’s first discuss how to identify human apostates.  Apostasy often starts with prideful rejection of counsel, and escalates into bitterness and jealousy.  Because apostates allow bitterness to take root in their heart, they become defiant of, and false to, the truth.  How does this defiance of the truth manifest itself?  The actions of apostates bear three characteristics.  These characteristics help us identify human apostates.

The first identifying mark of human apostates is commented on at Luke 6:46 (Scripture read)  Apostates profess to be followers of Jesus, but are not obedient to his commands.  A recent example of when this happened was in the mid-70’s, when some prominent elders, some who even served at Bethel, felt it was below their dignity to witness from house to house, proclaiming the message as commanded by Jesus.  They urged others to take it easy, because the humble work of witnessing from house to house was not necessary or unscriptural.  The Governing Body expelled the unrepentant apostates from the organization.  The faithful slave did not allow the efforts of these apostates to distract it from the primary work of Jehovah’s Witnesses, proclaiming God’s word of truth.  So, the first characteristic we can use to identify human apostates is that they reject God’s service.  Many bock at Jesus’ command to go and make disciples.

A second characteristic that identifies human apostates is commented on at Acts 20:30. (Scripture read)  What is it that apostates want?  Most are not content to simply leave the faith they once viewed as true.  They want to take others with them.  Rather than going out and making their own disciples, many apostates seek to draw away Christ’s disciples after themselves.  Like a kidnapper who carries an unsuspecting victim away from his family, apostates prey upon trusting members of the congregation, seeking to carry them away from the flock.  In addition, they seek to cause divisions in the congregation.  To accomplish their goal of drawing away disciples after themselves or dividing the congregation, apostates may use smooth talk on the internet, on television, or through letters to loyal witnesses of Jehovah.  So, a second characteristic that identifies human apostates is that they seek to draw away Christ’s disciples after themselves and cause divisions.

A third characteristic manifested by human apostates is they claim to serve Jehovah, yet they reject his representatives.  (3 John 9-10 read)  Apostates claim to serve God, but reject his representatives.  They lie to authorities.  Through the media, they seek to discredit Jehovah’s people, and incite bans of our work.  For instance, in one country, a news report instigated by apostates, falsely stated that Jehovah’s Witnesses supported Hitler’s regime during World War II.  In other countries, apostates used the media to accuse Jehovah’s Witnesses of refusing to give medical treatment to their children, and of deliberately condoning serious sins committed by fellow believers.  So, a third characteristic that identifies human apostates, is that they reject and try to discredit Jehovah’s representatives here on Earth. 
Now that we know how to identify human apostates, what must we do to protect ourselves from the poison of apostasy?  (Romans 16:17 read)

Suppose a doctor told you to avoid contact with someone who was infected with a contagious, deadly disease.  Would you reason that limited contact is okay?  Similarly, human apostates are mentally diseased, and they try to infect others with their disloyal teachings.  Jehovah, the great physician, tells us to avoid contact with them.

What is involved in avoiding apostates?  (2 John 10-11 read) Avoiding apostates means we will not allow them in our homes, reading their literature, watching TV programs that feature them, examining their websites, or adding comments to their blogs.  Why do we take such a firm stand?  We do not want to become sharers in their wicked works.  We love the God of Truth.  We are not interested in twisted teachings that contradict God’s word of truth.

We love Jehovah’s organization, the organization that taught us thrilling truths.  Truths about Jehovah’s name and its meaning.  God’s purpose for the Earth.  The condition of the dead, and the hope of the resurrection.  Can you recall how you felt when you first learned these and other precious truths?  Why then allow yourself to be sour, poisoned by anyone who would belittle the organization through which you learned these truths?

Does avoiding apostates imply that our faith is not strong enough to discern truth from falsehood?  That our faith is not strong enough to discuss different views?  Not at all.  In our ministry, we discuss with those who have different views.  Apostates differ from those we meet in our ministry.  Apostates are not sincere in their expressions.  Their aim is to manipulate your mind, and undermine your faith.  (Psalm 12:2 read)  With good reason, the Bible then tells us to avoid apostates, just as we would avoid a person who was infected with a deadly contagious disease.  (1 John 2:18-19 read)

Because they oppose the truth, apostates are part of the Anti-Christ.  They are liars and deceivers, out to destroy your relationship with Jehovah God and his son, Christ Jesus.  Therefore, we want to avoid them, for they are not of our sort. (Deuteronomy 32:46-47 read)

Heeding his inspired warnings means our very life.  How thankful we are for divine warnings against apostasy.  May we show our appreciation, by walking in God’s word of truth.  May we stay busy in the work Jesus assigned us to do:  sharing God’s word of truth with others.  By doing so, you will forever enjoy Jehovah’s divine seal of approval.