INTO HIS HARVEST
2015 ACTS OF THE FAITH SONS OF GOD
As we begin this bold and revolutionary ministry of taking the ‘plain and open teachings of Jesus’ out to our brothers and sisters in churches of all denominations, as described in A Bold Approach and Reaching Out, we are encouraged by the number of our brothers and sisters who are likewise choosing to widen out in their ministry and who are sharing their experiences with us by email.
It then dawned on us that the Bible book, Acts of the Apostles, is a record of the ministry of Jesus’ early apostles and disciples as they took Jesus’ teachings out of the synagogues and into the nations. So we decided to share the experiences we receive in this section entitled Acts of the Faith Sons in hopes that their ministry efforts will encourage even more to find innovative ways to spread ‘this good news of the Kingdom in all the inhabited earth’ so that the longed for end to sorrow, suffering and injustice will come. (Matthew 24:14)
If you have made the decision to ‘step over into Macedonia’ in this way (Acts 16:9), please share your experiences with us, and with your brothers and sisters worldwide. Perhaps they will be able to glean some ideas for their own personal ministry.
July 27, 2015 - Spain
Dear brothers. I want to inform you that I continue my ministry, carrying the message of the Kingdom of Heaven to leaders of other denominations, such as the Mormons, Pentecostals, evangelicals and Jehovah's Witnesses.
In the case of the Pentecostals, [we had a very productive conversation]. With great care and without attacking their beliefs, I emphasized the need to stick to plain and original teachings of Christ. I discovered that when he preached as a Jehovah's Witness there was much anger towards them, now I preach as a child of God wanting to help them. The talks continue and we will keep you informed.
As for the Mormons, [this was also productive]. I feel like they are keeping on their hearts the words of Jesus. I hope that gradually their loyalty will turn to our leader, the Christ and our heavenly Father.
Regarding our brothers among Jehovah's Witnesses, I say that so far, no one has refuted anything I have said. I think that within a few years, many will accept and return to the original teachings of Jesus and take back control over their lives and as free children of God. They can enjoy greater understanding and a better relationship with our Father Yahweh (Galatians 4: 1-7).
We send you a hug, and will continue to report in addition to reading what you post on the site and assisting in spreading in the Spanish language, your articles.
May 4, 2015 - Boston, Massachusetts USA
I just wanted to drop a note to say how I am enjoying a fulfilling outreach ministry. Having visited a couple of churches over the past year with spiritual connections being made and new friendships developing, it has been my privilege to advance the spiritual conversation.
Among several experiences is one where I have developed a friendship with a Pastor and his co-pastor son at an apostolic church. We have had some wonderfully stimulating conversations regarding the life and ministry of Jesus with an emphasis on the great invitation of sonship and the Fathers ascension plan to the Kingdom of Heaven. We have had in depth discussions and agree that sonship is only the first step. What the Master wanted to instill is becoming ambassadors in his stead and being light bearers to the world. As you have stated many times before "living our faith out loud."
Never have I met such dynamic and forward thinking Christians who are unafraid of pushing the boundaries of present day religious thinking, and who have an ernest desire to help all in their circle of influence to return to the plain and open teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
This Pastor oversees three congregations, two on the east coast and one in Jamaica. The possibilites are endless.
It is so refreshing and liberating talking to various members of these congregations and not having to hide my views or beliefs nor feel compelled to shun them if they do not view things the way I do. I have so far found an open mindedness and willingness to exchange views without contention and acrimony. This is such a refreshing change from my decades long previous experiences.
May all of the couregeous faith sons participating in the ministry that Jesus originally established, press on in this ministry becasue a bountiful harvest that will eclipse the one that occured after Pentecost of 33 C.E. is a real possibility.
It is so wonderful to be alive at this particular time in history.
February 22, 2015 - Chatsworth, California USA
I am beginning to feel a great deal of anxiety. I have been visiting one particular church for a about 3 months and volunteered to lead 5 sessions of a Bible Class. Now, many of the members are asking me to join the church or be on the Diaconate Board (for Deacons and Deaconesses). I guess I should have expected that considering I am leading their Bible Class! So I attended the Diaconate meeting and explained that I am involved in an outreach ministry along with many other Christians around the world who are visiting churches in order to uplift the spiritual conversation and inspire unity and I provided them with this website address. I also took the opportunity to suggest that as part of their Easter season activities that they set aside Good Friday to conduct the Remembrance Supper, the one and only religious observance Jesus commanded. They thought that was a great idea and decided to arrange that. For me, I will complete my commitment to lead the Bible Class up through March 1st and after that I will be visiting another church. And, of course, I will return to this little church periodically. But I realize that staying too long in one church limits my ability to effect change in a multitude of churches and it can lead to feeling obligated to attend each service and in essence becoming a de facto member. And I’ve learned rather than volunteering to conduct a Bible Class, a better option is to encourage the members of the church to do so. Or if there is already a Bible Class, perhaps I can suggest topics by sharing articles with prospective leaders. Next time, I will be more careful about my involvement. I will let you know how it goes.
February 3, 2015 - Boston, Massachusetts USA
Regarding the Pastor who took the time to lovingly make an attempt to extend the hand of brotherly love but was rebuffed by the Jehovah's Witness elders, I would like to wholeheartedly commend you dear brother. As a former [Jehovah’s Witness] who spent nearly 50 years with this group and served as a congregation elder for nearly two decades I can tell you that the courage and love you displayed is something the average witness would not even conceive of. The fact that many are leaving the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses and visiting other houses of worship indicates there is hope for many of those still remaining. Your extending the hand of hospitality to these former witnesses whom you have accepted as your brothers in Christ is a beautiful example of the very ministry the Master sought to instill in all of his followers. So my dear brother while I have not met you personally I already feel a connection with you through the collective spirit of being part of the body of Christ. May our heavenly Fathers rich blessings be upon you and your congregation.
February 2, 2015 - Arlington, Texas USA
Hello Family, Bravo to this Pastor. We can't tell you how thrilling that email from Long Beach, California made us feel, both proud and sad at the same time. But it's such a real authentic testimony that after just one visit, he and the under shepherds were able to pinpoint the craziness happening in, not just that congregation, but in many, if not all, if you hang around long enough. But I'm extremely proud of those involved in the outreach efforts by both ex-Witnesses and from the Pastor’s church to [Jehovah’s Witnesses]. To the good folks in that church, add us to the "standing as One in Christ with you." Great email dear brother and sis. I'm so fired up right now ain't no tellin’ where the spirit will lead me, and trust me, I'm willing to go! Love ya all, oh yeah were rolling now!
February 2, 2015 - Long Beach, California USA
Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, I write this blessed morning to thank you for all you do for the name of God and his Mighty Son Jesus Christ. Former members of Jehovah Witnesses have been visiting my church where I preside over the flock in my care. (Acts 20:28) And they came in bearing gifts of the spirit of every kind, letting the light of God shine in. And I declare, in the name of Jesus, it moved through every member of the church where they now, from the oldest to the youngest, proclaim with pride their hope of the heavens. (Hebrews 10:23) So I wanted to do something bold to show appreciation that would be felt.
So I and two under shepherds went to a Kingdom Hall and spoke to two of their Leaders and personally thanked them for being the wind behind their sails to be blown our way and how encouraging they've been for God's children. I thought they would have known what I was talking about, but they looked so puzzled. So then [a certain brother] said “If they were at your church you must be mistaken. They don't belong to Jehovah's people.” I said “Jehovah's people? Aren't all believers God's people?” And instead of answering the question, they said “Now is not the time nor the place to discuss this. But if you would kindly give the names of the visitors, we will look into the matter further.” In my spirit something came over me and the men with me that there was something insincere going on, so we left shaking our heads, feeling saddened by the emptiness we felt.
Now in looking at your website, reading article after article, I know why you have chosen to help those people. We will be praying for them on Sunday, praying for a healing to be placed over them like the oil of anointing and pray it changes their blindness to the light of Heaven.
I hope any Jehovah Witness who believes in the Love of God for all peoples will go to any real Bible based church and take life's water free because there is plenty to go around!! God bless your work!
FROM THE AUTHORS: Dear Brother, we are very encouraged to hear of the positive effect the plain and open teachings of Jesus are having on your congregation of believers and children of God. And we are further encouraged by your loving efforts to reach out to the local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses as a show of appreciation and brotherly love. Unfortunately, as you and your fellow shepherds discovered, the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses can be a very hard hearted people who truly believe they are the modern day ‘chosen people,’ the only ones with the Father’s blessings. By means of this ministry, we have made significant inroads into the hearts of many of their leaders and we have absolute confidence in the power of the authentic teachings of Jesus to continue to effect such change. We pray that neither you nor your associates are discouraged by the cool reception you received, but that you continue in your efforts to reach out to other churches in your area, sharing your love and the hope of the divine and glorious heavenly career that awaits all who simply reach out and take life's waters free. With sincere brotherly love, we stand with you as One in Christ.
February 1, 2015 - Atlanta, Georgia USA
Hello friends, a really quick update. Today after the church service we, meaning myself and my wife, were invited over the Pastor’s house to talk, so we of course said yes. And so in going over to his place, which was a beautiful estate, we sat and talked about God, religion and the world as a whole. And so you know, this had to be God leading this visit so we explained about the authentic teachings and how by means of Jesus teachings mankind has hope and we've seen these changes up close and personal. Then we went straight to the AnointedJW.org site and the showed theFaithSonsofGod.org site and after he started reading the articles, a silence came over the house. Every time I tried to say something he would say “shhhh.” And we tried again and the same response “shhhh.” So we said “How about this, why don't you relax and call us when you’re done reading and please no rush because there is a lot of food to digest.” So I just wanted to relate the blessed day of “shhhh” we had, and if that's what it takes, “shhhh” me all day and night. Love you, bye for now stay tuned!
February 1, 2015 - Chatsworth, California USA
Today I had my first Bible class on The Glorious Heavenly Hope at the little congregational church I had been attending. At this church, they use PowerPoint to display their song lyrics and announcement, so I decided to create a PowerPoint presentation for the class. It worked out very nicely. We covered the first article, What the Hebrews Knew About Heaven, and the class seemed to really appreciate it. At first, there were only about 7 people, but by the end there were about 17. That’s pretty good for a church that has an average attendance of about 20 people. They all said that they have a new appreciation of heaven and were looking forward to the next class. Shortly after the class, the sermon was given by a visiting pastor. Parts of it were interesting and parts just had to be endured. It really is a lovely group of people so it is getting easier and easier to sit through the service. On this Sunday, there was a group of about 7 or 8 new visitors. After service, I introduced myself and asked if they would be coming back. They said “We’re just visiting churches in the area, so we will see.” It made me wonder if they are participating in this Harvest Ministry without knowing that we, too, were part of it. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to remain after service to have coffee and snacks in the annex, so I didn’t have an opportunity to ask. But if they come next week, I will definitely have a deeper conversation with them. Now, I’ve got to prepare the PowerPoint for next week’s class. This is going to be a lot of fun.
February 1, 2015 - Arlington, Texas USA
Hello dear Faith Sons, I'm one of hundreds who fell in love with the plain and open teachings of Jesus and also a participant in the Harvest work. Today me and my husband and 3 children went to a church in the downtown area that has a pretty big membership, at least the attendance would indicate that they do. Anyway the talk was your basic "end times" talk trying to scare people to love God (now where have we heard those kinds of talks), but I digress. So after all the yelling, we got a chance to communicate with our brothers and there is where you see our relationship in the faith because these so called Christendom love Jesus and the Father. We talked about the website and introduced the new Faith Sons site to as many as we could and are now headed out to lunch with a few of our new friends. It's difficult to listen to the sermons at times we've found, but in order to experience the lives of others you have to do what you have to do. But I believe this movement is long overdue and we are all glad we are having a share. God bless you all!
January 29, 2015 - Brooklyn, New York USA
Hello Dear Faith Sons, please don't scare my wife like that again. She said “oh no they quit!” Just kidding of course, but I’ve got to say with so many new ones coming on board we need all we can get and to our surprise, now we have a true "Faith Sons of God" website. It’s a beautiful thing living in this so called time of the end. Well let me report some encouraging news. We went to a Catholic church that's a few blocks from Bethel and all 22 of us went in together but we made sure we sat all over the place. And having been Witnesses for so long, this was difficult to put it mildly. But the conversations we had afterward were interesting because we got away from doctrine and just talked about imitating Christ as their Pope has suggested. And the united thought we all shared was that we need to exercise more Faith in the promises of Jesus. So we mentioned that we'd be returning but we are on a mission to get to know are brothers in every denomination we can, and to a person they were impressed with the love we have for people. After we left, we all went and ate together and stayed about 2 hours just talking about the goodness of God the Father and the privilege of having been blind but now having 20-20 vision. So we will keep you posted on any developments.
January 26, 2015 - Arlington, Texas USA
Good Morning Family, just wanted to give you a quick up date on the Outreach activities yesterday. As reported last week, we went into 10 different churches in groups of 10 and this week we went back so we could get to know the newly found friends and sons of God. So after the Service, we had meals with these different churches. Now some went to eateries, others had food right at the church and OMG can they put on a spread! Meanwhile back to the purpose! Ok while eating I got into a conversation brought up by this young sister and she asked about the Last Days scenarios that most believe or say is real soon. So before I answered, I asked her “what do you personally believe?” She said she doesn't really see the need for a global calamity of epic proportions and she also believes the world has a chance. So naturally this peaked my interest a great deal. So without creating drama or keeping this sincere youngster hanging, I went to the "Bringing Heaven Down" series part 1 and 5. She was so serious that she starting reading right there on the spot, so I excused myself and continued to mingle. And about 15 minutes later, she comes over to where I'm standing, now with 4 others, but this didn't stop this youngster from speaking her mind. She said with conviction "Bingo! This is totally how I feel, it's as if someone recorded my thoughts in this article.” And of course the others were curious so the sister shared the website with the others. At that point I slowly backed out of the conversation so that they could run with it uninterrupted. Family it was inspiring to say the least, so right before I exited we exchanged numbers and will be talking soon I hope. So once again another day filled with the glory to God and to our Lord. This is ministry folks, real ministry! Love you both and let's see just how much can get done this calendar year!
FROM THE AUTHORS: We just want to highlight the excellent teaching skills demonstrated by this sister. (1) Before sharing her views, she asked the young sister what her views are; (2) She responded quickly with information rather than saying she will come back later; (3) She allowed the young sister to read the information herself without interruption or interjection; (4) When others showed interest, our sister backed away and allowed the young sister to express herself. In this brief experience, our sister duplicated herself and now there is not just another disciples, but another teacher of the good news. That’s how the ministry is accomplished!! Bravo, Dear Sister. We are so glad you are still with us and miss you tremendously!
January 25, 2015 - Atlanta, Georgia USA
Good afternoon brother and sister, we had a marvelous time at a Baptist church this morning. The Pastor was a very excitable fellow but I hear that's the norm. Oh well. He talked about the faith of Daniel and tried to make the point that in any situation be ready even if we are to die we should know that God, as he says, "has our back."
A relatively small group of 28 faith sons attended where we exchanged info and introduced the Pastors, both the senior and the associate Pastors, to the Faith Sons website and spoke for about a half hour on the Harvest topic explaining what we are attempting to accomplish by visiting our brothers and sisters in various congregations. The Pastor seems truly interested in our background and our love for people and wishes that we would settle down in his church saying we all could be a big blessing to the congregation. Then I explained that since we had been bottled up, some of us for 50 years in a religion, that we need to roam and spread our wings for awhile and he seemed to understand so that was good. We will be going back though for next week’s service to do a "return visit" to see if any looked on the site and if they haven't had a chance yet, to emphasize the benefits gained if they do. So all in all it’s been a beautiful day of "interchange" and to a person all enjoyed being just brothers in the faith all trying to please God. I hope more friends in other countries get out Into His Harvest and experience living real authentic living. Love you much and let the light of Jesus Christ shine brightly.
January 25, 2015 - Chatsworth, California USA
Today I attended the little Congregation Church. Again the Bible Class announcement was in the program and I offered to give a little information about the upcoming Bible Class scheduled for February 1st. I explained that all of us are looking forward to being in heaven after we complete our course on earth, but few of us know what to expect. There have been books written by people who say they died, went to heaven and then returned to tell the tale, but those stories are subjective, based on their own personal experience and interpretations. Whereas the Bible offers objective information about heaven, information that applies to all of us. The upcoming Bible Class will highlight the scriptures that tell us about heaven and that form the basis for us to contemplate our future home. Everyone, all 18 people in attendance, seemed very interested so next Sunday will be my first class. With the help of a long time member of the church, I will be preparing a power-point presentation with the scriptures I’ll be using so everyone can see them. Instead of being in the small Bible Class room, the Class will be held in the ‘sanctuary.’ I’ll report what happens next week.
After the service, I was invited to sit in on a meeting called a “Diaconate Meeting” (gotta learn these new terms) where they discuss upcoming projects and events for the church. One of the events is an Easter hunt and pony ride. I mentioned that Easter is the celebration of the risen Christ, and I asked “do you also celebrate the last supper, the Remembrance Supper, usually referred to as Good Friday?” They said they did not, but think it would be a good idea. So I explained that my husband and I commemorate the Remembrance Supper every year and if they were interested, I would be happy to offer some suggestions on how the entire church could arrange such a celebration. They were all excited about that, so that is one more thing I will be doing here.
There were other topics that came up and I had thoughts or suggestions, but I kept them mostly to myself. I didn’t want to usurp the group or be a know-it-all. However, as I was leaving, I explained to the Pastor that my husband and I have a great deal of experience in conducting a ministry both online and in person, and while we have no desire to become leaders in the church, we would be happy to share ideas and work to uplift others who are taking the lead. He seemed appreciative and gave me his telephone number to give to my husband (who for health reasons, was not able to attend) so they could talk and possible meet over a meal.
I may have gone a little too far in my enthusiasm, but time will tell. If I remain humble, open, kind and respectful, I believe they will see that my motives are pure and that my concern is for the upliftment of the church. And how great it will be if this small congregations joins in the annual commemoration of proclaiming the death of our lord until he returns! Yay!!
January 25, 2015 – Eastern United States
I met with morning Bible study group. They continue the reading of Exodus chapters 8 and 9 dealing with the plagues on Egypt. The discussion as best as I can describe was prosaic. The group bandied about all the usual aspects of God vs Pharaoh etc. I read when it was my turn but could not offer anything of substance and remained quiet through out the discussion.
After the bible study I attended the regular morning services. The book of Jonah was part of the sermon delivered by the Pastor. Yesterday I sent him the introductory articles "Bringing Heaven Down" which includes a discussion of Jonah. I was hoping something might have been included in his sermon from the article. But alas such was not the case! Ugh. Another ho hum religious service. Church is killing me!!!!
After the service the two denominations that meet together were gathering to elect church members so I did not stick around. On the way out one of the study group members asked me if I was considering becoming a member. I told her I had just concluded an association with a church as a member for over 45 years. She immediately said, I understand, its too early. We left it at that.
On the way home I began feeling like this is futile. How am I possibly going to have any influence with this group. Are they being kind and accommodating because they see me as a possible paying member? Patience, patience, patience!
My spirits were lifted tremendously when I came home and reread Experiment #2 "Abandoning Old Wine and New Kool-Aid." This article delineated precisely why this church and so many others are at a stand still. Somehow I must find a way to convey the ideas from this article. Were it not for the two websites, I would feel like I'm spinning my wheels.
But I'm not giving up. I expect there will be good days and bad days. Brothers if you have any suggestions, please share.
FROM THE AUTHORS: Dear Brother, as with any other endeavor, there will be productive days and days that are not as productive. But do not despise the days of small beginnings. As you say, patience is a must. We suggest that you find a way to give more than just your attention. Have small goals such as meeting one other person that you haven't yet met and finding out their background. Maybe after the service you can approach the Pastor and ask for clarification of something he said which may lead into a further discussion. Much of what you are doing is getting familiar with the church and how it works. Only then can you know whether you can be of real assistance. And of course, as a free faith son of God, you can attend another church that might be more suitable. If your spirit is not comfortable with a particular group, move on. That's the freedom of the children of God.
January 25, 2015 - Cleveland, Ohio USA
Dear Faith Sons, I DID IT! For the first time in my life, I stepped foot inside a church and let me just say it was the most nervous and the most excited I've been in maybe 45 years. This storefront church was a mixed crowd of Sons with Hispanic being the majority but it had White and Black sprinkled in and everyone was super nice! It was funny, as each person approached to introduce themselves to me I found myself looking around to see was all this love directed at me. And to my amazement it was, and what also was interesting is that I could feel the appreciation they have for Jesus. And as they served communion it was so wonderful to see both young and old alike partaking. I couldn't help but cry dear brothers and when I say cry, I mean ‘take a baby's toy away’ type of crying. And out of about 80 in attendance, maybe on 2-3 where not around me reassuring me that it's ok and that Jesus understands.
It's funny and sad at the same time how “wicked Babylon” with all those demonic traits turned out to be Christlike, and the folks I had associated with for 6 decades turns out to be the Pharisaic group. Oh well, live and definitely learn. I have feelings of shame and guilt for the way I've treated people of different beliefs and denominations, as my fingers point directly at me I say again shame on me!! I appreciate the encouragement to step out on faith, This is the start of something really special.
January 24, 2015 - Boston, Massachusetts USA
Today I had lunch with the Pastor at Church of the Covenant. The lunch lasted nearly 2 hours. The exchange is too lengthy to put into writing. Suffice it to say that the meeting was wonderfully beneficial. This Pastor is forward thinking and progressive. He is interested in reading the article “Divine Fragments.” I told him about your ministry to the missions in Los Angeles and your success with gang members and people recovering from substance abuse using the plain open teachings of Jesus. We discussed several important topics concerning uplifting the spiritual conversation etc…. He was awestruck!!!! I will tell you more soon.
January 24, 2015 – Arlington Texas USA
Hello Family of Faith Sons! The ministry of going into churches has already bore much good fruit. As you know, we went to several churches in our community last week and we are following up with the same churches that each of us attended. Here's the reason why- so many of the church members called us during the week and invited us back because of the zeal and enthusiasm we showed that they just want more. So we're going back to emphasize how they can let their light shine, so we will let you know how it goes.
January 21, 2015 – Boston, Massachusetts USA
Church: Refuge Temple Church of Christ Apostolic
This evening I met for the first time with the mid-week Bible study group. The Pastor conducts the study. The class is supposed to start at 8:00 pm but due to late arrivers did not start until 8:20 pm. The Pastor took the time to talk with me prior to the class and probed with questions about my background and his curiosity about my coming to attend with them.
I related my history and subsequent parting of the ways with the Watchtower organization. I was careful not to present the events as a ‘woe is me’ scenario, but as an eye opener of what can happen when we deviate from Jesus plain and open teachings. I emphasized the importance of not only being part of the body of Christ but having a clear vision of the Kingdom of the Heavens. The Pastor was quite fascinated with my journey and expressed that he felt God has some kind of plan for me. I let him know of how his church caught my attention last year when I took a break from our meeting and took a walk down the street to get some fresh air and while standing on the corner saw people going into his church. I told him from that day on, I kept having a strong inclination to visit. This really ramped up his attention.
By this time enough people had arrived for him to get the study started. There were approximately 12-15 total of us. The program began with a singing of hymns led by a sister, she then read a passage from the Bible and then the Pastor invited everyone to pray. This was most unusual. Rather than him leading the congregation in prayer, everyone started uttering their own prayers individually and out loud. It sounded somewhat like a clamoring of voices. I focused my attention on what was being prayed about and found that all of the prayers I could make out were sensible and with focus. I heard prayers for God’s spirit to be upon the study group, to help them understand the scriptures, to help the Pastor teach, request that God’s spirit to be upon members of the congregation who could not be in attendance, for his spirit to be upon those who were sick or undergoing difficulties. What was revealing was that by not focusing on the clamor of voices as a whole but listening to the individual petitions, collectively they resembled the same topics of prayer which would be offered by an elder at the Kingdom Hall. It is amazing what one can discover about others when the attempt is made to sincerely drop all notions of prejudice and judgmentalism.
After the prayer a collection was taken. In this particular church, a collection plate is placed right in front of the speaker’s podium and row by row people go up and deposit their donations. While I did not like the idea of making my offering so public, I too joined in making a donation. After this the Pastor resumed a discussion that had begun the previous week from the book of Genesis Chapter 11. The theme was on dispensations. The Pastor indicated there were several dispensations. One of those dispensations was when Abraham was called by God. Various questions were asked about the history of Abraham and so forth. I purposely kept quiet during this first study and will do the same on the next study. This Pastor has been leading the group for over 20 years. He is an intelligent man and seems very sincere. However the teaching leaves much that could use some assistance. There is tremendous opportunity to growth and spiritual development if he is willing to allow some suggestions.
I would like to note that during the Bible discussion the matter of pursuing truth came up. The Pastor told the audience that he had never thought he would encounter a person like me who was totally committed to finding truth and then having the courage to follow it. He told the group he looked forward to pursuing these private discussions we have been having together. This was immensely gratifying hearing his open acknowledgement of appreciation for pursuing truth even if it clashes with all of your previous notions of what you thought was right.
When the study ended I was warmly greeted by all of the study group attendees. The pastor came over and wanted to be assured that I would return and that we could speak again. Hopefully this will develop into something.
January 18, 2015 - Texas, USA
Hello Family, today we went into the harvest to cultivate the soil and we had a wonderful day. We split up into groups of 10 and went to all the churches no matter the denomination within a 2 mile radius. Some groups are still at church but others are at the house here and sharing what went on, most of which sounded like a broken record with the Pastors all trying but missing the mark on substance. It’s not like we're looking for perfection, but at least stick to the theme!
It's almost per church that after the first few minutes, the wheels start to come off and the whopping and hollering gets going. But after the service, now that's when the fun started when we introduced ourselves and explained we are visiting fellow "Faith Sons" in our community as an act of unity. Then a deacon asked what church are we affiliated with and because we had former members of just about every religion, we all gave individual answers which seem to really impress him. But he found it most interesting those from [Jehovah’s Witnesses] because of their tradition of not setting foot in another religious facility. And so jokingly we said “That's why we said we are ‘formerly with’ and we like so many are waking up to the authentic way Jesus Christ conducted his ministry. We feel more of his spirit when we allow ourselves to love all of our brothers no matter where they are to be found, a kind of faith without borders movement. And so get use to seeing different friendly faces from now on, if not us others with this same passion will represent our efforts.”
It was real in every possible way the genuine affection that we showed them and they extended to us. To any who call this type of Outreach crazy or that we are Babylon lovers, all we can say is ‘don't knock it til you try it’ whenever you get over the fear of your bosses the [Governing Body] because these people have a true, sincere love for the Christ just like Witnesses and really even more so for many of them.
We designated one of the ten to approach the Pastor and invite him to log on to learn more about the "APT" of Jesus (Authentic Plain Teachings). So we're off and running here in the great State of Texas! So have a blessed day all you Faith Sons of God and brothers of Christ.
P.S. – Stay healthy my brother and keep the kitchen burner firing my sister!
January 18, 2015 - Massachusetts USA
You asked me if I had any ideas on how Faith Sons might introduce themselves to a church or a Pastor at a church. Here are my suggestions. If someone should ask what brings you to our church? You could respond;
1. I am searching for a small fellowship of believers who provide an open and friendly environment to worship God and place their emphasis on Jesus plain and open teachings.
2. I have been associated with one religious group for many years and wanted to stretch out and see how other of my brothers and sisters encourage each other in their worship of God.
3. Christianity is so fragmented. I don’t believe Jesus intended for so much division to exist among the brotherhood of believers. I would like to find a fellowship that focuses on the plain and open teachings of Jesus.
4. The fellowship I have been involved with for many years has a very negative/limited view of other religions. I want to branch out and get to know my brothers and sisters of other denominations. I would like to contribute toward the uniting of Christians into the united brotherhood that Jesus intended to exist.
I will send more as they come to me.
January 18, 2015 - Chatsworth, California USA
I received a call from a church I have been attending letting me know that they approved my Bible Class suggestion based on The Glorious Heavenly Hope and wanted to announce to the church that I will be conducting a 5-part Bible Class. I provided her with the following language for the announcement:
“The Apostle Paul wrote that we should “set minds on the things above” (Colossians 3:2) because one day we will leave behind our mortal bodies and enter the heavenly kingdom. But most of us have no real frame of reference to be able to imagine our lives there. This five-part Bible class examines what the Bible says about heaven and what we can expect in heaven based on what was written. It is designed to pique our interest in heavenly matters and contemplate its possibilities.”
So when I arrived at church today, the above announcement was printed in the written program that is handed out to everyone. There were about 15-20 people present, but they seemed interested in attending the class. After the service, it was agreed that the first class will be held on February 1st at 9:00 am. I explained to the pastor’s assistant that I would conduct the class, basically as follows:
The Glorious Heavenly Hope series consists of 5 articles so each class will cover one article. I will use the Introduction article as the basis for my introduction to the class. Then I will use only the scriptures in the article under consideration and have members of the class read them and ask what the scripture reveals about heaven. I will follow the progression of the article, but using only the scriptures. Then at the end of the class, I will hand out a printout of the article that they can take with them to share what they learned with others. I will do this for each article. At the end of the series, I will display a 36x24 laminated print of the poster “The Citizen’s Guide to the Glorious Heavenly Hope” and go over it as a review.
It should be simple. We will see. After I complete the 5-part class, we will discuss the possibility of me conducting another Bible class series, possibly an adaptation of “The Truth that Sets Us Free.” There may be others who will want to conduct a Bible class once I complete the first series, so we will just have to see where this goes. But I’m excited and hopeful.
January 16, 2015 - Eastern United States
I wanted to let you know of the success I have been experiencing in my outreach ministry. I have been attending an inter-denominational church that makes an effort to be open to people of all faiths and seems sincerely interested in advancing the ministry of Jesus Christ. The church is ministered by a Pastor and his female co-Pastor who do a very fine job of outreach to the homeless and women who are victims of violence. A little while ago, I gave both articles on “The Spiritual Equality of Women” to the Pastor and asked him to give a copy to the co-pastor. She recently received it and this was her response……
Hi. How are you doing? I wanted to let you know that I just recently received the packets on "Spiritual Equality of Women" that you left for me back weeks ago (I think it got passed between various people before it finally landed on my desk!) I thought these articles were really thoughtfully written, with a deeply faithful perspective, and I certainly couldn't agree more! As you likely know, our two denominations at Church of the Covenant (United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church USA) are really proud to be communities that strive for gender equality in all parts of faith life and leadership, certainly including ministers. I'm always glad to talk further about any of these ideas or traditions and I am glad to have this resource from you!
I have finally found a ministry that gives me great satisfaction. There are many beautiful people among the various religions of the world. It’s wonderful to meet them on equal grounds without me having to convert them! In all my years of being a publisher with the Watchtower Society, I never felt so comfortable in ministering as I do with this new approach. Your recent article Into the Harvest was quite beneficial.
Please give my regards to our dear brother who I learned recently has been undergoing some difficult medical treatments. Kind regards.
January 11, 2015 - Massachusetts USA
Receiving this article [Reaching Out] could not have come at a better time. I have just come home from attending a full-fledged bare knuckles Pentecostal revival service that was supposed to last two hours but went 2 hours and 40 minutes because the Pastor got a second wind. The heavy drums and organ music with the refrain ‘Yes Jesus Loves Me’ is still stuck in my head. But after going through this experience, I feel I can sit through any type of religious service our community offers.
Having said all this I have to say there was something quite beautiful with this small fellowship of about 25 people. I thanked the Pastor for their open hospitality. He asked me if I would return. I told him I would come again. He asked how he could get in touch we me and I left him my phone number.
The reason this article was so important is that it reminds me of what a Christlike ambassador is all about. There are many high minded Witness traits we must purge ourselves from if we are to be truly effective in this ministry. Today was trial by fire.