Watch-night service – The Good and the Bad

In February 2017 we published an article defying Teju’s logic of establishing the erroneous doctrine of divine healing. His logic was that since medicine and hospitals were first practiced by pagan, therefore, it is sinful and sinister to go to the hospital or consume medicine (see here). If that be true then TPM should cease from the tradition of conducting watch night service. Why? Because if taking medicine and going to the hospital is to be avoided because of its pagan origin, then watch night service must not also be conducted. Are we saying TPM should stop conducting watch night service? No! We are only saying inconsistency in practice and philosophy is a sign of hypocrisy. Hypocrite spares himself but is merciless in his demands on others. If they establish their demands on another by some weird reasons then they should be willing to apply the same to themselves. Before I begin going into details let me make my stand clear. I am not against conducting of watch night service. Rather I would say it is good to sit in presence of God instead of revelry with worldly friends. But there are some elements in watch night service of TPM that I prefer not to align myself in line with those practices.

Watch Night Service and tradition of making resolutions  

Watch-night service – The Good and the BadAs the watch night service begins we will witness believers and TPM workers standing and giving testimonies that God should pardon me for not keeping the promise which I made last year. TPM pastors will ask people to renew their promises. Many would make a promise like I will daily read the Bible, pray daily, attend all meetings unlike the previous year and so on. Why do I find this routine talk every year? How long have these been practiced? From where did this practice land in TPM?  Was it a leading of the Holy Spirit given to TPM oldies? Is this a command or instruction given in holy bible that believers in Christ are to renew their promise to God every year?

According to www.history.com the tradition of making New Year’s resolution started among ancient Babylonians. Check here.  This trend that people follow every year has been followed by mankind since ages. Ancient Romans made New Year resolutions every year. History says that Emperor Julius Caesar started celebrating New Year on January 1 instead of March 1. He had changed the lunar calendar to one based on sun instead of one based on the moon. This was done in honor Janus, the two-faced god – who was able to look back into the old year and forwards into the new. Citizens of Rome began making moral resolutions.  Gradually as the Rome and Church intermingled the tradition crept in churches too. But Catholic Churches made a little change. They changed the date of New Year from January 1 to March 25 and in some parts December 25 to do away with pagan tradition. Later Pope Gregory in the 16th century changed New Year again from March to January.  Catholics and Orthodox churches celebrate New Year as a midnight mass. The practice of praying at night till cock crows (morning) is known as Matins in Catholic Church. Find more here. According to one source practice of midnight mass on 31st December was put in motion in honor of Catholic pope Sylvester who was honored by Roman emperor Constantinople (check here).  Later John Wesley the founder of Methodist church rekindled watch night services as a godly alternative to times of drunken revelry, celebrated by others. Blacks celebrate it as independence from slavery since 1863. January was called as “emancipation proclamation”. At the stroke of midnight of 31st December 1862 slaves became independent when the law to forbid slavery came into force on 1 Jan 1863.

Balanced view

Is it then wrong to attend watch night service kept by TPM or any other church? No! I don’t think so! Just because something has its association with something unwanted does not mean we are to avoid it. As I said earlier, in the beginning of the article that it is indeed a good practice to spend time in presence of God. It good to be grateful to God! But not everything done in TPM watch night service is worth following. Especially (My opinion) the tradition of making resolutions every year! There is a parable in Matthew about two sons. Jesus questions which of the son pleased his father. One who made the resolution and promise to God and did not keep it and one who did not make any promise to God or any resolution but finally ended in doing the will of God. In the sermon on the mount Jesus said: “I say unto you do not make promise unto God (Do not swear) [Matt 5: 33-37].” Therefore based on above two scriptures I would cease from making new resolution every year and keep breaking it. Rather I prefer to be in presence of God with grateful heart thanking God “Hitherto thou has hast been good to me, and I am grateful for it. Be with me until the end of the world and take me in thy presence by taking me on the wings of thy faithfulness.”

Prophecies on the eve of 31st December and beginnings of New Year

How do we see New Year as? Is New Year for us is also beginning of new time for God? Are our calendars God’s calendar? Does God align himself with Gregorian calendar instantiated by Roman Kings? Isn’t the New Year just another revolution of the earth around the sun? A person might be celebrating the New year in India but there might be another human being alive on another part of the world who might be still in old year (because of earth’s rotation and time difference). My point is that our reference point is not God’s reference point. God doesn’t see things as we see. Most of TPM folks would be eagerly waiting for God’s promise for them in New Year. They might even hear some prophecies like “Old things have passed away and I make all things new.” I have heard this prophecy often times on Yew Year. A believer too engrossed in worldly care thinks God will remove all past bad situations from my life and from January one God is going to give me a lot of money and blessings and other materialistic blessings.

There will be a lot of jumping and shouting during one hour prior and after January 2018. What is my take on all this? I say “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim 6:6). Being grateful to God for past year is godliness and being content with eternal life and all that he has given is a great gain. Paul also says “Be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6-8).” Ravi Zacharias has a beautiful message. I’ll share the video just below. Before that, I’ll brief you what the video is about. Ravi says that since ancient times kings and knights used to seek divine guidance for future. They used to ask pagan prophetess whether they should go to war or not and then the prophetess being in spirit would utter her prophecy. Similarly, it is a general human tendency to look into future and seek peace in it. TPM believers and saints do the same. They expect a lot of good prophecies in New Year.  Ravi says that same thing was with people of England in times of world war. And then King George gave his radio message through a poem. I hope you are smart enough to understand what I am trying to say. May God bless you!

 

I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year,
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’
And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way.’
I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year,
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’
And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way.’

 

 

17 Comments on “Watch-night service – The Good and the Bad”

  1. Apt. message there by Ravi for the new year. Again in few hours there will be this final count down where the retro will get louder till the clock strikes 12. The clergy will say now there is 5, 4, 3, 2 & 1 minutes and bingo there we are. Then there will be a intentional pause for some believer to prophecy on promises for new year as indicated above to placate the souls. Followed will be a tray of printed cards with promises going around that we are supposed to pick……and it goes on. The business starts here. Blind believers will fall in line to be blessed for the new year, businessmen would invite clergy to bless their businesses so that they thrive materialistically and reap profits and there are n number of traditions they all follow to ensure they are BLESSED. The fact is most of them do get blessed materialistically and content on receiving what they wanted…a well paying job, removal of hurdles, new properties, good health, profits…. and their beliefs in clergies reinforced. God in all his wisdom is at work to sieve the chaff from the wheat. Thank God that graciously our eyes are enlightened (more so this year) and we can definitely look forward to progressing our pilgrims path through the narrow gate in the new year trusting ONLY in HIM and not any third party individuals.

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    1. The best part is the countdown followed by the loud and intentional “filling in the spirit” (lowercase “s” is intentional).
      Seriously, I too have struggled with this thought that does God really do this over and over again for every timezone?
      As far as I know, the times, days, seasons and years in the Bible are based on both – sun and moon (luni-solar calendar – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunisolar_calendar ).
      It’s just a tradition that is being followed and feels difficult and even blasphemous to let go.

      1. During weekends and on New Year’s eve the world goes to the clubs and they get drunk/stoned and sway to loud music while in TPM it is the same except people get drunk/stoned on TPM sprit and they scream and sway under its influence. They call it Tarry Meeting/watch night service and the minister is the DJ.

  2. Is this site dedicated to Ravi Zacharias?
    There might be so many beautiful messages for New Year. Time and again only this name crops in this site. Is this site promoting Ravi Zacharias and his ministries.

    In the Old Testamanent kings used to enquire from prophets which God also authorized. Example David, Jehoshaphat etc.
    In the New Testament also there were prohesyings about St Paul and predictions about Famine etc.

    You cannot criticize that all prophesyings are false.

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    1. Happy New Year, Anonymous.
      Well, I’m surprised you didn’t take the name of Zac Poonen! I guess, his name is taken more on this website. Even John Piper. Nevertheless, what is wrong in talking about the men of God who boldly preach the truth, unlike the folks at tpm who mix a lies with truth?
      And where have you seen anywhere on this website that prophesying is criticized or forbidden?
      It’s the tpm-style that is being talked about, in case you didn’t realize.
      Anonymous, please let go off your false tpm-stand and dive into the Word of God rather.
      Be blessed in this New Year and let the truth set you free.
      God bless you.

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    2. Oh yes, brother Anonymous. How did you come to know that Ravi Zacharias is our primary Sponsor? I am glad of your prophetical insight on that.
      We have quite a few sponsors who are quite generous with their sponsorship that we could carry this far. He has even promised to increase our staff salaries from Jan 2018.
      Had it not be Ravi Zacharias, we would have stopped our work in the first month itself and this Admin guy would have been begging on the streets for his sustenance. Marvellous.


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    3. In TPM prophecies come right at 12:00 Midnight for watch night service. And of course, all these prophecies come from ZION the Throne of God as is reiterated by the so-called prophet to authenticate the source. How does that align with 2 Peter 1:21 where it is stated that Prophecies do not come by Human will? Now dear anonymous please do not think we are so stupid to think that such manipulations are from GOD.


      For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:21

    4. @ Anonymous
      Bible is very clear and there is no second opinion to it. Despise not prophecies. So we are not despisying all prophesies.

      I think prophecy is not despised but the mentality or tendency of human mind to seek material benefits, words of comfort (materialistic ) is critisized by ravi. This attitude is both dangerous and unexpected from mature Christians. Dangerous because if these prophecies are false (which I fear most of them are), then you will be like “burnt child dreads fire,” when reality hits you. There is big possibility that people who rely too much on prophecies might end up being athiest when reality hit them. Secondly this attitude to run after prophets ( most believers come to church for this reason primarily) is not a sign of maturity. Observe how believers and ministers of Tpm are so much excited about prophecies. Why can’t they be steady n calm? Why so fuss. Isn’t what we have been gifted (eternal life) above all. If we really value it, then I don’t think we would be so excited and so anxious about what will happen next moment or next week. If like Abraham we are looking for that city, then why are we so anxious about what is going to happen next moment or next week ? Why so much jumping n dancing if you hear prophet prophesying “I will destroy your enemies” . Enough to know that our eternal destinies are secure in God’s hand. What ever happens next week or next moment, we are not much interested in it – why ? – because our eyes are steady and focus on our eternal destination. If this be our attitude then we won’t play God God by trying to peek in future .(Don’t compare NT maturity with few of OT events to justify immature behaviour). No wonder Paul says “be anxious for nothing.”

      @ admin – great poem
      @ anonymous – meditate on those lines..

      Put you hand in hand of God.
      It will better than light.. And safer than known..

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    5. @Anonymous, Sir,
      Using your yardstick, based on the number of articles focusing on TPM’s deep doctrines and TPM’s false teachers and false prophets, I think it is safe to say that this site is dedicated to TPM/NCPC/NTC and its leaders.

  3. Christianity is the Updated Religion having its roots in Paganism founded by Greek Homos and Roman Orgies Organisers to having their sin easily forgiven….Christ is a man Worshiping a Man is Forbidden…U may think I’m a Hindu..Muslim…but I was a CPM Believer… And I Converted to Judaism….. law of the G-D is like a Honey to the Soul and a Light to my path…said by the
    World’s greatest wise man Solomon

    1. So Dear Pravin,
      I guess you might have got yourself circumcised as per the Judaic law. Do you follow the 613 laws of the old testament?

    2. @Pravin .

      Very nice . You are a ‘Gentile man ‘Pravin . . . , oh did i call ya gentile .? pls dnt mind. that was a typo . .

    3. @Pravin, from your comment it appears that you were never a christian but a CPM believer and hence not surprised that you have embraced Judaism.

      I feel sorry for you my friend as you are still lost. Hope God will have mercy on us.

      This place will be of no value to you .

  4. 1 John 2:22-23
    [22]Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
    [23]Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

    So we know what spirit will behind it.

  5. 2 John 1:9-11
    [9]Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
    [10]If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting;
    [11]for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

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