Have You Loved A Jehovah's Witness Lately? (Part 2. The Greater Half Of The Story)
(Part 2 of 2 in series)
In Part 1 I spoke to you regarding half of the story. My half. It decidedly is less significant than the rest of the story. The more important part is that there are so many people trapped in a belief from which most will never escape. They will be convinced that the source of their spiritual food is everything they claim, until the day they meet their Maker and find out the truth. These precious souls need someone to try to reach out to them, maybe a few will listen. My mom, my dad, my brother, sister, nieces and cousins are all witnesses and need to be reached somehow. Friends that abandoned me in my youth, thinking they were doing the will of God, all have families and have gone through the things I have. So I lovingly try to add my voice to those others who tried. We love you and want for you to see the real TRUTH before it is too late.
There are facts of which I was not aware when I was part of this group but in researching for some way to reach my sister, I discovered. For example, the origins of the group of which I knew only a part. It is a mingling of different doctrines that became what is currently taught as JW doctrine. The reason of it's longevity and success of indoctrination is this co-mingling of doctrine. I must admit that as a JW, I would never have believed any of this information. I would just have assumed it to be mass misinformation by the devil himself.
As a Jehovah's Witness I was always seeking truth. Truth was the operative word. "The Truth" was a reference that I called the Watchtower magazine, the Awake magazine, the Watchtower, Bible and Tract Society as a whole, and the fellowship of witness believers. The Society and its world was the safe zone. It was God's way of talking to us and couldn't be wrong because God and His "faithful and discreet slave class" were leading us. At least I started off thinking that. Everything else, I felt, was subject to Satan's influence, and I knew could never be trusted. Even the Bible itself would be under scrutiny, if the translation was one other than the New World Translation. In my experience I knew of no one that would venture out of the safe zone. Except Me.
My problem as a kid was that I always loved books. I loved the colors of the covers. The way they stood all neat and in a row and when you opened them up you could learn so much and even escape the pain of life. My mom had no idea that when she let me keep old Jehovah's Witness books that it would be part of my "undoing." Old Watchtower titles such as "Deliverance", "Your Will Be Done On Earth", and "Reconciliation" had odd pictures and references that were not in my current books. I wondered at the oddity. Why were these volumes from God so different than the ones that were being used in my house today? I thought. They all came from the same place and people didn't they?
I remember the first time that struck me as strange. The picture of Adam and Eve in the book that my mom read to me as a very young child had Adam depicted without a beard. ("From Paradise Lost To Paradise Regained") The subsequent men of Bible history that were depicted in this book had beards. As a kid I remember saying to myself that Adam had no beard because he was perfect and created perfect and that's why he looked so different. When mom got to the part about Jesus, why look! He had no beard either! Why? because He was perfect. So my little theory held firm. Then one day when at a convention, a new book was released and as my custom was, I opened it to look for the pictures and smell the new book smell. I noticed immediately there, in one of the pictures, was Jesus with a beard on His face! I was shocked! My little theory was shattered! It was explained that Jesus had the hair of His beard pulled off. And how could He have that happen if He had no beard on His face? So from then on the depictions of Jesus would have hair on His face. This change was just accepted, it seemed by everyone - (but not by me). What other things did I believe to be right (and was ready to stake my life upon), were really a mistake, like the beard? I must have shown my emotions because, in short order, my mother had my old Jehovah's Witness books in the trash ready to be thrown out! She was protecting me from researching my own religion! She wanted me to be satisfied with how it was spoon-fed to us. God knows, this would not fly with me! I removed those books from the trash and hid them so that I could look into how my religion had changed.
There was another example of my youth that always struck me as odd. At the yearly time of Passover, on what I was told was Nisan 14, there was Communion, and we were all to come by sacred mandate to Communion service. This was known to me as the Memorial service and it was a solemn occasion with almost no one talking (except for the sermon) and the passing of the unleavened bread and wine. I remember that each year as the tray of bread came by, my mother would look at me and say "don't take any", under her breath. Every year the tray would go by and every year I would get her stern look and warning. It passed from hand to hand, person to person with no one taking any elements at all. At least I thought that. Seems that according to his custom a fellow by the name of Levi Peterson would take the bread and wine and eat when the trays were passed. I found this out by accident when I turned around in my seat and saw him. I nearly fell over. He was eating ! Why was he eating? Well I had to ask. "Mom! I whispered, "Levi is eating!" "Hush!" she whispered back, "I'll tell you about it later!" She informed me that Levi was going to heaven when he died, but all the rest of us were not. Now I was burning with curiosity! How did he know he was going to heaven? What did he feel about it? was he excited? What did he think heaven would be like? I wanted so bad to talk to him but my mother revered him. He was one of the 144,000 who would go to heaven. He was one of the "faithful and discreet slave" class that were responsible for everything I read. I was tortured by not talking to him but now I'm glad I didn't get to, because maybe I wouldn't have been able to see real truth when it was offered, had I been mentored by this man. Instead I watched him from afar and followed at a distance to eavesdrop. Maybe I could learn something, anything! But what I heard and I saw told me nothing.
The last example of my youth which could have given me insight is the sheer horror on my mother's face, when at a convention, people were giving out fliers and I nearly took one from one of them! What made things worse, is in the next half hour or so when we got to our car, I picked one up off the windshield of our car. I opened it - and my mother screamed. "Don't look at that! It's from the "evil slave class" and it's poison!" I dropped it like it was burning me but the damage was already done. Who were these evil people? Why did they want to hurt us? What did they ever do to us and did we ever do anything wrong against them?
The First Fact That I Learned.
There are 24+ sects or splinter groups of Jehovah's Witnesses. This shocked me because in my little world even as an adult Jehovah's Witness there were only two types of folks. Witnesses and all other religions. I had no idea that there were so many people that had splintered off and became other sects of Witnesses. What made all of these people flee from the truth ? Why, if one were to believe my mother and the rest of the Witnesses, our faith was the only one that made any sense at all. All of these folks had to have lost their minds!
A few of these sects are:
1.Laymen's Home Missionary Movement of Chester Springs, PA. (50,000-100,000 members) These folks are accepted by some Christian groups even though they have almost the same theology as Jehovah's Witnesses do.
2. Dawn Bible Students Association of East Rutherford, NJ. (20,000-40,000 members)
3. The Associated Bible Students and the Pastoral Bible Institute.
4. Berean Bible Institute.
5. Back to the Bible Way.
6. The Christian Believers.
7. The New Creation Bible Students Association.
The Second Fact that I Learned.
The second thing that really had me shocked was the occult connections to the materials that the Jehovah's Witnesses produced. I had always wondered how the "faithful and discreet slave" got their information and just who it was that would give the direction that the religion would take. I had already been convinced that the Witnesses wrote or had written materials that were not Biblical. My own research and studies had borne that out. But something that my sister told me made my skin crawl. When she called the Brooklyn office of the Watchtower Society and asked a question, she was "answered" by someone professing to be one of the 144,000 that was there in the office. The young-sounding voice answered a question, posed by me, for her to ask. She did so, knowing in her heart of hearts that the answer she would get would be infallibly right.
My question: How do the faithful and discreet slave class know what to write in the Watchtower and other publications?
The man's answer: "We go into a room and pray. In a little while when our hearts are just right, an angel or God's spirit comes from Jehovah and speaks God's will for us and then we communicate that to the world."
My sister was happy with her answer until I read to her something I found in my research on my own into the history of what was my religion. C.T. Russell had connections to numerology, astrology, spiritism, divination, and pyramidology, (which explained some of the very strange illustrations in the old books I had as a child). But, some would say, "that was way back in the history of the religion. Things aren't done like that now." Well let's look at a quote from Judge Rutherford, second president of the Watchtower Society (who himself was into radionic devices such as the Abrams "black box" and other devices for receiving "yes" or "no" answers from beyond) The publication "Preparation" said, on pages 35-38 and a reference on page 67: "The Lord, through His angel sees to it that the information was given to His people in due time." The President of the Society when I was a child and through young adulthood, was F.W. Franz who made this statement: "We believe that the angels of God are used in directing Jehovah's Witnesses." And a mere two years ago the statement was reiterated to my sister. "We go into a room and pray. In a little while, when our hearts are just right, an angel or God's spirit comes from Jehovah and speaks God's will for us and then we communicate that to the world."
I then read to her the Scripture Galatians 1:8-9: "But even if we (the apostles) or an angel from heaven , preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."
Other things that should bother Jehovah's Witnesses about their religion.
1. The Watchtower claims to be a prophet to the World as the prophets of old. In the publication, "The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah" 1971 said: "[Jehovah's Witnesses] serve as the mouthpiece...of Jehovah...[and...] speak as a prophet in the name of Jehovah."
What's wrong with that you ask? The office of the Prophet is different from the Spirit gift of prophecy that you hear people speak of. The man holding the office of a Prophet was given direct inspiration often verbally from God. If the prophet said that something would happen it had to happen, or that prophet would be stoned to death. We all know that the Watchtower Society and its publications have set dates for the end of the world and have changed many things in its policies and beliefs. If this were actually a prophet to the world they would have to have a harsh end. I say this not to hurt anyone but to warn the friends of my youth and all of their children that believe this. I also say this to the others who may read this and continue to read until the end of the article. Listen to what God's word says about a false prophet in Deuteronomy 18:20-22:
"But the prophet that presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken? - when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him."
The Watchtower has predicted the end of the world in the years 1874, 1914, 1925,...and 1975. The Society admitted being wrong and to being "disappointed" that it did not come true. That should create some bothered feelings.
Why would I want to shake your faith in your religion? Because I believe that Jesus is coming soon and I know how these topics make you feel. I was where you are right now, once. Deep panic sets in, and I felt that if I kept listening, I would be giving myself over to Satan himself. If you really give these things some thought it scares you, too. That is the devil trying to scare you.
If you are open-minded enough and intellectually honest enough to research like I did, I suggest that you keep your focus on Jesus. There is something that is consistently missing in every doctrinal work of the Jehovah's Witnesses. There is a constant emphasis on the Father God but none on Jesus Christ. Jesus said,
"I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one gets to the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
"Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I Am." (John 13:13)
and Paul said of Jesus,
"At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:10-11
If you are honest, these verses and so many others, make Jesus seem very, very important to know and to study. Doesn't it seem just a little odd that so very little is said about someone that has "a name above every name"? or like in Acts 4:11-12 that says "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
What harm could it do to study Jesus? If you draw close to Him, He will draw close to you. Don't you hunger for bible truth? Study Him and pray to Jehovah God and say:
I want to know about you. I want to know about this name that is above every name. I want to know your truth. I know I am a sinner and can't save myself. Jesus died for my sins and I want to know Him. Please forgive me and make yourself known to me in a way you have never before. In Jesus' Name Amen.
These are things that you will learn as you study. You will learn that God paid for our sin by bunishing Jesus. Jesus was God in human flesh. Calling out to Him and confessing that you need Him to save you is what you need to do to avoid dying in your sin. Because God is holy, a person dying in their sin will be separated from God for an eternity.
This is the prayer that I prayed when I received Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior:
Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that You came to die for me and pay for my sin. I know You were God in human flesh and that You gave Your life's blood to pay for my sin. I know that I am a sinner and I do not want to die in my sin and be separated from You forever. I believe You died, were buried, and rose again from the dead on the third day. I ask You to forgive me of my sin and save me. I turn from my sin and turn to You, Jesus, as the only way of salvation. Thank You for saving me. I pray this in Jesus' name, the name above every name. Amen.