QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
11/29/12 Disfellowshipped person concerned that returning to the Kingdom Hall would grieve the Father’s spirit because they are not teaching the whole truth.
11/20/12 How should I conduct re-baptisms?
11/12/12 Correction to article “A Turning of the Shadow”
11/02/12 Visitor responds to our defense against the claim that we are apostates.
On November 29, 2012, we received the following comments and inquiries:
“I was disfellowshipped 30 years ago, but have family who are still in the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses. I have a deep love for them and also for the brotherhood of Jehovah's Witnesses. Deeper still is my love for our Heavenly Father and a desire to glorify Him.
“I have recently met with elders at the kingdom hall in my area to convey my repentance from sin and give them my testimony of all that Jehovah has done for me. Their encouragement was for me to come back to the meetings. I am reserved to do that because I am seeking my Father's will in this decision. I would be attending only to show love and light to those at the Kingdom Hall, but I am cautious about taking part in their worship because as you said, they are so far lost from the Father.
“I trust the voice of the Spirit to lead me and will take no steps unless I feel peace and leading to move forward, but a concern I have with returning to the meetings is that it will grieve my Heavenly Father.
“I appreciate the fact that you are very busy, but if you have any thoughts, I would appreciate hearing from you.”
To the author, thank you for your email. We are indeed busy, but we gladly respond to all inquiries within 72 hours, if at all possible.
We agree that you are facing a difficult decision. We have heard from others who are disfellowshipped, but who have accepted their sonship with the Father and the heavenly hope. Like you, they want to return to the meetings so that they can have a share in uplifting the congregation with this good news, but they worry about being subjected to false and erroneous teachings about an earthly hope. So we completely understand your sentiments about grieving the Father’s spirit (Ephesians 4:30), especially in light of Paul’s counsel:
“‘Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’; ‘and I will take you in.’”
– 2 Corinthians 6:17
As you may know, many of our brothers and sisters who are currently active publishers in their Kingdom Halls are choosing to remain in the organization to help in the healing process. Their spirits are not grieving to the point of disassociation. Rather they are exciting about being a part of a positive change in the organization. They have become acclimated to the ‘temperature’ in the Hall, whereas to those who have been away for some time, would be subjecting themselves to a ‘temperature shock.’ (We hope you understand our analogy.)
In that regard, we want to remind you that the Father’s spirit dwells within you. (1 Corinthians 3:16) So if YOU are spiritually grieving about returning, that could very well be your answer to the question of what the Father’s will is FOR YOU in that regard.
We also want to share with you the experience of another disfellowshipped person who has been emailing us about what to do. This brother decided that he would seek out a church that was in agreement with the articles on our site and join with that church. He recently emailed is to tell us that he found such a church and he shared the articles from our site with a church elder. The elder was very impressed and agreed to study the articles with the brother. The elder also told the brother he was taking the articles to the church board, ostensibly to see about teaching the information from our website to the entire church. This brother is proving to be a tremendous blessing to his new church, and he tells us he is very happy.
We thought you might find this experience interesting and encouraging since there are many lost sons throughout Christianity who need to hear the actual, authentic, open and plain teachings of Jesus Christ. Like the early Christians who were expelled from the synagogues, you can take Jesus’ message wherever you go, ‘to the most distant parts of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8)
Please feel free to write again to let us know what you decide to do.
On November 20, 2012, we received the following comments and inquiries:
“I am an elder in one of the many JW congregations. We are so glad we found your website! We are most grateful for strengthening our faith and publishing clear and encouraging letters regarding our heavenly hope. My wife and I are anointed Christians and as ambassadors substituting for Christ we are committed to sharing the glorious hope with everyone just as you do.
“What moves us to write was the comment you made regarding getting re-baptized [in your article Comfort for Those Spiritually Grieving]. My wife and I would like to get re-baptized to make sure that we are dedicated to serve and love the Father and the Son and to preach the real Goods News as heirs to the Kingdom.
“[Also] I have been asked to perform private baptisms and I would appreciate your suggestions regarding what to say before and perhaps at the moment of immersion. Should a brief talk explaining the symbolic meaning of the baptism be given? And then should I say "I baptized you in the Father of the Son and the holy Spirit" as I immerse the person in the water? I would appreciate very much any comments you may have regarding my questions and how to perform this new baptism so that it stands as being clearly different from the baptism we had when we became witnesses. Thank you. May our Lord and Savior continue to give you the spirit the truth.”
To the author, we are also pleased that you found our site. And we are more pleased that you and your wife recognize your sonship with the Father.
Before we answer your questions, we want to express some important points.
(1) We chose to get re-baptized for our own benefit. It was not a necessary act, it was a personal decision. We did not want to disassociate from the organization or establish our own secret society; we just wanted to have a personal dedication experience with the Father, the Christ and the Holy Spirit before we partook of the emblems for the first time;
(2) We assume you are considering re-baptisms, not original or first baptisms. As you may well know, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society will not recognize, as ‘active publishers’ in the congregation, any who are not baptized according to their arrangement; and
(3) We do not want to become a new ‘governing body’ in the lives of the sons of the Kingdom. We do not wish to make rules of behavior or establish rituals. Each individual must make decisions regarding their worship after their own private communion with the Father.
We write articles that are designed to stir the spirit within each of us so that we can have our perceptive powers trained through use. (Hebrews 5:14) That means that each of us will have to take responsibility for our own worship and it also means that there will be times that we do not make the best decisions. Yet that is the only way we can ‘train’ our perceptive powers.
Having said this, we will respond to your questions.
First, we direct you to Question and Response dated July 28, 2012, and Question and Response dated July 29, 2012 for a general discussion of the meaning of water baptism. Water baptism is a symbol of a dedication already made to God to accept the baptism into Christ death – the life of service to mankind. Water baptism is a way of making that decision known to others.
We wonder if you and your wife have already partaken. If so, you have already made a public declaration of your hope. There are no doubt dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of brothers and sisters who know that you recognize your sonship with the Father and are undergoing the baptism into Christ. Under those circumstances, we wonder what re-baptism would do for you.
If you and your wife have not yet partaken, and you wish to get re-baptized for your own conscience sake, we offer some thoughts for your consideration that could apply to any others who have asked you to re-baptize them.
The Father is looking for those to worship Him with spirit and truth. (John 4:22-24) That means that He wants us to be motivated by our indwelling spirit and a desire to be true to what we know is right. There are no rules that dictate spiritual and true worship. The desire for a clean conscience before God is sufficient incentive to moral and upright behavior.
When we were re-baptized, three of us were in a pool at a local hotel. We each said a private prayer to the Father and when we were ready, one of the others took us under and brought us up. We don’t recall any specific words stated by the baptizer, although one might have said something like ‘I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.’ It was a true act of heartfelt worship. That was what was important to us.
We think the baptizer is a sharer with the person being baptized and therefore what is said, if anything, is what the person being baptized wants or needs to hear. Therefore, silence could be just as effective as a verbal statement. You might want to read the article What Prevents Me? It discusses the baptisms of others, mostly non-Witnesses, who accepted their sonship and wanted to get baptized into the Jesus brotherhood. Their baptisms were simple, sincere, heartfelt experiences.
If you are privileged to share the re-baptism experience with several other people, we suspect you are in for a joyous occasion. Our advice is it to let the spirit lead you in this regard.
We are also excited about your 2013 Memorial celebration. We wonder if all whom you re-baptize will be together that night supporting one another as they make their public declaration before their congregations. You and your wife are blessed, truly blessed.
We know our response is not as specific as you may have desired, but it is what we believe is the correct response. Nevertheless, if you have any follow up questions, please do not hesitate to write us again.
On November 12, 2012, we received the following comments and inquiries:
“Hello. In your letter No. 3 - A Turning of the Shadow, you quote Jeremiah 31:33-33 and in reference to the scripture point about a "new covenant you state: "Notice this new covenant would be with the houses of Levi (the priestly tribe) and Judah (the kingly tribe) ? a covenant of king-priests ? a royal priesthood!" I don't see any reference to the house of Levi in this scripture. The reference is to the "house of Israel and with the house of Judah". I understand this to be a reference to the ten tribe Kingdom and the two tribe Kingdom of Judah and Benjamin, but without an explicit reference to Benjamin. I've always seen this as a reference to a new national covenant so to speak - albeit a spiritual nation. While the Kingdom was divided by man - Jeroboam, it was Jehovah who constituted them a nation for the purpose of them being such. For my understanding, can you please explain why you say it is a reference to the tribe of Levi and Judah? Thank you in advance.”
To the author, we thank you for bringing that error to our attention. We reviewed the section you are referring to and, you are correct. It is clear that the scripture atJeremiah 31:31-33 does refer to the ‘house of Israel and the house of Levi’ not the ‘house of Judah and the house of Levi.’ As such, we removed the sentence:
“Notice this new covenant would be with the houses of Levi (the priestly tribe) and Judah (the kingly tribe) – a covenant of king-priests – a royal priesthood!”
And we changed the sentence toward the end of the page from:
“Jehovah promised to make a New Covenant with the houses of Israel and Judah that would bring about the promised Holy Nation and Royal Priesthood.”
so that it now reads:
“Jehovah promised to make a New Covenant with the houses of Israel and Judah that would bring about a people who would served from the heart and not based on law. “
Again, thank you. We appreciate it when our visitors fact check what we write. Please keep up the good work and feel free to write us in the event you discover any other passages that you believe are in error.
On November 2, 2012, we received the following comments and inquiries:
“Responding to your answer to someone who referred to you as apostates. First, I am not on the Governing Body and have never been to Bethel.
“This was your comment,"Do not stumble over the fact that the Governing Body has not yet accepted our work. We hope and pray that their silence is temporary and that soon we will be serving the Father together, spreading the good news to the most distant parts of the earth."
“First Problem, the good news has and is being spread to the most distant parts of the earth, by the direction of the Governing Body. Being so busy in that scriptural duty, they don't accept any false worship. Nor join any other religious group. Just like you said you don't have time to read Franz book because you are busy in the work. They are simply doing the same thing you said you do.
“Compare results, the Governing Body said we had over 18 million at the Memorial two years ago. We don't even know where you meet. Same applies to baptism, we have a number, but I don't see yours. Words are cheap, but results have actions that happened. So any reasonable person knowing the end is near would say show me your results.
“My other problem with your opening statement which I started with is where you hope and pray that they accept your work and start serving the Father together, spreading the good news. Right there shows you are not working with the Governing Body. Ps 133:1 1 Cor 1:10
“So you can understand how God and His Son have guided the preaching work for a long time covering the earth, and now some internet start up says they are going to do it. Where I come from the saying is, A Day Late, And A Dollar Short!
“When I received the truth I realized there would be many false anointed ones who mislead. But the record of works has no comparison!
“Diaglott Mat 24:24,"Shall be raised for false anointed ones and false prophets, and shall give signs great and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible even the chosen.
“Thank you for your time and I’m going to see if you post this to your readers.”
To the author, we respect your passion and your honesty about what you believe to be true. We also commend your attempt to defend what you perceive to be an attack on the Governing Body. However, we believe you are mistaken on many fronts. Let us reason together.
You state: [T]he good news has and is being spread to the most distant parts of the earth, by the direction of the Governing Body. Being so busy in that scriptural duty, they don't accept any false worship. Nor join any other religious group. It is true that a ‘certain sort of good news’ (Galatians 1:6) is being spread to the most distant parts of the earth at the direction of the Governing Body. But it is not the good news that Jesus and the apostles taught, and it is not the good news that is expounded on in the Christian Greek Scriptures. The Governing Body teaches that all, except a few thousand Christians, have the hope of living forever on the earth under paradise conditions. Neither Jesus nor any of the Christian Bible writers preached or taught such a hope. For a discussion of the true good news, see our article What is the Good News?
This ‘other sort of good news’ did not even come into the thoughts of Christianity until nearly 1900 years after Christ’s death and resurrection when a handful of Christians attempted to interpret the prophesies in the Book of Revelation. Their limited spiritual vision led them to conclude that the Father’s purpose is for a ‘great crowd’ of people to live forever on earth. And they accepted this view, even though it is in direct conflict with what is taught in the Bible, namely:
“Stop storing up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break in and steal. Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
– Matthew 6:19-21
“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, should be dissolved, we are to have a building from God, a house not made with hands, everlasting in the heavens. For in this dwelling house we do indeed groan, earnestly desiring to put on the one for us from heaven.”
– 2 Corinthians 5:1-2
“As for us, our citizenship exists in the heavens, from which place also we are eagerly waiting for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will refashion our humiliated body to be conformed to his glorious body according to the operation of the power that he has, even to subject all things to himself.”
– Philippians 3:20-21
“We thank God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ always when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in connection with Christ Jesus and the love you have for all the holy ones because of the hope that is being reserved for you in the heavens. This [hope] you heard of before by telling of the truth of that good news which has presented itself to you, even as it is bearing fruit and increasing in all the world just as [it is doing] also among you, from the day you heard and accurately knew the undeserved kindness of God in truth.”
– Colossians 1:3-6
“If, however, you were raised up with the Christ, go on seeking the things above, where the Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Keep your minds fixed on the things above not on the things upon the earth.”
– Colossians 3:1-2
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for according to his great mercy he gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an incorruptible and undefiled and unfading inheritance. It is reserved in the heavens for you, who are being safeguarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last period of time.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-5
The Apostle Paul went so far as to tell us that if we are not pursuing the heavenly hope, we should pray about it and God will correct our thinking:
“I am pursuing down toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God by means of Christ Jesus. Let us, then, as many of us as are mature, be of this mental attitude; and if you are mentally inclined otherwise in any respect, God will reveal the above [attitude] to you.”
– Philippians 3:14-15
For a further discussion and clarification of this matter, see the articles What is the Good News? Who Are Led by Spirit? Moving Forward in Faith, Holding Fast to the Sacred Secret, Foreordained from the Founding of the World. We believe you will find them truly enlightening.
You commented: Compare results, the Governing Body said we had over 18 million at the Memorial two years ago. We don't even know where you meet. Same applies to baptism, we have a number, but I don't see yours. Words are cheap, but results have actions that happened. So any reasonable person knowing the end is near would say show me your results. Brother, please know that we do not hold any meetings. We are not seeking disciples or followers. We are only trying to uplift the congregations and the spiritual conversation worldwide. We find it interesting, though, that you are impressed with the attendance of 18 million people at the Memorial celebration two years ago. Did you know that at the 2010 Memorial, only 11,202 out of 18 million, confessed sonship with God? What does that tell you about the Governing Body’s fruit? It screams that their preaching work does not produce sons of the kingdom! Rather than being an example of fine works, the statistics you site tell a woeful story of much ado about nothing.
As for us, we receive reports from around the world that, on average, about 250-500 persons per week are being baptized into Christ as sons of the Kingdom as a direct result of our ministry and this website. For more information on our work, see the articles The Powerful Message of Sonship, What Prevents Me? and Emails from Visitors. Yet we do not ‘claim’ these people as our own. Instead, we encourage them to use their newfound relationship with the Father to help others ‘become reconciled’ to God
(2 Corinthians 5:20) from wherever they are. As Jesus said to the Samaritan woman:
"‘Believe me, woman, The hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you people worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, because salvation originates with the Jews. Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for, indeed, the Father is looking for suchlike ones to worship him. God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.’”
– John 4:21-24
That is the Christian ministry brother!
You commented: My other problem with your opening statement which I started with is where you hope and pray that they accept your work and start serving the Father together, spreading the good news. Right there shows you are not working with the Governing Body. Ps 133:1 1 Cor 1:10. Brother, if you will look at our Open Letters to the Governing Body and the Writing Department, you will see that we are making great effort to work with them, not against them. Every attempt to reach out to them has been prompted with and founded on brotherly love. But loving our brothers does not mean we look away when we see them taking a false path. Surely you remember this counsel:
“Brothers, even though a man takes some false step before he is aware of it, you who have spiritual qualifications try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness, as you each keep an eye on yourself, for fear you also may be tempted. Go on carrying the burdens of one another, and thus fulfill the law of the Christ.”
– Galatians 6:1-2
You commented: When I received the truth I realized there would be many false anointed ones who mislead. But the record of works has no comparison! Diaglott Mat 24:24,"Shall be raised for false anointed ones and false prophets, and shall give signs great and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible even the chosen.” This is an interesting comment. You first extol the Governing Body for giving great sign and wonders in their numbers and their works, and then you cite to Matthew 24:24 which says that false anointed ones will give signs and great wonders. We know you mean to direct that condemnation at us, but we caution you in this regard. As they say, when you point your finger, three of your fingers are pointing back at you. So, again, brother, be cautious.
Finally, you commented: Thank you for your time and I’m going to see if you post this to your readers. So you see, we posted your comments and our responses. We are not afraid to defend our hope or our ministry. Nor are we so self-involved that we cannot accept criticism. To the contrary, we welcome comments, even opposing ones.
While we can respect your zeal and your passion, your comments, brother, are based in emotion, not in truth. You were immediately offended at even the appearance of someone attacking the Governing Body. Yet you express no sensitivity to the blatant disrespect of Christ (as if he never came and had no message for us), for his teachings (as if they are insignificant to the majority of mankind), or for his brothers, not even the least of them.
We urge you to get your spiritual allegiance in the proper order. May you have peace.