.:I'M STUDYING WITH JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE I GET BAPTIZED?
Your desire to critically examine the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses before becoming involved is commendable. We appreciate the opportunity to share with you some of the research we have compiled and hope you will find it helpful as you determine whether you should get involved with the Watchtower organization. While most individual Jehovah’s Witnesses are nice people, we have found that the Watchtower organization itself is not honest in its presentation of “the Truth.” Not only is the Bible Jehovah’s Witnesses use, the New World Translation (NWT) distorted, but many of the doctrines they teach do not line up with Scripture. (For more information, click examples of Watchtower lies and cover-ups, click errors in the Watchtower NWT, and click here for a list of doctrinal errors- www.4witness.org.)
WATCHTOWER CONTROL OVER JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES:
In addition to misrepresenting God’s Word to people, the Watchtower has a way of controlling what Jehovah’s Witnesses think and believe about life and spiritual growth. Jehovah’s Witnesses are told to “avoid independent thinking” (See The Watchtower,January 15, 1983, pp. 22, 27 ) and to believe whatever the Watchtower teaches—regardless of the fact that the Watchtower has changed its position on numerous doctrines so that what is published as “truth” today may be revealed as “error” tomorrow. (Click here for a chart of Watchtower doctrinal changes.)
Jehovah’s Witnesses are told what to believe on nearly everything —including what type of music, TV and radio broadcasts one can listen to. (See The Watchtower, November 1, 1987, p. 19 and The Watchtower, June 1, 2000, p. 27) Their devotion to Watchtower policies is so strong that they will even allow their own children to die by refusing life-saving blood transfusions because transfusions of blood are condemned by the Watchtower organization. Jehovah’s Witnesses are discouraged from reading the bible “alone” apart from Watchtower literature and warned that if they do read it by itself, they will end up going into spiritual darkness by believing doctrines of “apostate” Christianity. (See The Watchtower, August 15, 1981, pp. 28-29)
How does the Watchtower condition Jehovah’s Witnesses to unquestioningly accept its authority over their lives? It does so by telling Jehovah’s Witnesses that they cannot understand the Bible without the “help” of its organization. (See The Watchtower, February 15, 1981, p. 19 and The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 587) Since the Watchtower organization claims that it alone has been given authority by Jehovah God to interpret Scripture, to question any of its teachings is seen by Jehovah’s Witnesses as questioning God Himself!
“Doubt” and criticism regarding any doctrine taught by the Watchtower is seen as a “ploy” that Satan uses to lead Jehovah’s Witnesses into “apostasy” (leaving God and His organization). If a baptized Jehovah’s Witness begins to criticize or “doubt” anything the Watchtower organization teaches in its literature, he is accused of having a “lack of faith” and a prideful attitude, thinking he knows “better than Jehovah God.” (See The Watchtower, February 1, 2001, p. 9 and The Watchtower, August 1, 1980, pp. 19-20) It is in this way that the Watchtower sets itself up in the place of God and makes “loyalty” to its religious doctrines and policies tantamount to “loyalty” and devotion to God. (See The Watchtower, August 1, 1997, p. 8)
NO HONORABLE WAY OUT:
There is no honorable way out of the Watchtower. Once you become baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, if you ever decide to leave the Watchtower, you will be viewed as an “apostate” —someone who is in “rebellion against Jehovah.” Even if you leave on your own with a desire to follow Jehovah God apart from the Watchtower organization and its control, you will be shunned by friends and family members in the organization, and they will be told to “hate” you with “Godly hatred.” (See The Watchtower, October 1, 1993, p. 19 and The Watchtower, April 15, 1988, pp. 26-28) As an “apostate,” you will not even be allowed to express your concerns in writing to your former Jehovah’s Witness associates as they are commanded by the Watchtower to discard all personal letters from “apostates” unopened. (See The Watchtower, March 15, 1986, pp. 12-13)
We have encountered many cases where families have been split apart by these policies; where parents and grandparents have been forbidden to see their children and grandchildren because they left the organization. If you desire to read more about Watchtower policies concerning family members and those who leave, see The Watchtower, November 15, 1952, pp. 703-704 and The Watchtower, September 15, 1981, pp. 24-31.
THE ONLY ONES SAVED:
The Jehovah’s Witness view of the outside world is a very a dark one. The Watchtower association is likened to the ark of Noah (the only place of safety), and the outside world is seen as a “system dominated by Satan the Devil” whose end at the battle of Armageddon is imminent. Jehovah’s Witnesses claim one must “come to Jehovah’s organization” for salvation. (See The Watchtower, November 15, 1981, p. 21) They are told that they are the only ones who “have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil” IF they “remain organized with the anointed remnant [Jehovah’s Witnesses].” (See The Watchtower, September 1, 1989, p. 19 and The Watchtower, April 1, 1982, p. 30-31)
In contrast to Watchtower claims, the Bible says “eternal life” is guaranteed to anyone who places his full eternal trust in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (See 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 1 John 5:11-13). By personally asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, you can be “adopted” out of Satan’s family into God’s spiritual family (See John 1:12). There is no “organization” mediating between you and God because Jesus becomes your only “mediator” because He paid the full penalty for the wrongs (sins) you personally commit (See 1 Peter 2:24) and He intercedes on your behalf before Jehovah God the Father (See 1 Timothy 2:5). You need not join some organization and strive through its requirements to make yourself worthy for Jehovah’s God’s approval. His approval has already been earned once and for all by the righteous life of Jesus Christ and His substitutionary death in your place (See 2 Corinthians 5:21). All you need to do is personally accept the free gift of salvation He alone offers (See Romans 6:23; 10:9). Why not pray to Jesus today and ask Him to give you His righteousness in exchange for your sin? (See Philippians 3:9; John 5:39-40; 10:28 and Colossians 3:3) Click here for more information on How to be Saved (www.4witness.org).
THE WATCHTOWER KEEPS PEOPLE FROM SALVATION:
The Watchtower keeps people from Jesus by claiming that Jesus is “not the mediator for all mankind” but only for a small group of people who they determine are the “anointed.” (See Worldwide Security Under the Prince of Peace, 1986, p. 10) The Watchtower instructs Jehovah’s Witnesses that they cannot be “born again” and claims that spiritual “adoption” is only for their small group of people whose positions in heaven have already been filled. The Bible disagrees with the Watchtower for it claims that “Everyone” who puts his faith in Jesus is “born of God” (See 1 John 5:1). The Watchtower prevents people from a personal relationship with Jesus by claiming that it is improper to “pray” to Jesus, but Jesus told his disciples to “…ask Me anything….and I will do it” (John 14:14). Paul prayed to Jesus at 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, and Stephen prayed to Jesus at Acts 7:59. For these reasons, we have come to the conclusion that the Watchtower faith is a counterfeit spirituality that is leading people into religious bondage away from eternal life found only in a personal relationship with the living Lord Jesus Christ.
It is our prayer that you will come to know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and find true peace, security, and forgiveness of sins, not in a religious counterfeit, but in an intimate, daily walk with Jesus through His Word—the Bible. For more information on Jehovah’s Witnesses, see the following links:
They are all there for me!
“I had Jehovah’s Witnesses visiting for six years. … The sad thing is now I have their beliefs in my head. So I put myself into God’s hands and asked for direction. …Well, the feeling of freedom is amazing. I am like a child, learning again for the first time. The reason I had to write to you was the Karen and Cindy conversations. Instead of me asking for help, one question at a time, they are all there for me!! It seems as if ‘Karen’ could read my mind.It’s so lovely for things to fall into place, mainly that ‘What happens when we die?’ This was a very big issue for me. I was scared while I did not understand even the tiny bit I do now. It’s such a joy. Instead of feeling unworthy(were all sinners I know) and feeling I would never be saved or go to Heaven. So, please thank God and Jesus with me for such help.”
I have to tell you how your website saved my life.
“I have been a baptized Witness since 1995, and I have to tell you how you have saved my life. Every couple of years I get this gnawing sense that this is not quite right, that I am not 100% vested in what the Watchtower Society says. …Lately, I have stopped attending meetings and my daughter, 13, has begged me not to make her go back. So I have been praying and chatting with friends outside the organization……I can’t tell you my sense of relief when I stumbled upon your site and started to read the articles. I want to cry, but I’m at work. I can’t wait to get home because I am so excited I can barely stand it! Please, please, how can I meet others who feel this way? I sure could use the fellowship. Again, thanks for the work you do.”
God bless you for the difference you are making.
“My brother and I were raised by a Jehovah's Witness mother. I am 52 years old now and still haven't been able to shake the stigma of the experience. My brother wasn't as lucky as me and ended up taking his own life at 17. I have been through everything ... I can't express how much I appreciate what you are doing... God bless for the difference you are making.”
I do not feel so alone!
“Thank you for creating this website. After reading stories of former Jehovah's Witnesses, I do not feel so alone. My resolve to stay out of that religion has also strengthened. I have also come to realize that my depression, anxiety, and many other emotional scars inflicted by the organization and those in the ‘truth’ will take time to heal. But your website has also come to help me ... Thank you.”
Just as I was about to enter the Jehovah’s Witnesses again, God led me to your website.
“Hi…I am an Ex-Jehovah’s Witness from South Africa. ...I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses not because I did not agree with their beliefs, but because my wife could not handle it with me being a Jehovah’s Witness and she not. I became an anti-religious person. Then, just as I was about to enter the Jehovah’s Witnesses again, God led me to your website… Today, I prayed to Jesus for salvation after I read your article on your website…”
I’m so glad that I have run across this site.
“After reading the article that David Reed wrote on your site, I’ve looked at things in ‘a new light’ so-to-speak. ...I’m so glad that I have run across this site. I’m sure that it was the Holy Spirit that directed me to all of you!”
Your website is a great source for truth
“Your website is a great source for those seriously seeking the truth.… The Jehovah’s Witness elders shun me. I’ve known these guys for 30 years... Well, when I walk into the Hall they turn their backs to me. I have not seen my Jehovah’s Witness ex-wife, or daughter for two years. ...They hide my family from me. When I go to their homes, they smile with arms folded and say nothing.
The stories I read at your website were loud and clear - conditional love by the ‘brothers’! I have learned more in the Christian Church about unconditional love than 30 years as a Witness. When I accepted Christ, who He really is, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see both sides clearly. ...Without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to know the real TRUTH! Keep up your good work.”