THE SEVEN LETTERS TO THE SEVEN CONGREGATIONS
January 21, 2012
LETTER NO. 1 - TO THE BODY OF CHRIST THAT IS SCATTERED ABROAD
To the brothers of our Lord, and especially to the “least” ones, the insignificant ones. To those who have the witness of Jehovah’s Spirit and have accepted it, and to those who have had the witness and are unsure or afraid to seize it: Greetings! May the undeserved kindness of our Father and of His Christ be with all of you.
In imitation of the ancient Beroeans, we are to continue to examine the scriptures daily as to whether the things we have been taught are so. (Acts 17:10-11) And as recommended by the Apostle John, we are to continue to test the inspired expressions, no matter what their source. (1 John 4:1) In the process, we embark on our most important journey – a search for truth, a digging for it as for hid treasures (Proverbs 2:1-6), so as to be fully convinced in our own minds. All truth thus obtained is a generous gift by the Father, Jehovah, through His Son and our Lord Christ Jesus. (James 1:5) To Them be the glory forever, amen.
In preparing to write these letters, we asked the Father where we should begin. We were told to begin in the beginning – with who we are. So, for those interested, we have been studying the Bible for over 30 years, in association with Jehovah’s Witness and the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. The knowledge gained through this association has been paramount in our studies. Through this association, we have gained a deep appreciation for Jehovah, His Son, His Spirit and His unfailing inspired word as contained in the Bible. It is also through this association that we learned who we are – true anointed sons of the living God, brothers of the Christ, and heirs to the Kingdom of the Heavens.
This confidence does not come from men nor from that which is fleshly. It is a realization granted by the Father.
“Now I say that as long as the heir is a babe he does not differ at all from a slave, lord of all things though he is, but he is under men in charge and under stewards until the day his father appointed beforehand.”
– Galatians 4:1-2
“Now because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of his Son into our hearts and its cries out: ‘Abba, Father!’ So, then, you are no longer a slave but a son; and if a son, also an heir through God.”
– Galatians 4:6-7
“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: ‘Abba, Father!’ The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
– Romans 8:15-16
All true sons have this witness. It is an inner realization of freedom and peace with God; a knowing that you are a true son of God. It is not an emotional experience, but rather a constant awareness, in good season and bad. It is not only that we know God, but that now we have “come to be known by God.” (Galatians 4:9) And it is between that person and Jehovah alone.
“For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man that is in him?”
– 1 Corinthians 2:11
Those who do not have the witness of the spirit cannot tell you whether or not you have it.
“[A] physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know them, because they are examined spiritually. However, the spiritual man examines indeed all things, but he himself is not examined by any man.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:14-15
Those who have the witness of the spirit must trust it.
“These things I write you about those who are trying to mislead you. And as for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to be teaching you; but, as the anointing from him is teaching you about all things, and is true and is no lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in union with him.”
– 1 John 2:26-27
Further, it cannot be fully explained in human terms.
“These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, as we combine spiritual matters with spiritual words.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:13
Finally, it is not based on personal merit, works, age, race, gender or longevity “in the truth.” It is a gift, an undeserved kindness. To whom Jehovah wants to, He gives it.
“In this way, therefore, at the present season also a remnant has turned up according to a choosing due to undeserved kindness. Now if it is by undeserved kindness, it is no longer due to works; otherwise, the undeserved kindness no longer proves to be undeserved kindness.”
– Romans 11:5-6
One thing we do know about the witness of the spirit is that those who have it hear what the spirit says to the congregation. They know the voice of the lamb and they follow him wherever he goes. Since they are borne from Jehovah’s incorruptible seed (1 Peter 1:23), they are compelled, even without law, to pursue righteousness and goodness. While they are not perfect in the flesh, their hearts and motives are pure. When they err, they are not condemned as those without hope, but they understand and accept the gift of forgiveness and are able to continue on as conquerors and integrity keepers.
“For this is the covenant that I shall covenant with the house of Israel after those days,’ says Jehovah. ‘I will put my laws in their mind, and in their hearts I shall write them. And I will become their God, and they themselves will become my people.
“‘And they will by no means teach each one his fellow citizen and each one his brother, saying: “Know Jehovah!” For they will all know me, from the least one to the greatest one of them. For I shall be merciful to their unrighteous deeds, and I shall by no means call their sins to mind anymore.’”
– Hebrews 8:10-12
Foremostly, however, they are drawn to truth and are driven in their study of God’s word. It is, in fact, by means of truth that they are called:
“Because he willed it, he brought us forth by the word of truth, for us to be certain firstfruits of his creatures.”
– James 1:18
It is by means of truth that they are sanctified:
“Sanctify them by means of truth; your word is truth.”
– John 17:17
And it is by means of truth that He gives them their freedom as sons:
“[Y]ou will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
– John 8:32
So, then this really is the beginning – Truth. Let us continue in Letter No. 2.