As a Christian did you ever stop and ask yourself,
Who am I following?
Do I feel free in my faith?
Is God with me?
Do I free trapped? Do I really believe that for whatever reason, I could just simply walk away from my faith and there would be no consequences?
As most of us know that have been a JW or followed closely their beliefs, that it is not easy to answer such questions honestly, without fear and that in some way you are displeasing Jehovah if you do choose to leave.
Why? Well this is because the Watchtower leaders demand full obedience to them, as they claim to be “God spokesman, Appointed Organisation over its flock, Prophet, etc”.
To understand this more significantly, let’s look at some major quotes from the Watchtower
“False religious propaganda from any source should be avoided like poison! Really, since our Lord has used “the faithful and discreet slave” to convey to us “sayings of everlasting life,” why should we ever want to look anywhere else?” Watchtower 1987 Nov 1 p.20
“We must also be on guard against extended association with worldly people. Perhaps it is a neighbour, a school friend, a workmate, or a business associate. We may reason, ‘He respects the Witnesses, he leads a clean life, and we do talk about the truth occasionally.’ Yet, the experience of others proves that in time we may even find ourselves preferring such worldly company to that of a spiritual brother or sister. What are some of the dangers of such a friendship?” Watchtower 1994 Feb 15 p.24
“However, we cannot hope to acquire a good relationship with Jehovah if we ignore those whom Jesus has appointed to care for his belongings. Without the assistance of “the faithful and discreet slave,” we would neither understand the full import of what we read in God’s Word nor know how to apply it.” Examining the Scriptures Daily 2012 Mar 4
“The point is that Christians have implicit trust in their heavenly Father; they do not question what he tells them through his written Word and organization.” Watchtower 1974 July 15 p.441
“Today, Jehovah provides instruction by means of “the faithful steward.” (Luke 12:42)” Pay Attention to Yourself and to All The Flock p.13
First, since “oneness” is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding.” Watchtower 2001 Aug 1 p.14
“Only Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the “great crowd,” as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil.” Watchtower 1989 Sep 1 p.19
“To turn away from Jehovah and his organization, to spurn the direction of “the faithful and discreet slave,” and to rely simply on personal Bible reading and interpretation is to become like a solitary tree in a parched land.” Watchtower 1985 Jun 1 p.20
So, what would a Jehovah’s Witness draw from reading these words? For me the following
- Only look at Watchtower Literature for the Source of “Pure” truth
- Only Associate with Fellow JW’s
- Place reliance on the WT as part of our relationship with God and in understanding God’s word
- JW ‘s do not question their Organisation
- God’s instruction is only through his Special Body the “Faith and Discreet Slave “ ie the Governing Body
- No benefit in reading God’s word on your own
When you put this together in this way and ponder over these points, it really hits you that you are fully “under the control and authority” of the Watchtower. These are the ones that you are following.
Is that providing you with real freedom in one’s faith? Is it Biblical? Who does the Bible actually direct each one of us to? An organisation or someone else?
Let’s now take the opportunity to see what he Bible has to say
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you really know me, you will know[a] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Interesting, the Bible speaks of coming to Jesus. So if you are turning to an Organisation, how can you go to Jesus, as he is way, the truth & the Life? If God’s plan was that you go to a man-made Organisation, then what is the point of Jesus, and where is this clearly spelt out?
Another issue here is the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ believe in taking in accurate knowledge is key to salvation, but again let’s see what the Bible has to say
John 5:39, 40
You study[a] the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,
The Bible in the Old Testament actually foretold of a NEW Covenant through Christ as highlighted here in Jeremiah
31 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to[a] them,[b]”
declares the LORD.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the LORD.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbour,
or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the LORD.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
As we know in the New Testament this Covenant is “placed in one’s heart” not something that is written down, or followed by rules and regulations, as was the case in the OT covenant.
Now ask yourself do you come under a set of rules and regulations by being obedient to the Watchtower Organisation? Is it not just like the old Jewish law?
So let’s understand more about this new covenant? And how we can become part of it.
Well the Bible talks about coming under an agreement with God through Christ, and this of course is a relationship, our opportunity to get closer to our Lord.
At its core, the new covenant is Jesus Christ. He embodies everything the new covenant is. He is the Word of God and the Son of God, made human for us. He is the Message of God, the Mind of God, the Meaning of God, made flesh for us to see and know and love. In himself, he enables us to be friends with God. In Jesus Christ, God has given us a new basis for our relationship with God. This is the covenant God has given.
Let’s look at some scriptures that provide some further background
1 Corinthians 1:2
2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:
20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[a] Father.”
10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[a] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’
8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[a] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[b] his Spirit who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,
1 Corinthians 12:13
3 For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
1 Peter 1:1-4
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Praise to God for a Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,
The scriptures show that God the father provides us with a closer connection to him by offering a personal relationship with his Son Jesus, so do you have a personal relationship with Christ?
We are not talking about having simply head knowledge about Jesus, but a personal relationship, like a very close friend.
How can we achieve this? What does the Bible say in how we can get close to Jesus?
The scriptures sited above gives us the answers as follows
1`Calling on his Name (Jesus not Jehovah)
2 God’s spirit placed in our hearts
3 Search for Christ and he will answer
4 Need to be Born of God
5 Come under the Spirit of Christ and walk according to that Spirit, and thereby become Children of God
6 Accepting Christ his death and resurrection, which you will then be re-born into Christ’s inheritance
Are you calling out to Jesus, do you have a personal relationship with him, have you accepted him as your saviour so that you can receive his free gift of salvation? (Ephesians 2:8-10), and thereby come under his inheritance?
By saying yes to these questions, you are coming under the new Covenant of Christ, and you will then be free indeed, forever amen.
Coming under directly to a man-made Organisation prevents you coming directly under Christ. If anything, it creates a divide between you and Christ, yet is not Christ everyone’s mediator, our intercessor between the Father and Man? The Watchtower has gone to extreme lengths to take the role of Christ and in turn that is where your relationship is. Surely if you want a relationship with Christ, as the scriptures tell us, then you need to go to him directly, as he is the only that can save, provide the way & the truth.
The Bible says you cannot serve two masters, so who is it going to be Christ or the Watchtower, choose carefully.