June 27, 2013
It has been seventeen months since we began this website, and seven months since our last update - Kingdom Update November 2012. Our initial and primary goal has been to move the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses from a two hope, earth-dominated organization to a one hope, spirit-led brotherhood. And in spite of the Governing Body’s continued resistance to the plain and open teachings of Jesus, thousands of brothers and sisters are waking up to the fact that Jehovah is more than a God and more than a friend. He is their loving and merciful Father, and they are all his ‘faith sons’ with a heavenly hope. (Galatians 3:26)
The past seven months have witnessed great and unusual changes in the organization, changes which many have said were impossible. The highlights include the tremendous participation in the 2013 Memorial Supper and the growing number of Elders and Traveling Servants who are stepping down and relinquishing their positions of oversight because they have come to a clearer understanding of the plain and open teachings of Jesus that we are all sons of God with the heavenly hope, and no longer want to be confined as to what truths they can speak. First, let’s review some of the recent articles we posted.
In September 2012, we began the work of enhancing the Society’s 32-page brochure “The Good News From God” that was released at the 2012 District Convention. The Society’s brochure consists of 15 chapters with a few questions and answers. We undertook to provide more detailed answers to each question, and posted to our site one chapter every few days as they were prepared. Initially, we expected our enhanced brochure would be perhaps double or triple the number of pages as the Society’s brochure. But when it was finished six months later, it was far more substantial. The complete enhanced brochure continues to be posted to our website as “The Good News From God to the Sons of the Kingdom.” However, after the favorable responses we received, we decided to revise the brochure to remove references to the Watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses so that the information will have universal appeal and application, and we published the information in a book. In May 2013, the 197-page book was released entitled "The Good News of the Kingdom For a Modern World." The book is available in paperback HERE
Starting this past New Year’s Eve 2012, to whet the appetites for the 2013 Memorial Supper, we published our first in a series of articles entitled Thinking Ahead - Memorial 2013, followed by Eating and Drinking Worthily, Keep Doing This in Remembrance of Me, Faith Sons and the Heavenly Hope, The Great Crowd of Partakers, and culminating with the Memorial article Jesus in Our Midst. We had a wonderful Memorial Supper on March 26th, and we heard from so many of our brothers who likewise had a wonderful evening. In one gathering in Nevada, there were 345 partakers, including practically the entire servant body and the Circuit Overseer! We heard that 168 partook in a Kingdom Hall in Mexico. In a gathering in Texas, there were 54 who partook, and we received a report that over 950 men from a circuit of recovery missions in Colorado also became sharers and partakers with the Christ. Some of the experiences we received are posted in the article Memorial Experiences 2013, and we followed up the Memorial with an article of encouragement entitled Fearless Sons of the Kingdom to all those who courageously took a stand for Christ.
In the past seven months, we also addressed a few of the Governing Body’s “sacred cows.” We wrote an article revealing the oddities of the 1914 teaching entitled 1914 and the Coming of Our Lord Jesus, followed up by Let the Dead Bury the Dead. We clarified the true meaning of apostasy as explained in the Bible in an article entitled Beware of Apostates! We explained that it is Jehovah’s will that the sons of the Kingdom bear witness to Jesus in the article You Will be Witnesses of Me. We published a six-part symposium of articles entitled The Truth that Sets Us Free as an enhancement of the information provided at the 2013 District Convention. And we challenged the secondary role foisted upon women in the articles The Spiritual Equality of Women and The Spiritual Equality of Women - Part II.
The above articles reach the hearts of millions of people around the world. Some of our brothers offered to translate our articles into their native languages as they have the time. So far, we have received translations in German, Swedish and Spanish. Those articles can be found on the Foreign Language Translations page.
We are learning that people in many lands and abroad are reading the plain and open teachings of Jesus with keen appreciation, not like a mere finding of religious information, but they are being built up in spiritual strength. Our most recent report reveals that 4.2 million people are being positively affected by this ministry, including 187,000 in Africa alone.
We also have the fine examples of Elders and Traveling Servants who are stepping down and relinquishing their positions of oversight because they have come to a clearer understanding of the plain and open teachings of Jesus that we are all sons of God with the heavenly hope. They see the error of teaching that the heavens are closed to the vast majority of mankind, and they see first hand the damage that is being caused to the spiritual lives of those who are putting their trust in the teachings of men rather than in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
None of these former servants could be considered apostates. They all continue to have a deep love and appreciation for Jehovah, Jesus Christ and for the brothers, as well as a heightened appreciation for the Bible. They continue very active in the ministry, even more so now that they have freeness of speech and are no longer required to parrot the words of the Governing Body. They could never honestly be considered as those who are ‘beating their brothers,’ or ‘eating and drinking with confirmed drunkards.’ (Matthew 24:48-49) Nor could they be considered immoral, angry, bitter, or in anyway teachers of error.
They have chosen to remain in association with their congregations in order to help their brothers come to a true understanding of their relationship with Jehovah and Jesus Christ. And we are told that the spirit in the congregations they are associated with is shining brighter than ever before. Friends from other congregations are migrating to congregations where these courageous men now attend. These are matters for great rejoicing!
Some of these brothers have sent emails to us explaining their decisions to step down and giving us updates on their progress in the ministry. Here are a few of the emails we received during the past three months that we have permission to post to our site, interspersed among the Emails from Our Visitors:
April 4, 2013 - [From a former Elder] Hello and Greetings to all of our brothers and sisters all over the earth. It’s been my absolute joy over the past 44 years serving in the congregation, but the spirit within me at this time does not allow me to continue with the two hope theory in my preaching work. So as a partaker of all things heavenly, I will be stepping down as an elder so that I can give all of my time and energy to the storing of treasures in heaven and to increase the Master's belongings because it is time, I personally feel, we as an Association need to, regardless of the fall out, we must preach what is clearly taught by Jesus. I, like so many, have given my entire life to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and I, in my stepping down, in no way want to create conflict or confusion. But I must speak truth as I understand it. Please let me be clear once again, the truth according to what "I" understand it to be. And I also believe, if any sincere spirit-led person does not see heaven as the real life, the living hope as Jesus taught, I will continue in prayer for you. God Bless.
April 24, 2013 - [From a former Circuit Overseer] Dear wonderful brothers, it is my honor to have found you before the end of my natural life made its call. Your site has forever changed me for the better, though I do feel the shame of teaching untruths for so many years. I do love the Father and the brothers but after the spirit bore witness in both mind and in my heart, it was no way I could speak another falsehood. So I had to step down as [Circuit Overseer] and live my life for the Kingdom of the heavens. I want you friends to know I’m forever grateful for you and my other brother who are aiding me in this process. May Jehovah keep you strong as we beg the Master to send out more workers.
April 25, 2013 - [From a former Circuit Overseer] Dear Brothers, I believe the profound time for change has come. I’ve often read and heard of the wonderful things you've been able to accomplish and I’m truly thankful for the way you respectfully have conducted the ministry of uplifting the spiritual conversation the world over. I recently stepped down as [Circuit Overseer] for many reasons but the main issue is that the plain and authentic teachings in the Bible as Jesus taught minus prophecy indicates "as many as did receive him" were welcomed. So since the "Slave" won’t change, I decided and my wife also said enough is enough. So I’m happy to just to live in peace and let my light shine. You friends will be loved and put thru the ringer but maintain your loyalty to the Christ and to our most beautiful heavenly Father.
May 8, 2013 - [From a former Circuit Overseer] Good day dear friends, since stepping down, it’s been a bit of a world-wind of activity to the point of exhaustion in aiding one to see their own sonship from, as you friends say, the plain open authentic teachings of Jesus. The first installment of the "Speaking Truth" series has hit home with the friends and my dear wife of 43 years is like a kid in a candy store, reading the articles night and day. I never realized how suppressed the friends are when it comes to the heavenly hope. Many of the friends want the living hope but are afraid to come forward, so what we’re suggesting is to do the remembrance supper at home. We have got so much work to do so continue begging the Master for more worker. May Jehovah the Father of all which is perfect bless you friends.
May 8, 2013 - [From a former Elder] Hello my dear friends, I’ve got to express my relief [at stepping down] and my feelings of living a true life dedicated to the Father. I still have my friends who all just so happens to be anointed. But even those who still live in a dead hope, we still talk and laugh and I still say with freeness of speech that if you want to follow the lamb dear friend you know what's necessary. Sometimes when the dead hopers have moments of reality of Jesus teaching, they see clearly that the heavens is the living hope but the fear of men over takes them. Living a lie is bad for your health because if the Watchtower talks too crazy, I just don’t attend, or should I say we don’t attend, and if we do, we just don’t comment. But after the meeting, that’s when the fun starts because everybody now wants to know why we didn’t comment, so Jehovah has a way of finding a way for His will to be done. Hey guys love you and all of the friends sends there love, [another young brother] says ‘I’m still on Fire!’
May 15, 2013 - [From a former Circuit Overseer] Greetings friends, I just read your latest article in the series [Receiving Truth] and this is a much needed lesson on the importance of understanding the true meaning of Jesus Christ's teachings. It brings to light the way we value the various parts of the Bible in a simplified way. I must say this brothers, that it saddens my spirit to think how much this information is needed in the brotherhood of Jehovah people, but pride ruins intentions too often. You brothers keep humble, stay focused on the pure teachings and maybe, just maybe we can get our dear brothers to look to the heavens for all of the association of brothers. Great Job!!
May 18, 2013 - [From a former Circuit Overseer] Greetings from your extended family. I’m visiting some friends I’ve known for many years and they too find many of the articles on the site really beautifully written. Those in the Brotherhood section and this new series on Speaking Truth is fantastic. I say these things with gladness coupled with sadness, as you must feel at times when you’re writing these articles, that this is so in your face simple, why didn’t I catch this years ago. But on the bright side, we’re getting it now and I, along with the friends up north, enjoy the refreshing Kingdom of the Heavens in your face hope. God be with you and we are spreading this real Good News anew.
May 20, 2013 - [From a former Elder] Good Day to you friends, I’m an elder in the congregation and had served for 23 years, I’ve been partaking since 1993 and it is with your web site that now has my old juices going dear brothers. I read the article awhile back on [Proving Ourselves Worthy of the Christ] and it made me sick to my stomach because of being an anointed slacker in my ministry of making disciples of the heavenly kingdom. So with the encouragement from my wife in full support, I have stepped down. Now let me just say this, my love for Jehovah and the arrangement is still very dear to my heart and the friends, but it just feels right for me not to be in a teaching capacity. Now I’m not trying to start a big revolt or anything, I just except the plain and open teachings of Jesus over that of the [Governing Body] at present. So come what may, I wanted to take a mild but firm stand for Christ Jesus and I pray all of God's people come to know that I’M NOT SPECIAL. They too are His children. God bless you hard working friends.
May 22, 2013 - [From a former Elder] Hey Friends, I want to mention that I have stepped down from serving as an elder. I couldn’t stay in a teaching capacity and direct the friends to a dead hope in the world of partial Biblical understanding. I believe Jesus totally regarding passing from death to life for all those who recognize they are sons and not just buddies of Jehovah, and all have the heavenly hope if they are CHRISTIANS. So yes brothers I stepped down so as to be able with freeness of speech to help as many as possible find sonship with our Father in heaven. Love you friends and I hope one day all followers of Jesus do just that, follow him.
May 31, 2013 - [From a former Circuit Overseer] Greetings to you faithful Sons, I was reading some of your Brotherhood Section articles and my heart skipped a beat when reading Worshiping with Spirit and Truth, beautiful article. Really at times when I read from the site, I want to then be an Overseer just to give a talk on the subject, but Jehovah knows my heart and so it’s for the best that I don't because I would not hold back from speaking as you say the "plain and open teaching," unfiltered mind you. But please stir the pot of heaven sent manna. Jehovah be with you friends.
June 6, 2013 - [From a former Circuit Overseer] Greetings from your brothers in Detroit [Michigan]. I’m visiting with friends from days gone by and I was so surprised that your website was old news to these friends. I’ve got to be honest and say the way you write articles that the young and old alike can learn or just get fired up to love all people as our brothers, it’s wonderful, just beautiful. We (10 of us) just read "The Faith of Jesus" and not a dry eye in the room, and thus my email. I want you dear ones to do something for all who prefer the plain and open teachings of Jesus to watch as you drive, walk, run, sit, stand, work or play, to be careful because we need you. I will be in contact with you soon, in the meantime keep the faith and the love of the entire world. With love and deep respect, your brothers.
June 13, 2013 - [From a former Circuit Overseer] Hello friends, I’m having such a wonderful second life, at least that’s what it feels like. I looked at many of the articles that I hadn’t the chance to read. They are so filled with pearls upon pearls of spiritual goodies. Let me give you an example. You say in many articles or in [Questions and Responses] the phrase “values and meanings” and that’s important to me. For this reason, I’m doing an inventory of my beliefs and, as you say according to the Bible, in striping off the old personality with its obsolete doctrines and focus on Jesus’ actual teachings. So it’s things like that, simple but powerful. You’re doing good work dear brothers, please continue with blessings from our Heavenly Father Jehovah.
June 16, 2013 - [From a former Elder] Hello from us to you friends. I’m over at the house where a few friends and sons of the Kingdom are enjoying some lunch and what do you know, an article that touches on the very point of discussion comes [The Spiritual Equality of Women]. You see [another Elder] said in referring to his wife, "the backbone of any religion is the sisters in the congregation" and we agree. The feature point that I get from the latest article is that we linger in the days of old too much, and when we get together, we speak freely and I along with the other elders gather jewels of knowledge. This is one of the best written articles of wisdom from above I’ve ever read that reaches into a right now mind and way of thinking. Truly brilliant, especially if you don’t live with fear. I thank, no we thank God for your efforts and may he strengthen you and us to proclaim the true liberty of the Kingdom!!
June 16, 2013 - [From a former Circuit Overseer] Good Evening Dear Brothers, a bold approach to a sensitive issue [The Spiritual Equality of Women]. One that I believe has 21st century merit, worth an honest discussion, not to be brushed off just because it’s not being done at present. Jesus was a real trend and tradition breaker, doing so with the Father's approval, so maybe, just maybe we should learn to "Expand our Spiritual Vision" (pun intended). So bravo my new best friends, bravo!
June 19, 2013 - [From a former Elder] Hi my dear bothers, you might want to add me to the list of former elders. That's right, I stepped down so I can step up to the ministry of the Heavenly Kingdom. Now my experience may be a little different than most because me and my wife for the first time just one hour ago became partakers because we both woke up to the plain and open teaching almost at the same time and a scared us at first, then we just laughed for hours it seemed. We had a nice candle light dinner and then we each said a prayer over the wine and bread. And now it feels like we have started living. You see, the [Watchtowers] and the field service ministry started to make my wife, who had been pioneering for years, keep getting sick out in service. She just couldn’t preach the message anymore. But we ain’t gonna hide our light. We’re teachers and preachers by nature, so we will prevail with God's help. So thanks for sounding the alarm. Oh my wife says hello y'all. [From Texas]
June 21, 2103 - [From a former Elder] I conducted my last [Watchtower] study this past Sunday and I feel 20 years young already. I told the brothers and our [Circuit Overseer] that as much as I love the friends and all the participation on programs and the like, I love my heavenly Father that much more. There are so many things I disagree with that I choose at this time not to go into and that was it. For me I think I'd rather have the friends come to me and ask individually why I stepped down. That way I can consider each according to my understanding of them. I hope all come to realize the living hope. Thank you friends for all the encouraging articles.
June 23, 2013 - [From a former Circuit Overseer] “PREACH, PREACH, PREACH!” That used to be the saying. But now we “preach, TEACH, TEACH!” We had the greatest time today in the ministry. We talked to both young and old, believers and non-believers. Oh dear friends, we just talked about the good nature of our heavenly Father and how he has a Kingdom just waiting for honest lovers of goodness, and fairness and most of all lovers of one another. So me and my wife and [two other elders and their wives] and two other couples went to open businesses and introduced ourselves in casual clothing and said “Sir, you look like a man of faith and so are we, and we just wanted to meet our brother.” And we met with nothing but success. Oh dear friends, it was wonderful, please you have to try it. Well we have got to eat now, but thank you brother and our dear sister for the encouragement. And from all of us to you, may the Heavenly Father of All continue with you!!
June 24, 2013 - [From a former Elder] Hello Dear Friends, I along with my wife serve as Elder and Pioneer and have been for 16 and 14 years respectively. We thank you brothers and sisters for you encouraging as well as insightful articles and experiences. The value of your wisdom is having a profound effect on many in the Chicago area, at least that’s what we believe because the discussion of sonship with Jehovah has been the focus of many Elder and [Circuit Overseer] meetings. As for me, I stepped down 2 weeks ago and my wife over a month ago. We couldn’t go on preaching a falsehood of the dead hope, the partial truth and the shutting up of the Kingdom. We both still have a great deal of affection for our brothers. So maybe we can be a light to guide the blind and light the way for our dear friends. We send love and prayers for your continued success. We proudly by faith enter the Kingdom and that to us is the plain and open teaching of Jesus.
We can see the joy these brothers are having in serving Jehovah. They saw the error in the teachings, and instead of mindlessly and begrudgingly going along with the status quo, they are empowered to let their lights shine. Some were already Memorial partakers, but most were not. Now, all of them are on the road to the real life. (1 Timothy 6:19) They are victors, not victims. And not one of them has been disciplined, disfellowshiped or disassociated! They serve as fine examples of how faith can move mountains. And they encourage us that there are many more within our association whose spirits are yearning for the living hope.
Who would have expected that the plain and open teachings of Jesus could effect such profound changes in longtime, stalwart men of faith within the Watchtower organization? Who would have believed that so many brothers and sisters would courageously confess union with the Christ by openly and publicly partaking at the 2013 Memorial Supper in spite of the organization-wide opposition? Who would have believed that common men and women in local congregations could turn this ship of faith while those at the helm remain sleeping? What a fine response to all the naysayers who doubted the power of the plain and open teachings of Jesus and his poured out Spirit of Truth to develop true ‘faith sons’ of the kingdom. And yet, dear brothers, we have only just begun.
In the coming months, we will continue to agitate the status quo and stimulate the spirit in our brothers with a view to uplifting and enlightening our entire association and the world. The plain and open teachings of Jesus Christ have power. They are not dead words. They are alive in each man, woman and child who disowns self, picks up their torture stake and continually follows Jesus. (Matthew 16:24) The watchword is Courage! Courage! And more Courage!
May all of our brothers and sisters the world over come to know and love our heavenly Father as their own Father, and our merciful and true Brother/Creator/Son of God, Jesus Christ as their own Lord and exemplar. And may we all open our hearts to the Spirit of Truth as he guides each and every one of us who so desires into all truth. (John 16:13)
We thank everyone for your support and, as always, we welcome your comments.
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