QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
Regarding Governing Body
♦ 03/13/12 | Does the Governing Body approve of this website?
On March 13, 2012, we received the following comment:
“The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses give spiritual food to God's people today. Do The Governing Body approve this web page?”
To the author, thank you for your inquiry. However, it would be inappropriate for us to answer the question. The Governing Body is the only party who can provide you with a satisfactory and accurate answer. We know they are aware of this website, so we suggest you direct your question to them.
In the meantime, we would direct you to an experience of the Apostle John who was faced with a similar dilemma, as recorded in Mark and Luke.
“John said to him: ‘Teacher, we saw a certain man expelling demons by the use of your name and we tried to prevent him, because he was not accompanying us.’ But Jesus said: ‘Do not try to prevent him, for there is no one that will do a powerful work on the basis of my name that will quickly be able to revile me; for he that is not against us is for us.” – Mark 9:38-40
“In response John said: ‘Instructor, we saw a certain man expelling demons by the use of your name and we tried to prevent him, because he is not following with us.’ But Jesus said to him: ‘Do not you men try to prevent [him], for he that is not against you is for you.” – Luke 9:49-50
We believe that a fair appraisal of this website will reveal that the information here is “for” Jehovah’s Witnesses, not “against” them. We are working to build up the congregation, not tear it down. Further, a fair appraisal will also reveal that this website in harmony with the Christ and his teachings – it is “for” Christ, not “against” him.
Everything here is supported by scripture and sound reasoning. And we solicit the input of any and all persons who believe that we have misstated some information. Under those circumstances, we will either provide a scriptural explanation for our position or we will make a swift correction.
Yes, the Governing Body has elected to be the spokesman for the ‘faithful and discrete slave who is giving the domestics their food at the proper time.’ (Matthew 24:45) But that does not preclude the individual among that body from providing spiritual food to their brothers. Look around you. Do you not see the friends giving spiritual food in their community? Do you not see elders encouraging other elders? Do you not see pioneers encouraging other pioneers? Do you not see older married sisters encouraging younger married sisters? It would be odd if they were required to get the approval of the Governing Body before they can offer spiritual assistance to their fellow believers. Why would it be any different for the body of anointed Christians? As you may know, the anointed Body of Christ are scattered abroad. So we find that the most effective way to reach them is through an international website.
We cannot imagine that the Governing Body would discourage anointed Christians from encouraging one another. We suspect they will respond to you in harmony with what is presented here. But we do not know for sure. If you make the inquiry to them and they provide a response, please let us know so that we can follow up with them if necessary.
To any member of the Governing Body who is reading this response, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. And if anyone wishes to contact us in confidence, please let us know that you want the inquiry to be confidential and provide an email address so we can respond privately.
♦ Follow Up reply to 3/13/12 (Should we ask questions?)
On March 14, 2012, we received the following comment which we believe is a reply to our response on March 13, 2012:
“The normal is that perhaps we are talking about something that appeared in the literature. We do not discuss spiritual issues. If we have questions, we must keep it to ourselves and wait for answers in the literature. But with interested we can discuss spiritual things.”
To the author, we want to express our sincere thanks to you for your inquiry and forthright comments. As a result of your courage and openness, we are able to discuss this very important issue with the entire body.
We must say that your comments touched us very deeply for it appears to us that you believe yourself to be a sheep without a shepherd, or at the very least, with a shepherd who has gone on a long journey. The idea that you must keep questions about spiritual things to yourself until the matter is randomly addressed in a future Watchtower publication is extremely distressing. And it highlights the importance of a website such as this one.
We are troubled to hear that when you get together with other like-minded brothers and sisters, you “do not discuss spiritual issues.” How will you apply the counsel of Paul?
“[T]hat there may be an interchange of encouragement among you, by each one through the other’s faith?” – Romans 1:12
“If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any sharing of spirit, if any tender affections and compassions, make my joy full in that you are of the same mind and have the same love, being joined together in soul, holding the one thought in mind.” – Philippians 2:1-2
“Therefore keep comforting one another and building one another up, just as you are in fact doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“And let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you behold the day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25
These scriptures are discussing, not formal public meetings (although they may apply to meetings), but personal brotherly interactions. You are counseled to discuss spiritual things among yourselves.
And how is it that you can discuss “spiritual things” with interested persons whom you meet in your ministry, but not with your brothers and sisters in the faith? All we can conclude is that you feel some fear in asking questions. But fear not! Jesus requires that we ask questions:
“Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you. For everyone asking receives, and every seeking finds, and to everyone knocking it will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8
In fact, asking questions is the first action we must take in achieving the full-grown stature of mature Christians. See our article entitled “Expanding Your Spiritual Vision.”
You remind us of the Samaritan woman who spoke with Jesus at Jacob’s well:
“‘Our forefathers worshiped in this mountain; but you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where persons ought to worship.’ Jesus said to her: ‘Believe me, woman, The hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you people worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, because salvation originates with the Jews. Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for, indeed, the Father is looking for suchlike ones to worship him. God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.’ The woman said to him: ‘I know that Messiah is coming, who is called Christ. Whenever that one arrives, he will declare all things to us openly.’ Jesus said to her: ‘I who am speaking to you am he.’” – John 4:20-26
She clearly had a love for God and was worshiping in the best way she knew how, but only according to the things seen by the eyes. She worshiped at a particular mountain, no doubt coupled with the traditions and rituals that were a part of that worship. And she expected Jesus to tell her to worship at a different mountain along with the Jews and their formalistic and ritual worship. Instead, Jesus told her that the time had come for all persons to worship with “spirit and truth.” Jesus was redirecting worship from outside of yourself, to worship within yourself – your own connection with the Father as a spirit anointed son or daughter.
This new form of worship involves your own spirit and the truth that Jesus openly declared. It is as Paul said:
“So, then, brothers, we are under obligation, not to the flesh to live in accord with the flesh; for if you live in accord with the flesh you are sure to die; but if you put the practices of the body to death by the spirit, you will live. 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.” – Romans 8:12-17
To help us develop this spiritual way of worship, Jesus told his followers:
“I have many things yet to say to you, but you are not able to bear them at present. However, when that one arrives, the spirit of truth, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own impulse, but what things he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things coming.” – John 16:13-14
Yes, Jesus wants all your questions answered. And while he provides “gifts in men” (Ephesians 4:8), he also provides his spirit of truth. Once you understand how the spirit of truth works (See “Expanding Your Spiritual Vision”), you will not need to be asking anyone any questions. It will be as John says:
“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.” –1 John 2:27
That is not to say that you will not need the “gifts in men.” But your fellowship with God is different from your fellowship with your brothers. Socially, there will always be a need for a brotherhood, a fellowship, as shown above. Even the Proverbs tell us:
“By iron, iron itself is sharpened. So one man sharpens the face of another.” — Proverbs 27:17
But not even these faithful men are lords over your faith.
“[T]here is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and we through him.” – 1 Corinthians 8:6
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 2:5
They are, instead, fellow workers, men working along with you, leading you, not to themselves, but to the Christ:
“What, then, is Apollos? Yes, what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, even as the Lord granted each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God kept making [it] grow; so that neither is he that plants anything nor is he that waters, but God who makes [it] grow. Now he that plants and he that waters are one, but each [person] will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You people are God’s field under cultivation, God’s building.” – 1 Corinthians 3:5-9
Yes, you are God’s building. And the men taking the lead are working for you! So, ask your questions! And keep on asking, and keep on seeking, and keep on knocking.
We are confident that the brothers in your congregation and at headquarters are likewise concerned about your spiritual growth. That is the whole purpose for them being organized. Perhaps there has been a misunderstanding that can be clarified by your asking. Again, you have nothing to fear. You are on sound and solid scriptural ground!
Notwithstanding all of the above, if you are so inclined, you may direct any of your questions to us as they relate to the Christ and our work as ambassadors substituting for Christ. We respond to ALL inquiries.
♦ How can you be confident in the Governing Body when you see a need for change?
On July 8, 2012, we received the following inquiry:
“What also bothers me is that as witnesses we are not to question, we must always take anything told us and never doubt. But if you look into the past of our organization there have been falsehoods and errors. That has shaken my confidence in our leadership. That Christ is our leader and mediator is without any doubt. But how can we be sure that the governing body is indeed acting with Christ's and essentially Jehovah's backing? All I want is to have confidence and know that I am serving God and following Christ the way I should. At the moment that seems impossible. I wonder how when you also see the need for changes in teachings you can still be confident in the organizational structure and especially the governing body?”
Thank you for your inquiry. You are not alone in your sentiments. We are hearing from many among our association who are wavering and unsure. So, we are glad that you elected to pose the question to us. We are pleased to answer.
We think that a better word to describe our view of the organization and the Governing Body would not be confident, but hopeful. We are hopeful that the Governing Body is made up of men who are honest of heart, truly desirous of serving the Father, and determined to teach only what is true. If they prove to be men of this sort, then the adjustment in the teachings will be made, which will have a domino effect of purging the Society’s teachings of all primitive religious error.
Every religious organization is run by humans; therefore, they are each quite fallible. In a more advanced society, religion would not be an organization where a handful of men oversee all the faithful. Instead, religion would be associative where the various groups would be self-governing, yet respectful of other groups, with all looking to the Father and the Christ as their head, rather than to men. Unfortunately, the spiritual state of our planet has not been ready for associative spiritual religion. But we hope by way of this site to plant such a seed.
Perhaps we can persuade you to be hopeful as well, and not give up yet. The word of God can have unexpected results:
“For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart. And there is not a creation that is not manifest to his sight, but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of him with whom we have an accounting.” –Hebrews 4:12-13
As the word of God works on our leadership and our association, true intentions will become manifest. When that occurs, we will all have a clearer path ahead of us and we will all know what to do.
In the meantime, we will continue our efforts to reach the hearts of the Governing Body, and our brothers worldwide, all to the praise and glory of the Father and his Christ.
♦ Does the Watchtower reply to your letters?
On February 24, 2013, we received the following inquiry:
“Hi! I just wonder: Does the Watchtower reply to your letters?”
To the author, thank you for visiting the site. You raise a question that many others also raise. The short answer is no. Neither the Governing Body nor any of its official representatives have responded to any of our letters. And we do not expect them to. We make ourselves available to them if they wish to respond directly to us, but the most effective way they can and should respond is through their own literature. Nevertheless, so far they have chosen to remain silent in their literature as well.
We want you to know that our ministry is having a significant impact on the organization worldwide. We have been informed that more than a quarter of a million people in over 101 countries are being positively affected by our ministry. Therefore, the Governing Body or its representatives have a duty to inform the local brothers and sisters of any danger our site poses, if they believe it does. To date, they have remained silent.
We are told the reason for the silence is because they have not decided how to respond. We believe they are unable to effectively oppose what we write. And if they were to write something in opposition to our site, they are likely afraid that such comments will simply inspire even more of our brothers and sisters to visit the site. Some wonder why we have not been disfellowshipped. We believe that is because even though we are frank and direct, we conduct ourselves with respect and in total reliance on the Bible and in imitation of the apostles who found themselves in opposition to the leaders of the synagogues.
It appears that the Governing Body is in a difficult situation, but they are not. If they openly confess that every one of Christ’s followers has the heavenly hope, there will be peace, and peace in abundance. And there will be tremendous excitement, and growth in the organization such as has not yet been known. The difficulty only remains as long as they continue to resist the original, authentic, plain and open teachings of Christ.
Those with insight know that the letters we send to the Society are as much for the local brothers and sisters as they are for the Governing Body. Our organization has become so mesmerized by the Governing Body and its literature that they have forgotten that the organization belongs to them, not the Governing Body.
Without the local brothers and sisters, there is no organization and nothing to organize. When we wake up as a people, the Governing Body will have to respond. Right now, the tail is wagging the dog. That must change. The brothers must take back their own faith. Our open letters are designed to effect that change. We hope you understand.
And we hope you read more than the Open Letters on our site. There is an abundance of spiritual information, solidly based on the Bible. We are not simply seeking to change the Governing Body’s teachings. We are seeking to uplift the dignity of our local brothers and sisters, such that if the Governing Body stubbornly refuses to make the adjustment to the true hope for all, then those who leave will leave, not as victims, but as victors.
♦ Regarding the article The Governing Body Myth, a visitor asks why we characterize
On June 5, 2013, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“After reading your article "The Governing Body Myth" (October 18, 2012), in my spirit there was something that you may have went oversight. You claim that the reason why Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem [was] to resolve the circumcision dispute, not because the body of Christians there had the final word on the matter, but because the men that started that dispute were members of the congregation of Jerusalem. While I think that's a valid argument, you then claim that the letter issued by the "apostles and older men" of Jerusalem "was a letter of apology for interfering in the affairs of the Gentile congregation". Where do you read that?? Like you say in your article, it was a decision made on a doctrinal matter. A decision. Who makes decisions are decision-makers. Although Paul certainly had strong opinions about the subject, he didn't put it upon himself to make the doctrinal decision. He left it in the hands of the "apostles and older men in Jerusalem". The letter, far from being an apology, is a doctrinal document to be obeyed not only by the congregation in Antioch but also all other congregations. Acts 16:4: "As they traveled [Paul and Barnabas] from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey." I think this is pretty unequivocal.
“Besides, you don't make mention of Acts 21:17-26. Again in Jerusalem, Paul (most likely against his own inclination) is told by James and the "older men" of the congregation in Jerusalem to be ceremonially cleansed according to the Jewish ritual in the temple, in order to appease the local Jewish community. And Paul - who so vehemently wrote against the need to still observe the Old Covenant Law - obeyed. Was this not a sign of submission towards the spiritual leadership exerted by that group of men in Jerusalem?
“Mind you, you don't have to convince me that the current Governing Body arrangement is faulty; but in its formulation it's not entirely anti-biblical either.”
To the author, thank you for your email and we are glad that you had the opportunity to read the article, The Governing Body Myth. We understand that your questions are theological since, as you indicate, they have no practical relevance to your opinion about the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As a rule, we do not engage in purely theological discussions that have no practical relevance, but since your questions concern an article we posted, we will respond to your inquiries.
You asked where we read that the letter from the Jerusalem congregation was a letter of apology rather than a directive. We reach that conclusion based on the context – Acts 15:1-35. Rather than quote the entire chapter, we will paraphrase and highlight certain points. Please feel free to read the full account for yourself.
The account says that “certain men from Judea” went to a predominately gentile congregation and commanded that they must get circumcised. Paul, who was instrumental in establishing that congregation, tried to correct these men, but apparently, they would not yield. Therefore, Paul and his companion, who evidently better understood the teachings of Jesus as it relates to the Law Covenant, went to the congregation from where these “certain men” hailed to have the older men in that congregation correct their own. Likely these “certain men” were among the believing Pharisees.
After much discussion, the apostles and older in Jerusalem agreed with Paul and did what was necessary to correct the problem caused by members of their own congregation. The letter they wrote admitted that men from their own congregation had tried to ‘subvert the souls’ of the gentile brothers. The letter acknowledged that those men had no right to do what they did and were not acting at the direction of the Jerusalem congregation. The letter concluded with an express statement of the position the Jerusalem congregation takes on the matter, and it was carried by men from Jerusalem to give the letter force. To us, that is an apology for an error, and an express and forceful correction of the teachings from “certain men from Judea.”
We recall that most of the 11 apostles served in the Jerusalem congregation, whereas Paul was primarily an apostle to the gentiles. This letter that was issued from the Jerusalem congregation served as a notice to all concerned that the apostles and Jewish Christians did not require the gentiles to conform to the Jewish customs. It served to clarify matters, not direct matters. This clarification was necessary as shown by the sheer number of Paul’s letters that repeatedly taught that conforming to the Jewish religion was no longer necessary.
As for the account in Acts 21:17-26, we wrote about this in the article Beware of Apostates! Again, the brothers in Jerusalem were trying to keep to the customs under the Law, or at the very least, appeasing those who did keep the Law. The Jerusalem brothers were not giving Paul a directive, rather they were offering a way of appeasing the discontented Jews. And you will note that their suggestion did not work. Their counsel resulted in Paul barely escaping a stoning, and being imprisoned for about four years. If the Jerusalem brothers were acting as a governing body for the Christian congregation as a whole, they were giving poor advice and advice in contradistinction to what Jesus taught. And let’s not forget the times Paul himself had to counsel the apostles. (Galatians 2:11-14)
No, the Jerusalem brothers did not serve as a governing body, though they were comprised of most of the faithful 11 Jewish apostles and some believing Pharisees. After the stoning of Stephen, the Jerusalem congregation was abandoned as the believing Christians were scattered abroad. From that time on, we notice that Paul was the true driving force for the development of the Christian congregation, not the apostles and older men, who were no longer grouped together in Jerusalem. The Bible record reveals that practically all of the counsel on congregation arrangements was given in the letters penned by Paul or in the account of the activities of Paul. Of the 21 letters of the Christian Scriptures, 14 were penned, not by the Jerusalem apostles, but by Paul. Peter wrote 2, James wrote 1, John wrote 3, and Jude wrote 1.
Finally, we note that there is nothing in the Bible indicating any apostolic succession. Jesus is the head of the congregation, and he has no successor. (Hebrews 7:23-25) He sent the Spirit of Truth to guide each individual Christian while he returned to heaven. (John 14:15-17; John 16:12-15) Thus, any body of men claiming to be a channel of Jesus are mistaken. That is our view.
We respond to your inquiries not to prove anything, but merely to clarify the article. This matter has little, if any, salvation value and therefore should not serve to divide us. You are free to agree or disagree. But we hope you continue to visit us.
♦ Visitor asks if we are going to write a letter to the Governing Body denouncing the name calling at the 2013 District Convention.
On June 28, 2013, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“I recently read that at 2013 district convention they are calling anyone who leaves the organization Mentally Diseased. Are you going to address that in upcoming letters? I've been reading your letters to the Watchtower and also responses from elders, circuit overseers, etc. The governing body must be trying to find out who these men are. They'd be mentally diseased according to their views.”
To the author, thank you for your email. We, too, have seen and heard the comments at the 2013 District Convention that you are referring to. Currently, we have no plans to address it. Who is surprised at their actions? Each and every one of Jehovah’s Witnesses knows before getting baptized and subjecting themselves to the Society’s rules and regulations that if they should turn away, they will be subjects of such negative talk. We venture to say that many who are now complaining about this matter have themselves, at least at one time in their Witness career, done the same thing. Thus, there is good reason for us to not be so thin-skinned.
Really, this type of speech is ‘par for the course.’ We were forewarned:
“Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake. Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you.” – Matthew 5:11-12
Those who feel the comments were wrongly directed at them should use this as an opportunity for courage – not crying as victims, but standing tall as victors:
“You heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ However, I say to you: Do not resist him that is wicked; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other also to him. And if a person wants to go to court with you and get possession of your inner garment, let your outer garment also go to him; and if someone under authority impresses you into service for a mile, go with him two miles.” – Matthew 5:38-41
All followers of Christ should be careful not to let our sensitivity to the errors of others cause us to become guilty of the same error. Jesus said:
“However, I say to you that everyone who continues wrathful with his brother will be accountable to the court of justice; but whoever addresses his brother with an unspeakable word of contempt will be accountable to the Supreme Court; whereas whoever says, ‘You despicable fool!’ will be liable to the fiery Gehenna.” – Matthew 5:22
Those spewing venom against their brothers will be held accountable. How much better for those loving the Christ to ‘keep our eyes fixed on the things above’ (Colossians 3:2) and ‘let the dead bury the dead.’ (Luke 9:60)
♦ Isn’t it necessary to expose all of the errors of the Society’s teaching in order to make positive changes with Jehovah’s Witnesses?
On September 21, 2013, we received the following inquiry:
“Thank you for helping Jehovah's Witnesses see some of the mis-truths expounded by the Watchtower Society. ... From what I've read so far, you draw attention to Jesus, God and the spiritual world quite a lot throughout the site, which is not a bad thing - it is quite obviously the main focus of yourselves, and you encourage that to be the focus of visitors of the site. However, not to take away the importance of this - but focusing so strongly on the spiritual world can be detrimental and dangerous to our current earthly lives in certain circumstances.
For example: The Governing Body - perhaps unaware or maybe with good intentions - have driven many to poverty, ill health, suicide, mental decline, family breakup, distress and early death due to an almost tyrannical message of neglecting the physical and focusing on the spiritual (in their case, the message mostly focused on the new world). ... De-emphasizing the importance of life in 'this system' is what I'm getting at.
People waking up to the mis-truths of the Watchtower Society need, I would suggest, more than just spiritual solutions initially. It is quite a confusing and traumatic experience to discover that what you thought you've been following as 'The Truth' for so many years, may not be all it's cracked up to be. I would even suggest, that getting to the bottom of things, upturning every little lie and every little mis-truth the Society are guilty of is extremely important to one's long term mental health.
Painful as it may be - laying out ALL the evidence on the table is in fact crucial to understanding what's going on. It is 'negative' material absolutely! It is downright depressing to discover some of the horrible aspects of the Watchtower's history. But I feel it is important, though difficult, for everyone to do thorough research on this for their mental well being, and to make wise and rational decisions.”
To the author, thank you for visiting our site and for sending your questions. We certainly understand your point of view, but you make a faulty assumption which we will address in a moment. First, in all fairness, we want to point out that most Jehovah’s Witnesses are fine, healthy and sane people who are sincerely serving God to the best of their ability. Many of their teachings are sound and have produced many upright and honorable men, women and children. The problem is that they are being oppressed by a body of men who seem to have turned their backs on Christ Jesus. In this way, they are not very different from many other religious groups who are being led by dictatorial theocracies. We discussed this in the article Relative Subjection to Religious Authority.
Fortunately, many among Jehovah’s Witnesses are well aware of the problems and are waiting and hoping for a change. They remain in association with the Watchtower Society in order to be beacons of light to those who are suffering the most, as you mentioned above, while working for change. Our ministry is dedicated to effecting such a change, while keeping their spiritual lives and their faith in God intact. We have a great deal of compassion for Jehovah’s Witnesses, and this is why we proceed the way we do. Now, here is our response to your comments:
As we said in the opening, you make a faulty assumption. Your complaint is that the Governing Body is asserting a message of neglect of the physical life and focusing too much on the spiritual. Before we go any further, we must correct you here. The Governing Body is not at all focusing on the spiritual. That is the problem. When they promote an earthly paradise and teach that the vast majority of mankind should not seek heavenly life, they are clearly focusing on the physical to the exclusion of the spiritual.
Our brothers are in a state of limbo. They are not allowed to pursue heavenly things; they are not allowed to enjoy natural earthly things; and they cannot make their paradise vision come true. Thus, the cause of the problems that some are suffering – poverty, ill health, suicide, mental decline, etc. – is not a result of over-emphasis on the spiritual. It is due to the absence of it. Our brothers are paralyzed. We consider this a form of spiritual abuse.
The Governing Body is teaching things about our Father and His divine purpose that simply are not true and which actually lead our brothers in the opposite direction from where Jesus was leading them – into the heavens. This alternate ‘good news’ serves to forward the agenda of men, but not the agenda of the Christ. Thus, what is needed in the case of such spiritual abuse is a spiritual healing – a healing of the spirit – replacing spiritual error with spiritual truth.
The path you are suggesting removes and destroys the error, but the person is left empty. As a result, we see so many ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses becoming atheists or agnostics. They had given their lives to the Watchtower organization, so by ‘upturning every little lie’ and ‘laying out ALL the evidence,’ they are left with nothing. Most cannot find another fellowship because they were so poisoned against all other forms of religion. This is what Jesus was alluding to when he said to the Pharisees:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you traverse sea and dry land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one you make him a subject for Gehenna twice as much so as yourselves.” – Matthew 23:15
Their disciples would go from being unbelievers, to believers in the lies of men, to outright atheists! We discuss this in the article Converting Pauls into Sauls. So how do we avoid this calamity and help Jehovah's Witnesses?
Take a lesson from Jesus’ example in the first century. The Jews at that time were likewise experiencing spiritual abuse by their scribes. But Jesus did not attempt to destroy all of their error at once. He simply implanted the seed of truth in their hearts and as it began to sprout, the individuals were strengthened and thereby enabled to correct themselves in a way that was manageable for them. This is the method we choose. Rather than forcing upon our brothers an overwhelming challenge, we simply lead them to the truth – to Jesus – and allow the spirit of truth do its work. (John 16:13)
Your points, however, are well taken. The Governing Body’s message that we should avoid living our lives as productive citizens of our planet is poor advice. That message does not allow the individuals in the organization to develop proper life skills. Rather than teaching them to encounter life’s challenges successfully, they teach avoidance of life’s challenges. That was not Jesus’ intention. We remember his prayer:
“I request you, not to take them out of the world, but to watch over them because of the wicked one.” – John 17:15
Clearly, we are not to be excused from having to find solutions to the challenges of life in the world. This thinking is why many of our children do not know how to successfully deal with peer pressure or how to properly manage their own sexuality. And when they leave home, unless they continue under the strict guidance of parents or elders, their natural curiosity leads them into all sorts of vices. But it is not the Father’s intent that man continues indefinitely under the tutelage of other men. A time should come when a person grows to sufficient maturity to be able to be guided by spirit, rather than by men. That is the meaning of these scriptures:
“Now I say that as long as the heir is a babe he does not differ at all from a slave, lord of all things though he is, but he is under men in charge and under stewards until the day his father appointed beforehand. Likewise we also, when we were babes, continued enslaved by the elementary things belonging to the world. But when the full limit of the time arrived, God sent forth his Son, who came to be out of a woman and who came to be under law, that he might release by purchase those under law, that we, in turn, might receive the adoption as sons.” – Galatians 4:1-5
“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.” – 1 John 2:27
“Brothers, do not become young children in powers of understanding, but be babes as to badness; yet become full-grown in powers of understanding.” – 1 Corinthians 14:20
This type of growth cannot come from simply avoiding everything that might cause harm. It must come from ‘using our perceptive powers.’ (Hebrews 5:14) That involves trial and error. We must be faced with error in order to learn how to choose truth. Yes, we must go through tribulation, not around it.
Additionally, the counsel of the Governing Body, or any dictatorial religious authority, that glorifies poverty and academic ignorance, and encroaches upon personal liberties and secular responsibilities, is the reason for the negative opinion people have of religion. Rather than inserting ourselves into such matters, we simply promote the high ideals of the plain and open teachings of Jesus. We believe that people who are determined to do God’s will – the best and right thing under their circumstances – will make wise choices and prosper in their secular endeavors. (See Bringing Heaven Down – The Perfect Will of God.)
When Jesus taught us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10), he was clearly expressing the divine intent that our earthly lives be guided by spirit rather than the other way around. He was establishing a spiritual brotherhood that would give them the courage to face their temporal problems, so that even if their earthly hopes and dreams fail, they are assured of eternity and continued existence in an incorruptible body with their Father in heaven. No other endeavor – whether it be social, political, philosophical, industrial or scientific – can offer that. Until that time, their physical lives are enhanced by their spiritual focus.
Really, it is a lack of faith in the unseen realities that is the reason why people can be, and are being, misled by men. A strong personal relationship with God as our Father is the best insurance against anyone falling victim again to the sophistry of men. That is why we will not put spiritual matters to the side. For our part, we will continue to turn man’s attention to the living and lasting hope of life in heaven.
We are quite aware that many other sites who focus on Jehovah’s Witnesses seem to believe that they must destroy the organization by revealing every faulty teaching and every faulty action from the times of Russell forward. Their entire ministry is dedicated to tearing down and hoping for the organization’s destruction. But if they had their way, nearly 8 million souls would be devastated, if not destroyed. We believe there is a better way.
We do not believe in the self-appointed authority of the Governing Body. To us, they are just men, brothers who are heading down a dangerous path. Their power over the 8 million is illusory and only exists as long as the 8 million allow it. When enough of the 8 million regain their spiritual strength and take back their spiritual lives, the 8-member Governing Body will disappear as insignificant and impotent. And then those faithful millions can self-govern as mature spiritual men and women who love the Father above all and love each other as they love themselves. (Matthew 22:37-40) If they choose to continue as an international organization, they should at least have men at the helm who respect Christ Jesus.
That is our hope. We believe more souls can be saved if we turn the ship rather than if we lead it into the iceberg. (See Turning the Titanic.) This can happen if we plant the tiny mustard seed of sonship with God and allow it to grow into a mighty tree. (See The Mustard Seed.) This is what is meant when Zechariah wrote:
“‘Not by a military force, nor by power, but by my spirit,’ Jehovah of armies has said.” – Zechariah 4:6
Instead of fighting fire with fire, we fight fire with the free waters of life. (Revelation 22:17) That is the Christian ministry! So, this, brother, is our view and the reason we choose to conduct our ministry in a spiritually forward manner. We hope that after some consideration, you can agree with us and work to help the Witnesses you know, and any other suffering souls, to achieve a spiritual healing and real hope by means of the plain and open teachings of Jesus. If so, we look forward to hearing from you again.
♦ Why do we continue to support the Governing Body?
On January 8, 2014, we received the following inquiry which has been translated from the French language:
“In reviewing the article, Standing for the Kingdom and the Brotherhood of Christ, you mention several times that the Watchtower Society was wrong in shutting the doors to the Kingdom of the Heavens, the two-hope doctrine, their mistaken dates, and their corrections and adjustments in their beliefs. All this is true, but the question is this: You say that "Jehovah will continue to sustain them in the face of their self-created crises." What arguments can you mention to support this since for several years, the Watchtower Society has not made the important changes and continues to deceive people?”
To the author, thank you for your email. We hope we have properly translated and summarized your question. If we have not, please write us again. However, based on our understanding of your question, here is our response:
We did not say that Jehovah will continue to sustain them. Here is what the article states:
“Yet, in spite of their scrupulous study, they have on occasion had to readjust or correct some of their cherished beliefs, such as the 2007 adjustment acknowledging that Jehovah continued to call his anointed sons after 1935 and continues to this day. Doing so has taken great humility and trust in Jehovah that he will continue to sustain them in the face of their self-created crises. We believe they are again on the precipice of another such readjustment – one that could challenge the faith of every single Witness of Jehovah, every Bible student they associate with, as well as the entire community that supports their efforts on behalf of the Kingdom.”
Please notice that what we wrote was that they believe that Jehovah will sustain them. They trust that He will. And the evidence to date shows that He has allowed them to continue to this day. However, the subject article was written almost 2 years ago in the beginning of this ministry. Since that time, there has been little change in the teachings of the Governing Body as you mention, even though we, and many others, have clearly and unambiguously shown them respectfully, lovingly, supportively, scripturally and by means of the working of the Spirit of Truth that change must be made.
Accordingly, we believe the patience of the Most High is rapidly coming to an end. This is why we are so urgent and bold in our letters and articles. We keep in mind this scriptural thought:
“Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
Since the Father does not desire any to be destroyed, we are doing our best to work with His desire. We know that many turn away from the Governing Body and the Watchtower Society and judge it unworthy. But we continue to be concerned about the millions who are still blinded. That is the reason we wrote the article, and why we continue to stand with them, and for them at this time. We hope this answers your question. Again, if we have misunderstood your question, please write us again.
♦ How should Christians flee from the antichrist leadership of the Governing Body?
On January 15, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“Your last article [Discerning the Time of Inspection] was straight forward and powerful indeed and will for sure have a great impact on its readers. Therefore my follow up question is: How do you mean then that a Jehovah's Witness should "flee" from the influence of the "antichrist" like leadership of the present [Governing Body]?”
To the author, thank you for your follow up question. Again, we respond publicly because we believe others would be interested in our response. Your questions are indeed spirit led. Our next article will discuss this in more detail, but we will provide some preliminary thoughts here.
“Fleeing” begins in the mind. Breaking away from the mental bonds that hold one in servitude to men and acknowledging your liberty as a free son of God. As long as a Witness views himself or herself as a friend of God, and not a child of God, he will continue as a slave of men, and a victim of their devices. The Jubilee that Jesus instituted (Luke 4:16-21) was to awaken the sleeping children so that they would have a consciousness of their true identity – that they were not slaves, but sons - the revealing of the sons of God! (Romans 8:19) This mental acknowledgment and spiritual realization is what frees us, as Paul explained:
“Now I say that as long as the heir is a young child, he is no different from a slave, although he is the lord of all things, but he is under supervisors and stewards until the day set ahead of time by his father. Likewise, we too, when we were children, were enslaved by the elementary things of the world. But when the full limit of the time arrived, God sent his Son, who was born of a woman and who was under law, that he might release by purchase those under law, so that we might receive the adoption as sons. Now because you are sons, God has sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, and it cries out: “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son; and if a son, then you are also an heir through God.” – Galatians 4:1-7
Once one takes his or her rightful position as a son of God, and properly establishes his loyalty to the Father and Christ Jesus, then it does not matter what foolishness or machinations are propagated by men – or in our case, by the Governing Body. One will have developed sufficient godly devotion and powers of discernment that he will be unaffected by their error. Such a son will be like Jesus who said: “The ruler of this world is coming and he has no hold on me.” (John 14:30) Such a mentally and spiritually free son will know how to be ‘in the world, but no part of the world.’ (John 17:6-19)
This is what we are currently observing in connection with the many Elders and Traveling Servants who have stepped down from their positions of oversight but remain in association with the congregation to help others. Mentally and spiritually, they are free of the control of the Governing Body and its teachings. They have begun their flight.
Once the mind is free and the spirit is activated, the rest of the body will follow, according to one’s circumstances and personal decision as to the timing. That is the meaning of the phrase “let the reader us discernment.” (Matthew 24:15) One can remain in association with the congregations for the purpose of helping others for as long as his spirit allows. He will have abandoned his loyalty to the Governing Body and is working to promote the interests of Christ Jesus. When such persons, in their own time, discern that it is time to physically leave, they will do so as courageous victors, not victims. And we trust that all those who confess union with Christ Jesus and who are led by spirit will know when it is their personal time to physically flee. As we mentioned, our next article will provide a more detailed answer to your question. In the meantime, please take a look at the article The Freedom of the Children of God.
As for our reference to the Governing Body as an Anti-Christian group, we believe it is quite obvious they are anti-Christian in their teachings and in their reactions to those who chose to confess union with Christ Jesus. We do not hold the idea that the Governing Body is THE Anti-Christ that so many Christians are waiting for. As John wrote, ‘there are many antichrists.’ (1 John 2:18) Being Anti-Christian is more than not accepting Christianity. It is a particular disdain for Jesus of Nazareth and his teachings. As the article showed, rather thoroughly, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses are, and have been for decades, Anti-Christian. They much rather prefer the old wine of the Jewish religious system than the new wine of peace, liberty, and brotherhood. We will be discussing more on this subject in upcoming articles.
For now, we hope we have satisfied your inquiries enough to whet your appetite for the upcoming article. We sincerely appreciate you and your diligent study of the materials on our site.
♦ Why don’t we just count ourselves since the Governing Body will not?
On February 12, 2014, we received the following comment in connection with the Governing Body’s refusal to count all of the Memorial partakers:
“Why not count ourselves. Do you think there is any way to count all partakers outside the kingdom hall? One could send the email-address as identifier of each individual. If that is done every year you can measure our growth. Just an idea. Keep up the Good work.”
To the author, thank you for your email. We have thought about this also, but even if we implemented a way whereby our brothers could send us a report of how many partook at their private Memorial Suppers, that would be no guarantee that it was accurate since we would have no way of knowing if every partaker responded. But we do have confidence that Christ Jesus and our celestial family know the number, since ‘every hair of our heads are numbered.’ (Matthew 10:30)
We can share that our current reports indicate that the number of openly confessing ‘sons of God’ and ‘heirs to the kingdom of the heavens’ who understand Jesus’ plain and open teachings has reached 8 million. A little more than 1 million are part of the Jehovah’s Witness community, but not all of them have yet openly participated in a Memorial Supper. That may sound like a lot, but there are a little over 7 BILLION people on the planet, so all who join with the Christ still have a lot more work to do.
As you see, we are not solely concerned about Memorial partakers among Jehovah’s Witnesses. We are hoping that in time, the entire Christian community– and eventually the entire planet – will set aside at least this one day per year to honor our Leader, our Creator, and ‘the one to whom every knee should bend.’ (Matthew 23:10; John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-16; Philippians 2:10)
So rather than implementing a way to count the number of partakers at the private Memorial Suppers, we encourage all, who are willing and able, to share their experiences of the evening with us for the edification and upbuilding of the Jesus brotherhood. That may include the number of participants, but more importantly, we hope it will show the courage and love of our brothers for Christ Jesus and for one another.
♦ Is the decision by the Governing Body to discontinue the role of District Overseers a theocratic move?
On March 22, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
We just had our Special Assembly day yesterday. Before the program ended, an important big announcement was made from the platform. [A letter was read advising that the role of District Overseers (DO) would be discontinued.] A few questions for the letter:
“Is the pruning of the DO level supported by the Bible or biblical verses?“If Christ is the head of the congregation, would he approve such a major organizational shake-up considering that DO's serve for a unique purpose in caring for the flock?
“Why it took 100 years (since 1914) for the [“Faithful & Discreet Slave] or the [Governing Body] to realize this simplification of duties is really necessary, technically displacing the DO's?
“Is this a major corporate (Watchtower) strategy or decision to reduce organizational overhead in maintaining aging DO's more than a theocratic one?
“Thanks as always for your kind comments.”
To the author, thank you for your emails and for your continued support of our work.
This action by the Governing Body is an administrative move – nothing more than a corporate decision. It has nothing to do with Christ, Jehovah, the Bible or spiritual matters. The Governing Body is adjusting to their new reality that many are losing confidence in their leadership. Many Elders, Circuit Overseers, District Overseers, Pioneers, and Missionaries are stepping down and removing themselves from the direct oversight of the Governing Body. Therefore, the Governing Body has to respond with reorganization and downsizing. This process of downsizing will, in our opinion, continue for some time as they lose their controlling grip on the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
So do not concern yourself too much with these trivial matters that have nothing to do with promoting faith or salvation. Instead, focus on your own faith and enhancing your own understanding and discernment of spiritual matters — matters that will and do effect your salvation. And know that the sons of the Kingdom are awakening and prospering worldwide. Endeavor to be a part of this true ministry and have a sharing with Christ in bringing heaven down, rather than supporting a group of rebels who are shutting the heavens up.
♦ Do we really consider the Governing Body as a group of rebels?
On March 24, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“[Concerning Question and Response 3/22/14 Am I correct in understanding that you consider or allude to the Governing Body as "group of rebels"? As a group of rebels, would it be fair to assume that God the Father and the Christ have not blessed the work it has promoted over the decades, preaching of the good news in particular?
“As rebels, was there no instance that God's holy spirit guided the global preaching & bible education work, including perhaps millions of Jehovah's Witnesses who have prayed for guidance from the Father and His Son? What about the results the organization has yielded like transforming lives - from notorious/violent to more responsible citizens, kind and peace-loving individuals?
“When you said, "supporting a group of rebels", what does that exactly mean? Under what circumstances can a person be considered as supporting this group of rebels? Can you cite specific cases or activities?
“Thanks in advance for your reply.”
To the author, thank you for your email. To directly answer your question, yes, we view the Governing Body as a group of rebels because they blatantly rebel against the plain and open teachings of Christ. Most notoriously, they are attempting to ‘close the door to the heavens’ for all but a few thousand Jehovah’s Witnesses and they fight openly and brazenly with all who dare confess union with Christ Jesus as his brothers and heirs to the kingdom of the heavens. This specific action is expressly condemned by Jesus:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut up the Kingdom of the heavens before men; for you yourselves do not go in, neither do you permit those on their way in to go in.” – Matthew 23:13
Jesus said that we must ‘eat and drink of him’ in order to gain everlasting life. (John 6:53) The Governing Body teaches that we do not need to ‘eat and drink’ of Christ to gain life. The mainstay of their teachings is the ‘old wine’ of the Jewish religious system. (Mark 2:22) Their literature constantly honors the Hebrew prophets, but gives little time to the greatest prophet, Jesus Christ. They reject the heavens as the hope and destiny of mankind, and instead seek their ‘land of milk and honey’ here on earth. Jesus and the apostles taught one destiny. The Governing Body teaches ‘another sort of good news’ that effectively pushes aside the one destiny Jesus taught. These are examples of clear rebellion. (Galatians 1:6-9)
True, they have done some good works, but that does not excuse their notorious disrespect and persecution of Christ and ‘his brothers.’ (Matthew 25:40, 45) Many organizations, religious and non-religious, help people transform their lives – organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Many religions engage in a Bible education work and produce responsible citizens, and kind and peace-loving individuals. These are examples of God’s blessings on the works of men. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not have a monopoly on producing good people, nor on receiving God’s blessings. And if God’s blessings are indicated by the number of people who adopt a certain religious view, then the Catholics must be the most blessed of all Christian denominations.
In fact, when it comes to good and charitable works alone, the Watchtower Society falls well behind other Christian groups. Have you ever heard of a hospital or a school or a shelter run by the Watchtower organization? No. All of their good works are reserved for their members alone, and even these are scarce. Any non-Witness who receives a benefit from the Watchtower Society receives it as a byproduct of helping a Witness or as part of their recruiting work. Yet, the Governing Body has no problem labeling these other religious organization as belonging to ‘Satan’s System.’ How presumptuous to view themselves as the only organization worthy of God’s blessings when they are doing very little in the way of good works toward mankind!
Nevertheless, the Father is not just looking for good people. He is looking for sons. He is looking for those who are willing to follow Christ Jesus’ example and pursue the heavenly kingdom. In this area, the Governing Body is failing miserably. Of the over 19 million who attend their Memorial ‘meetings,’ they profess to have only produced about 13,000 sons of the Father. And they are hoping that this number dies off soon so they can have their earthly paradise. So even in the matter of their preaching and teaching work, they are not very productive according to the Father’s standards.
The failure to produce sons of God and the blatant opposition of those who profess sonship, we believe, is the most reprehensible thing a Christian leadership can do, and it outweighs and even nullifies all their ‘good works.’ The behavior of the Governing Body and the Watchtower Society illustrates most clearly why this interchange would occur:
“Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 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?’ And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’” – Matthew 7:21-23
Yes, the Governing Body has been directing some good works, but they have also turned away from Jesus and they are dragging millions down with them. All those who choose to listen to the Governing Body instead of Jesus are ‘supporting this group of rebels.’ All those who choose to reject the Memorial emblems in obedience to the Governing Body are ‘supporting this group of rebels.’ We are doing what we can to open our brothers’ eyes to these most offensive acts by publishing articles on this website such as A Memorial of Offense, A Tale of Two Suppers, The Cherished Earthly Hope, Lastly He Sent His Son, Waiting on Jehovah and Discerning the Time of Inspection.
It is a sad thing to realize, but the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not on the side of Christ Jesus. They have taken an adversarial stance and are leading the sheep away from the true shepherd. (John 10:1-16) And no amount of good and powerful works will excuse them. Really, we believe the word ‘rebels’ is generous. A more appropriate word, and the word more suitable to their vocabulary, is ‘apostates.’
♦ Visitor believes we are trashing ‘Jehovah’s earthly organization’
On March 31, 2014, we received the following anonymous comment:
“I can't believe you call yourselves witnesses of Jehovah. Trashing Jehovah's earthly organization is far from being a true follower of Jehovah. How discouraging to find that such brothers and sisters that have had the blessing to serve as pioneers, Circuit Overseers, and District Overseers are appreciative and responsive to such a twisted message bordering on apostasy!”
To the author, thank you for taking the time to visit our site and share your thoughts. We wish you had been more specific about your charge of apostasy. Perhaps you will email us again and let us know what we have published that constitutes or borders apostasy.
The only way to commit real apostasy is to intentionally move away from teachings one knows are from God, and then choose not to comply with those teachings. Neither we nor the ones you mention have done that. The teachings we disagree with are the ones created by men that conflict with what Jesus and the apostles taught, such as ‘the earthly hope.’ However, moving away from the teachings of men is not apostasy. It is an altogether different matter. It is an exercise of freewill that should have no consequences, nor should there be a pronouncement of judgment against anyone who simply disagrees with the doctrines of men. We wrote about real apostasy in the article Beware of Apostates! You might find that article informative.
It is unfortunate that those who claim to serve God continue to judge the motives of others in how they render service to the Father. It seems that it is always the zealot who declares another to be an apostate because of that one’s misplaced loyalties and idolatrous worship of men. We believe your loyalties are misplaced. Where is your disdain for the disrespect shown to Jesus? Where is your outrage for the usurping of the Spirit of Truth? Where is your displeasure at how the Governing Body treats ‘the least of Christ’s brothers?’ It seems a personal inventory is in order. (Matthew 7:1-5)
And, for the record, the only ones ‘trashing Jehovah’s earthly organization’ is the Governing Body. They are squandering a valuable resource of consecrated men and women who are ready, willing and able to worship the Father the way Jesus did, but who are being grossly misled. The Governing Body’s stubbornness, and now their paranoia, is what is destroying the association of Jehovah’s Witnesses, not the faithful men and women who are waking up to the reality of the errors of their leadership and who are doing their very best to encourage and uplift those who continue to be misled.
The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is currently in a ‘sick bed’ because they have taken a stand against the Lord of Lord and King of Kings, and they have not repented. Instead, they choose to follow in the footsteps of their heroes, the Jewish Sanhedrin of the 1st century. They continue to harden their hearts toward the sons of the Father and so they will suffer the same fate as their heroes. When that occurs, we hope you will find yourself on the correct side of history, and not in the pit along with others who willingly choose to follow the sick, the deaf, and the blind.
♦ What do I do if the elders try to disfellowship me for partaking?
On April 6, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“I have recently encountered such disapproval from my congregation elders. What should I do if they try to disfellowship me for partaking this year?”
To the author, it is so good to hear from you again. We were just talking about you last week wondering if you were okay. We are sorry to hear of the attitudes of your elders. It is truly shameful that professed men of God would try to interfere with your relationship with the Father and Christ Jesus. It is simply none of their business! Even past Watchtower articles made this clear, such as this excerpt from the June 15, 2009 Watchtower, page 22-23, paragraph 15:
“On the other hand, how should other Christians view a person who claims to have received this anointing and begins to partake of the emblems at the Memorial? He or she should not be judged. The matter is between this person and Jehovah. (Rom. 14:12)
If these elders will not respect the Bible’s clear direction that we must eat and drink of the Christ if we are to receive life (John 6:53), then they should at least respect the words of their chosen leaders as contained in the pages of The Watchtower magazine.
Dear sister, partaking of the Memorial emblems is not a disfellowshipping offense. If they try to disfellowship you, it would likely be for some other reason like being disrespectful to the elders or trying to cause divisions. To avoid those charges, you will need let the elders know in a mild and kind way that your relationship with Jehovah is personal and that you mean no disrespect to anyone, but if you did not partake, you feel you would be disrespecting Jehovah and Christ Jesus. You could also show them the above Watchtower article. If you do not yet feel qualified or comfortable enough to make a defense for your hope before these men, then you can let them know that your hope is personal, and you no longer want to talk about it. That should end the matter.
But if your efforts to be respectful still result in a judicial hearing or your disfellowshipping, then we would suggest that you appeal the decision. See our article, Publicly Declaring Our Hope for more information on how and why you should appeal. And after you read that article, if you still have questions, please do not hesitate to write us again.
Stories like these reinforce our opinion that the Watchtower leadership is a mirror image of the 1st century Jewish Sanhedrin who viewed the claim of being sons of God as blasphemy and who held in contempt any who dared to follow Jesus. Today, only Jehovah’s Witnesses hold in contempt and try to disfellowship those who claim to be sons of God. No other Christian sect that we know of would dare chastise nor expel a member who believed he was a child of God and was desirous of partaking of the symbolic bread and wine.
And what timing! This is Memorial Season! This is a time of rejoicing and excitement to be able to openly confess union with Christ along with a host of like-minded men and women. This is a time for renewing our spirits and igniting our souls to consecrated worship and service. Our remembering the beautiful life of this wonderfully exquisite Son of Man/Son of God and the things that he did to open up the sanctuary of heaven for those who were without hope and alienated from the Father should be the dominate focus and the overriding concern. Let no man take away the love and joy you have for our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus, especially at this time. We feel a certain pity for those who are not enveloped with these joyful sentiments.
The Watchtower leadership, including the Governing Body and their ‘under shepherds,’ should be ashamed of their utter ignorance of the teachings of Jesus. They are out of touch with the organization and completely out of harmony with the teachings of Jesus and for their own sake and for the sake of the organization, they should voluntarily relinquish their positions of oversight if they have any hope of being restored to God’s favor. The future is not bright for them:
“Then he said to his disciples: ‘It is unavoidable that causes for stumbling should come. Nevertheless, woe to the one through whom they come! It would be more advantageous for him if a millstone were hung from his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to stumble one of these little ones.’” – Luke 17:1-2
But as for you, dear sister, be courageous. Choose the Christ rather than the Governing Body. And take your place in the kingdom of the heavens by partaking freely of the Christ at this year’s annual Memorial Supper.
♦ Are you setting yourselves up to be a new governing body?
On May 30, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“I just want to congratulate you for writing to the Governing Body with the same spirit as the Apostle Paul when he addresses the Apostle Peter Galatians, chapter 2. However, I would make a remark. When Paul takes Peter, he gives him counsel just in the form of a question. You go much further, although we are all brothers (Matthew 23:8-12 ), by dictating to them what they can write to the congregations of the world. You suggest they mentioned this unequivocal statement “We reached this decision based on the writings and expositions of the plain and open teachings as published on the website www.AnointedJW.org. These teachings have become abundantly clear.” I am very much afraid that some Brothers and Sisters might look at you as to the "New faithful and discreet slave” which would be a usurpation to Christ, for one is your Leader, the Christ. This thought may be hard to read, but I had to tell you. It took much boldness for me to write to you, I who am nothing but a grain of sand in the vast desert. Here are some thoughts that I wanted to tell you, but mostly it does not change our brotherhood that binds us with heaven.”
To the author, thank you for your email. You are far more than grain of sand in the desert. You are a son of the most high personality in the Universe and quite qualified to speak your mind to your brothers. And we accept and understand your counsel.
When we formulated the letter, as set forth in the article Leadership By Example, we hesitated as to whether we should include the statement that the Governing Body came to realize the need for change as a result of the information on our site. But that is the truth and we cannot hide from the truth. There have been, and continues to be, many, many websites that have challenged the teachings of the Governing Body, but it is only the presentation of the plain and open teachings of Jesus that are making a real difference in the Watchtower organization. And we believe that such an admission by the Governing Body will let the local brothers and sisters know what type of change they can look forward to.
As for your concern that we might be looked at as the ‘new faithful and discreet slave’ or a ‘new governing body,’ we certainly hope that does not occur. Those who look at us that way will be sorely disappointed. That is not our intention as we have expressly stated many times. We are not looking to become masters over our brothers’ faith. We are all about Christian freedom and are quite content with our roles as advisers and fellow workers. We have many things to do and must be about the Father’s business. That does not allow us to settle down as leaders of a religious organization.
What we have been saying all along is that the sons of the Kingdom do not need a governing body. These scriptures have real meaning:
“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.” – 1 John 2:27
“Now I say that as long as the heir is a babe he does not differ at all from a slave, lord of all things though he is, but he is under men in charge and under stewards until the day his father appointed beforehand.” – Galatians 4:1-2
“The hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you people worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, because salvation originates with the Jews. Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for, indeed, the Father is looking for suchlike ones to worship him.” – John 4:21-23
We firmly and wholeheartedly believe this! We are here to help our brothers be the best they can be without the lordship of man. That was, and continues to be, Jesus' intent. We believe his way is the right way and is a perfect teaching based on firsthand knowledge of what the Universal Father wants. We know better than to try to improve on perfection. So, when he says the Spirit will teach us, and that we do not need to go to any special mountain and do not need any spiritual masters over us, we believe him and take it as 100% solid gold.
It is obvious that any new trendsetters would be looked to as leaders and that whenever something uncommon is introduced, the introducers will be viewed as teachers. But for followers of Christ, we are only teachers and leaders in the sense that we are training others to be teachers of those who, in turn, are adequately qualified to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:1-2) That is how the good news is spread – by means of a fellowship of teachers all teaching the plain and open teachings Jesus taught. It is only when such teachers set themselves up as the authority over what is true and what is false that they find themselves as usurpers of Christ and the Spirit of Truth. We want nothing to do with that, as our regular visitors most certainly know.
But we are not going to cower and shy away from our opportunities and obligations because others have mishandled theirs. Spiritual babes become mature men and women when their perceptive powers have been trained to discern right and wrong. (Hebrews 5:14) Jesus set the example and there is no need to change his example simply because some men have misrepresented it.
Those who have kept up with our writings know that we are not seeking to lord it over our brothers. Those who are mature have taken what we have written and begun their own ministry without asking for our direction or approval. They may use our articles as guides, but they look to the scriptures for themselves, apply their own powers of reason and allow the Spirit of Truth to bear witness with their divine indwelling spirit as to whether what we write is true and/or beneficial.
So, we gladly accept our role as bold trendsetters and re-establishers of Jesus’ plain and open teachings, and it is our prayer that those who listen to us grow and even exceed our knowledge and understanding. God is not partial such that he would only give knowledge and wisdom to a small group of people. The Spirit of Truth is poured out on all flesh and guides all who humbly allow it. (John 16:13)
We cannot be accountable for the thoughts of others. Some will like us, some will love us, some with hate us. That is none of our business. Our job is to do the Father’s will and let the cards fall where they may. We hope you understand.
♦ What do you mean when you say the Governing Body will soon be defunct?
On May 31, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“Hope you are both doing well. Your ministry has certainly skyrocketed! I pray for its continued development. In a recent letter you used the expression “soon to be defunct Governing Body.” Are you at liberty to explain this expression?”
To the author, as always, thank you for your email.
We made that statement in the article, Possibilities for a Renewed Association. We wholeheartedly believe that when enough of the sons of God awaken to their true identity, the Governing Body, as it is now constituted, will be nothing more than a nagging appendage. They have no power over the true sons as anyone of the true sons will tell you. Given the choice to follow Christ Jesus or the Governing Body, the true sons will ALWAYS choose the Christ. That is what being baptized into HIS death means. The true sons do not fear those who cannot even kill the body!
True sons recognize the unseen Christ and know that he is in their midst. (Matthew 18:20) So if the Governing Body summons them for service, no true son would heed the call and leave the Christ. The Governing Body are just imperfect men, brothers, siblings. When the sleeping and slothful sons awaken to this realization, the power and position that the Governing Body now hold and the manner in which they wield their power will become ineffective – they will become defunct. We hope that this ministry of the plain and open teachings of Jesus will cause that effect.
It is our further hope that the individual men who make up the Governing Body come to appreciate the need for them to humbly abandon their roles and take on ones more suitable to their stature – namely, those who ‘need someone to teach them from the beginning the elementary things of the sacred pronouncements of God.’ (Hebrews 5:12) If they are honest about it, they know they need such help and we know of many Elders and Traveling Servants, former and current, who would be happy to assist them.
But, of course, this will only happen if enough brothers and sisters among Jehovah’s Witnesses accept their sonship with God as heirs to the heavenly kingdom, and unambiguously decide to ‘obey God as ruler rather than men.’ (Acts 5:29) Do Jehovah’s Witnesses have the wisdom, faith and courage to do this? Only time will tell.
♦ Why did members of the Writing Department resign?
On August 25, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“Good evening. I took notice of the recently posted report that 3 members of the Writing Dept. had resigned. Are you privy as the reasons why they left? If not confidential, yours truly would appreciate vital information about it. 🙂 Thanks."
To the author, thank you for your email. The report that 2 or 3 members of the Writing Department have recently resigned is not confidential, although we doubt the Watchtower Society would publicly admit this. The reports we have been given indicate that the men who resigned from the Writing Department resigned as a direct response to the plain and open teachings of Jesus. They each accept their sonship and the truth that ‘we are all, in fact, sons of God through our faith in Christ Jesus.’ (Galatians 3:26) They have decided that they can no longer participate in the publication of blatant errors or promote the death dealing ‘earthly hope’ doctrine, and they refuse to be a party to the disrespect shown to Jesus.
Do not marvel at this. In the Bethel Headquarters and in Branch Offices and congregations around the world, our brothers and sisters are waking up to the true hope for Christians and the error of the Governing Body of ‘shutting up the kingdom of the heavens before men.’ (Matthew 23:13) We might say that stepping down from positions of oversight is ‘trending’ among Jehovah’s Witnesses. But not just overseers and pioneers, many, many publishers and Bible students are also awaking to the true hope and are taking their stand with Christ. And know that this ‘trend’ will continue until all of the Father’s children have left the servitude of men and gotten on the path to ‘the real life.’ (1 Timothy 6:19) All that will be left in the Watchtower organization will be those who truly want to serve men ‘whether it appears sound from a human standpoint or not,’ and they will receive their reward in full.
We can also share with you that certain members of the Governing Body are having a crisis of conscience. Some of them see death as their solution and means of escape. But there are a few who are being tormented in spirit with many sleepless nights and are prayerfully seeking a way to extricate themselves from their error. In these men, the spirit has found an opening and is bearing witness to them that God truly is not partial and that any man exacting righteousness is acceptable to him. (Acts 10:35) They are beginning to see their way to correction and repentance. But as a body, they have lost control over the flock and are being manipulated by legal and public relations problems, and pressured by those in line to step into their shoes. We do not envy their position, and that is why we are doing all we can to help them. But as Paul made clear:
“Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a person is sowing, this he will also reap; because the one sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but the one sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit.” – Galatians 6:7-8
It is our prayer that each one of them begins ‘sowing with a view to the spirit’ by openly confessing their errors and leading the flock to the Christ, so that they, and all who follow them, can be saved.
And to all our brothers and sisters who are already standing up for Christ, we encourage you to continue standing firm. Your efforts are indeed making a difference, not just in an organization, but in promoting Jesus’ ministry and uplifting the spiritual conversation worldwide. It is by means of your efforts that the Ninevite Possibility continues and is becoming a reality.
♦ Visitors is concerned at the sceptics about our report of the happenings at Bethel.
On August 26, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“The question raised and your comments about the resignation of some members of the Writing Dept.[Question and Response 8/25/14] were posted on [an ex-JW website]. The thread has received more than 5,000 views at this time with skeptics and critics, as expected, running the show, ruining the spirit behind. Sad they can just see the surface of what has been going on."
To the author, thank you for your email. We are aware of that thread as we received an unusually high number of visitors today from that site. We thought to respond to the thread, but we doubt they are truly interested in our response. Ex-JW skeptics and critics have an agenda. Their trust has been destroyed and as a result, it is nearly impossible for them to believe positive things of a religious nature, especially as they pertain to the Watchtower Society. Really, even if we posted the emails from those brothers directly, many would doubt them and say we made them up, too. So, we prefer to let time tell the tale.
Their biggest area of doubt has to do with the current condition of the Governing Body. Please know that we receive regular reports on the goings on in Bethel and have absolute confidence in the accuracy of the information and the credibility of the sources. We could name names, but if we did, it would only serve to slow down progress. And surely one must realize if we revealed our sources, they, too, would be subjects of attack.
Those who choose to demonize the Governing Body are giving them far too much power. Believe it or not, they are flesh and blood just like the rest of us, and are subject to the same feelings, emotions, fears, confusions and vicissitudes as every other man. So, it is not farfetched that the spirit of truth could reach their hearts and cause a spirit agitation leading to repentance. We are not saying that they will definitely reach that place, but we do see movement in that direction by a few. We should applaud any movement by them in a positive direction since it can positively affect so many Jehovah’s Witnesses who remain trapped in error.
And how unfortunate that the brother who posted the link was attacked. It seems many ex-JW sites not only attack the Watchtower Society, but they also devour each other. They surely parallel Jesus' description of those who are worse off than those who never knew anything about Watchtower’s Pharisaic teachings. (Matthew 23:15)
This has been the problem in the Jehovah’s Witness community. They have developed the practice of judging others when they do not have all the facts, and mischaracterizing and imputing improper motives to their brothers when they have no foundation for it. Many have never learned the social grace of giving another the benefit of the doubt. They utterly lack the faith and hope in the power of godly devotion. So, their response does not surprise us at all.
These actions only retard the mission of reconciliation to God by supposed believers in Christ. Their continued disrespect of one another only put themselves in the dangerous position of losing sight of the true beauty of Kingdom fellowship – unconditional brotherly love, and the faith provided by the Universe Father through His Son, and our celestial family that allows a brother to accept the testimony of a sibling.
At any rate, as we said, time will tell whether what we have written is true or not. Many who doubted what we wrote in the beginning of our ministry are discovering for themselves firsthand what we have reported is true and have become regular visitors and supporters of our ministry. So do not allow the naysayers to disturb you. It is par for the course.
Finally, we want to add that their so-called ‘proof’ that there is no God are weak arguments based on a lack of perspective. The sad thing is how many of them will miss out on a glorious future because they allowed themselves to be misled by men. Their hurt and anger blinds them to the fact that the Father and Christ Jesus had nothing to do with those machinations. And so, they have thrown out the baby with the bath water, not realizing that it is their own futures they have discarded.
Of course, should any of them wish to direct their skepticism and concerns to this website, we will be happy to respond to them. Until then, we will just let them be. But thank you again for your email.
♦ Why did the Watchtower Society remove the verse references from their online Bible?
On August 28, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“Dear Brothers, I noticed today that the online version of the New World Translation on the jw.org website has removed all the verse numbers, except from Matthew 3 and John 6, as far as I can tell. Do you have any insight on why this happened?"
To the author, thank you for your email. We checked the jw.org website, and even used different browsers, and you are correct. It seems they have removed practically all the verse numbers. What an odd thing to do. And it seems their quality control missed a few chapters. We noticed not only the verses in Matthew 3, John 6 are still there, but also the verses in Isaiah 43 and 44, as far as we were able to tell.
This certainly raises a lot of suspicions. Why would they have a campaign to get people to visit their website, and then remove the verse numbers from their online Bible so that visitors cannot to check scripture references? We noticed also the verses were removed from the revised version as well as the older version. This is a first! We are stumped! We will have to ask our visitors if they have any insight into this unusual decision by the Watchtower organization. If anyone knows, please write us and we will publish your response here.
In the meantime, for those who are looking for an online Bible with verse references, we have found the following link very helpful: www.biblegateway.com. On that link, they provide access to dozens of different Bible versions and in many different languages. They do not include the New World Translation or the Revised New World Translation, but we find that having a variety of different versions is extremely helpful in Bible Study.
And thank you again for bringing this to our attention.
♦ Why did the Society remove the statement in the Study Edition of the Watchtower that it adheres to the Bible as its authority?
On August 29, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“Dear Brothers: I have noted significant changes in the contents of the Watchtower magazine in recent years. Whilst I still read them in detail and check the scriptural references, yet I no longer find that all the articles therein have the appeal which they used too. I have also noted that the statement of purpose/principle on the inside front cover ("It adheres to the Bible as its authority") was last included in the December 2012 edition. For me, it is so, so very disappointing that the authors of the magazine have saw fit to remove this statement. Yet the statement is still included in the edition of the Watchtower intended for members of the public. I'd be so grateful for any insight you may have into this (I assume willful) omission. With gratitude in advance for your kind attention on this matter of importance to me, may I remain, Yours fraternally.”
To the author, thank you for your email. We did not notice that change before you brought it to our attention. In checking the issues for 2010, 2011 and 2012, the statement you refer to states:
“THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE, The Watchtower, is to honor Jehovah God, the Supreme Ruler of the universe. Just as watchtowers in ancient times enabled a person to observe developments from afar, so this magazine shows us the significance of world events in the light of Bible prophecies. It comforts people with the good news that God’s Kingdom, which is a real government in heaven, will soon bring an end to all wickedness and transform the earth into a paradise. It promotes faith in Jesus Christ, who died so that we might gain everlasting life and who is now ruling as King of God’s Kingdom. This magazine has been published by Jehovah’s Witnesses continuously since 1879 and is nonpolitical. It adheres to the Bible as its authority.”
And we now notice beginning in the January 2013 edition, that paragraph does not appear. Like you, we feel it is a significant deletion. The only reasonable conclusion one could come to is that the Governing Body no longer wants to represent to its members, Jehovah’s Witnesses, that the Study Edition of The Watchtower “honors Jehovah God”, “promotes faith in Jesus Christ” or “adheres to the Bible as its authority.” Other than that, we have no idea why it was deleted.
Thank you again for bringing this to our attention.
♦ Follow up comment about the removal of verse references in the New World Translation online.
On August 29, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“Regarding verses removed from NWT on jw.org... It's probably a technical glitch, something in their stylesheet that will likely be corrected shortly. We'll have to wait and see.
“That said, there is a lot to be said for a Bible without verses. For that matter, without chapters. Those serve great for references, but for actual reading without thought or context being interrupted, removing them is not a bad thing. After all, the original texts did not have chapters and verses. There is movement among other translators in this direction. It may be a new trend in Bible production. For example, the ESV Reader's Bible, or Zondervan's "Books of the Bible", an NIV translation. If jw.org gave an option to at least turn off verses, cross references and footnotes, it would be a huge help for just reading without those tiny distractions. Just my opinion.”
To the author, thank you for your email. At first, we, too, thought it might be a technical glitch, however, there were several chapters where the verse references had not been omitted. So it appeared someone was manually removing the references.
But we notice today, the verse references are being added back into the text online. As of this writing, the return of the references is not complete, but it does appear that individual or persons in the Watchtower organization are diligently adding the reference back in.
Thank you for your insight.
♦ A Bible Student is at a crossroads about the Heavenly hope.
On March 19, 2017, we received the following email:
Jesus said, "By their fruits you will recognize them." (Matthew 7:16) In my personal search for God's people (Hebrews 10:25) I have not found a gathering of people producing as much good fruit as 'Jehovah's Witnesses.' So I have in me a great inclination to rest from my searching and remain among them. However, even after much studying with the witnesses over these past months I remain at odds with them over the 'good new' [or gospel] they are preaching.
In the first century, the 'good news' that was being declared caused those who heard it and believed to become 'born again' (1 Peter 23-25; Ephesians 1:13; 1 John 5:1) and being found in [or in union with] Christ (Galatians 3:26-29) they would have rightfully expected to be with him 'where he is' (John 14:3; 17:20, 24)
This is something that does not seem to be occurring in their door to door ministry [at least they themselves do not even believe so] which makes me doubt whether they are preaching the rightful good news (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 11:3-4; Ephesians 4:4-6) which is an extremely serious matter.
It almost seems they are like an angel from heaven declaring 'something beyond the good news' that was originally declared and that they 'have entirely forgotten the exhortation that addresses them as sons' (Hebrews 12:5)
You paint the Watchtower and Governing Body as being quite guilty of evil. That may be but I do not yet presume such things against them with finality, but I have been lead to a decision making point where I essentially have to either believe whatever they teach, since they claim to be the sole channel of truth, or entirely remove myself from them all together (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)
I have noticed that there are others besides myself in this situation. A tremendously stressful situation it is. What are your experiences?
To the author, thank you for your question, and it’s good to hear from you again. From what you have written it is apparent you clearly understand what the true good news of the kingdom was that Jesus and his disciples preached and is not being preached by Jehovah’s Witnesses. You also correctly and scripturally acknowledge that the Watchtower organization does not believe that all followers of Jesus must become born again with the destiny to be with him in the places he has prepared for them in heaven. You also say that to you this “is an extremely serious matter.” We totally agree that this is an extremely serious matter.
What puzzles us is your statement, “but I have been lead to a decision making point where I essentially have to either believe whatever they teach, since they claim to be the sole channel of truth, or entirely remove myself from them all together.”
Since it appears you are studying with the Witnesses, we assume you attend their congregation meetings and participate in the study of their most important publication, the Study Edition of the Watchtower magazine. If so, you must be familiar with the recent Watchtower study magazine dated January 2017, which contains the study article: “Treasure Your Gift of Free Will.” Paragraph 1 states,
“When faced with making a personal choice, one woman told a friend: “Do not make me think; just tell me what to do. That is easier.” The woman preferred being told what to do instead of using a precious gift from her Creator, the gift of free will. What about you? Do you like making your own decisions, or do you prefer that others decide for you? How do you view the matter of free will?”
From what is stated here, you do not “have to believe whatever they teach.” This article suggests that they recognize your God-given free will to choose obedience to the scriptures you outlined which discuss the anointing as a son of God, being born again and our destiny in the heavenly places Jesus has prepared for those who love him.
Regarding what you wrote about their claim as the sole channel of truth, we refer you to that same study article where paragraph 15 states:
“One of the limitations on our freedom is that we must respect the right that others have to make their own decisions in life. Why? Since we all have the gift of free will, no two Christians will always make exactly the same decision. This is true even in matters that involve our conduct and worship. Remember the principle found at Galatians 6:5. When we recognize that each Christian must “carry his own load,” we will respect the right that others have to use their own gift of free will.”
From what is written here, the Governing Body recognizes that their claim to be “the sole channel of truth” does not supersede your God-given gift of free will, and this even includes matters of worship. The invitation to anointed sonship with God and the freedom to use your God-given free will to declare the true good news of the Kingdom has just been granted to you, and to all Jehovah’s Witnesses, to exercise in the midst of your association with the congregation.
However, you also realize that if you act in accordance with your spiritual enlightenment and what has just been stated in this Watchtower study article, and you will be censured by the congregation elders. Accordingly, you need to ask yourself whether what you perceive as good within the Watchtower organization compensates for the denial of your God-given freewill. And further, can what was published in this article be trusted as a true guiding principle of the Watchtower organization?
We want you to contemplate these matters as you determine how you will move forward. Since matters of doctrine and worship as approved by the Governing Body are given primarily in the Watchtower Study Edition, this is a good opportunity for you to see if what is written comports with what is actually practiced. Let us know if exercising your freewill according to your understanding of anointing, being born again and the heavenly destiny raise any conflicts in your congregation or with your study conductor. In our experiences, such freewill does not really exist. Either way, exercising your freewill will give you direction.
Nevertheless, we look forward to hearing from you again to see how this works out for you.