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My recent encounter with Jehovah's Witnesses

Recently, I had an interesting encounter with the Jehovah's Witnesses. To tell you about it I must give a little background. Sometime in 2008, my Jehovah's Witness mother who lives out of state called the local congregation in my area to tell them that since I have lived in my house, no Jehovah's Witness has ever called on me. (I made the mistake of telling her that) She gave them my name, address, and phone number, and stuck them on me.

For a few years a very kind-hearted woman by the name of Becky called on me every now and then. Then on December 7, 2010, God showed me the truth about the religion by using my non-JW husband.  On December 26, 2010, I attended a church service at a non-denominational Christian church for the first time in my life (at the age of 43). Two weeks later at my third church service I accepted Christ on January 9, 2011. For the next year, Becky still called on me. I was always polite, but knew I would never be interested in that religion again. During that same time, I asked my mom and sister the questions no Jehovah's Witness could ever answer, straight from the Bible. This led to heated discussions and on January 28, 2012 my mom disowned me. Shortly thereafter, Becky called on me. Well needless to say, she got an earful from my husband and I, and we told her to never come back again. It has been over three years and no Jehovah's Witness has called on us - in fact, we will see them come down our street and look at their "territory card", look at our house, and pass right by.  We are black-listed you might say.

During the time that Becky did call on me, she gave me this small piece of paper with her name, cell number and email.  On Sunday, April 26, 2015, this piece of paper surfaced in our home office.  My husband found it and gave it to me, saying, "I think you are supposed to do something with this." I prayed over it for the next couple of days, and on Tuesday, April 28, I text messaged Becky with the following message:

"Hi Becky. I know the last time you called on me I was very upset and asked you to never come back. I am sorry I was so upset. I'd like a chance to explain and I'd like a new 2013 New World Translation Bible. This is Beth at (address). Thank you for considering."

She text messaged back:

"Hi Beth, it is nice to hear from you. We are out in service and have a Bible. Would you like us to stop by now? Becky."

I agreed to them stopping by and they were at my house about an hour after I messaged her. She arrived with her husband. When I opened the door I was very kind and immediately thanked her for coming and I apologized for how upset I was the last time she came. I explained that the last time she came by, my mother had just disowned me because my mom could not answer my questions, nor could any other Jehovah's Witness answer my questions. Her husband, Bob said, "Well we would certainly be happy to try." I invited them in to sit. Bob took copious notes of my questions. Of course, I knew they would be like all the other encounters with Jehovah's Witnesses - unable to scripturally answer my questions, but Bob said he'd like to give it a try, so why not?  And, my mom always encouraged me to talk to an elder (which Bob is).  My questions were this and in this order of importance:

  1. Why do Jehovah's Witnesses think their organization (The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society) is the one and only "faithful servant" that God has chosen to give the proper spiritual food at the proper time? You see, JW's preach they are the one and only true religion and salvation is only to those in that religion. Which leads me to my second question for them…

  2. Why do Jehovah's Witnesses believe salvation is only through their religion when there is not a single scripture in the Bible to support that notion?

  3. Finally, I asked why would a religion teach the hateful practice of shunning or disowning family?

They offered no answers to my questions, but made an appointment to come back May 5 so they could do some research and come back with answers from the Bible. I agreed to a second encounter - again already knowing what they would come back with, and it would not be biblical.

So, Tuesday Becky and her mom, Barb came back. They really had no answers other than telling me stories and illustrations about "Jehovah's Organization" being the one true religion - that being the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. Barb stated they were the only true religion through which one receives salvation, but could not offer any scriptural proof.  Of course, I had plenty of scriptures to share.

Barb said that all other religions were false religions. I asked her what were the characteristics of a false religion and she said, "Anything that doesn't totally and completely follow the Bible." Well, that opened the door to pull out a couple dozen or more Watchtower publication articles on their 1.) Admitting to be prophets,  2.) Admitting to have made mistakes with false prophesies and 3) All the articles I have on hand that state those false prophesies. I offered the copies to them, telling them I have the books here, so don't need the copies and they refused them.  They acted scared. In fact, Barb got up from the couch and said something like, "Come on Becky, let's go."  I asked Barb why they were leaving and were they scared of me.  I was only presenting proofs right from their own religion's publications. Barb sat back down and then went on about how the "light is getting brighter", and that although the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society had made these false prophesies, they are not infallible and have made the necessary adjustment. So that makes it alright to false prophesy?!?! And then, I brought up what she said earlier about the characteristics of a false religion. If false religions are "anything that doesn't totally and completely follow the Bible", then if there was one true religion, everything they teach would totally and completely follow the Bible. So, why can the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society make false prophesies and flip-flops in teachings? Then Barb was back to "the light is getting brighter and we've made the needed adjustments". Round and round the circle would have gone, but I ended it. 

After much prayer since Tuesday, God laid it on my heart to send Becky a follow-up email.  I pray she reads it with a softened heart and willing soul. Below is that letter to Becky. 

If she responds, I will let you all know.

My e-mail to Becky

Dear Becky:

First I want to tell you how sad I am for the way you and your mom walked out. I really do care about you - you are such a kind person.

Prior to last Tuesday, it had been over 3 years since you had called on me.  Two weekends ago, a little blue circular piece of paper surfaced in my husband's desk drawer in the office of our house. It was a piece of paper you gave me with your cell phone and email.  He gave it to me and said, "I think you should do something with this."  We both felt bad about how our conversation ended 3 years ago.  So, I prayed on it for a couple of days and that is when I reached out to you with my text.

All I had planned was to apologize and get the new Bible.  But, when you and Bob came, you both offered to answer the questions that no other Jehovah's Witness has ever been able to answer with scriptures alone.  Bob took notes. I thought you and Bob were coming back with scriptures to answer my questions.  Instead you brought your mom who seemed very skeptical of me from the beginning of our conversation.  I patiently waited for scriptures and answers, but she just sat there telling me illustrations and stories, and only quoting a couple of scriptures.  I have to be honest, the fact that you both could not answer my main questions from scripture did not surprise me, but it certainly scared me.

If you can ever come back with scriptures to explain my questions, I welcome them.  To recap, here are my questions:

1.     Your mom mentioned that all through the history of the Bible, Jehovah had a "Faithful Servant" to witness the right message (Matt 24:45-47). So, according to history that means Jehovah chose Charles Taze Russell in 1870 to be that "Faithful Servant".  I have Watchtower publications stating he started the religion and he claimed to be that "Faithful Servant".  He then is the foundation of the "modern day faithful servant". When you read ALL of Matthew 24, you will get the correct context of that scripture.  Jesus is not saying there will be only one religion that has the message of the good news (which is first and foremost Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures - 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 1:13; 1 Thes. 1:8).  Jesus is telling all those listening that they need to be prepared for his return and the best way to do that is to preach about him, what we he did for us, and how we receive salvation to save as many as possible, and to be prepared ourselves.  Where in that scripture or in the Bible does it say that one religion will be the ONLY way to salvation? Here are some of the scriptures I have on salvation:

  • Matthew 7:21-23
  • John 1:12, 13 
  • John 3:14-16 and 36
  • John 5:24
  • John 8:12
  • John 8:24
  • John 10:22-28
  • John 11:24-26
  • John 16:7-11
  • Acts 2:38
  • Acts 16:30,31
  • Romans 3:20, 27, 28
  • Romans 4:1-5
  • Romans 6:23
  • Romans 10:1-12 verse 4 says Christ is the end of the law (i.e. works)
  • Romans 12:1-10
  • Galatians 2:21 - if salvation or grace/ undeserved kindness is by law (i.e. works) then Christ died for nothing!
  • Galatians 5:4
  • Ephesians 2:8-10
  • Philippians 3:8, 9
  • 2 Tim 3:15-17
  • Reading all of Romans 3-5 and Galatians 3-5 will show you that if you believe that you are saved by faith AND works, then you are not saved at all.

2.    My follow up question concerns God's word, the Bible, warning us of some serious sins and their consequences: Never change the good news, never change God's word, and never be a false prophet. (Deut. 4:2; Deut. 12:32; Deut. 13:1-10; Psalms 119:89, 90; Proverbs 30:5, 6; Gal. 1:8, 9; Rev. 22:10, 18; Deut. 18:20-22 says the false prophet must die; Rev. 20:10 says the false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur and be tormented day and night; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Rev. 19:20; Jeremiah 14: 14-16)

Never be a false prophet - this is a serious sin, with serious consequences according to the scriptures.  I had all those Watchtower publication articles from my books copied for you and you would not take them.  That tells me you are scared.  Eph. 4:18 warns us that our own lack of knowledge when it was available all along, will be no excuse when we are being judged by God. Acts 17:11 and 1 John 4:1-6 tells us to ask questions and examine what we are being taught.  So, I have and I have been condemned for what I have found: many scriptures in the New World Translation Bible that disproves what the Watchtower teaches, admission to their own false prophesying as stated in some of those articles that I had copies for you, admission to being wishy-washy and flip-flops of teachings, all erased away be saying, "We've made the necessary adjustments…the light is getting brighter" (Prov. 4:18). If you read Proverbs 4 in its entire context, it is not a prophetic book or verse saying God reveals truths gradually to the Watchtower Society. No, it is a comparison of behavior between good and bad people. It does not mean the dispensing of doctrinal truth is through an organization. However, let us entertain the idea of what you think - that that verse is prophetic of God revealing truths gradually to the Watchtower Society. The light does not get brighter with the Watchtower errors, it actually changes. Watchtower "light" is not brighter it is vastly different than the past. Many doctrines have actually changed - not gotten brighter.  For example to mention just a couple: the view on organ transplants OK, not OK, then OK. For 13 years (1967-1980) it was NOT OK and people died because of this change - not brighter light.  Superior Authorities were governments, then God, and then back to governments - this is a change, not brighter light.

Charles Taze Russell even stated this: "If we were following a man undoubtedly it would be different with us; undoubtedly one human idea would contradict another and that which was light one or two or six years ago would be regarded as darkness now;… But with God there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, and so it is with truth; any knowledge or light coming from God must be like its author. A new view of truth never can contradict a former truth. "New Light" never extinguishes older "light" but adds to it…" Zion's Watch Tower 1881 Feb pp.3, 188. 

Other examples are the admitted false prophesies. (I have Watchtower publications admitting to being a prophet of God and admitting to false prophesying). Charles Taze Russell said the Great Pyramid was God's stone witness and prophet (One of the copies I have of a book here). But, later they had to make a retraction. The false prophesying has gone on throughout the history of the religion - changing the end dates numerous times, and changing the meaning of "this generation" numerous times. In 1975 the Watchtower published a chart of 1975 being the end. (I had that copy for you too). I remember people selling their homes and businesses to go full time into the preaching work to warn people of the end coming, and then when the end did not come those people were left without jobs and homes.

Never change God's word is another warning given to us according to the scriptures above. Well, in the 1984 revision of the New World Translation, they admit to adding words on page 1547. When I asked my mom about this, she said those added words don't change the meaning of the Bible.  Well, in 9 places they change something dramatic about the message of the Bible. And, in the new Bible you gave me, that footnote has been removed and all the brackets around those words has been removed, but the words are still there. This major change in the 2013 Bible now takes that evidence away that the Watchtower changed God's word. If you are curious to what major teaching this has changed, I am happy to tell you, but to keep my email as brief as possible I will not elaborate, but I will say it is a major change that can strip one of their salvation.

Never change the good news - The Watchtower has changed the good news, because they are teaching that salvation is through their religion alone and the Bible belongs to them as an organization (not to individuals) and one cannot understand it without them.  2 Tim. 3:15 says the scriptures alone are able to make one wise unto salvation. When Gal. 1:8, 9 says never change the good news or you will be accursed, why did the Watchtower change the good news?  Nowhere in the salvation scriptures does it say salvation is through a religion.  That is a serious change to the good news.  If not a single scripture in the Bible says salvation is through one religion, then teaching your message of salvation is false. And, according to your mom, Jehovah's organization (The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society) is the only one that provides true teachings from the Bible.  When I asked what the characteristics of a false religion are she said, "Anything that doesn't totally and completely follow the Bible."  So that means the true religion would completely and totally follow the Bible - that means no errors.  Yet, it seems the Watchtower Society has changed the good news from what is was from when Jesus was on earth to what Jehovah's Witnesses say it is now.  Another time in the conversation she said the one true religion follows "everything" in the Bible. But, then in another breath she said the religion can make mistakes being human and not infallible. I asked why can some religions make mistakes and be false and JW can make mistake and be true. I never got a scriptural answer - all I heard was a double standard.  'We can make mistakes, but no one else can' seems to be the Watchtower Society's stance.

So, my question here is, when God gives such adamant warnings of false prophets, warnings about changing his word, and warnings about changing the good news and the serious consequences associated with each of these, why would God allow his "faithful servant" to do these things?  He would never allow that to happen - saying he would allow it contradicts what his word the Bible says about it.  And, the truth "totally and completely" follows the Bible! And, why would he allow the foundation of the "modern day faithful servant" to be flawed (See Matt 7:24-27)?  He would not - the foundation under the Watchtower Society is flawed since Charles Taze Russell.

Becky, I asked God for the truth.  I asked him for wisdom (James 1:5).  He delivered that to me December 7, 2010 and continues to strengthen my faith through revealing more and more scripture. He has lifted the veil and opened my eyes (Psalms 34:4; 2 Cor. 3:12-18) and continues to do so when more Jehovah's Witnesses prove they cannot answer my questions from the Bible. The only answers I ever get are interpretations from the Watchtower Society, but we are not to make interpretations of the Bible from scripture taken out of context, and we are to read scripture in full context.  Many of the Jehovah's Witnesses "proof" scriptures are taken out of context, thus not teaching God's word "totally and completely" according to the Bible.

All I wanted to do that Tuesday when I texted you was to apologize and get the new Bible.  Our conversation would have ended there, as I am completely sure about what the Bible says. 2 Tim 3:15 says we need nothing other than the scriptures.  But, as I explained why I was so upset that last time you called on me, Bob said that you all would be happy to try to answer my questions from the Bible.  Since my mother encouraged me to talk to an elder about my questions over 3 years ago, I decided to allow you both to try, but it ended up in another conversation that went nowhere, with me being the only one providing proof from scripture and Watchtower publications that I have here.

I have not left the teachings of Christ (2 John 9-11).  I have not disowned Jesus (Matt. 10:32-35).  I have not changed the good news (1 Gal. 8, 9). I witness nearly every day and with every opportunity God gives me to spread the good news about Jesus, even if I am persecuted by family, other Jehovah's Witnesses and non-Christians for it (Matt. 10:18, 22; Matt 24:9; Luke 21:12; John 1:12; John 14:14; Acts 1:8; Acts 4:18; Acts 15:26; 1 John 1, 2; Rev. 2:3). For all that I am judged and condemned by other Jehovah's Witnesses.

I am so concerned for every Jehovah's Witness.  It breaks my heart that they are out there judging other people (Romans 14:1-23) and backing an organization claims to be the one "true religion" when it does not "totally and completely" follow the Bible.

Becky - if you are ever concerned about your own salvation and want to talk, I am always here for you. I will continue to pray for you as I have over the years. You are such a sweet and kind person.

 

With Christian Love,

Beth

 

 

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