Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Former Polygamist & Witch Doctor, Helped To Make Lifestyle Changes

This brother's experience isn't something that the average person deals with in regards to marriage and career, but I wanted to include it to show just how willing he was to make the necessary changes in his life in order to please God by living up to his moral requirements. So it's more of a: "if he can do it, so can I" type of story,...showing that it's never 'too late' to change, and it's never 'too great' an obstacle for Jehovah to help us overcome, in order to progress spiritually.

(experience of Isaac Tshehla on pgs 158 & 159 of the 2007 Yearbook)

Isaac and three of his friends—Matlabane, Lukas, and Phillip—grew up in the Sekhukhune Mountains situated in the northeastern part of South Africa. These four young men decided to leave the Apostolic Church because of the hypocrisy they saw among church members. Together they began searching for the true religion. In time, they lost contact with one another.
Three of the four friends eventually became Jehovah’s Witnesses, together with their wives. But what happened to Isaac? He had followed in the footsteps of his father, who was a renowned witch doctor. Isaac’s motive was to make money, and he became wealthy. He owned a hundred cattle and had a large bank balance. As is traditionally expected of wealthy people, Isaac also had two wives. Meanwhile, Matlabane decided to search for Isaac and show him how his three former friends had found the true religion.
Isaac was pleased to meet Matlabane again and was eager to know why his old friends had become Jehovah’s Witnesses. A Bible study was started with Isaac in the brochure Enjoy Life on Earth Forever! Picture number 17 in the local-language edition shows an African witch doctor throwing bones onto the ground to divine an answer to a client’s question. Isaac was amazed to learn from the cited scripture, Deuteronomy 18:10, 11, that such spiritistic practices are displeasing to God. He was disturbed by picture number 25 of a polygamous man and his wives. The picture includes the citation of 1 Corinthians 7:1-4 to show that a true Christian cannot have more than one wife.
Isaac was eager to obey the Scriptures. At the age of 68, he dismissed his second wife and legalized his marriage to his first wife, Florina. He also stopped practicing as a witch doctor and threw away his divining bones. During one of Isaac’s Bible studies, two clients arrived from a long distance. They had come to pay him 550 rand ($140, U.S., at the time) that they owed him for his services as a witch doctor. Isaac refused to accept the money and gave the men a witness, explaining that he had given up his former practice and was now studying the Bible with the intention of becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Soon Isaac reached his goal. In 1985 he and Florina were baptized, and for the past few years, Isaac, now aged 90, has served as an elder in the Christian congregation.
*there's been quite alot of success in the area of polygamy due to firmly upholding what the Bible says on the matter and not 'watering down' the message. Many religions will 'look the other way' when it comes to serious sins and immoral behavior simply in order to retain membership...demonstrating that they prefer to be "men-pleasers," rather than pleasers of God (Colossians 3:22, 23)...even though they are under obligation to teach people the truth from the Scriptures.
But examples like this, show that there are righteous-hearted people out there, who willingly respond to the Bible's direction by making big changes in their lives when they come to find out how God views the matter... (without religious leaders having to make 'adjustments' to the message in order to keep church attendance up).