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Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?

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So many people the world over are still in the dark as to who should properly be referred to as Jehovah’s witness. The truth is that the title does not refer to every believer in Christ but to a select few. In the words of Saint Paul: “And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron”. (Hebrews 5:4).
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines the word ‘witness’ as “a person who sees something happen and is able to describe it to other people,” while the Oxford Universal Dictionary defines the word as “one who is called on, selected, or appointed to be present at a transaction, so as to be able to testify to its having taken place. One who is or was present and is able to testify from personal observation”.
A Jehovah’s witness is, therefore, a person who is called, chosen or appointed and made by Jehovah (God) himself to see and understand spiritual things so as to be competent to testify to the truth of His word. Such persons are able to do this by virtue of the anointing of the Holy Spirit which distinguishes the receivers who are always few and rare from other Christians.
God said: “If there be a prophet among you, I, the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream”. (Numbers 12:6).
This statement was made by God Almighty to make it clear that Moses was His mouth-piece or prophet. But Mirian, who was presumptuous, claiming that God also spoke through her was punished with leprosy. (verses 9-15). It is God Almighty alone who chooses His servants to work for Him. Not man.
David who was a king and a prophet said: “The spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and his word was in my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2). What is more, Saint Peter wrote: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”. (2 Peter 1:21) The Bible shows clearly that all such ones who are chosen by God must speak faithfully and truthfully in His name. (Jeremiah 23: 28).
All those prophets ordained by God in Israel who received His inspiration in the days of old before the first coming of Jesus Christ were His witnesses. Referring to them, God declared: “Ye are my witnesses, said the Lord, and my servants whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am He; before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me”. (Isaiah 43:10). The address was not directed to every Israelite or Jew. The Most High was addressing His chosen servants and they were the prophets whom He ordained as His witnesses.
Of all the prophets of old, John the Baptist was the last before Christ. He was Jehovah’s witness sent to testify to the identity of Jesus Christ, the light. It is written of him,: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light.” (John 1: 6-8).
The ancient prophets of God were typical of anointed servants in the Christian era. Concerning Jesus Christ, the Almighty God Jehovah, through His prophet Isaiah, declared prophetically: “Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people”. (Isaiah 55:4). When Jesus Christ was brought before Pilate, he stated positively that he came to the world to bear witness to the truth. And he is known as the faithful and true witness. (John 18: 37; Revelation 3:14; 1: 5).
The early Apostles of Jesus Christ were also ordained witnesses of Jehovah by reason of their anointing. During Christ’s ministry on earth, he promised to send the comforter, the spirit of truth, to his apostles, according to John 14:26; 16:13. “But when the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the father, even the spirit of truth, which proceeded from the Father, he shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning”. (John 15:26-27).
By virtue of the anointing, each of the Jehovah’s witnesses does not need to go to any seminary or school of theology to learn about God as they are taught by God Himself in spirit. The Bible says: “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him”. ( I John 2:27). See also Galatians 1: 11-17.
After Christ’s resurrection and before his ascension, he confirmed his promise to the apostles saying: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witness unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth”. (Acts 1:8).
When the place of Judas Iscariot was to be filled, Peter the apostle, addressing the disciples of Christ that were gathered, said: “Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection”. (Acts 1: 21-22).
Mathias was thus ordained to take part in Christ’s ministry and apostleship. He with other 11 apostles received the anointing of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. What happened on the day of Pentecost shows that it was only the 12 apostles that received the anointing and that apostles are all men. “And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, what meaneth this? Others mocking said, these men are full of wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: (Acts 2:12-14)”.
The Bible shows that by virtue of the anointing, the apostles were able to dispense the word of God convincingly and with boldness. “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4: 33).
Although, Jesus Christ had many disciples – both men and women –in his days on earth, but it was the apostles who were always referred to as his witnesses chosen of God. Saint Peter, speaking about Jesus Christ and his good works, said: “And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree. Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly; not to all people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead”. (Acts 10:39-41).
From this statement of Saint Peter, it is clear that not all disciples were witnesses. Apart from the twelve apostles who received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, others were later on chosen and anointed by God through Jesus Christ, as His witnesses.
What baffles me most is the argument that if women are anointed by God, they ought to exercise equal rights and privileges with men of the same status in leading and teaching His flock. Why then should they be forbidden to speak in the church or to teach?
Toby writes from Port Harcourt.

 

Bethel Toby

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Opinion

Job Creation Can Reduce Crime

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Crime is on the increase in Nigeria. And some public affairs analysts have attributed the upsurge in crime in the country to the high level of unemployment. Breaking down of law and order is becoming a trend that is growing fast in the land. Illegality is fast becoming legality in the country. Criminal-minded citizens are using lack of employment opportunities witnessed in Nigeria to swindle some innocent Nigerians.
This is because some people are desperate to get rich through all means and cost available to them. And so, some fall prey to the cheats and fraudsters in the society. Some jobless people have been defrauded and killed by their perceived employers. Few weeks ago, the social and mainstream media were filled with news of a young lady who was killed in cause of searching for employment from wrong person in Akwa Ibom State.
So many networking and Ponzi businesses have sprung up in the guise of making people rich with ease. And some people are being swindled of their money on daily basis. The trend of creating platforms to dupe people is at alarming stage in Nigeria.
Today, betting is a lucrative venture that almost everyone wants to invest in. And in some cases, one would always act to cause someone to miss his long-awaited expectations.
Kidnapping is carried out on daily basis for ransom to be paid by the victims or the victims’ families. This is dangerous to national development. A lazy man and a hardworking man need food to eat when hunger comes. The quest to make money without labour is a dangerous approach in the country. Yahoo boys and girls are everywhere making innovation to defraud people of their hard-earned money saved in the banks. And everything is blamed on poverty and lack of employment opportunities. The security agencies in the country have not been able to bring the high crime rate under control.
The government is not seen to be working because of high magnitude of crime rate in the land. Every complaint of crime hinges on unemployment. That may seem as a fact but is not total. Some who indulge in crime are working class and some come from well-to-do families. The crime rate is unassuming, especially financial crimes.
Observationally, it is like stealing is fast becoming a norm. This is worrisome. The state of insecurity is not helping matters in Nigeria. And it is time for the Federal Government to use full force to restore relative peace in the country. Insecurity does not support job creation in any country of the world.
It is high time the government came down and look at the plight of the people. Some of the major manufacturing companies in the country had folded up or relocated to another country because of the unfriendly and harsh environment for businesses.
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), government creates policies and laws that drive the economy and businesses in that country. Today, almost every Nigerian knows and talks about the city of Dubai in the UAE. The city is a business destination to most of the business moguls in the world.
Therefore, the governments in Nigeria should formulate policies and laws that will convince investors to establish their businesses in the country and that will, in turn, create job opportunities for the teeming population that are jobless. It is said that a lazy mind is the devil’s workshop. Therefore, Nigerian government should not allow the minds of young Nigerians to be devil’s workshop; where crime is formulated and executed to the detriment of all.
Some of the loans collected by the Federal Government from nations and international financial bodies, should be used for job creation for the youths who are using their energy the wrong way. Nigerian government can reduce crime rate in the country through aggressive and holistic approach towards job creation.
Joblessness has created high rate of drug use in Nigeria. Some ignorant citizens think that taking of some hard drugs can relieve them of their state of hopelessness. Nigerians want a society where hope can be restored and peace will reign. Drug abuse is common and it is inimical to progress and peace in the society.
If some who indulge in crime are engaged by government to earn a living somewhere, it can help to reduce the crime rate witnessed in the country now. Indeed, all the level of governments in the country should move their tentacle towards job creation. And this should be done with a clear-cut policy and programme backed by enabling laws.
Hunger does not know political party and ethnic group. Therefore, it is time for the government to rethink and adopt workable template towards job creation in Nigeria. Crime is evil. The diversification of the economy towards agriculture, if properly followed, will create jobs for the people.
Ogwuonuonu wrote from Port Harcourt.

By: Frank Ogwuonuon

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Opinion

That Vaccine Mandate

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Currently, many countries, including the United States of America, would demand for vaccine mandate as a condition for granting travel visa to anyone. Such policy is justifiable because self-preservation is a vital law for all living entities. COVID-19 pandemic has been quite a disturbing global phenomenon that no country can afford to expose its citizens to avoidable dangers, even if it requires placing restrictions on movements and travels. People carry various things as they move about.
News headline: “N194bn COVID-19 Allocation to Three States Missing, BudgIT Alleges” – The Tide newspaper, Monday, September 13, 2021 (front page). Without going into details of that report, or mentioning the three states involved, one recalls an alarm from a senior Nigerian in 2020, describing COVID-19 as a global scam or smoke screen. The vital issue here is that since its outbreak, COVID-19 pandemic is a controversy (like HIV/AIDS), with various interpretations and opinions. The variations are many and instructive.
Another issue relating to the global pandemic is the controversy concerning the effect of human volition or the mind, over matter. Researchers call this controversy the Placebo Effect. Placebo is defined as a substance given to a patient instead of medicine, without telling them it is not real, so that they get better because they think they are taking medicine. This has to do with the effect of belief, faith, confidence and morale booster on increased human capacity, energy and well-being. Some would say love is medicine.
Without going into details of extensive research works done with regards to the transforming effects of positive attitude, it would suffice to say that human volition, operating through the mind, is a vital, ready weapon which we cannot ignore. Dr E. G. White would tell us that: “It is the duty of every person, for his own sake, and for the sake of humanity, to inform himself in regard to the laws of life and conscientiously to obey them. All need to become acquainted with that most wonderful of all organism, the human body. They should study the influence of the mind upon the body and of the body upon the mind, and the laws by which they are governed”.
Much had been said and written by well-meaning individuals about the need to guard our thought and the mind with all diligence, because of their vital role in human well-being. Even the things which we dread and fear most, would lose their power over us, if we know the truth about them. Surely, there is no blemish but the mind, and no darkness but ignorance. Psychologists would talk about the law of Reversed Effort, which causes fears and doubts to sap vital energy in us, thus exposing us to dangers and depriving us of natural immune system.
So, the COVID-19 global pandemic, like the HIV/AIDS controversy, has the possibility of opening our eyes and expanding our consciousness, to be able to know better the effects of our thoughts and deeds. The alleged missing of money allocated to combat the COVID-19 scourge must have some underlying factors, whether or not any fraud is involved. The truth is that the news story reflects a peculiar human weakness.
Destructive human weaknesses include the propensity to cheat, defraud, call white black and black white, according as we are paid. Thus, avarice, greed and myopia, blind and deaden human conscience which is meant to serve as an effective in-built guide through the wilderness of life. Man can destroy himself and also corrupt others through personal weaknesses which become too hard to curb. From little beginnings and continual indulgence, weaknesses grow into propensities which then become weapons of self-destruction. COVID-19 is an idiom.
So much had been said, off-records and from the grapevine, concerning the beginning or origin of COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years. Some people, including religious leaders, have associated it with “Judgement, Millennium and Rapture”, such that the Vaccine Mandate is interpreted as “Mark of the Beast. Those who refuse to bear mark of the beast would be denied many things, including travel visa, etc. The speculations, controversies and gossips go on and on, behind which lies impenetrable dark clouds. COVID-19 and the Beast!
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has not been able to tell us the origin or politics of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the fact that it is a present threat which those who doubted its reality are not spared. Its controversies cover the origin, management, dispensing of palliative measures, deaths associated with COVID-19, drugs or vaccines for the pandemic, and now the disappearance of money allocated to combat the scourge. No one is sure who is speaking from what angle of interest or what political, economic and ethical cover-ups may be involved. We keep wondering!
Beyond the sound, fury and shenanigans associated with COVID-19 and Vaccine Mandate, there are certain issues vital for the Nigerian audience. One of such issues has to do with global commercialism and the possibility of scam, whereby the pandemic and the attendant vaccine mandate, provide opportunities for smart interest groups to play some games. Since COVID-19 could not be associated with originating from Africa, like HIV/AIDS, African nations cannot claim any immunity on the ground of being used to malaria fever. COVID-19 is different from malaria.
If COVID-19 and malaria share similarities, then vaccine mandate would not be compulsory for Blacks, even though malaria drugs feature in the other. An opportunity comes for some vested interest groups to use vaccine mandate as a political, economic or religious weapon. Already some religious groups are out with opinions and interpretations which would run counter to state policies and mandates. When faith and belief system become political issues or weapons, then Boko Haram phenomenon comes in.
Security challenges facing humanity currently come largely from secret dealings, pacts, gang-ups and cover-ups, whereby some interest groups want to take advantage of others. Issue of power comes in, whereby the gangsterist policy of “who wields power, makes the rule and takes the gold”, applies. Global economy and commercialism rule in modern politics whereby power is sought and held for the purpose of control. Power blocks, local and global, have long-term agenda whereby every social institution serves as an accomplice in the project, including science.
Dr Amirize is a retired lecturer from the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.

By: Bright Amirize

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Opinion

Nigerian Banks And Customers’ Burdens

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The banking system in Nigeria has been a burden to the banking public over the years. Some banks do not give adequate attention to their customers. They rather abandon the customers’ complaints or request without cogent reasons.
Customer complaints are inevitable, no matter how streamlined one’s business may look they must always be acknowledged and dealt with efficiently. By ignoring or dismissing the complaints or requests of customers, the bank is telling the public that their opinion and patronage don’t matter. Many business owners see complaints or demands management as time consuming and frustrating to an efficient system, whereas such complaints can be resolved quickly and easily.
When a customer first lodges a complaint, there is need for the authority to take bold step in order to tackle such problem confronting the complainant. It can be difficult to remain impassive in the face of criticisms, but an emotional response will only serve to irritate the customer further.
The authorities are expected to give their customers full attention as desired and carefully listen to the whole problem before responding. Put yourselves in their shoes, if you had a problem you would want someone to listen and solve it.
Appearing disinterested or attempting to argue to discourage the customer based on the complaint lodged will only exacerbate the situation. There is no need to jump the gun, rather one should deal with such complaints on a regular basis, of which many have handled similar cases before now. However, complaints of esteemed customers are usually unique to the bank staff because resolution of such often attract financial gratification.
Treating their cases as important individuals requires listening to their problems in full, which will go a long way to strengthen the relationship existing between banks and their customers only when attention is given to complaints or demands from customers at our various banks. It is easy to be defenseless, particularly if the management doesn’t believe they are at fault. However, they have to put themselves together and feel the pains of their customers, especially when they are at the receiving end of such experience; would they personally be satisfied? If the blame lies on a particular member of staff, it is often best to remove the customer from their presence.
Always use one’s initiative when dealing with customers’ complaints. This can defuse tension and emotion, and help customers to re-evaluate their anger.
However, never pass the customer around from person to person as each complaint or demand should ideally be handled by a particular staff. Therefore, such person should always ensure that the staff assigned to the case has the impetus to deal with the situation.
Once the customers had aired their grievances, the staff on duty should immediately give a sincere apology. Sometimes, apology is all it takes to placate an angry customer; sometimes, a complaint should be followed by a request for compensation, typically through a refund or a voucher. In this premise, the staff remains calm when dealing with a complaint or demand even if the customer becomes irate or confrontational, the ultimate aim would be to turn the\ bankers’ negative experience into a positive one, but arguing back will only make the situation worse.
Customer complaints should always be resolved as quickly as possible and allow sympathy to be the watchword once you have listened to their concern, in order to quell the heat of the matter for better result.
As a public servant, a bank staff should be able to create a bond between him and the customer, so that they know you have heard their concern and are going to work with them to resolve the impasse. The bank should offer solution to their customer’s burden, provide feedback to such problem and execute the solution, instead of creating more difficulties in the life of the complainants.
Customers are made to be treated with care, kindness, love and respect. The banking system in Nigeria should learn how to manage issues effectively, especially those that emanate from their banks, where they are expected to provide suitable machines that will accommodate the needs of the customers; example, the Automated Teller Machine (ATM), because the banks cannot function well without the customers’ patronage and contribution.
Customers are the reason for the banking system in Nigeria.

By: Kpobari Barizaa
Barizaa wrote in from Bori.

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