Follow Disciples In Disquise on New Site

Please follow me,  Michelle Hawkins (Disciples in Disguise), as I share my experiences as a follower of Christ and a teacher of His word.  Encouraging other believers as they follow along, I look forward to hearing your feedback and experiences as well.

Go to http://www.treasuring-christ.org  There you will find a team of writers whose desire is to proclaim the gospel to a dark and dying world.

Thank you for faithfully following.

Blessings,

-Michelle

A Darkness that Veils the Eyes…..

As I begin to write these words my heart is breaking.  Before I opened the first page to research the beliefs of Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam I had be willing to keep my eyes focused on what Jesus wanted me to learn and not what my opinions would formulate.  I asked The Holy Spirit to help me see through the darkness that has veiled my eyes for so many years. 

All too often we make a quick judgment on someone based on appearance alone.  What nationality, financial status, education level, and so on.  We listen to their ability to communicate well and estimate their intelligence but don’t take time to examine what is in their heart.  If you are one of the few who hasn’t been guilty of this judgmental observation then I applaud you.  For me, I can say I am truly grateful that my Jesus sees straight into the heart and has given me a desire to want to do the same.

All three religions have a basic common denominator–worship.  To whom the worship is directed is the huge difference between these religions and Protestant Christianity.  Of the three Eastern religions, two of them, Hinduism and Buddhism serve many gods, goddesses or deities.  Praying to and offering sacrifice comes in many forms with mysticism, ritual and idol worship being a large part of their routine. Islam, however, worships one god but follows after the Prophet Mohammad’s teachings.  All three have elevations of reaching splendor or obtaining peace and tranquility, but rely on themselves to obtain this. 

Perhaps the one thing that struck me beyond all other aspects of these three religions is the lack of grace or mercy for the believer.  The principles here are all designed to meet the approval of the god, goddess or gods to receive wealth, happiness or acceptance.  It appears to be worship out of fear or ritual mandate and not a devotion of the heart.  Not an intimate relationship with the one whom they serve.  It is a matter of “meet these specific expectations and you may be rewarded” mindset. 

Regardless of one’s belief, even those who do not believe in the one true God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit as Trinity—are all loved by this God……Elohim, The Creator.  He created us all to love Him and He to love us.  He created us for a purpose and knew each of us by name before we were yet formed in our mother’s womb (Jeramiah 1:5).

This one true God listens to the believer and communicates back in love. A believer worships and praises the one true God out of love and devotion to Him.  Understanding that they are but a vapor in the wind and can do nothing without Him, but with Jesus alive in them and working in and through their lives, miracles can and do happen. 

The heart-break; this happens when I think of how lonely their life–without Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer and the Savior to all who would believe–will be when that day comes.  The day they bow at the foot of the Lord God Most High and give an account of their life and confess with their mouth that indeed Jesus Christ IS Lord.  (He speaks and understands all languages because He created all languages).  What will happen then?  Their souls I mourn for.  I do not know them but because of the Jesus that lives in me I mourn for them.  He came that NO MAN, WOMAN, NOR CHILD (at the age of accountability), should perish BUT shall inherit everlasting life. (John 3:16)

If you are a person who has studied for years, perhaps under one of these religions or any other that doesn’t teach the truth of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, then please, I ask that you would just speak out to God and ask Him–what is truth?  He will answer you.  Please consider what I have told you.  In genuine love I ask this of you.  You do not know me nor I you, but if you are reading this and do not know Jesus Christ as Savior of your precious soul, it is not a coincidence.  He is pursuing you.    He wants to love you and embrace you and tell you “welcome home my child.”  If you are a believer and know someone who is not, ask Holy Spirit if He is leading you to reach out to them.  Once the last breath is taken all hope is lost. 

Please email me at this address if you wish for prayer or more understanding.  michelle.hawkins2003@gmail.com

Disciples in Disguise: How Does Jesus See….Week 2: Ministering to the Jehovah’s Witness

Disciples in Disguise: Week 2:  Ministering to the Jehovah’s Witness

Before I begin teaching how to witness to the Jehovah’s Witness (JW), I feel it is necessary to take a look at the history of this organization and how it was founded to its present day status.  There is so much information to cover and still fit within a blog format that I will highlight the most important facts and give you the resources used in my research so that you can continue to study about the JW. 

I grew up in a family steeped in the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  This was all I knew, growing up hearing about Jehovah but not much at all about Jesus and never the Holy Spirit.  I had a deep love for my “creator”, as my Nana would affectionately call Jehovah, but the praise began and ended there—with Jehovah.  Though Jehovah is greatly to be praised!

It is important to note, the people who call themselves the Jehovah’s Witnesses are loving and warm- hearted people.  However, something so crucial to their secured eternity in a future paradise is missing.  These kind-hearted people have believed what they have been told for years and have accepted this as fact–their truth–that Jesus is really the Archangel Michael come to earth in flesh and they do not recognize Him—Jesus–as Deity.  They do not recognize the Holy Spirit as Deity and not even in the slightest do they recognize the Trinity.  This major missing piece of their theology is the stumbling block that will seal their eternity forever separated from Christ in paradise. 

It is my hope that believers and non-believers will read this blog and soak this truth into their hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to bring revelation to them.  It is also my hope that a Jehovah’s Witness who may read this–perhaps given to you by a friend–will allow your eyes to opened and the veil of deception fall from you so that you can meet Jesus Christ, the one who was sent by the Father, Jehovah God, to earth to pay the ransom for our sins.  Not Michael but Jesus. This payment for the penalty of our sin–once acknowledged as truth and accepted in your heart–is a free gift and will allow you access to the Kingdom of God as a Son or Daughter of Christ, adopted by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Let us look deeper.   

Charles Taze Russell was born February 16, 1852.  He grew up under parents who would speak of hellfire and damnation.  Russell couldn’t come to terms with the teaching of a loving God of mercy who would “send” His creation to hell.  He developed his own personal theology that didn’t include hell.  He began to hold Bible studies and teach others his theology.  This theology quickly spread and before long he had developed a group of followers he called the “Russellites”, later named “Millennial Dawnists”.  This launched into the modern day Jehovah’s Witnesses.  The head organization is called the Watchtower, located in New York.  The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society publish the Watchtower and Awake! magazines that the witnesses hand out from door to door.  The JW have their own Bible translation called the New World Translation or the NWT, and require their members to use Bible teaching booklets that give their explanation of the “true meaning of the Bible.”

Here are a few beliefs of the Jehovah Witness that I will mention. Again I will include all resources so that you may investigate further. 

  1. There is one true “religion”: Jehovah’s Witness.
  2. The NWT is the most accurate translation of the Bible that exists…this is their translation. And ONLY they have the true knowledge and its meaning.
  3. They believe that Jesus has already returned and has been here since 1914.  Also that satan was cast out of heaven down to earth at that time.
  4. Jesus was the Archangel Michael and was never a Deity with God.
  5. The Witnesses believe that they alone are the true saved organization and if you do not belong to their organization, you are lost, will not be resurrected at the time of the new world and will remain in the ground–body and soul–for eternity.
  6. They do not believe Jesus died on the cross but on a stake. 

A quote from the Watchtower in May 1989:

“The Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible.  For this reason, the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind”. 

The problem is this.  The organization they are referring to is not the Bride of Christ or the Church, but the Watchtower organization.  The word of God has been written for all mankind.  All mankind—and the Holy Spirit will give us understanding to the meaning of scripture and how to apply it to our life.  It is also full of the understanding of whom our Lord is….who created us, how we were created and why.  It tells us how He loves us and so much so that, “For God so loved the World that, He gave His only begotten son that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES in Him should not perish but have EVERLASTING LIFE.  John 3:16 (KJV)

Beloved, the Apostle Paul warned us about the spirit of the antichrist and how it was already at work in the world even then. “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”  1 John 2:18 (NKJV)

“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”  2 Corinthians 11:3 (NASB)

“You seem to believe whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach about a different Jesus then the one we preach, or a different Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.”  2 Corinthians 11:4 (NASB)

“But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting.  For such a man are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even satan disguised himself as an angel of light.  Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:12-15(NASB)

These are but a few scriptures that warn us concerning this trap of the antichrist.  It is so important to mention to you that speaking to a JW in hostility or arrogance in your own true belief will not bring a desire in him to know more about the Jesus who changed you.  However, the greatest way to introduce him/her–if and when they come to your door–is to share your testimony of the love of Christ.  This cannot be disputed.  And your personal testimony cannot be refuted!!  Be sincere.  Offer them a hot drink on a cold day and a cool drink on a hot day.  But be careful to read 2 John: 10 & 11.  Pray about this and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.  SHOW the JW who Jesus is and that He lives within you.  Words are a dime a dozen but living your belief in Jesus Christ is the defense of your faith. The enemy will make this hard to do sometimes…..when that happens give your thoughts over to God and stand.

Love–my friend–never fails.

 

Resources:

-Personal narrative from interviews of former Jehovah’s Witnesses.

-Bible translations are mentioned within the body of the study.

-www.JWTruth.org

-Jehovah’s Witness resources mentioned within the body of the study.

Same Love……..Same God………

Week 2 Disciples in Disguise Study

“Wake Up Oh Sleeper” What Does It Mean To Be A Christian?

After teaching this class last night at church it has occurred to me that perhaps Mondays would be the perfect day to post the lessons.  After all, this way I could determine what components are most helpful.

At this point you should have the self-analysis completed.  Remember to put it in a place where you can retrieve it again later in the weeks ahead.  So let us get started.

Christianity is defined by the Holman Bible Dictionary as: One who becomes an adherent of Christ, whose daily life and behavior facing adversity is like Christ.  Once a person becomes a Christian, the thought process of that person begins to change.  This change is a process and one that is easily visible through the works of the Holy Spirit in the person.  This is why the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20 (NIV), “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  As you grow in your love and knowledge of Christ, you will become more like Him.  You will begin to think more like Him and your behavior will be more like Him.  This will not be an “act”–this will be a genuine change.  “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8 NKJV). 

You have heard of the “Fruits of the Spirit”?  There are 9 of these and over time this will be the evidence of your life in Christ Jesus.  I remember praying for these to be manifested in my life and was frustrated that I didn’t have them all at one time.  That showed a lack of patience perhaps? After 22 years of prayer, meditation, Bible study and desire for these, I begin to see changes in how I handled adversity.  Oh I had several of the fruits but I had a passionate desire to obtain them all.  I didn’t realize I possessed them until adversity came my way!!  This is a test for the Christian.

Over time a Christian will also begin to desire the things of Christ versus the carnal desires to satisfy the flesh.  Galatians 5:16-18 (NKJV) states, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do the things that you wish.”    Loved one, the LAW, binds you this but not grace….not grace!!!  Not grace by which you find in JESUS.  If you walk according to the Sprit, He will fulfill every longing and empty place within you that you have.  That feeling you get when you know you are about to do something you shouldn’t or you did do it and feel bad about it.  In both of these instances, the Holy Spirit is speaking directly to you.  He loves you and wants what is good for you.  That is why He tells us in Jeramiah 29:11(NIV),” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord.  “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”  Loved one, don’t settle for less than JESUS best for YOU.  Don’t settle for who “keeps you warm”, or what appears to be “light” when it is actually darkness in disguise.  The word of the Lord was written thousands of years ago, YES, and it is still the word of the same Lord with the same authority and with the very “same love”.  He IS STIII GOD AND HE IS STILL ALIVE!! He wants to bring this love to you.   If only you believe…….

The biggest proof of the gospel is the evidence of a changed life, as we were speaking about earlier.  A person’s testimony will prove the word of God. We are told that His word doesn’t come back void.  That is why you can see transformation.  What is spoken into a person’s life by His word is manifested in them by their Spirit.  Not overnight necessarily.  This is an excellent way of defending our faith.  “I was ——but now I ———.”

An excellent resource to read is Jude Chapter 4 and the entire book of James.  It is a quick read that gives a depth of information and confidence to the believer. 

Next week we will review Jehovah’s Witnesses.  I am a former Jehovah’s Witness who found love, truth and grace in the loving arms of my Savior Jesus Christ.  If you do not know Him, He is ready to receive you in those same arms.  Call upon Him, He will listen. 

 

In His Steps,

Michelle Hawkins

michelle.hawkins2003@gmail.com

Are We Looking Through the Eyes of Love?

Over a year ago the Lord Jesus gave me a profound love for my earthly father whom I had never connected with the term “Love”. This love was one which I have never known.  I do not have a relationship with him based on an extremely difficult childhood, but I am to honor my earthly father nevertheless because I was created. 

The Lord prompted me to meet with him in order to share the divine forgiveness I now have in my heart for him.  My father is Jehovah’s Witness;  therefore, Jesus is not received in him as who Jesus really is.  That is, the Savior and Lord our God, Deity and second in the triune Godhead of the Trinity. This has led me to begin this teaching through the Disciples in Disguise Ministry. To not only teach Christians how to be “rock solid” firm in the understanding of their faith in Christ Jesus and why we believe the gospel to be true, but also understand the different organizations, practices and religious structures and what they believe to be true.  The goal is to help encourage you to become confident in sharing your faith with others.

The reader will discover his/her own true personal opinions on each subject by taking a self-assessment questionnaire.  Then weigh that with how the Bible–the divinely inspired word of God–states Jesus Christ sees each person or group.  This will be considered by some to be controversial and by some a breath of fresh air from His throne.  I see it as an understanding of what God’s grace……the Savior’s grace…..is.  

First of all, this week you will take the self-assessment.  Print this out, answer each truthfully, going with the very first thought you had when you saw each selection.  Keep it somewhere…perhaps in your Bible.  You will need it again.  This list isn’t exhaustive but it is a good start. The first weekend of February 2014 I will not have a blog posted.  (I will be spending some much needed time with my husband.)

Before you respond to each people group, it is important you be absolutely truthful and not answer based on what you think the Heavenly Father wants you say.  He knows your heart anyway so just be real.  Remember to write down the thoughts that come to your mind first….The week of February 7th I will post the lesson for the first study item.

Self Assessment

“When I think of__________ (people group below) I think………”

1. Jehovah’s Witnesses

 

2. Muslims/Buddhists, other Eastern religions

 

3. Homosexuals/Transgender

 

4. People of a different race than you

 

5. Pedophiles/Rapists/Murderers

 

6. Abortionists/those who have had abortions

 

7. Political parties (comment on each if you choose)

 

8. Organized religion (speaking on terms of Catholic and Protestant churches and their members)

 

9. Judaism

 

10. Atheists/Agnostics

 

11. Satan worshippers/Witches/Warlocks/Fortune Tellers

 

12. Adulteress/Adulterer/Liars

 

13. Prostitutes

 

14. Christians (I know this seems redundant from question 8, but I wanted to list it separately)

Paths that Twist and Turn….

Happy New Year.  In this brand new year that is upon us, we can look back and see where our lives have taken us.  Reviewing our paths we can see the twists and turns, dead ends and open doors.  Many of these turns–good or bad–are no consequence of our own doing but many may be?  For me I can see where I have let “busyness” steal the time from me.  Time I can never get back on this earth before Christ’s return.  Time that I could have spent with my family more or loved them better.  Time I could have used to read the Bible more.  Time that I could have witnessed to the non- believers or encouraged the children of God.  Times that I could have written for the Lord as He has called me to do. 

Too much of this time was taken up by texting or watching television shows that do nothing but fill our minds with thoughts concerning what we don’t have instead of being thankful, happy and fulfilled with what we do have.  This year I do hope to spend the time that the Lord has given me with hours reading the living Word of God and loving my family better and loving others better and more completely.  Less of me is what I am saying and more of the One who lives within me

The spirit of my Lord has burdened me with a word.  Expose.  This word lends itself to some fearful thoughts.  But if I truly seek then I shall find and will not expose but what He the Holy Spirit wants exposed.  Don’t worry, those of you who are thinking….ooh….this sounds rather scandalous.  Sorry, not that kind of exposing.  What the Spirit of the Lord has me to expose are the lies of the enemy.  These lies produce oppression, depression and steal a person’s true understanding of the gospel of Christ.  Understanding what it means to love those whom others in this society, and even in the Christian churches, know not how to.  I mean groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  What do we do when we see them coming?  Run and hide or put on our self-righteous clothing that is stiff and full of starch.  It is uncomfortable for us to wear this type of stiff and starchy clothing.  It rubs us the wrong way.  Well it doesn’t do anything for the kingdom of God either.  What about when someone of another race gets too close to you in the super market or parking lot?  What about abortionists or those who have had abortions? What about someone who is lesbian or gay?  What about when you hear someone speaking of the current administration?  Ever hear positive things lately coming from the mouths–not only of the media and secular but from Christians too?  I don’t like the path America has turned either.  If it is against the Holy Word it is against Christ.  No matter how it is spun.  BUT, speaking slanderous words about anyone is wrong, really.  Even the Archangel Michael when arguing with Satan over the body of Moses wouldn’t slander him…”The Lord rebuke you”, he said (Jude 9).  And that was Satan!!!  Don’t misunderstand me.  I am not saying we shouldn’t speak out against injustice…..we most certainly should.  It’s the way in which we do this that either promotes Christ’s teaching or not.

We all fail.  We all fall short of God’s glory.  However, we don’t have to.  The word says in 1 John 2:1, “My dear children, I write this letter to you so you will not sin.  But if anyone does sin we have a helper in the presence of the Father—Jesus Christ, the one who does what is right.” (NCV) Instead of continuing to slander, even if the content is true, isn’t it our responsibility as a Christian to take the matter to our Lord and let Him deal with it?  That is what it says.  Then we will have the helper.  Peace is found this way.  Open door……

The next several blog posts will be dedicated to this.  Why?  It’s because we are called to love, not called to bring judgment or to condemn.  This is left up to our Lord and He himself said He hasn’t come to condemn the world to but to save it through Him.  If He said this–and He did–then are we not to replicate this? (John 3:17)  We need a heart transplant, one massive heart transplant.  It all starts with Jesus.  Can we just bring Jesus?  No opinions…just Jesus?  Let us learn from the Bible together.  I will have more to say over the weekend…keep watching.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters where your Spirit may call me.  Take me deeper than my feet could ever wonder where my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my savior. Hillsong UNITED Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

Humbling Myself Re-Visited…..

Just one clarification as to not bring about ANY speculation.  My Husband has NEVER ridiculed my singing.  My fear wasn’t necessarily the result of an actual negative comment made by my husband or anyone else but a built up perception of what could happen if I had messed up. This is the “yoke” the enemy used with me in many areas to stop my acts of worship.  I never want to give an incorrect assumption to the reader. 

Any communication can be sent to michelle.hawkins2003@gmail.com.

 

Blessings,

Michelle Hawkins