Doctrines, Religion

The Irony

DAILY TEXT FROM THE WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY

Sunday, August 26

Do not put your trust in fallacious words.—Jer. 7:4.

Some Israelites viewed the temple as a talisman that would protect them from enemies. (Jer. 7:1-4) Earlier, Israelites viewed the ark of the covenant as a charm that would protect them in battle. (1 Sam. 4:3, 10, 11) Constantine the Great painted the Greek letters khi and rho, the first two letters of the title “Christ” in Greek, on his soldiers’ shields in hopes of protecting his soldiers in battle. And King Gustav Adolph II of Sweden, who fought in the Thirty Years’ War, is thought to have worn armor that had the name Iehova featured prominently on the collar. Some of God’s people who have been attacked by demons have found refuge in Jehovah by calling his name out loud. Still, an object that features God’s name should not be considered a talisman or used as a charm in everyday life as if it had some magical power of protection. This is not what it means to take refuge in the name of Jehovah. w11 1/15 1:14, 15

First, it’s interesting to see today’s scripture in context. It’s a warning:

Do not put YOUR trust in fallacious words,*+
saying, ‘The temple* of Jehovahthe temple of Jehovah,
the temple of Jehovah they are!’” — Jeremiah 7:4

Then there’s the irony of the name—the name “Jehovah” first arrived on the scene from Christendom in the 13th century.

Taking refuge in the name of God, or in the name of the Lord is not about the use of a name, but a statement about God’s attributes and activities. When Jesus made his father’s name manifest to his disciples, it wasn’t by use of a proper name, but it was by perfectly representing his father, doing the will and works of his father and speaking not of his own accord, but his father’s words.

Another way of putting it, is that he was “the spit and image of his father”.

Similar to how people will tell a young man that he must make a name for himself, they’re not referring to what he is called, but rather how he is known.

Do not put YOUR trust in fallacious words,*+ saying,
‘The temple* of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah,
the temple of Jehovah they are!’” — Jeremiah 7:4

The True God

This means everlasting life—that they might know you the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. — John 17:3, New American Standard Version

It’s not about a “name”, it’s about knowing the only true God.

I Never Knew You

Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing+ the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.+ 22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord,+ did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works* in your name?’+23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU!+ Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.+

The Workers of Lawlessness 

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

However, brothers, respecting the presence*+ of our* Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him,+ we request of YOU 2 not to be quickly shaken from YOUR reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression*+ or through a verbal message+ or through a letter+ as though from us, to the effect that the day+ of Jehovah* is here.

3 Let no one seduce YOU in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy*+ comes first and the man of lawlessness*+ gets revealed,+ the son of destruction.*+ 4 He is set in opposition+ and lifts himself up over everyone who is called “god” or an object of reverence, so that he sits down in the temple* of The God,* publicly showing himself to be a god.+ 5 Do YOU not remember that, while I was yet with YOU, I used to tell+ YOU these things?

6 And so now YOU know the thing+ that acts as a restraint,+ with a view to his being revealed in his own due time.+ 7 True, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work;+ but only till he who is right now acting as a restraint* gets to be out of the way.+ 8 Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus* will do away with by the spirit of his mouth+ and bring to nothing by the manifestation+ of his presence.+ 9 But the lawless one’s presence* is according to the operation*+ of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and portents+ 10 and with every unrighteous deception*+ for those who are perishing,+ as a retribution because they did not accept the love+ of the truth that they might be saved.+11 So that is why God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie,+ 12 in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth+ but took pleasure* in unrighteousness.+

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Nibbles

The Cabbage Patch Cousin-in-Law

The Cabbage Patch Cousin-in-Law The Cabbage Patch Cousin-in-Law seems to be the start of the story, in that whole the story starts in the middle and works itself out somewhere along the way towards the end.

Much like Carrie of Sex-and-the-City fame had her Mr. Big, we’ll leave the cousin-in-law known as the “Cabbage Patch Cousin-in-Law” and otherwise nameless. You know, to protect me from lawsuit, and not so much as protecting the not-so-innocent.

She’s been in the picture for nearly half my life. When we were all young, back when everyone used to get together on the holidays at Grandma’s house, she first entered the picture. My cousin’s previous girlfriend was really sweet, but had been given to awkward loud belches which seemed hardly possible from her petite frame, but alas, that’s how she’ll be remembered. The next girlfriend was Cabbage Patch. She too had been aware of the previous girlfriend and made fun of her belching. That’s all I remember of that.

It seems a year later they were getting married. She really wanted me to come out for the wedding, but my cousin had met her in college and they were way out in the middle of America land. She told me all about her best friend she wanted me to meet—he was going to sing at her wedding. She got married. He got married. I got married. Years pass.

I’m divorced and the scene is back at Grandma’s house. I had gotten it into my mind to take my Orange County born-and-bred southern California Jewish boyfriend to Indiana in February—his first time meeting the family. What isn’t hilarious about that idea?

The Cabbage Patch cousin-in-law and my cousin drove from middle of America to meet us in Indiana for the mini cousin reunion. Growing up in different parts of the country, we really hadn’t gotten to spend too much time together besides holidays. Now here we all were drinking—grown ups!

Cabbage Patch took to my SoCal boyfriend like white on rice. I think she dug that he was totally squeezable in that she’s got a few more pounds than extra herself kind of way. Another night later though and she comes diving in at me—he doesn’t believe in Jesus?!

I’m not sure what part of obvious she had missed.

The next night as he and I were literally standing by the door leaving to head back to California, she brings it up—she wants me to meet her best friend—who is just split up from his wife. (You remember, that one from years before that sang at her wedding.)

I was aghast. Honestly, I don’t remember what I said, if anything at all. I just remember Brian and I looking at each other. We were outta there.

Cut to years later. After four years of dating, I moved to San Francisco leaving my SoCal Jews-don’t-believe-in-Jesus boyfriend behind. (We’re still friends to this day.) Cabbage Patch cousin-in-law is visiting her best friend—you remember the one: the one I’ve been hearing about for the past FOURTEEN YEARS—in San Diego for Memorial Day, and I should come visit her! Um, yeah. Not happening…

We can meet half-way! She pestered me via email (oh, how I missed the days of snail mail) telling me all about her best friend who gets a little frisky when he drinks and how much fun we’d all have. Um, no. Besides, she has no idea that there is no half-way between San Francisco and San Diego.

Then I realize that I’m going to be in LA that weekend anyway. I give in, and agree to drive down to meet up with her and stay.

To be honest, it was more about the fact that I had met an adorable guy that weekend at a vineyard in Napa who also happened to be from San Diego, and we’d been texting back-and-forth.

I drive down from LA, and meet cute-vineyard boy (a blonde haired blue eyed Jewish boy) for sushi and hang with him and his friends that night. We danced and had a blast. The next morning “breakfast” is burgers and eventually I finally head over to see her and her best friend she’s been nagging me about for the last half of my life.

… to be continued.

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Correspondence, Religion

ChannelC OneApart

Association

Baptized at 12 years old coming from multiple generations on my [step] dad’s sideMelvin George Baxley—and my mom and [deceased] father came in [to the truth] together, baptized at the same time arm-in-arm, literally.

Now I am a Silent Lamb. Sacrifice me.

Family all still are “JW”, but I’ve been disfellowshipped twice.

I got back “in” this year to be able to speak with family but my parents pretty much shun me because my intent was to share and research the information I had learned of late about the religion.

Left

I’ve faded, immediately after reinstatement.

I live on the west coast and the timing went well as I moved for a job right after reinstatement.

So I am a ghost now. My family is east coast.

Perspective

I believe in God—even more so than before when it was a religious thing.

I am trying to learn what the bible really says.

Dealing with shunning

Nothing makes you crazier than being ignored and feeling as though you don’t belong.

My family wasn’t strict about it near the end this time around, but our relationships will never be the same after more than 5 years of shunning.

What is your objective for the Channel C panel?

To find association among like-minded people.

Somewhat more private and probably more intellectual than the posts I’ve read on the other public forums.

I’m not into bashing as a past time—Looking for a place that’s more mature [than www.jehovahs-witness.net].

Any other information you think is pertinent or interesting?

I recently started a site (I’m in technology as a profession) : seekjehovah.org.

It’s a work in progress with the intent to be found by witnesses, not immediately repel them, and instead perhaps reach people with information I wish I would have had sooner in life.

Thank you!

On Aug 12, 2012, from “cc-questions@channelc.org”

Angela:

Based on your responses and candor (below), I think you would be an excellent contributor to the Channel C forum.

I looked at your seekjehovah.org Website and it appears excellent as well. What a genuinely Christian endeavor, appropriate for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

What would you like for a user name and a password? I will register you and look forward to your participation in the discussions.Thanks for your interest in Channel C.

Blessings,
Channel C Admin

Angela M. Baxley <abaxley@gmail.com> 8/12/12 to cc-questions

thank you. How about “oneapart”.

Rosalie the Channel C admin, and friend of Franz.

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Doctrines, Religion

The Body of Christ

DAILY TEXT FROM THE WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY

Just as the body is one but has many members, and all the members of that body, although being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.—1 Cor. 12:12.

Jehovah created mankind to be interdependent. The human race exhibits a wide variety of looks, personalities, and skills. Additionally, he endowed the first humans with godly qualities that would enable them to cooperate with each other and to depend on each other. (Gen. 1:27; 2:18) Nevertheless, the world of mankind in general is now alienated from God and has never, as a whole, been able to act in unity. (1 John 5:19) Therefore, considering that the first-century Christian congregation was composed of people as diverse as Ephesian slaves, prominent Greek women, educated Jewish men, and former idol worshippers, their unity must have seemed miraculous. (Acts 13:1; 17:4; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 Tim. 6:1) True worship enables people to cooperate as harmoniously as the members of our own body.—1 Cor. 12:13w10 9/15 2:2, 3

When I read today’s daily text I wondered how many members of the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide realize that the Watchtower defines the members of the congregation they refer to as limited to only the anointed.

The Watchtower teaches that Christ is the head of the congregation—but that this congregation is only comprised of 144,000 people who are anointed to go to heaven. While the bible teaches there is a special ruling class of anointed in heaven who rule the Kingdom with Christ, no where does it teach these are the only anointed or only ones in heaven. Actually Revelation tells us that the Great Crowd that no man is able to number is in heaven rendering rendering him sacred service day and night in the temple at Revelation 7:9-17.

The Watchtower elaborates on the Great Crowd in heaven.

“The Greek word (na·os’) translated “temple” in John’s vision of the great crowd is more specific. In the context of the Jerusalem temple, it usually refers to the Holy of Holies, the temple building, or the temple precincts. It is sometimes rendered “sanctuary.”—Matthew 27:5, 51; Luke 1:9, 21; John 2:20.

Members of the great crowd exercise faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. They are spiritually clean, having “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Hence, they are declared righteous with a view to becoming friends of God and of surviving the great tribulation. (James 2:23, 25) In many ways, they are like proselytes in Israel who submitted to the Law covenant and worshiped along with the Israelites.

Of course, those proselytes did not serve in the inner courtyard, where the priests performed their duties. And members of the great crowd are not in the inner courtyard of Jehovah’s great spiritual temple, which courtyard represents the condition of perfect, righteous human sonship of the members of Jehovah’s “holy priesthood” while they are on earth. (1 Peter 2:5) But as the heavenly elder said to John, the great crowd really is in the temple, not outside the temple area in a kind of spiritual Court of the Gentiles. What a privilege that is! And how it highlights the need for each one to maintain spiritual and moral purity at all times!” — w02 5/1 pp. 30-31

The Watchtower tells us, “Those with an earthly hope discern that they themselves are not anointed members of the body of Christ, nor are they in the new covenant that Jehovah made with those who will rule with Jesus Christ. Since “the cup” represents the new covenant, only those in the new covenant partake of the emblems. Those looking forward to everlasting life in human perfection on earth under the Kingdom are neither baptized into Jesus’ death nor called to rule with him in heaven. Were they to partake of the emblems, it would signify something that is not true with respect to them. Thus, they do not partake, though they do attend the Memorial as respectful observers. They are thankful for all that Jehovah has done for them by means of his Son, including the extending of forgiveness on the basis of Christ’s shed blood.

The final sealing of the relatively small number of Christians called to reign with Christ in heaven is nearing completion. Until the end of their life of sacrifice on earth, the anointed are spiritually strengthened by partaking of the Memorial emblems. They feel a bond of unity with their brothers and sisters as members of Christ’s body. Their partaking of the emblematic bread and wine reminds them of their responsibility to remain faithful until death.—2 Peter 1:10, 11.”

The Insight on the Scriptures book talks about this symbolic body of Christ.

Symbolic Usage. Jesus Christ is spoken of as the Head of “the congregation, which is his body.” (Eph 1:22, 23; Col 1:18) This Christian body of people has no divisions racially, nationally, or otherwise, Jews and people of all nations being represented in it. (Ga 3:28; Eph 2:16; 4:4) All are baptized by holy spirit into Christ and into his death. They are, therefore, all baptized into one body. (1Co 12:13) Thus all the body follows the head, dying his kind of death and receiving his kind of resurrection.—Ro 6:3-5; see BAPTISM (Baptism Into Christ Jesus, Into His Death).

The apostle Paul uses the functioning of the human body to illustrate the operation of the Christian congregation, likening the members living on earth at any particular time to a body, with Christ as the invisible Head. (Ro 12:4, 5; 1Co 12) He emphasizes the importance of the place each member occupies, the interdependency, the mutual love and care, and the accomplishment of work. God has set each one in his position in the body, and through the various operations of the holy spirit the body performs what is necessary. The Head, Jesus Christ, as liaison member, supplies the members of the body the things they need through the “joints and ligaments,” the means and arrangements for supplying spiritual nourishment as well as communication and coordination, so that “the body” is spiritually well fed and each part is informed of the task to perform.—Col 2:19; Eph 4:16.

One who is an anointed member of the Christian congregation, the body of Christ, … the temple organization, … One who is a member of the body of Christ, as well as other dedicated persons who are associated with these spiritually begotten body members…”

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

An Apology to My Mother

Mom, I know that I’m scaring you. And I’m sorry for that.

I don’t know how to explain with words what I’m going through.

I can however share with you what I’m fascinated by, and perhaps you can judge whether or not I’m “okay”.

I’ve been studying the Bible for months now, and I’ve perservered despite the fear that what I would learn might mean that I would separated from my family. I miss you guys so much. You seem nearly as a conceptual thing to me as “daddy” is. I understand what that relationship is supposed to mean, but it’s not something I’ve experienced. Likewise, I don’t really know how to be a sister or to be a daughter, it seems so long ago that I was a part of a family. I’m not sure I ever knew how to interact like I belonged.

Here’s a night in the most recent nights of Angela:

I’m an experience designer, so know that it’s an “experience”. I’m giving you my recipe as it were. I could send you the “Notability” file for instance which recorded me and the background (music in this case) while I studied the Watchtower. You can go along as I highlight and respond, and can hear the music that I was listening to and how I interacted in my study with God.

So. First, it starts with Faith. Continue reading

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Culture, Prophecy

Rev 13:18

Solve a riddle: Put your heads together and figure out the meaning of the number of the Beast. It’s a human number: 666.

Whats the use of the most literal translation?

Here is where wisdom comes in: Let the one that has intelligence calculate the number of the wild beast, for it is a man’s number; and its number is six hundred and sixty-six.

STRONGS NT 5585: ψηφίζω
ψηφίζω; 1 aorist ἐψηφισα; (ψῆφος, which see); to count with pebbles, to compute, calculate, reckon: τήν δαπάνην, Luke 14:28;τόν ἀριθμόν, to explain by computing, Revelation 13:18. (Polybius,Plutarch, Palaeph., Anthol.; commonly and indeed chiefly in the middle in the Greek writings to give one’s vote by casting a pebble into the urn; to decide by voting.) (Compare: συγψηφίζω, καταψηφίζω,συμψηφίζω.)

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Eternity

Niblick's Paradise

Loving life so much
You’d not do anything to be there

The smoke gets in your eyes
And you want to live on earth—

So what’d you do to leave
The sea of man
To get to heaven?

They say there was a tree
On which they’d feed
And you wanted to get back here

But gone with a song
That made you want to sing along
From that muppet who had blue hair

You heard of a mountain
You saw it by his very hand once
Daddy warned you this would happen

He’d give anything to be here

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Doctrines, Religion

The Power of Holy Spirit

Daily Text from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society

You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you.—Acts 1:8.

Jesus knew that his disciples in their own strength were not capable of observing all that he had commanded. Considering the scope of their preaching commission, the strength of their opponents, and the frailty of the human flesh, it was clear that they needed superhuman power. Thus, just before his ascension to heaven, Jesus assured his disciples that they would receive divine power and added: “You will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth.” That promise began to have its fulfillment at Pentecost 33 C.E. when holy spirit empowered the followers of Jesus Christ to fill Jerusalem with their preaching. No opposition was able to halt it. (Acts 4:20) “All the days until the conclusion of the system of things,” Jesus’ faithful followers, including us, would be in urgent need of that same God-given strength.—Matt. 28:20w11 1/15 4:1, 2

From referenced Watchtower — w11 1/15 4:1, 2

Jesus promised his disciples that ‘they would receive power when the holy spirit arrived upon them.’ The terms “power” and “spirit” are distinct in their meaning. God’s spirit, his active force, describes energy that is projected and exerted on people or things to accomplish God’s will. Power, however, can be defined as the “ability to act or produce an effect.” It can lie dormant in someone or something until it is needed to produce a given result. Thus, holy spirit might be likened to the electric current that energizes a rechargeable battery, whereas power is more like the latent energy that is then stored in the battery. The power that Jehovah grants to his servants by means of holy spirit gives each one of us the ability to fulfill our Christian dedication and, when necessary, to resist negative forces that are exerted upon us.—Read Micah 3:8; Colossians 1:29.

Are you led by spirit?

Today’s text tells us “Jesus’ faithful followers, including us, would be in urgent need of that same God-given strength” as the “holy spirit that empowered the followers of Jesus Christ” at Pentecost 33 C.E.

Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father” for all who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons. If, then, we are children, we are also heirs: joint heirs with Christ. (Matthew 6:9; Romans 8:14,17)

For all who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons.+ 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.+ If, then, we are children, we are also heirs: heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs+ with Christ, provided we suffer+ together that we may also be glorified together.+ Consequently I reckon that the sufferings+ of the present season do not amount to anything in comparison with the glory+ that is going to be revealed in us. — Romans 8:14-18

Anti-Christ

Anti-Christ is translated literally “anti-anointed one”. As Christ is the Greek from the Hebrew word meaning Messiah, or “Anointed One”.

“Young children, it is the last hour,+ and, just as you have heard that antichrist is coming,+ even now there have come to be many antichrists;+ from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of our sort;+ for if they had been of our sort, they would have remained with us.+ But [they went out] that it might be shown up that not all are of our sort.+ And you have an anointing from the holy one;+ all of you have knowledge.+ I write you, not because you do not know the truth,+ but because you know it,+ and because no lie originates with the truth.+ “Who is the liar if it is not the one that denies that Jesus is the Christ?+ This is the antichrist,+ the one that denies the Father and the Son.+ Everyone that denies the Son does not have the Father either.+ He that confesses+ the Son has the Father also.+ As for you, let that which you have heard from [the] beginning remain in you.+ If that which you have heard from [the] beginning remains in you, you will also abide in union+ with the Son and in union with the Father.+ Furthermore, this is the promised thing that he himself promised us, the life everlasting.”+ — 1 John 2:18-25

“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. So now, little children,+ remain in union+ with him, that when he is made manifest+ we may have freeness of speech+ and not be shamed away from him at his presence.*+ If you know that he is righteous,+ you gain the knowledge that everyone who practices righteousness has been born from him.”+ — 1 John 2:18-29

“Everyone that pushes ahead*+ and does not remain+ in the teaching of the Christ does not have God.+He that does remain in this teaching is the one that has both the Father and the Son.+” — 2 John 9 :9

Insight into the Anti-Christ

The Insight book defines Anti-Christ as “against (or instead of) Christ.”

We know we are living in the last days—so then, who is “anti-anointed ones” or places themselves “‘instead’ of Christ”?

Anti-Anointed Ones

For whom has God reserved the privilege of partaking at the Lord’s Evening Meal? (Matthew 25:31-40; Revelation 14:1) God has reserved that privilege for individuals he has anointed with holy spirit to be “joint heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:14-18; 1 John 2:20) What, then, is the position of those who hope to live forever in a global paradise under Kingdom rule? (Luke 23:43; Revelation 21:3, 4Since they are not Jesus’ joint heirs with a heavenly hope, they attend the Memorial as respectful observers.—Romans 6:3-5. — Watchtower 2003 2/15 pp. 17-22

One Mediator, One Ransom

For there is one God,+ and one mediator+ between God+ and men,+ a man, Christ Jesus,+ who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all+ — 1 Timothy 2:5, 6

Instead of Christ—or God

Jesus Christ, is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is the Mediator between his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000 members.” —  Worldwide Security, p10 (1986)

“Let us now unmistakably identify Jehovah’s channel of communication for our day, that we may continue in his favor. … It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision.” — “Overseers of Jehovah’s People”, The Watchtower 1957 6/15 p. 370 par. 7

“Therefore Jesus said again: “Most truly I say to you, I am the door+ of the sheep. All those that have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers;+ but the sheep have not listened to them.+ I am the door;+ whoever enters through me will be saved, and he will go in and out and find pasturage.”+ — John 10:7-9

“And I have other sheep,+ which are not of this fold;+ those also I must bring,* and they will listen to my voice,+ and they will become one flock, one shepherd.+ This is why the Father loves me,+ because I surrender my soul,+ in order that I may receive it again.” — John 10:16, 17

“Jesus said to him: “I am the way+ and the truth+ and the life.+ No one comes to the Father except through me.+ If you men had known me, you would have known my Father also; from this moment on you know him and have seen him.”+ — John 14:6, 7

One body+ there is, and one spirit,+ even as you were called in the one hope+ to which you were called; one Lord,+ one faith,+ one baptism;+ one God+ and Father of all [persons], who is over all and through all and in all. Now to each one of us undeserved kindness+ was given according to how the Christ measured out the free gift.”+ — Ephesians 4:4-7

For where there are two or three gathered together in my name,+ there I am in their midst.”+ — Matthew 18:20

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