QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
Regarding Jehovah's Witnesses
♦ Visitor ask a few questions about the authors’ status in the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
On August 5, 2013, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“I've been a [Jehovah’s Witness] all my life (30+ years). I'm an inactive [Jehovah’s Witness] that got really disappointed with the "new" light. That encouraged me to look and look and look for answers and every time I found something, I was more disappointed.
I've been reading some of your articles and I have to say I'm really impressed with them. But I do have my doubts/concerns about the teachings. Please check the following questions I have for you. I hope you answer them for me, because I'm really LOST right now. This is even affecting my marriage. So please, I beg you to answer them. You do not have to publish them in your site. [Then the brother lists his questions, most of which we will address individually below.] Hope you answer my email. I really need answers. I'm about to disassociate myself.”
To the author, thank you for your email. Usually, we answer questions such as yours privately, but we have come to understand that there are many brothers and sisters with similar concerns who have not mustered the courage to email us with their questions. So, with the exception of the one that we believe is very personal, we will answer your questions one at a time in this response.
First, we want you to know that you are not alone. The power play of the Governing Body with their so-called ‘new light’ is having the opposite effect of what was intended. Instead of corralling the sheep, it is scattering them. Like you, it has opened the door to a new and sincere search for real truth outside the confines of the organization. Many are finding their way to the plain and open teachings of Jesus. When they do, their spirit becomes agitated and restless. A true warring begins to take place between the flesh and the spirit. They are faced with a precipice moment when they must decide to whom they belong. This is your current struggle.
Most of your questions appear to be about us and who we are. But, in reality, they are more about yourself and what you should do. They reveal your struggle and confirm that you already know what to do, though perhaps not how. With that in mind, let us begin.
1. You say you are "local brothers." But many who have questioned the Watchtower before have been disfellowshipped as apostates. How are you still a "member"? Are you or not a [Jehovah’s Witness (“JWs”)]? Are you active? Disfellowshipped? Disassociated?
We are ‘local brothers’ in that we are not a part of the Governing Body or the Bethel Family. Nor are we disfellowshipped or disassociated. But we do not participate in the field service arrangements with the congregation, so we would be considered ‘inactive,’ though it is quite clear that we are very active in the ministry of Christ.
2. You also say that JWs are preaching the wrong message... the wrong Kingdom. If you are still active or a member of JW, do you still go and preach the "good news"? How do you get away with your teachings when you are in the field?
As we mentioned above, we do not participate in the door-to-door ministry with the congregation, and we certainly do not preach what we consider to be ‘the wrong message.’ That would be hypocritical, weak and selfish. How can we know the truth, but teach the lie? We are certain neither the Christ nor the Father would be too pleased with us if we did.
3. If you are still an active member, and you know the "spiritual food" we are getting at the kingdom hall and magazines is not correct, do you still go to the meetings? How can you seat there for 90+ mins, knowing it is not entirely the truth?
We are not active according to the definition by the organization and we have ceased attending meetings for a few reasons. One, because of our ministry, we believe we would be too much of a distraction to the congregation. Two, as you allude to, subjecting ourselves to what is taught from the platform would grieve our spirit far too much. Three, we do not have family ties that could cloud our judgment or extort our allegiance. And four, we believe we can do a far better service to our association in this ministry, coupled with personal association outside of congregational arrangements. We maintain a good working relationship with all. We stopped converting and started conversing. Neither do we browbeat our brothers for remaining behind, for not yet having the courage to stand up, or for their temporary visual impairment. We also keep the door open to our Body of Elders and our Circuit Overseer who keep in touch with us.
At the same time, we recognize that many of our brothers and sisters are able to continue in relative association for the purpose of helping their family and friends who remain. You may have read the emails from the growing number of Elders and Circuit Overseers who are stepping down from their positions of oversight. (See Kingdom Update - June 2013 and Emails From Our Visitors.) But instead of leaving the organization, they are remaining behind, as one former Circuit Overseer recently stated, ‘as life rafts to help others get safely to shore.’ But all of this has a lifespan. If the Governing Body continues to stubbornly reject the plain and open teachings, or implements more offensive ideology, we suspect that many, if not all, of these brothers, will move on.
In the past, while we have provided this information in private emails, we have refrained from making public our decisions in this regard because it is important that each of us comes to our own conclusions and makes our own decision. We are not seeking followers. And we have learned over the years that premature departure can be more devastating than staying behind. One need only look at the trail of devastation of those who fled but had nowhere to go, or who picked up the ministry of the ancient Hebrew prophets rather than the ministry of Jesus, or even worse. (See Converting Pauls to Sauls.)
One of our goals is to empower our brothers so that they can leave as victors, not victims, which would surely occur if they have not built up sufficient spiritual strength to stand alone if necessary. We elect to make this known publicly now because we believe we have built up an adequate storehouse of spiritual encouragement to sustain our brothers during a necessary flight to safety as the time we have allotted for the Governing Body to subject themselves to the plain and open teachings of the Christ is dwindling and will soon come to a close.
4. I agree that the [Governing Body] is going beyond what is written by declaring themselves "God channel". It reminds me of the pharisees, adding rules. Are they overstepping as well with all the rules about celebrating holidays/birthdays, military service, blood, vote, etc? Do you consider that a matter of conscience or not?
We view many of their rules as overstepping their boundaries. But you do not need us to tell you which ones. Consider the Governing Body’s reasoning and then apply knowledge of the plain and open teachings and spiritual discernment and you can figure out which ones. In essence, put on the mind of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 2:16) Those that are conscience matters will be revealed by your own conscience.
5. It is known by others that the Watchtower has prophesied the end several times and failed. It is in our own literature. Isn't that consider a false prophet? Didn't Jesus warn us about this?
You do not need us to answer these questions for you. You already know the answer.
6. I will love to believe all your precious teaching, but someone in another blog said that The Little Known Twelve came straight from the Book of Urantia. I checked it myself and it is true. Why? Why are you using such information? I thought you were basing everything from the Bible. Confused here.
Brother, we do not want you ‘to believe all of our teachings.’ We are not seeking a following nor are we looking to become a new governing body over our brothers. If you believe what is published on our site, believe because you are convinced, not because we say so. That applies not only to us, but to all sources of information that have a bearing on your eternal salvation.
As for the article, The Little Known Twelve, we removed that article from our site back in March 2013. We are no longer ‘using such information.’ We published it under a section entitled Dramatic Presentations and expressly stated that it is not presented as dogma, but as an interesting diversion. Personally we found it very interesting and encouraging. So did many others. But we also saw that some stumbled over it. They continued bound to the spiritually-stifling and fear-inducing idea that everything outside of the Bible is somehow demonic. So for the sake of their consciences, we deleted the article. Its presence or lack of presence on our site does not at all effect our ministry. But even with its presence, that does not change the fact that all of the articles published as teaching articles (that is, not in the Dramatic Presentations section or titled “Contemplations”), are based squarely on the Bible. A review of the articles themselves reveal this fact. We hope we have cleared up your confusion.
Now that you have our answers, we hope you will use the information wisely. We are not the masters over anyone’s faith. We are brothers and fellow workers with you. Whatever decision you make, first count the cost and then act boldly, yet discreetly, and in full faith of the Father’s approval, protection and guidance. That applies to whether you stay or go. Sadly, one does not seem to realize that he is imprisoned and institutionalized until he attempts to leave. You are having an awakening of sorts. Act in a way that does not destroy your faith or unnecessarily destroys your relationships with others. And we will be praying with you
♦ What is the address of the Reno Congregation mentioned in your article Defending Our Living Hope?
On September 20, 2013, we received the following inquiry:
“Hello, I am may be visiting Reno, Nevada soon and I would like to know exactly which congregation was visited by the four brothers from Bethel. [As mentioned in our article Defending Our Living Hope.] There are 3 addresses of congregations listed for Reno, which of these was it?”
To the author, thank you for your email. We are answering it privately and publicly because it appears that many others have your same idea.
Please know that the emails we receive from that congregation do not specify an address, nor do we ask for one. But we suspect that any one of the congregations in that city would be able to provide you with more information. We do, however, hope that your interest in the congregation is for the purpose of upbuilding and supporting them, rather than participating in a spectacle as a looky-loo as some are doing. We raise this issue because your email expressed an interest in the congregation that was visited by the Bethel representatives, rather than the congregation with a concentration of the anointed sons of the kingdom.
We also want you to know that these brothers are serious about their sonship and in being about the Father’s business. They have very little interest in satisfying the curiosity of onlookers. They allowed their story to be told for the purpose of strengthening their brothers in other congregations who may be facing the same type of trials. We hope you understand that.
If it is your purpose to support these brothers and sisters, then we suggest the best way to do so is to work with them in spreading the true good news of the sacred secret of sonship throughout the congregation you are associated with and those round about. Have a share with them in the real ministry of reconciliation to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20) as our universal heavenly Father. And if you are offended at the actions of the Governing Body, write to them and let them know. Their address is contained on the letters we write to them and also on their website. These two ways are the most effective ways to support these brothers and sisters.
Please know also that the scattering of these brothers has already begun. Many have already begun moving away to other states to continue planting and watering the kingdom seed. And it is our understanding that one or more have decided to move to your state. Additionally, we understand that the elders whom you will encounter if you visit that congregation now will most likely be the newly appointed ones who have not yet accepted their sonship. Thus, your personal visit might not be as advantageous as you might expect.
But if your interest in the congregation is for a good spiritual purpose, and you choose to visit those that remain, then we wish peace to you and safe travels. And if you are so inclined, feel free to write us with your impressions.
♦ Have we changed our position on who is Babylon the Great? Do we think it is time to formally leave Jehovah’s Witnesses.
On January 14, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
"I e-mailed you a question some time ago that if you think that JW's as an organization is to be considered Babylon the great which you should flee and escape from (Rev. 18:4) Your answer then was that we can't say which identity she has. You also mentioned that it would be difficult to help and support JW's if you disassociated from them. My questions are: Have change your position in the matter? (Having your last article in mind [Discerning the Time of Inspection.] Do you think is high time to formally leave Jehovah's Witnesses?”
To the author, it is good to hear from you again and thank you for your email. We are responding publicly because we believe others may have the same questions.
No, we have not changed our position on the identity of Babylon the Great. We still cannot say with any certainty who she represents. The article, Discerning the Time of Inspection, was not based on the prophesies in Revelation about Babylon the Great, but on the parallels between the Governing Body and the 1st century Jewish Sanhedrin. Our comments about fleeing from the organization are based on Jesus’ words to his apostles (Matthew 24:15-16), and Paul’s words to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 6:15-18). We emphasized that since the Governing Body has chosen to pattern itself after a disapproved nation, they will reap what they have sown. (Galatians 6:7) This is not prophesy, it is patterns and parallels.
We want to further emphasize that we did not base anything in the article on the prophesies in the Old Testament either. We strongly believe that any message that the Father or the Christ would have for anyone today, including the Governing Body, will be found in the New Testament and will be based on Jesus’ words as the last and greatest prophet. (Matthew 21:37) For further discussion of this, see Lastly He Sent His Son.
You asked whether it is time to formally leave the organization. We believe that is a personal decision that each individual will have to make for him or herself and their families. We do not want to become a new governing body, making personal decisions for our brothers. Our message is one of liberty and freedom. We reiterate the plain and open teachings of Jesus and the need to openly confess union with him. And we have provided spiritual provisions to sustain those who elect to leave. But how and when our brothers choose to respond is up to them. As the scripture says: “let the reader use discernment.” (Matthew 24:15) The Father will hold us individually accountable for our actions, so we should be sure that our actions are OUR actions, and not the result of blindly following others.
Finally, yes, we continue to believe that if you formally disassociate yourself from the congregation, it will be difficult to help those who remain behind. For that reason, we suggest that those who chose to leave do so in a way that allows for continued freeness of speech.
♦ Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in Jesus? (WT 5/1/14)
On March 10, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“I'm enjoying the articles you've published. The May 1, 2014 public edition of the Watchtower has an article that is an imaginary conversation with a householder who brings up an objection that [Jehovah’s Witnesses] do not believe in Jesus (page 8). Have you seen this? Do you have any response to it? In particular, [Jehovah’s Witnesses] believe that when Jesus said, "No one comes to the Father except through me," he was referring to prayer ("in Jesus name, Amen") Any thoughts on this?”
To the author, thank you for your emails. We are glad you are enjoying what you are reading here.
Our response to your comment is that Jehovah’s Witnesses do believe in Jesus. But, as a whole, they do not choose to unite with him. That is their problem. This imaginary conversation is nothing more than smoke screen designed to lull Jehovah’s Witnesses into a belief that are all Christians, when they are not.
Only those who ‘eat and drink’ of Christ (John 6:53), who confess union with him (Matthew 10:32), who are baptized into his death (Romans 6:3), and who are in pursuit of the heavenly kingdom (Philippians 3:14) are members of his body, belong to the Christian congregation. (Colossians 1:24) That’s the real issue. Remember, even the Devil believes in Jesus. So do all anti-Christs. (1 John 2:18) More than belief is necessary. We must also exercise faith in the ways described above.
That is an interesting conversation cited in the Watchtower, but we fear that far too many Jehovah’s Witnesses will find themselves in this conversation:
“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
Dear brother, there is so much foolishness in the Watchtower publications that we could spend our entire ministry trying to debunk it all. As you surely know, there are many, many other websites who have chosen to take on that task. Instead, we pick our battles and focus on building up our brothers with matters that are ‘in connection with faith’ (1 Timothy 1:4), like sonship with the Father and the heavenly hope for all. If our brothers don’t understand, accept and exercise faith in these two concepts, it does not matter what theology they hold. They will return to the ground and all their theological thoughts and doctrines will perish with them. (Psalms 146:4)
♦ If the end is imminent, why have Jehovah’s Witnesses switched preaching tactics to silently standing by literature carts?
On July 20, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“Dear Brothers, We were taught over the past 100 years that the END or Armageddon is IMMINENT, as if it is coming in a hurry. But look now at the new way of sharing God's Kingdom in UK which I find as a complete irony.
"Thousands have switched tactics to stand on street corners in more than a dozen cities across Britain - and unusually for public preachers, they are staying almost completely silent... Unlike other evangelical preachers, they do not shout or call attention to themselves - instead standing in near-silence until someone approaches them."
1) If we are preaching with a sense of urgency - a matter of life and death - then why do it in silence, why be passive at this stage in history? Should it not be the reverse?
2) As the big day draws near, would it not be more logical to up the speed in reaching out to people for them to ACT without delay instead of standing in silence near a display stand of religious literature?
3) Would this approach send a CONFUSING signal to the rest of [the Jehovah’s Witness] community as well as to those to whom we have preached?
Your thoughts and comments appreciated.”
To the author, thank you for your email. However, your questions would be more appropriately directed to individuals who believe the end of the entire system of things is imminent. We do not. But these developments are an indication that many among the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and many Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves, do not believe it either.
It is our belief that the end that is imminent is the end to sorrow, suffering and distress as soon as the true good news of the kingdom is preached throughout the earth as Jesus commanded. (Matthew 24:14) See also Experiment No. 3 - Awaiting the Second Coming. We get several emails like this one that are designed to throw stones at a dying organization. We think it is better to use those stones for building up those who remain within the organization. Rather than standing around watching people drown, make a move to help. Do something positive. Lives are at stake.
Many ex-Witnesses feel: “Now that I have ‘seen the light,’ to hell with them!” And they go even further by criticizing those who are trying to help. It’s like escaping a burning building and then throwing gasoline while the fire department is trying to put the fire out. We want to remind those who have this mindset that they were once inside the building holding the same views and doing the same things. What if those who awoke before you were successful in ‘burning the organization down?’ Where would you be?
So, rather than just complaining and looking for others to complain with you, address your concerns to those at the head of the Watchtower organization who have the power to make changes. Even if your efforts do not achieve your objective, at least you can say that you made some effort to be a part of a solution rather than being part of the problem.
♦ 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.
♦ Didn’t Jehovah’s Witnesses lose Jehovah’s blessings back in the days of Rutherford when they first shut up the kingdom?
On September 21, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“Hi brothers long time no writing. Make no mistake I'm still a regular reader of your thought provoking and faith inspiring updates. I agree fully with the feedback addressed to the governing body. It's a shame how they treat the true brothers of Christ. But let’s face it, as an organization, under the leadership of Rutherford, [Jehovah’s Witnesses] formally shut the heavens for the majority already in the mid 30's.
“In addition, Rutherford introduced, step by step, several manmade doctrines and polices that effectively isolated [Jehovah’s Witnesses] from community and Christianity that still had the gates of heaven wide open for the public.
“Don't you think, if [Jehovah’s Witnesses] had any divine support in the first place, that they lost any potential blessing from God and Jesus already then rather than 2014?”
To the author, it is good to hear from you again. We are glad you continue to visit us.
We would have to agree with you that the seeds for the downfall of Jehovah’s Witnesses began many, many years ago. Some saw the signs of danger and fled the organization almost immediately. Others saw signs but were willing to wait to see if the organization would correct itself. Still others remained in association because they enjoyed the thrill of preaching and teaching as the apostles had done and had established many good relationships and were afforded opportunities that would otherwise not have been available.
Early in their history, in spite of the errors of their leadership, Jehovah’s Witnesses were a studious group who were sincerely concerned with truth. They were a living example of Jesus’ illustration to let the weeds and wheat grow together for a time, for fear that in destroying the weeds, the wheat might also be destroyed. He suggested they wait until ‘the harvest’ where the differences would be more apparent to the angels who have the assignment to burn the weeds and take the true wheat into ‘the storehouse.’ (Matthew 13:24-30) These words of wisdom are proving true today in this 21st century among the Watchtower organization. This time appears to be their own personal harvest time.
Do not be misled about God’s blessings. Recall that He ‘allows it to rain upon the righteous and the unrighteous.’ (Matthew 5:45) His wisdom, justice and mercy is past searching out.’ (Romans 11:33; Jonah 4:2) Unfortunately, when certain religious groups are the recipients of the Father’s blessings, they begin to believe that they are the only recipients and that they are somehow chosen and singled out as God’s special possession. This is arrogance and foolishness. God is not partial. He acknowledges, supports and furthers goodness whenever and wherever it can be found. (Acts 10:34-35)
And so, with Jehovah’s Witnesses, there are things they have done that are worthy of blessings, and there are things they have done that are not. They have had over 100 years to correct their errors, but just like the rebellious and hardhearted ancient nation of Israel, the leaders of the Watchtower organization have refused to accept correction. So the bad news is that they are doing things worthy of malediction and doing those things in greater measure in these last few years, proving themselves to be unworthy of ‘the storehouse.’
These things will bring about the Father’s complete abandonment. Not because the Father has turned against them, but because He has simply turned away. (Matthew 23:38) There will soon be nothing left to bless and the Watchtower Society will be vulnerable to all sorts of maledictions from a variety of hardened enemies who will put them to the fire.
As time has passed, Jehovah’s Witnesses are distinguishing themselves to all onlookers, especially the angelic host. Unlike other professed Christian sects, Jehovah’s Witnesses have actually become ‘fighters against God’ (Acts 5:39) by persecuting those who openly confess union with Jesus and who take up the hope he held out to his followers, namely, the eternal heavenly career where they will experience blessings unimaginable on earth. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Most egregious are the reports we are now receiving telling us the Watchtower organization is seeking to disfellowship those who make public declaration of their heavenly hope, labeling them apostates! We are getting regular reports from one particular congregation where certain elders are determined to disfellowship 3 partakers with Christ on the charge of apostasy because they have openly spoken about their heavenly hope. If these wayward elders follow through with their intention, we will certainly reveal publicly what transpired.
In the past, the Watchtower Society promoted false teachings just as do many other Christian sects. But they are quickly separating themselves from the pack by these continuing and accelerating Anti-Christ teachings and behaviors. This is why we believe this year and coming years is the harvest time for Jehovah’s Witnesses. And do not let it pass your notice that they are now commercializing the organization, turning it into a social fellowship rather than a religious brotherhood. Many are being caught up in the hype, ‘eating and drinking’ and ‘taking no note’ until the day that they are completely swept away. (Matthew 24:37-39)
One of the many reasons the Father is patient with mankind is to allow them time for correction and for those who are rightly disposed to everlasting life to escape from dangerous affiliations. As Jesus and the New Testament writers advised, those who seek to follow Christ and gain life must flee from anti-Christian associations before those groups either implode or are taken down. Remember, the Father wants all to gain everlasting life.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. For God sent forth his Son into the world, not for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
By way of this website, we are working to magnify the way ‘into the storehouse’ – through open confession and union with Christ Jesus. As our brother and sisters among Jehovah’s Witnesses heed Christ’s direction and cease from following men, they will escape the consequences that will befall a religious organization that blatantly defies him.
The year 2014 marks 100 years of their grandiose speeches about their supposed divine appointment and advanced insight. It reminds us of King Belshazzar on the night of his self-exalting grand feast who suffered a humbling defeat, and his kingdom was divided among his enemies, all because he failed to learn the lessons of his predecessor. (Daniel 5:1-31) The similarities are striking, and it does not look like the Governing Body will learn the lesson of their predecessors, the Jewish Sanhedrin, who also persecuted Christ’s brothers, and were abandoned to a terrible unprecedented defeat by the Roman army. So this year of feasting and boasting by the Watchtower Society would be an appropriate time to bring an end to their foolishness and bloodguilt.
As time passes, the counsel of the Apostle Paul seems more and more appropriate as to why God has allowed the errors of the Watchtower Society to continue for so long. Paul wrote:
“But the lawless one’s presence is by the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and wonders and every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth in order that they might be saved. That is why God lets a deluding influence mislead them so that they may come to believe the lie, in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Therefore, we believe it is unwise for Jehovah’s Witnesses to assume just because the Watchtower organization continues to exist, it must have the Father’s blessings. For it is our belief that the Father’s blessings on Jehovah’s Witnesses is swiftly dwindling as there is little left in the Watchtower organization to bless. All indications are that they will soon experience the maledictions prepare for those who reject the Christ. For now, their continued existence allows ‘truth lovers’ the time to awaken and exit, while at the same time, allows ‘men lovers’ to continue under their chosen self-delusion culminating in their own special ‘end time.’
That is our opinion.
♦ How can I wake my children up to the undue influence of the Watchtower organization on their lives and their thinking?
On September 22, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“I would really like your advice on how I can wake up my children to the undue influence of the [Watchtower organization] on their lives and their thinking. What do you think I should use to introduce them to the plain and honest teachings of Jesus Christ? Should I start with your Symposium on "the Truth"? I am not an inactive witness and not yet disfellowshipped but I have stopped attending meetings and service. My 2 adult kids are still very active and we have had no spiritual conversations although we have dropped hints here and there about the "mind control" that is going on in the [Watchtower organization]. I know because I was really controlled and am so very happy to have found my spiritual freedom. Would you please give me some advice on how to start the conversation with them? Thank you very much!”
To the author, thank you for your email. We are publishing it here because we know there are others who have similar questions.
First, we certainly understand your plight. As parents ourselves, with three of our children still active in the organization and two who chose not to be baptized and who fully support our ministry, we feel your pain. However, let us try to put some things into perspective.
Many active Witnesses remain active for the social aspects of the religion. They have developed many friends and have become accustomed to the routine. Many are given opportunities that they would not have otherwise had, so they find the ‘not-so-positive’ aspects of the organization tolerable. Not all are duped by the lies and propaganda. Not all are ‘footstep followers of the Slave.’ Truly, for many, it is merely ‘something to do.’
But based on the organization’s accelerating machinations to silence and disfellowship any who claim to have the heavenly hope, the Elders and Overseers who follow the unsound directives of the Governing Body will soon have to take off their sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15) and reveal their true nature as haters of Christ and, in fact, anti-Christs. (1 John 2:18) This in itself will wake up many, as we can assure you is happening now.
As you know, from personal experience, overt attempts to ‘wake up’ Jehovah’s Witnesses by pointing out their erroneous doctrines and false expectations not only falls on deaf ears but alerts their ‘apostate radar.’ They quickly shut down and run to the nearest Elder to tattle. These actions only serve to harden their resolve and place them further away from the Father and Christ Jesus, as Jesus explained:
“For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes, so that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back and I heal them.” — Matthew 13:15
Accordingly, we feel a better tactic is to teach them critical thinking, not about the Watchtower teachings, but about the teachings of other religious sects. Without making any reference to the Watchtower organization, discuss in as much detail as possible the downfall of widely accepted cults such as those who followed Jim Jones, David Koresh, Marshal Applewhite and others. Ask them: (1) Why did people follow them in the first place? (2) What did they expect from those leaders? (3) How could they have known that those men were not spokesmen for God or Christ? (4) How could those people have avoided being led to their deaths? (5) Is there any lesson that can be learned to avoid this happening in the future? And most importantly, (6) How might they try to ‘save’ others who are victims of cults.
If you are careful not to associate any of your questions with the Watchtower teachings, but just focus purely on those whom Jehovah’s Witnesses believe are cults, you will be developing in your children critical thinking ability. Perhaps not immediately, but in time they will see the similarities, come to their own conclusions about the Watchtower methodologies, and make their own decision to leave.
And we would add that you should at all times let them know you love them and welcome them no matter what they believe, no matter whether they choose to turn from you or not. They should always be welcomed by you with open arms. You must be ‘the parent of the prodigal son.’ (Luke 15:11-32) You must demonstrate the love of the Christ so that when they see the true underbelly of the organization, they will not feel alone.
Finally, there is always the possibility that we simply cannot save those we love from being misled by men. Grown adults have the freedom to choose how to live their own lives. Since the Father and Christ Jesus allow us that freedom, we cannot take that freedom away from others, not even from our grown children. Remember, the Father sent prophets and finally He sent His Son to awaken His lost children. Many responded, many did not. So, there are no guarantees. If you have tried all you can to reach your children, then at some point you will have to find peace in their decision and allow them to have the quality of life they choose for themselves. This is when this sobering scripture will have greater meaning for you:
“Whoever has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me; and whoever has greater affection for son or daughter than for me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not accept his torture stake and follow after me is not worthy of me.” –Matthew 10:37-38
If only our families would recognize that there is so much more available to them, so many blessings and unimaginable joys. (1 Corinthians 2:9) But they have to want it and that’s the bottom line. If they don’t want it, as hard as it may be to hear, you may just have to shake the dust off your feet and hope they wake up before they have exhausted their time on earth.
Life is full of difficult challenges. This is yours. We will pray with you that your children respond to your efforts to get them to think critically and wake up so that they are not led, along with the Governing Body, into a pit. (Matthew 15:14) Really, now is the time for everyone to flee the Watchtower organization.
♦ Why didn’t the brother in the Fenway Apostasy article remain silent like Jesus?
On October 12, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry in connection with the article Apostasy in the Fenway Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roxbury, Massachusetts:
“May the Lords peace and grace be upon you. Thank you for revealing verifiable facts! Many are appreciating it. The brother’s testimony may have benefitted from Jesus example of remaining silent when he was asked to condemn himself. Perhaps it's better to only focus on the easiest point: our right to declare our hope. The [Governing Body] themselves set that example.”
To the author, thank you for your email. We are glad you are still visiting our site and are continuing to do your part in bringing others to Christ. We relayed your email to the brother and he authorized us to provide this response.
The brother who gave us his personal account in the above article could have remained silent, but he viewed this as his opportunity to make a defense for his hope. It is not about saving himself, but about exposing an injustice that effects the eternal salvation of all who fail to confess union with the Christ by ‘eating and drinking’ of him as he commanded. (John 6:53-56)
Unlike Jesus, our dear brother’s life was not in danger. There was never a threat that the elders in his congregation would cause him physical harm, and those men certainly have no authority over his spiritual life, whether they disfellowship him or not. Their condemnation is just an opinion. Nothing more. He is very clear on this.
All these men can do is try to ruin his reputation which would have occurred whether he spoke up or remained silent. He chose to use this as an opportunity to speak up and give a witness for himself and for others who may be called before such misguided and pitiable men. And, as it is turning out, these wayward elders’ plan is backfiring, as it seems their actions are ruining their own reputations instead.
As for the subject matter of his judicial hearing, that is determined by his accusers. He had to defend whatever accusation was presented. The elders probably determined that their best opportunity to entrap and expel this brother would be based on his understanding of John 6:53-56. And while they may succeed in expelling him, it will not be without cost to themselves. But we are confident that had they chosen another subject having to do with sonship or the heavenly hope, our brother would have given just as excellent a witness.
In our opinion, our dear brother manifested a type of courage that is so needed in the Watchtower organization. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses know that many of the teachings of the Governing Body are inaccurate, but they are afraid to speak up and instead close their eyes and swallow the errors whole. They have abandoned their right to critical thinking and given their lives to men ‘to whom no salvation belongs.’
Our brothers and sisters among Jehovah’s Witnesses must abandon their fear of men and wake up to the fact that the Watchtower organization is just one of thousands of religious organizations that are, to some measure, trying to follow the Bible. They are not a chosen people, or a divinely selected group, no matter how often that idea is drummed into their heads. The mere fact that the Governing Body has to constantly change their teachings should be a clear indication of that. Like any other Bible-based religious group, to the extent that they follow the Christ, they will prosper. And to the extent that they reject the Christ, they will suffer.
According to the account in Genesis, Jehovah said to Cain:
“If you turn to doing good, will you not be restored to favor? But if you do not turn to doing good, sin is crouching at the door, and its craving is to dominate you; but will you get the mastery over it?” –Genesis 4:7
It’s that simple, even down to this day. Unfortunately, the Watchtower organization is not gaining the mastery over their sin against Christ, and soon their gross sin will dominate in every congregation. We shudder to think of what type of people Jehovah’s Witnesses will soon become.
Two of our associate writers wrote an article Leaving As Victors, Not Victims. Our brother who is the subject of the Fenway Apostate elder body is another example of how to leave as a victor. But first, he is giving a thorough witness and we, for our part, are making it known.
♦ Why does the Revised New World Translation omit John 8:1-11?
On November 2, 2014, we received the following comment and inquiry:
I am sure you are aware of the beautiful compassion and mercy that Jesus revealed to us at John Chapter 8:1-11. What is your opinion, if you have one, why the Governing Body removed these versus from the current New World Translation? I always thought that these verses were an excellent example of how we should treat our fellow brothers and sisters, as well as other humans that we share this planet with. Thank you, and may God continue to bless your ministry. With Christian love, your brother.”
To the author, thank you for your email and brotherly love. The verses you refer to are the account of the woman caught in adultery where Jesus is said to have made the famous statement “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” According to the footnote in the Revised New World Translation at John 7:53-8:11, those verses were omitted because “a number of ancient and authoritative manuscripts omit them.” But, of course, this language correspondingly means that a number of ancient and authoritative manuscripts do contain those verses, and the Watchtower committee who created this revised translation decided to follow in the footsteps of those who omitted the verses.
It is interesting that the Watchtower committee who created the older version of the New World Translation reached a different conclusion, and decided to include those verses in the footnote, whereas the new Watchtower committee omitted them completely. This is not unusual for the Watchtower organization. They have a long public history of flip flopping on doctrines and policies, sometimes going back and forth on the same issue many times, as many long time Jehovah’s Witnesses well know.
As you said, the omitted verses are a beautiful compassionate account of Jesus’ mercy and a wonderful lesson in forgiveness for all. Who is not touched by the tenderness of the account and the stark contrast between the way a son of God responds to the sins of others and the way selfish intolerant hypocritical people respond. So whether this account is true or spurious, the lesson is of great value.
We are inclined to believe the account really occurred, even if it was not contained in some ancient manuscripts, because of its bold and unexpected wisdom, its profound insight, and its consistency with everything else Jesus taught. Recall that John wrote that the vast majority of the things Jesus said and did are not contained in writings of the day.
“There are also, in fact, many other things that Jesus did, which if ever they were written in full detail, I suppose the world itself could not contain the scrolls written.” – John 21:25
So, the fact that some ancient manuscripts do not contain accounts that other manuscripts contain is not an automatic disqualifier of the accounts. The way we see it, because practically every Christian is familiar with this particular account, the outright omission of these verses from the Revised New World Translation may move many people to choose another Bible translation for their personal study. We have made that decision for ourselves and only use the New World Translation, revised or older version, for the purposes of our ministry to Jehovah’s Witnesses. In our personal study, we use various other translations so that we can get as broad an understanding of the scriptures as possible, and so that our understanding is not colored and dominated by the sectarian decisions of one group.
So, brother, even though the account is omitted from the Revised New World Translation, it is readily available in many other Bible translations such as the New International Version, the Modern English Version, the Revised Standard Version, the Good News Translation, the King James Version and many others. In truth, the lesson of the account is not lost to those who keep their minds open to the teachings of Jesus wherever they may be found, and who take his advice to keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. (Matthew 7:7-8) When we understand the character of Jesus, it is not difficult to know what is true.
“I am the fine shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me, . . . My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” — John 10:14, 27
♦ Visitor who had lost faith in God questions the growth as stated in Kingdom Update - December 2014.
On December 31, 2014, we received the following detailed comment and question which we are happy to respond to. We present the entire email:
“I'm a reader of your website since end of 2012. I followed with great interest many of your articles and I check almost daily if something is new. I was a witness [for 28 years]. I pioneered and served in various positions. We were close to attending Gilead, but decided to have children instead. In 1980, I was disfellowshipped due to not accepting the [Faithful and Discreet Slave] anymore.
“In the years after 1980 I became a very active ex-witness, trying to help our former brothers to recognize the errors I found, but my own family became even more convinced as a result. I joined an evangelical group for about 10 years, became more critical, lost my faith in the Bible as God's word and finally my faith in the God the Bible represents.
“In the 2nd part of 2012, I had the desire to see what's going on with [Jehovah's Witnesses] because [my family] are still in the organization. For many years I had no interest in religion – became an agnostic – but through your articles my hope was nourished that something is going on which finally could change the organization and I could be reunited, at least with my family. I agree with a lot of your articles, which show that Jesus needs to be the center of our faith. I never commented any of your articles, but I'm thankful for the work you have done during this period. Particularly I'm thankful, that I found on your pages for the first time a reference to the Urantia Book. I have read it meanwhile from beginning to the end and I'm reading it again. It simply overwhelmed me and since reading it, I can believe again in God. There is so much to detect and as my memory fails now often (I'm 72), I will have to read it often. I'm reading daily in it and marvel about the information presented there and I tend to believe it.
“On the other side there is something which fuels my scepticism. In your Kingdom Update December 2014 you speak of the tremendous increase from April 2014 to now (from 8.7 to 27 million) which simply ignites my doubts, because that sound unbelievable. I remember that you once answered a similar question [Question and Response 2/12/14] but the answer for me was not satisfying. On what do you base such information? It would take even for an organization like the [Watchtower Bible & Tract Society] a department of people to add up all the figures which would come in from various sources and different parts of the world. I would appreciate if you could provide a satisfying and understandable answer - no details are required for it.
“Does the figure include the figures from another group or religious organization and how then do you decide which ones should or can be included? How do you get the information? I don't expect any details, but a general, open and understandable answer. Or is it that you personally have - or believe to have - contact with some of the celestial beings? Sometimes your wording rings like that.
“Personally I think that your statement of these figures rather discourages as it will fuel doubts, especially if you don't explain how you can say that. So, I should appreciate very much a satisfying clarification, as I'm considering helping you to translate your articles into German. I'm looking forward to your answer and wish you further success in your wonderful work. With kind regards.”
To the author, we want to thank you for your email. We suspect there are many others who have followed, and are following your faith journey, and many others who share your concern about the numbers reported in the Kingdom Update – December 2014, and on other articles on this website. We are awed at the numbers as well, but we assure you they are accurate as we will explain below.
First, we want to acknowledge that many, many of our brothers who were mistreated and mislead by various religious groups and who have consequently turned away from God have found their way back to faith and back to the Father and Christ Jesus by means of The Urantia Book. What happens is that the hard to understand Bible stories, and the way many of its teachers and adherents behave make it hard for intelligent, reasonable and thoughtful people in these modern times to believe there is a wise, loving, and caring God. But, in our experience, The Urantia Book, which we call “The Teacher’s Guide to the Bible,” explains many of those hard to believe stories by adding context and background which appeals to reason, logic, intelligence, and known scientific facts. And in so doing, it makes the Bible understandable and acceptable to the modern mind, and thereby builds and rebuilds faith. But we know that the vast majority of Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses would stumble at the book. That is why we limit what we publish on this website to what was actually presented in, and supported by, the Bible. More advanced concepts and the examination of extra-Biblical writings such as The Urantia Book are reserved for our sister site www.TheChristExperiment.org. We hope you continue visiting that website and sharing your thoughts. Now to your question.
You are right that it would take a very large army of men to count each person who claims to be a son of God, and there would always a question of whether the person is truly a son of God or just an imposter or a ‘wanna-be.’ While we do have a means of tracking visitors to our site, those reports do not identify who is a looky-loo and who is an actual son. So, there must be more to it.
Jesus once said: “When the son of man arrives, will he really find the faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) But faith in what? Faith in the Father; faith in Jesus; faith in the Spirit of Truth; faith in Holy Spirit; faith in the angelic army whose purpose is to serve man; faith in one another; faith in personality survival after death of the mortal body; and things like these. Like those in the 1st century, a large portion of our society is ‘a faithless generation.’ In an effort to change that, we published articles such as “Faith in Unseen Realities” and “Walking By Faith.” We showed that angels are active today and very much concerned about continuing and completing the ministry Jesus began in the 1st century. As they did back then, angels continue to guide and direct his ministry. And yes, dear brother, they can count. (Matthew 10:30) Does this stumble you? “What, therefore, if you should see the Son of man ascending to where he was before?” (John 6:32)
We hesitate to speak too much on this matter because we want people to focus on the message, not the messengers. Numbers signifying growth in the sons of God are encouraging, especially among a people who are convinced that the world is increasingly Godless and going ‘straight to Armageddon.’ But it is the plain and open teachings of Jesus that build faith and lead to peace to salvation.
The bottom line is that you can doubt the numbers if you choose to – they are only good for counting. But do not lose sight of the more important things. As some would say ‘Do not throw out the baby with the bath water.’ If what you find on this website is encouraging and if you are moved to assist us in continuing Jesus’ authentic ministry, we welcome you and any others who want to help us spread his ‘plain and open teachings.’ We especially need translators.
So, reflect on what we have written and let us know if you still wish to help us.
The Inquirer’s Reply: 1/1/15 - Dear brothers, Thank your very much for your really fast and kind answer, which I appreciate and accept - it didn't stumble me, somehow I even expected it - but certain doubts will remain for the time being. You are right, there are more important things than numbers. Your message and the articles on your site bears the spirit of truth, which I can't deny, so I'm still willing to help you in translating your articles.
♦ Where does the Watchtower say that Jesus is the mediator only for 144,000?
On January 19, 2015, we received the following inquiry:
“Hello. I just read the email of the former Elder [January 18, 2015]. Could he give us the references of the Watchtower in question, which states that only through the Governing Body can we have a relationship with the Father. Thank you kindly for an answer.”
To the author, thank you for your email. We contacted the brother and here is his response:
Here are the two references:
*** w79 4/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers *** Is Jesus the “mediator” only for anointed Christians?
The term “mediator” occurs just six times in the Christian Greek Scriptures and Scripturally is always used regarding a formal covenant.
Moses was the “mediator” of the Law covenant made between God and the nation of Israel. (Gal. 3:19, 20) Christ, though, is the “mediator of a new covenant” between Jehovah and spiritual Israel, the “Israel of God” that will serve as kings and priests in heaven with Jesus. (Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24; Gal. 6:16) At a time when God was selecting those to be taken into that new covenant, the apostle Paul wrote that Christ was the “one mediator between God and men.” (1 Tim. 2:5) Reasonably Paul was here using the word “mediator” in the same way he did the other five times, which occurred before the writing of 1 Timothy 2:5, referring to those then being taken into the new covenant for which Christ is “mediator.” So in this strict Biblical sense Jesus is the “mediator” only for anointed Christians.
The new covenant will terminate with the glorification of the remnant who are today in that covenant mediated by Christ. The “great crowd” of “other sheep” that is forming today is not in that new covenant. However, by their associating with the “little flock” of those yet in that covenant they come under benefits that flow from that new covenant. During the millennium Jesus Christ will be their king, high priest and judge.
*** w13 7/15 p. 20 pars. 2-3 “Who Really Is the Faithful and Discreet Slave?” ***
Paragraph 2: The timely spiritual food we receive is proof that Jesus, the Head of the congregation, is keeping his promise to feed us. Through whom is he doing so? When giving the sign of his presence, Jesus said that he would use “the faithful and discreet slave” to give “food at the proper time” to his domestics. (Read Matthew 24:45-47.) That faithful slave is the channel through which Jesus is feeding his true followers in this time of the end. It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave. Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel.—Matt. 4:4; John 17:3.
Paragraph 10: Who, then, is the faithful and discreet slave? In keeping with Jesus’ pattern of feeding many through the hands of a few, that slave is made up of a small group of anointed brothers who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food during Christ’s presence. Throughout the last days, the anointed brothers who make up the faithful slave have served together at headquarters. In recent decades, that slave has been closely identified with the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Note, however, that the word “slave” in Jesus’ illustration is singular, indicating that this is a composite slave. The decisions of the Governing Body are thus made collectively.
We hope that answers your question. If not, let us know.
♦ Do you think the Watchtower Society will soon be making an adjustment in their teachings and start helping people meet the basic needs?
On February 19, 2015, we received the following inquiry from one of our brothers in Spain. Translated to the best of our ability, this is what he wrote:
“Hi, as you know, in the days of the early Christian church, all Christians shared what they had, and the widows and orphans were helped in their trouble. So whether a person is to be classified as sheep or goat is a result of how they treated Christ's brethren in their basic needs, ... since the [Watchtower] does not promote these good practices do you think there will soon be an adjustment of understanding to come about?
“In my humble opinion, and as we express our Lord Jesus Christ, wheat and tares look very similar and are growing together, and the angels and the Lord are in charge of making this separation. Since God's judgment begins from home, it is logical that even when the Lord comes with his mighty angels there will still be room for improvement. This should make us humble and honest with God and we should reject people and falsehoods, and primarily our loyalty should be always the Lord and His Son Jesus Christ.
“I rejoice that there is a place where we can express our questions and you give us answers, greetings.”
To the author, thank you for your email. Although we are optimistic and hopeful, we are not holding our breath in expectation of meaningful change in the Watchtower leadership, at least not in the next couple of years. We do, however, see a gradual change in the individual Witnesses. More and more are turning away from the servitude of men and are beginning to follow Jesus as ‘the way, the truth and the life.’ (John 14:6)
While some continue to follow ‘the blind’ (Matthew 15:14), more and more are opening their own eyes and beginning to follow the leading of the spirit. (Romans 8:14) They are training their powers of perception (Hebrews 5:14), being guided by the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13) and allowing the spirit to teach them. (1 John 2:27) And they are rejecting the ideas foisted upon them by the Watchtower publications that their salvation is dependent upon them following the direction of the Governing Body ‘whether it is sound from a human standpoint or not.’ (The Watchtower, November 15, 2013, p. 20, paragraph 17) We are very grateful to see and be a part of this change in our brothers and sisters.
As far as the separating of the sheep and goat, this is a work done by Christ Jesus and the angels (Matthew 25:31-32), and so we leave them to their work. It is not our place to judge our brothers, no matter what we think of their choices. (Matthew 7:1-5)
And again, we thank you for your email and if you have any other questions about anything we publish, please do not hesitate to write us again.
♦ What is happening within the Jehovah’s Witness movement?
On April 18, 2015, we received the following inquiry:
“I've been to your other two sites. Both are very good - no - most excellent resources. The question I now have to ask now is "What is happening within the Jehovah Witness movement? P.S.: Stay anonymous, and separated from any type of politics.”
To the author, thank you for your email and for visiting our other sites, www.FaithSonsofGod.org and www.TheChristExperiment.org.
As far as ‘the Jehovah’s Witness movement,’ according to our sources, the leadership is struggling and flailing. They are very proud men who resist being corrected. However, we are noting some changes. Specifically, this year, their District Convention seems to be wholly based on Jesus, which only happened once before in their 100 year history. Of course, all we know at this time are the titles of the talks, so we will have to wait to see if the content of the information honors Jesus and reflects his plain and open teachings. We will have to wait to see if the information will move people to follow Jesus completely, that is, into the heavens where he currently resides, or whether the Governing Body will continue to stand with their backs to the door to the heavenly kingdom preventing our brothers and sisters from entering.
Nevertheless, we believe this possible change from minimizing Jesus to now acknowledging him is due, in part, to the large numbers of Jehovah’s Witnesses who are writing them and questioning their teachings about Jesus and the heavenly hope. To date, our reports indicate that over 1.5 million in the Jehovah’s Witnesses community have turned to the ‘plain and open teachings of Jesus,’ but most are quiet about it because in the Watchtower organization, any who fail to strictly and absolutely follow the teachings and interpretations of their Governing Body could be subject to disfellowshipping and shunning by their own intimate family members.
We also believe the change may have to do with the information on this site such as the articles Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?, You Will Be My Witnesses, Lastly He Sent His Son, and That One Must Keep on Increasing. Last year, we publicly posted our suggestions on how the Governing Body can successfully make the change from a two-class organization to a God-oriented, Christ-following fellowship in the series Possibilities For A Renewed Association, and this may be having an effect as well. We will just have to wait and see what develops.
And we want to thank you for understanding our decision to remain anonymous. Some people think we are hiding, but that is far from the truth. Our intention is for people to focus on the message, not the messenger. We note that other web hosters who have published their personal names have been mercilessly attacked which has required them to spend more time defending themselves and less time on their intended ministry. We believe our decision to remain anonymous on our websites is why we have had the success we have enjoyed thus far.
♦ Visitor is upset at the reaction of some Jehovah’s Witnesses to slaughter of Christians.
On April 22, 2015, we received the following inquiry:
“Please let me get this off my Chest!
“www.catholic.org/news. Slaughter of Ethiopian Christians is 'a testimony which cries out to be heard,' Pope Francis says.
“www.jw.org/en/news/ - Russian Witness Finds 6,000 Euros and Returns Money to Owner.
“Christians are being slaughtered!!! Do we pray for them? How do we help? What can we do on an individual level? These and more questions need to be addressed. I have spoken to many [Jehovah’s Witnesses] and they tell me, "That is an easy answer.....They are not "TRUE CHRISTIANS" Do not believe me? Just ask a [Jehovah’s Witness] in a private conversation. How do I know? I was a "SUPERSTAR" ELDER for many years. When the coals get red hot you know who really is a "Brother in Christ." I WILL NEVER go door to door again passing out silly magazines!!! NEVER! But I think we need to go "door to door" and wake up Christians and say "Your Brothers are being Slaughtered!!!!!" We can not keep quiet!! Thank you for your Contact Us section.”
To the author, thank you for your email. We understand your distress. Of course, the comments by those whom you spoke with are heartless, judgmental and wrong. It is this type of superiority complex that will be the undoing of both the Watchtower organization and the individual publishers. There is no place in the kingdom for such prejudice and judgmentalism.
As for the atrocities being perpetrated on our brothers in other countries, we agree with you that this must stop. There are many people and organizations that are doing what they can to help, and do not forget that our celestial family is also actively protecting, consoling and saving those brothers and sisters. Many of them are being ‘kept from the hour of test’ by not being conscious of their painful ordeals, much as occurred in the 1st century.
We should never minimize the struggles of our brothers and sisters around the world, and at the same time, we must understand that by going through these trials, the hope of these brothers and sisters for the heavenly inheritance is assured. In this generation, we will likely all taste death. But until our own time comes, we should use this time in building one another up. Never have a defeatist attitude. Never give into despair.
To those undergoing these types of trial, we encourage you to never give up your hope. These trials are momentarily and light compared to the glory that awaits you. Some may have the opportunity to successfully flee from the danger. If you have the chance, seize it! Others who cannot flee, we encourage you to have faith that you, too, will be ‘kept from the hour of test’ and that your celestial family will never abandon you on this side, and will be waiting for you to welcome you into the real life.
And we would like to mention that our prayers also go out to all who were affected by the earthquake in Nepal – our brothers and sisters, as well as those who have yet to realize their relationship with the Father of All. Their tragedy arises from a ‘natural disaster’ – out of the control of humans. These things will from time to time occur, but nothing and no one can separate us from the love of the Father and the hope held out to all.
We pray that all the faith sons worldwide remember our brothers in your prayers, and we pray that those in the affected communities continue to be a source of comfort to your friends, family and countrymen.
♦ Visitor complains that we are trying to invent a new religion.
On May 12, 2015, we received the following inquiry:
Regarding our recent article, The Bride of Christ, she cites to Hosea 2:1-5, and then writes: So Israel also was not God's "wife"? When you started you were updating a thing or two for Bethel. Now you are inventing your own religion, like a thousand "updates". WHY in their right minds would Bethel even listen now and just scrap EVERYTHING for such endless devolution? Why did you ever even appeal to them as reasonable persons? You guys just deconstruct farther every month we check up on your progress of stumbling into a pit. You are now there. Well done...What’s next?”
To the author, thank you for your email. We are glad to see that more and more Jehovah’s Witnesses are openly disobeying the Governing Body’s unreasonable and insidious prohibition against visiting other websites and stifling them from obeying Jesus' command to ‘keep on seeking, knocking, and asking’ for truth. (Matthew 7:7-8)
Please note that the article you are writing about, The Bride of Christ, makes no mention of God’s wife or Jehovah’s relationship with ancient Israel. That is not a subject we have ever written about. We steer away from the “old wine” that was fulfilled (Matthew 5:17), ended (Romans 10:4), obsolete (Hebrews 8:13), and blinding (2 Corinthians 3:14-15), and we put our focus on the “new wine” as Jesus indicated. (Mark 2:22) Nevertheless, Jehovah’s relationship with an imperfect, rebellious, earthly people is quite a different matter than the Son of God, Jesus Christ, having a perfect, chaste bride who, by all references, is in heaven.
In this ministry, we always keep in mind that Jesus is the truth. (John 14:6) Once a person correctly understands their relationship with Jesus, all other matters become easy to discern. It is our opinion, and continues to be our opinion, that if the Governing Body would humble themselves and recognize that all their brothers are sons of God and brothers of Christ Jesus, as Jesus repeatedly stated, all of the other errors the Governing Body teaches would be easily seen and could be corrected without a great deal of effort and, certainly without the need for others, such as us, to expose them. Truth is the natural outflow from the Spirit of Truth that helps those who put Jesus’ teachings front and center. (John 16:12-15)
It is so unfortunate that the Watchtower Society has gotten so much wrong for so long, as many active, inactive and former Jehovah’s Witnesses well know. Their constant changes and flip-flops in their own teachings demonstrates that they are not being led by spirit. They are being led by the foolishness of physical people who are hopelessly trying to understand the mind of God which is impossible:
“But a physical man does not accept the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know them, because they are examined spiritually. However, the spiritual man examines all things, but he himself is not examined by any man. For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14-16
By the Governing Body’s continued refusal to follow the plain teachings of Jesus, which man can understand, they will continue to dig themselves, and those who follow them, deeper and deeper into the pit. (Matthew 15:14) We do not believe they can course correct until they clearly understand and teach Jesus true role in the Christian congregation and the true relationship each of us has with Jesus and the Father, and then subject themselves to that truth. As long as they divide the congregation into two camps – the ‘anointed remnant’ and the ‘other sheep’ – they will continue on a path to confusion and destruction as Jesus explained when he said ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand.’ (Mark 3:24-25)
That is why our efforts were primarily designed to get the Governing Body to acknowledge the absolute need for oneness in the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses:
“One body there is, and one spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” – Ephesians 4:4-6
But since they have not responded to our kind yet direct efforts, we are doing our part in carrying on Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation without them. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20) We are doing what they should be doing – directing the entire congregation to follow Christ (Matthew 10:38), to teach the things Jesus taught (Matthew 28:19-20), to be baptized into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3), and to pursue the upward call – the heavenly hope. (Philippians 3:14-15) This is not a new religion. This is a return to the original religion of Jesus. And we are having tremendous success in waking up many thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and millions of non-Witnesses, to their true relationship with the Father so they can receive their spiritual adoption and rightful inheritance. (Matthew 25:34; Romans 8:17)
Many tell us they are happier than they have ever been in their spiritual life — old ones feeling young again, young ones gaining a spiritual maturity far beyond their years. So even though you may not approve of our method, we are clearly doing something right, so we will, of course, continue. Accordingly, without any sarcasm intended, that is what’s next.
♦ How do I show my JW friend that JW’s are not in union with Christ?
On May 24, 2015, we received the following inquiry:
“I am a born again Christian, and I have a friend who is a Jehovah Witness, he says that 8 million witness today are in union with Christ, I told him that in my research the Watchtower and Bible and Tract Society teaches that only the 144000 are in union, the point that I'm making with his is that he is still in the flesh and in sin with no hope if he is not in union with Christ, but he's sure he says that all [Jehovah’s Witnesses] are in union .... how can I provide proof to show him that what I'm saying is the truth ......”
To the author, thank you for your email. You are correct in your assessment. According to the records of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, only 14,212 out of the 8,201,545 Jehovah’s Witness are in union with Christ. That means that 99.998% of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not in union with Christ, likely including your friend. The reason you are having difficulty explaining this to your friend is because Jehovah’s Witnesses do not know what it means to be in union with Christ. They have a blind spot in this area that is difficult to show to them. They are told by their leaders that they all are in union with Christ, and that conclusory statement is all the evidence they have. But if one looks at their actual teachings, it is clear they are not.
We published an article entitled Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses? Most people are shocked to know what they believe about being in union with Jesus. In fact, even Jehovah’s Witnesses are shocked when you put the information directly before them. We suggest that you read the article for yourself and then ask your friend about the 8 specific points enumerated in the article. Ask him if they apply to most Jehovah’s Witnesses. If he is honest, he will see that most Jehovah’s Witnesses reject each of the factors that put one ‘in union’ with Christ.
Nevertheless, if he is a typical Jehovah’s Witness, he will immediately get defensive. It is a common reaction by people who love their religion more than they love truth. Rather than react in kind, simply ask if you can show him some scriptures. If he allows you to continue, show him these scriptures:
Romans 8:1-17. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses believe this chapter refers to the anointed, of which most of them are not a part. See particularly these verses:
“1. Therefore, those in union with Christ Jesus have no condemnation. 2. For the law of the spirit that gives life in union with Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”
“9. However, you are in harmony, not with the flesh, but with the spirit, if God’s spirit truly dwells in you. But if anyone does not have Christ’s spirit, this person does not belong to him.”
“12. So, then, brothers, we are under obligation, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh; 13. for if you live according to the flesh, you are sure to die; but if you put the practices of the body to death by the spirit, you will live.”
Most Jehovah’s Witnesses are seeking a fleshly future – everlasting life on earth in the flesh, not in heaven. They set their minds on the things of the flesh. According to Paul, those setting their minds the flesh are sure to die.
“14. For all who are led by God’s spirit are indeed God’s sons. 15. 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!” 16. The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children.
You can ask if he has the spirit of adoption as a son of God. If not, he is not in union with Christ. He’s more like a neighbor’s child.
See also 2 Corinthians 1:21-22:
“But the one who guarantees that you and we belong to Christ and the one who anointed us is God. He has also put his seal on us and has given us the token of what is to come, that is, the spirit, in our hearts.”
It is the anointing that guarantees we belong to Christ. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses freely acknowledge that they are not anointed.
And see Galatians 3:26-29:
“You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in union with Christ Jesus. Moreover, if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s offspring, heirs with reference to a promise.”
Most Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe they are part of Abraham’s seed, nor heirs to the heavenly kingdom, thus they do not belong to Christ.
The facts are clear. The challenge you have is whether your friend will listen to what the Bible clearly says, or whether he will listen to the babbling of the Governing Body. The sad truth is that many people prefer the lies of men over the truth of God.
“That is why God lets a deluding influence mislead them so that they may come to believe the lie, in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.” – 2 Thessalonians 2: 11-12
Of course, the blind will follow the blind and be led into the pit, but among Jehovah’s Witnesses, in many cases, it is the seeing who are willingly following the blind. Sad indeed.
We are trying very diligently to get Jehovah’s Witnesses to open their minds to see that their beliefs do not put them in line for survival. They are being taught by their Governing Body to reject the very things that will save them.
We hope we have given you some ideas and we wish you the very best in your endeavor to reach the heart of your friend. Please let us know how it turns out.
♦ Why does the Watchtower teach that we should not think for ourselves?
On September 3, 2015, we received the following inquiry:
“I have been reading the Watchtower and an article I read said we shouldn't think for ourselves because it is a trap. So am I to believe that I should not think for myself and just do what the elders and [Governing Body] tell me to think? I am confused. I thought that the [Watchtower] was telling me the truth and I believed everything I was reading because it is supposed to be what Jehovah instructs to do. I was taught that it was scripturally based but when I compare it to what the bible says it doesn't match. The meanings are twisted. I was reading my book "What does the bible really teach" and looked up the scriptures and found so many errors. For years I took what I was reading as truth because I believed in the organization. I asked a few elders and was told that I shouldn't be questioning any publications. The way they said it to me was scary because it felt like I was being threatened. I don't want to be disfellowedship but I know that's what they meant. What is really going on? How can reading my bible and pointing out errors be wrong?”
To the author, thank you for your email. Your email reveals that you are not as confused as you state. You are clearly using your God-given thinking abilities and are reaching reasonable conclusions. What you call your “confusion” is really your attempt to reconcile common sense with certain Watchtower teachings that are non-sensical. We can tell you that such a reconciliation is futile.
Jesus demonstrated and taught independent thinking. When faced with the rituals and burdensome commands of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus did not acquiesce because certain men in position told him to, nor did he continue rituals that were out of step of love and compassion. He used his own mind and thinking ability, and he reasoned the matters out. How else can a ‘reader use discernment’ unless he is able to think! (Matthew 24:15)
Recall the incident when he was being condemned for healing a man on the Sabbath. Jesus reasoned that since a Jew would rescue a bull on the Sabbath, surely Jesus could heal a man on the Sabbath. Of course, the scribes and Pharisees were offended at the audacity of Jesus to “think” and reach a reasonable conclusion that was not in accordance with their burdensome doctrines, and they sought to silence him by killing him. (Matthew 12:9-14)
This is the same mindset of the Watchtower leaders and overseers. In essence, what they are saying is: “How dare you think with your own mind! The Governing Body has already done all the thinking for you! If you continue to think, we will have to disfellowship you!” This is why so many intelligent and spiritually hungry Jehovah’s Witnesses suffer from depression. Their God-given intelligence is being suppressed and even oppressed. They are like strong bulls being forced to plow alongside ignorant and less intelligent donkeys. (Deuteronomy 22:10) Nothing but frustration can come from such an uneven yoking.
We suggest what the Bible suggests. Follow the example of Jesus as ‘the way, the truth and the life’ (John 14:6), and the example of the Beroeans who examined the scriptures to make sure of the things you are being taught. (Acts 17:11) And remember the counsel of John not to believe every inspired expression, but to test such teachings to make sure they line up with truth (1 John 4:1), and the counsel of Paul not to be led astray by various and strange teachings (Hebrews 13:9)
Of course, by doing so, you may be subject to the same type of punishment as was inflicted on those in the 1st century who dared to think with their own minds. They were expelled from the synagogues and treated like lepers which resulted in them losing the association of their family and friends. (John 9:22; John 16:2) But they gladly accepted the consequences of confessing union with Jesus which included being baptized into his death. (Romans 6:3-4)
No one wants to be disfellowshipped and not many want the stigma of disassociating either. But these are the consequences for those who once subjected themselves to the Watchtower authority by being baptized into the organization. We must all reap what we have sown (Galatians 6:7-8) and carry our own torture stakes. (Matthew 16:24) We will not be excused from accountability for our own free will decisions. What is most unfortunate is that many Witnesses were baptized as children who were unequipped to enter into a loyalty contract with the Watchtower organization. But they, too, must accept the consequences.
The good news is, when we choose the Christ and his plain and open teachings, we will gain far more than we lose, both in this system and in that to come. (Matthew 19:29) All who love truth will have to eventually separate from those who do not truly believe Jesus’ teachings, and then allow Jehovah to take us in as his faith sons. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
We do not envy your position. You will face a dark night of doubt, but if you move forward in faith, you will see the bright light of truth, liberty and freedom. (John 8:32) We hope you can find the comfort of the psalmist:
“Though I walk in the valley of deep shadow, I fear no harm, For you are with me; Your rod and your staff reassure me. You prepare a table for me before my enemies. You refresh my head with oil; My cup is well-filled. Surely goodness and loyal love will pursue me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of Jehovah for all my days.” – Psalms 23:4-6
All who take the leap of faith and trust in Jesus’ plain and open teachings, instead of the babel of men, will find themselves in the Father’s house of many, many dwelling places that Jesus has prepared for us where we will dwell eternally. (John 14:1-2)
In the meantime, you will be in our prayers, and we hope to hear from you again.
♦ What was the “new light” in the September 2015 JW Broadcast?
On September 13, 2015, we received the following inquiry:
“I enjoyed your latest article on the generation teaching [“This Generation” - The September 2015 JW Broadcast”]. I just wanted to point out that I don’t believe this was a case of "new light". This explanation was given in the January 15, 2014 Watchtower under the article "Let Your Kingdom Come but when?" It slipped in under the radar but I caught it and tried pointing it out to others that in fact they were now creating a 3rd class of anointed ones.”
To the author, thank you for your email. You are correct that the January 15, 2014, Watchtower article revealed the belief by the Governing Body that there is a third class of anointed. But the existence of a third class of anointed ones is not the “new light” we were referring to in the new article “This Generation.” The “new light” is what David Splane said about this third class.
The article quoted David Splane when he said:
“But who’s to say that Jehovah won’t be anointing more people years from now, and then they’ll be reading about us in some updated version of the Proclaimer’s Book. Well, the answer is simple. Anyone anointed years from now would not have been a contemporary of the first group of anointed ones because they have passed off the scene.”
By these comments, the Governing Body is teaching the probability that: (1) there are true anointed Christians who were first anointed after 1992, the cut-off day for the second class of anointed; and (2) Jehovah will anoint others' years from now. ’This is “new light” for Jehovah’s Witnesses because the Governing Body has long taught that the heavenly hope was closed in 1935 and that any new anointed would be mere replacements and would be few and far between. And they never abandoned their teaching that the anointed would be dying off as the ‘end’ nears. But with the September 2015 broadcast, those teachings have changed!
We recognize that this may not be what the Governing Body wanted to teach, given their history and the way they direct Elders to treat those who are newly anointed. Nevertheless, it was said, recorded and published by the Watchtower organization so faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses are free to accept this as “new light.”
In their efforts to explain away and discount Jesus’ plain words, they actually discounted their own teachings and, in the process, showed that truth cannot be forever hidden under manmade dogma. Yes, all who desire to be anointed as sons of God with the heavenly hope will be given it. (John 1:12) It is the goal toward which we all should be pressing. (Matthew 11:12) Lies cannot destroy truth; they can only divert attention away from truth for a little while. But times are changing within the Watchtower organization, as Jesus prophesied:
“So do not fear them, for there is nothing covered over that will not become uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I tell you in the darkness, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, preach from the housetops.” – Matthew 10:26-27
We hope this ‘new light’ of anointing will be preached from the housetops, both within and outside of the Watchtower organization. The Governing Body is stabbing themselves over with many pains, but the true faith sons of God are rejoicing in truth and having a real share in the true ministry of reconciliation. As a result of their efforts, there is steady growth of faith sons among Jehovah’s Witnesses who have abandoned their fear of men and are also grabbing hold of the prize of the upward call. We believe this September 2015 JW Broadcast will be a useful tool in accomplishing that work.
As the article stated:
We hope Jehovah’s Witnesses who are struggling with accepting their sonship will take note. Finally, the Governing Body acknowledges that there are, and will continue to be, anointed Christians for years to come! As John the Baptist described, the ‘earthly hopers’ will keep on decreasing while the ‘heavenly hopers’ keep on increasing! (John 3:30)
And we look forward to more ‘manna’ being inadvertently served by the Governing Body as they stumble along in darkness trying desperately to patch the ever-increasing holes on their sinking so-called ‘ark of salvation.’
♦ Follow up comments concerning the “Great Tribulation”
On September 19, 2015, we received the following comment:
“Dear Brothers, Just got done reading the article on 'This Generation' and what you have said make so much sense. It make it so clear only having application for the first century. In thinking about the Destruction of Jerusalem then, it was and still is the greatest tribulation event by man that caused the greatest lost of life. Over a million lost their lives in that one event. Such a fine thought provoking article. Take Care.”
To the author, thank you for your email. We know the article “This Generation” presents an uncommon explanation of the meaning of “this generation” as Jesus stated it at Matthew 24:34, but we strongly believe it is the correct one.
For our visitors who have some difficulty in believing that there is no Great Tribulation ahead of us, but that the tribulation suffered in Jerusalem in 70 C.E. was the greatest tribulation that will ever be suffered by any ‘system of things’ on our planet, we suggest they do some research about the seize on Jerusalem. It was not only the number of individuals who were killed, but it was also the circumstances under which those deaths occurred that will never be suffered by any people ever again. There are many sources on the internet that give detailed accounts of the horrendous events that occurred in Jerusalem at that time that can help us understand why it was the greatest tribulation that ever will be, such as these references:
It should also be noted that the great tribulation that befell Jerusalem was the work of men, not God. The arrogance of the Jews, the anger of the Romans, and the refusal of the Jews in Jerusalem to take Jesus' advice to ‘flee to the mountains’ are the reasons why that great tribulation occurred. It was NOT the will of God; it was the will of men.
There may be difficult times ahead due to the continued refusal of men to heed the teachings of Jesus, but as Jesus said, once the good news that he taught is preached to the ends of the earth, the enlightenment that results from such teachings will bring an end to all sorts of wickedness and suffering. (Matthew 24:14) That is the solution to our world’s woes.
Understanding the plain meaning of Jesus’ words should be a comfort to all who are in useless fear of an upcoming Great Tribulation that would culminate in the destruction of civilization. Such teachings by quasi-Christian religions does a great disservice to Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and only serves to glorify men who are seeking followers and setting themselves up as the ‘ark of salvation’ so as to build their own storehouses.
Rather than preaching doom and gloom, all who love our Prince of Peace should be about preaching and/or sharing the good news that Jesus taught and have faith in the ability of Jesus’ plain and open teachings to change our world and bring about the peace we have so longed for.
The end of suffering has lingered only because Jesus’ followers have not yet decided to do the work he asked of them (Matthew 28:19-20). When we do, we will see a welcomed and peaceful end to all distressing world conditions.
♦ Doesn’t the baptism of Jehovah’s Witnesses really make them witnesses of the organization not of God?
On December 1, 2015, we received the following inquiry (translated from French):
“Here's a little thought I had. I always thought that Christians (like the Israelites) belonged to God and were His possession. But look in your book in English "Organized to do the will of Jehovah" in 2015, the question of baptisms. There is a transfer of ownership, and therefore those who accept baptism are no longer Jehovah's Witnesses but "Jehovah's Witnesses' Witnesses." Why is there such a diversion of the sheep of God?”
To the author, thank you for your email. You raise an interesting point, and we would have to agree with you. Those baptized in the Watchtower organization are really witnesses of the organization, not witnesses of God. That fact is made even more clearer when you look at what it takes to remain in good standing in the Watchtower organization.
Following the teachings in the Bible is not what keeps one in good standing. What keeps one in good standing in the organization is following the teachings of the Governing Body. Many of our brothers and sisters are disfellowshipped and viewed as apostates, not because they turned away from God or the teachings in the Bible, but because they no longer follow the teachings of the Governing Body. So, the fact that turning away from the Governing Body gets one disfellowshipped from the organization is proof that Jehovah’s Witnesses are really witnesses of the Watchtower organization, or as you wrote, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Witnesses.
This is one of the reasons why we chose to get re-baptized solely in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in a private session apart from the organization before we partook of the Memorial emblems for the first time. And we are hearing that many others have chosen to do the same.
Of course, whether one chooses to get re-baptized is a personal decision. Baptism in water is merely symbolic of a greater spiritual consecration. The important baptism is the baptism in spirit that occurs individually irrespective of where one was baptized in water. For a further discussion, see Question and Response, Baptism.
♦ If the earthly hope is false, how to you explain the number of people who were praying to God for help just when Jehovah’s Witnesses came to their door?
On December 8, 2015, we received the following inquiry:
“Dear Brothers, I would like to know your views on the above watchtower study article [October 15, 2015] on page 4; The theme, Do you see God's hand in your life? As a missionary for over 30 years, I have always been supporting the thought that people who pray sincerely receive a God given answer to their prayer when they hear Jehovah's Witnesses knocking on their door. That is to say these people pray as shown in the picture on page 4. The person has no hope. Then the Witnesses call to give the person hope of living on earth for ever. My question is WHO is guiding this kind of work? As Jehovah's Witnesses, we understand it to be Jehovah through Jesus with the help of Holy Spirit and the Angels, All cooperating together to find this lost person who has no hope. If the earthly hope is a FALSE HOPE. Then there must be some other influence calling at the opportune to time to deceive. Either its Jehovah backing or it’s the False Comforter who is backing the work. Please Try to understand that I am trying to reason objectively from the view point of Jehovah's Witnesses. Thanks for your attention in this matter, Your brother.”
To the author, thank you for your email. Your question is probably being asked by many Jehovah’s Witnesses who come to see that the earthly hope is indeed a false hope. They look back over their religious career and see the many times Jehovah blessed their ministry and the many people who were helped by the study of the Bible along with Watchtower publications. It is true that many people gained a great deal of benefit from the Watchtower teachings, as we must confess we did. So it is understandable that one might have trouble reconciling how good can be accomplished by means of a false message.
There are a few factors to consider to resolve this apparent dilemma. Chief among them is the erroneous belief that such positive encounters demonstrate God’s favoritism toward a particular group or message. That is not the case. God is not partial. (Acts 10:34-35) Life is a Deity created reality. It did not just spontaneously happen out of nothing. Our universe and everything in it exists as the outflowing of the perfect will of the Father, and everything in it operates according to His laws and is permeated with His holy spirit. Thus, God’s goodness and blessing are ever flowing at all times in all directions, and are bestowed upon mankind, faithful or unfaithful, good or bad, whether they are aware or wholly unconscious of it. It is as Jesus explained:
"You heard that it was said: `You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? You must accordingly be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:43-48
To think that one particular group is favored over another is to take a very small view of the world. A brief review of several other religious groups and humanitarian associations reveal that they all experience the very same type of positive and/or fortuitous responses in their work, though they have a variety of different messages.
The common denominator is the willing and giving attitude and actions of certain individuals who believe in their work. They are often at the right place at the right time with the right attitude. And because love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8), the ministry of a loving person supersedes the error in the delivery or in the message.
You asked, ‘who is directing this work.’ While it cannot truly be said that God is personally directing these various and unrelated ministries, it can rightly be said that angels are directing it. There were many examples in the Bible of angels directing and fostering the ministry of Jesus. (John 1:51; Acts 5:17-20; Acts 8:26-29; Acts 10:1-8) We are also told of angels who were assigned to various “congregations,” some of which were not teaching, nor acting in harmony with, truth. (Revelation 2:1-3:22) Thus, we believe there is a vast network of angelic overseers who work to foster truth in all of man’s religious endeavors. And as is expressed in Revelation, clearly some angels have a more difficult assignment than others. But all are commissioned to foster progress toward truth and liberty in the group they oversee. This, we believe, is how all things will be gathered together in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, and how God will eventually be all things to all persons. (Ephesians 1:20; 1 Corinthians 15:25-28) So while the various groups and associations may have different methods and messages, it is through the angelic ministry that “God makes all his works cooperate together for the good of those who love God.” (Romans 8:28)
Another factor is that the search for truth is an evolving process. What one learns today will be built upon tomorrow and a greater understanding will be achieved. Look at the nation of Israel. They were given the Law Covenant as a tutor that led to the Christ. But once truth arrived, in the person of Jesus (John 14:6), the old tutor could be dismissed. (Galatians 3:24-25) In fact, the Apostle Paul often taught that the path to truth is progressive. For a couple of examples, see 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 or Hebrews 8:1-6. You may also be familiar with the saying “people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” Here is one explanation of that saying:
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed or just felt. They have come to assist you through a hard time, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. Then, suddenly, the person disappears from your life. Your need has been met; their work is done.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share or grow or give back. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They give you great joy. Believe it; it is real. But only for a season.
Lifetime relationships teach you lifetime lessons—things you must build upon to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all your other relationships.
Think about the people in your life over the years. Whether they were there for a reason, a season or a lifetime, accept them and treasure them for however long they were meant to be part of your life. And when they are gone, be thankful for the gifts you received from them when they were here—for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
The work of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others with limited and incomplete messages, are helpful for a reason or a season. And we should always be thankful for those encounters. But as we apply ourselves as Jesus directed – to keep asking, knocking and searching for truth (Matthew 7:7-8) – we find the greater understanding of the eternal message of truth as contained in the authentic, actual, plain and open teachings of Jesus. And when one finds that eternal, everlasting message of truth, know that it supersedes all other knowledge and is meant to endure and continue with you for a lifetime.
So, one need not stress over the reality that Jehovah’s Witnesses and their incomplete and inaccurate message has been helpful to many. Just realize that it is one step millions of people have taken in their quest for truth. Millions of others have taken other steps, but all lovers of truth will eventually move beyond the limited messages of men and find the eternal truth. We can say that while all roads do not lead to God, God can be found on any road! We hope this answers your question, but if you continue to have questions in this regard, please do not hesitate to write us again.
♦ Visitor feels the Watchtower organization has served a good purpose in spite of its cultish behavior.
On December 10, 2015, we received the following inquiry:
“Hello dear brother and sister! I just had to respond to your kind reply to the question about when Jehovah's Witnesses come to people at the right time [Question and Response 12/9/15]. I have pondered that thought over the years. So thank you for a satisfactory answer. I have a thought about what is happening at present and wondered if you have time or interest to explore this. Again it is only a thought and I cannot think of any specific scriptural backing just that feeling that comes over us on specific occasions. I have seriously doubted God's backing of the Witnesses especially as things unravel now. But I have wondered if the purpose of this highly controlled cultish behavior was designed to protect the upcoming newly revealed sons of faith. The reason why I think this has a bearing is because although many of us have been damaged and oppressed for many years, we have been protected TO A DEGREE from harmful behavior and godless lives. Now that we are growing up in the Christ, we see the organization for what it is. So whilst I feel I must acknowledge the protective care, I also feel it may be God's will to awaken many of His children as the time is right. It also makes me wonder if the organization is acting like a jealous mother and trying to hang on to her growing children when now the job is done and they must fly the nest. Yours most sincerely and happy in Our Dear Lord.”
To the author, thank you for your email. We actually feel similarly and have felt that way since the beginning of our ministry. We do appreciate our past association with the Watchtower organization, but we could no longer endure the stifling teachings and attitudes, especially the often-repeated statement that one does not graduate from the Watchtower organization. As you wrote, it is like a jealous mother who does not want her children to leave home. How much better it would be if Jehovah’s Witnesses could leave the organization in good standing and seek ‘a higher spiritual education’ as mature sons of God instead of being eternally trapped in a cramped room being forced to watch cartoons.
The truth is that the Watchtower Society has the scaffolding and facilities to truly change the world for the good. Although the organization has drastically deteriorated over the years, those who have been associated for some time have developed real ministry skills. They are personable, knowledgeable, curious, studious, self-sacrificing and know how to speak publicly. They are not afraid of being different and they are willing to go to the ends of the earth to spread their message. We have long believed that if Jehovah’s Witnesses adopted the actual teachings of Jesus, and abandoned the limited ideas of men, their ministry could bring about the kind of peace and goodwill Jesus intended, and the Father purposed for our world. (Matthew 6:9-10) Unfortunately, the men at the head of the organization are squandering these valuable assets and thoroughly destroying its own potential. It is heartbreaking to watch this once honorable organization deteriorate into another horrible cult.
That is not to say that the organization only recently became abusive and controlling. The seeds of abuse began during the ‘reign’ of Judge Rutherford when the actual teachings of Jesus were usurped and suppressed. During that time, the organization took on a life of its own and all efforts were directed toward building up its own image rather than promoting truth. They fabricated their own importance by interpreting Bible prophesy as if it was all written about them. They dismissed the Spirit of Truth and intentionally created doctrines and controversies to set themselves apart from and above other Christians. They placed heaven burdens and pharisaic rules upon Jehovah’s Witnesses instead of Jesus’ kindly and light load – burdens that actually destroyed lives and families. They glorified themselves and their ‘current understanding’ over and above the simple teachings of Jesus and have effectively taken over ‘his belongings.’ Christ was systematically placed further and further in the background until now he is practically unrecognizable in the organization. In fact, those who use the name Jesus too frequently in the congregations are looked upon as potential apostates!
Nevertheless, we see the potential, not of the organization, but of the people. And that is why we continue this ministry – to help Jehovah’s Witnesses wake up to the plain and open teachings of Jesus so they can experience the freedom of the sons of God and then use their skills and abilities in a way that truly honors Christ.
In the past 4 years, thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken up the actual teachings of Jesus and are having tremendous success in developing the sons of God, the body of Christ. Instead of causing division and promoting sectarianism, they are promoting unity and a shared faith. Instead of the doom and gloom of end times theology, they are spreading the good news of everlasting life in the kingdom of the heavens. If the 8 million active Jehovah’s Witnesses took up Jesus’ actual ministry, they would make a name for themselves far greater than anything their current ministry could do. And it will be an everlasting name because they will be true fellow workers with the sovereign of the universe.
We wrote a series of articles demonstrating how the Watchtower organization can change from a two-hope manmade organization to a God-oriented Christ-following fellowship of the sons of God, entitled Possibilities for A Renewed Association. We show how they can escape the tremendous baggage that is weighing Jehovah’s Witnesses down and how they can extricate themselves from being false prophets. But even if the leadership fails to make the needed changes in the organization, we know the individual Jehovah’s Witness can make the needed changes in his or her own life and thereby enjoy the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)
It takes real courage to examine the accuracy of one’s beliefs. It takes a real love for truth to be willing to conform to truth. And it takes real faith to separate oneself from unclean teachings and associations. But for those who do, an unsurpassing joy awaits!
For these reasons, we agree with your assessment. In spite of the burdens we suffered as Jehovah’s Witnesses, we have also been safeguarded from so many harmful paths. We have been prepared to recognize and receive the truth that we are all sons of God and heirs to the heavenly kingdom. (Romans 8:16-17) And we are equipped to take that liberating message out into the world so that the end of sorrow, suffering and injustice of all kinds will come. (Matthew 24:14)
Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. It has given us an opportunity to explain more why we continue this ministry and why we continue to have love for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
♦ What is your opinion of Robert King and e-watchtower?
On January 7, 2019, we received the following email:
What is your personal opinion of Robert King, the e-watchman.com website? He claims to be of the anointed and a prophet (watchman) appointed by God. He claims the 1914 date of the Watchtower Society is a false parousia, which is the delusional false parousia being used by Satan the Devil to test all Jehovah's Witnesses who they will truly follow, who they will fully trust, the Governing Body or Jehovah God. He is heavy on the subject of the old prophets and prophecy and seems to support all the doctrines of the Watchtower. Do you believe he is just another false prophet? Robert King himself was disfellowshipped I believe back in 2005.
To the author, thank you for your email. It is our opinion that Brother King has followed the path of many former Witnesses who have partaken as “anointed ones” within the Watchtower organization. They reject the Governing Body and their claim of being the sole channel of God, and then promote themselves as Jehovah’s mouthpiece. They have “jumped out of the frying pan,” so to speak, and then begin to fry others. They are imitating their captors. The words of the apostle Paul are instructive:
“Long ago God spoke to our forefathers by means of the prophets on many occasions and in many ways. Now at the end of these days he has spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power. And after he had made a purification for our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So he has become better than the angels to the extent that he has inherited a name more excellent than theirs.” – Hebrews 1:1-4
In the distant past, our Father spoke through the old Jewish prophets. Today, Jesus is the spokesman for God and he has been such ever since his baptism.
“After being baptized, Jesus immediately came up from the water; and look! the heavens were opened up, and he saw God’s spirit descending like a dove and coming upon him. Look! Also, a voice from the heavens said: ‘This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.” – Matthew 3:16-17
“While he was still speaking, look! a bright cloud overshadowed them, and look! a voice out of the cloud said: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved. Listen to him.’” – Matthew 17:5
Dear Brother, as you well know, Jesus is neither dead, inactive nor disinterested in us. He is very much alive and directing his people by means of the Spirit of Truth, not by any man or body of men:
“I still have many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them now. However, when that one comes, the spirit of the truth, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own initiative, but what he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things to come. That one will glorify me, because he will receive from what is mine and will declare it to you. All the things that the Father has are mine. That is why I said he receives from what is mine and declares it to you.” – John 16:12-15
The determination to grasp onto an outdated religious system is the reason why so many, including Brother King, are misled into thinking themselves to be appointed prophets. All such individuals are truly ‘wandering around in the desert’ because they refuse to accept the light and kindly load of the Christ. (Matthew 11:30)
Our obligation is to seek first the kingdom (Matthew 6:33-34), to love God with our whole being and our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40), and to be fair (Matthew 7:12). If we want a greater share in honoring our Sovereign, we can accept the request to spread good news that will reconcile man with God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20), instead of making proclamations of doom and gloom. The kindly load of the Christ is incompatible with the fiery proclamations of the olden prophets.
It has long been our prayer that Brother King, and all others like him, will abandon the “old wine” of an outdated religious system, humble themselves and take up the “new wine” as taught by Jesus. This is the way out of the chaos of the Watchtower group and into “his glorious light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
We hope this answers your question. If not, feel free to write again.