QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
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 the Father’s Acceptable Year. 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 one’s self 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 you 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.
December 17, 2015
Dear Friends, thank you so much for your kind response [Question and Response 12/10/15]. You answered my question beautifully and I hoped my enquiry helps others in their rebirth. We are all in Christ and so happy to be safe and loved and it is such an honour. Funny thing is that being truly free means one does not have to be reminded to preach or stay on the road. It is just what we want to do and where we want to be. No coercion, no guilt, just peace. I really never knew we could have such deep joy and true faith. Thank you once again for the ministry you conduct. God's rich and many blessings to you.
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 supercedes 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 supercedes 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.
*The above inquiry was received October 30, 2015, but due to many other pressing matters, we were unable to respond until now.
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 disfellowshiped 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.