The Role of Women in the Church

              Today, in our culture, it is largely accepted that men have certain positions of leadership, particularly in the Church. Although women might be permitted to have a position in some denominations, often this is relegated to an assistant in teaching other women, or in teaching children, hardly a position requiring a degree. Rarely, if ever, do we see a woman giving the Sunday sermon, though her male counterpart is welcomed to do so. In many denominations, it seems to be viewed as sacrilegious, or anti-biblical for a woman to preach in the Church. Why are women still being barred from teaching? Is this cultural or is it Biblical?  Has the Church had the proper viewpoint on women’s position regarding leadership in the Church? That is what this paper will examine.  

Women in the Old Testament

            Ancient Israel was a patriarchal society. Women who appeared in the Old Testament did so in connection with the stories of men who were the main characters, however, there are several examples of women in roles of leadership that are often overlooked. One example is Miriam, who is mentioned in five books of the Old Testament, in Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, I Chronicles and, in Micah. The fact she is mentioned this often, and in this many books indicates how significant Miriam was in the historical narrative of Israel. Miriam’s name is mentioned fourteen times in the Old Testament whereas the name of Sarah appears only once outside the book of Genesis.[1]

Miriam’s first appearance is in Exodus where we see her as the sister of Moses, who watched over him in the Nile river. It was Miriam who spoke to Pharoah’s daughter and offered to find someone to nurse the child. Because of Miriam, Moses spent his early years being nursed by his own mother. Because of Miriam, Moses lived. Miriam was instrumental in saving her brother, who then went on to be used by God to save all of Israel.[2] Miriam, the sister of Moses is referred to as one of the three leaders of Israel, along with Moses and Aaron in the book of Micah:

“In fact, I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I delivered you from that place of slavery. I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead you.” Micah 6:4 NET Bible

Miriam was called forth by God to lead the people, along with Moses and Aaron. Miriam led the people in a song of celebration called “The Song of Miriam” and it is one of the most ancient poems in the Hebrew Bible. In it, Miriam is called a prophetess. Miriam had the role of prophetess because she led the nation of Israel in celebrating God’s victory over Egypt:[3]

“Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances.

Miriam sang in response to them, “Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and its rider he has thrown into the sea.” Ex. 15:20,21 NET Bible

The prophet Micah affirms that Miriam had a very significant role in leadership in early Israelite history. Even though the Bible refers to Moses and Aaron as the leaders in the community, Micah reveals that Miriam was their equal. Why has Miriam’s role been downgraded? [4]

“Anderson and Freeman acknowledge the importance of Micah’s statement. They wrote: “What makes Micah’s simple statement so remarkable, and so puzzling, is the fact that nowhere in the tradition are the three siblings presented in a shared leadership role” (p. 519).”[5]

The NIV separates Aaron and Miriam and thus elevates Moses’ position and Miriam is almost an afterthought:

“I brought you up out of Egypt
    and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you,
    also Aaron and Miriam.” Micah 6:4 NIV

And in Psalms the name of Miriam is left out of the list of leaders of the nation of Israel:

“You led your people like a flock of sheep, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.” Psalms 77:20 NET

What happened to Miriam? Already her position as one of the three leaders of Israel was being marginalized. How quickly the memory of what Miriam did for the nation of Israel was being forgotten and minimized![6]

            Deborah is another leader who played a significant role in the Biblical narrative. Deborah was a prophetess and a judge who was used by God to save Israel (Judges 2:16).

“Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them.” Judges 2:18 ESV

All of Israel used to go up to Deborah to have her judge matters of dispute. Deborah was not only a prophetess and a judge, but she was also the highest leader in all of Israel.  She had the authority to command Barak, the military commander of Israel.

“At that time Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.” (Judges 4:4-5). NIV

“She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the LORD, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun” (Judges 4:14) ESV

            Israel was being oppressed by the Canaanites, specifically by Sisera, the commander of the army. Deborah summoned Barak, who was the commander of Israel’s army. A woman, summoning a commander of the army! Barak hesitated to fight against the Canaanites and would only do so if Deborah went with him. Deborah promised to go with the army and her leadership inspired ten-thousand Israelites to confront the Canaanite army. Israel’s victory against Sisera is celebrated in the “Song of Deborah” Judges 5:1-31. These women may have been exceptional in the patriarchal culture of the Old Testament, but the fact that they are there at all shows that there is no theological barrier to women exercising leadership or authority.[7] What about women’s leadership in the New Testament?  

Women in the New Testament

At Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured forth, as prophesied by Joel (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:17-21), on all believers, irrespective of age or gender. It is of interest to note that Paul lists various spiritual gifts and ministries without ever even hinting that some are for men only.[8] Surely the gifting of the Holy Spirit should take priority over gender, right? If God sees fit to gift someone, who are we to object? But that is not what we see. God is no respecter of persons; males are not more favored than women. Too often, as we study the Bible, and in particular the women of the Bible who were in leadership roles such as Phoebe, we see they have been obscured or minimized. Many Christians today are totally unfamiliar with these women. In Romans chapter sixteen, the final chapter in Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, we see him sending his greetings to ten people and seven of the ten are women.[9] Phoebe is listed as a deacon of the church in Cenchrea. The Greek word for deacon is diakonos. In this description of Phoebe, it includes the phrase ‘of the congregation in Cenchreae.’ This phrase gives the implication of leadership.[10] Paul goes on to say “and ‘leader of many, including myself’” (Romans 16:1,2). Paul thus introduces Phoebe as a deacon to the Romans and wants them to know he commends her and goes on to say she is the leader of many myself included. Is a woman really being called a leader of many including Paul? This raises the question: Why then does the church today understand Pauls’ words to mean that women cannot take the lead over men?

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me. Romans 16:1,2            

Phoebe was not merely mentioned but commended by Paul to the congregation that was in Rome. Why the need to commend Phoebe? Some theologians believe that Phoebe not only carried the letter to Rome but also that she likely explained the letter to the congregation.[11]

Paul refers to Phoebe as a “benefactor”. In the first century, a benefactor or patron would have the means to support others, and Phoebe was generous with her support, and of Paul in particular. Phoebe was only one of many women named by Paul, such as Chloe (1 Cor. 1:11), and Nympha and Apphia who are both mentioned as having a church in their homes (Col. 4:15, Philemon 2).[12]

Priscilla, also known as Prisca, is probably more well-known to most of us. Paul mentions Priscilla and Aquila often and it’s noteworthy that Priscilla is mentioned first, because in a male dominated society this is not the norm. (Acts 18:1-3, 18-19, 26; Romans 16:3-5; 1 Cor 16:19; 2 Tim. 4:19). It was contrary to Greek and Hebrew practice, to mention a woman’s name before her husbands, indicating that she played the dominant role in ministry.[13] Paul mentions her name first, even when correcting Apollos (Acts 18:24-26).[14] Priscilla instructed Apollos in a church established in her home in Ephesus. She also corrected him, a prominent male leader in the church where Paul tells women not to hold authority over men (1 Tim. 2:12). Was Priscilla being disobedient to Paul’s instruction regarding women leaders in the church? No, the word used for authority in 1 Tim. 2:12 meant to usurp, domineer, or abuse which are not characteristics that can be applied to Priscilla’s leadership in this church.[15] Women labored alongside Paul as teachers, apostles, deacons, prophets, and evangelists. There were women prophets in those days (1 Cor. 11:2-16) and Paul valued this prophetic gift above all other gifts (1 Cor. 14:1). Women Paul mentioned by name such as Priscilla, Phoebe the Deacon, and Junia, the female apostle.

It’s easy to overlook the women’s names, as they come at the end of the book of Roman’s and are simply a list of names and greetings, however, notice Priscilla risked her neck for Paul and Junia was his relative who was in prison with Paul! Look at Paul’s astonishing words regarding these women co-laborers:     

Greet Prisca and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus, and who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert in Asia for Christ. Greet Mary, who has worked very hard among you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

Junia was described not just as an apostle but “outstanding among the apostles”! Most scholars understand Paul was referring to Junia as an apostle in this passage, though some claim she was merely known by the apostles. Nevertheless, why is it Junia is relatively unknown among most Christians today?

Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow countrymen and fellow prisoners. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. Romans 16:7 Berean Study Bible

Eldon Jay Epp’s work “Junia: The First Woman Apostle” demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that Paul regarded Junia as an apostle.[16] The historical record points to Junia being a woman. Bible commentators prior to the thirteenth century unanimously favor the female name Junia. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of Bible translations from the 1300s to the 1800s also translate the name as a woman’s name.  There are even a number of twentieth century translations that also render Junia as a woman’s name.[17] John Chrysostom, an Early Church Father, from the fourth century, praised Junia as an outstanding apostle:

Greet Andronicus and Junia . . . who are outstanding among the apostles: To be an apostle is something great! But to be outstanding among the apostles—just think what a wonderful song of praise that is! They were outstanding on the basis of their works and virtuous actions. Indeed, how great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle.[18]

Origen of Alexandria, a theologian and biblical commentator, understood the name to be feminine (Junia or Julia).[19]

Romans 16:7 presents an interpretive issue, namely was Junia only “highly regarded by the apostles”?

“Craig Keener expresses serious doubt about any such interpretation, saying:

It is also unnatural to read the text as merely claiming that they had a high reputation with the apostles. Since they were imprisoned with him, Paul knows them well enough to recommend them without appealing to the other apostles, whose judgment he never cites on such matters. Paul nowhere limits the apostolic company to the Twelve plus himself, as some have assumed (see especially 1 Cor. 15:5–11). Those who favor the view that Junia was not a female apostle do so because of their prior assumption that women could not be apostles, not because of any evidence in the text.[20]

Some have tried to say Paul meant Junia was “outstanding in the eyes of the apostles”, instead of “outstanding among the apostles.” But this doesn’t agree with the meaning of the word ἐπίσημος which means “marked” or “notable”, hence “marked out among the apostles”.[21]

There has been much controversy about Junia, whether she was a female or a male, however, the early church accepted that she was indeed a female and there is both archeological evidence as well as the early Church historical record to support this. Bible commentaries before the thirteenth century acknowledged Junia was a female and the overwhelming majority of Bible translations do as well.

Moving forward, an overwhelming majority of Bible translations from the late 1300s through the mid-1800s translate Iounian as a woman, not as a man. These Bibles include: Wycliffe (1382, 13902), Göttingen Gutenberg Bible3 (1454), Erasmus Greek-Latin NT (1519), Tyndale (1525), Coverdale (1535), Matthew (1537), Great Bible (1539–41), Taverner (1539), Geneva NT (1557), Bishops (1568), Spanish “Bear” Bible (1569), Rheims (1582), Geneva Bible (1583–99), Hutter Polyglot (1599), Reina-Valera4 (1602, 1858, 1909), King James Version (1611), Giovanni Diodati (1649), Wycliffe NT (1731), Webster (1833), Murdock NT (1852), and Julia Smith (1876).[22]

Early twentieth-century translations that understand Junia to be a woman include: CJB, GNT, GW, HCSB, ISV, KJ21, NCV, NIRV, NIVUK, NLT, NKJV, NRSV, NRSVA, NRSVACE, NRSVCE, REB, TMB, WE. Since 2000, there have been at least thirty new translations or revisions that translate Iounian as Junia. [23]

Paul on Women Being Silent

            It’s been understood by many that Paul’s statement about women not teaching was a blanket statement for all women in all congregations throughout time.

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety. 1 Tim. 2:11-15

While Paul’s teaching that women should remain silent might seem obvious, it only appears that way if we look at this isolated text, as well as the other famous quote by Paul in his letter to Corinth:

As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. 1Cor. 14:34

We must ask the most obvious question. Does Paul really mean all women are to be silent in the Church for all time? This interpretation creates a contradiction because earlier Paul stated a woman when prophesying or praying should have her head covered:

But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. 1 Cor. 11:3-6

             Paul acknowledges that in the Corinthian Church both men and women are prophesying. Paul didn’t rebuke women who prophesied or prayed, which involved speaking, instead he instructed them how to do this, that is with their heads covered. And notice he never rebuked Priscilla even when she had corrected Apollos.


Donna Howell is a licensed minister, and author of several books including one entitled: The Handmaidens Conspiracy: How Erroneous Bible Translations Hijacked the Women’s Empowerment Movement Started by Jesus Christ. She has given a voice to the many women silenced for millennia by the patriarchal attitudes and society within the Church. A large number of women today feel called; however what place is there for them in the Church? If women pursue and attain a master’s degree or a PhD., what positions are available for them in the Church aside from teaching children, or perhaps lead worship? Do those positions require a degree? There is no place of leadership for women today in many of the churches, particularly the non-denominational ones which I’ve been attending the past several years. It seems we are discouraged from going to seminary. Why go? What can we do with a degree?

Women today who become pastors, assistant pastors, or ministers of a Church and who dare to preach while men are present in the audience, come under not only scrutinization but under attack. Often this is not only from men but from other women as well!

What we need to remember is today’s culture is not the final authority. True to hermeneutics we must always look at the original intended audience. Today’s culture does not define what is correct. We don’t get to pick and choose which scriptures we accept and which ones we’ll ignore. [24] Those who love to quote Paul about women being silent in the church, often choose to ignore the command that women shouldn’t wear braids in their hair, or gold, or expensive clothing. (1 Timothy 2:9) Yet people today, and the Church have no problem ignoring that as cultural. They correctly say the command means women should be modest. Yet these same people don’t wonder about the culture when it comes to Paul’s words about women being silent in the Church.[25] Why the double standard?

Some today want to reject the interpretation of a biblical text that requires us to look closely at the situation, the context, the culture of the day. These same people are never consistent, however. They pick and choose which verses they would like to follow and carefully avoid the troublesome ones. An example would be that people no longer require head coverings or holy kisses. They recognize this meant something different to the first century Christians than they do today. We cannot take a particular passage and claim that it applies to all situations without begging the question. The first task of any of us reading the Scripture is exegesis, understanding what the text meant in its context, to the original audience.[26] To do less than that is to read into the text.

Sadly, a scripture that is largely and conveniently ignored in Galatians reads:

So, in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:26-28

            If there is neither male nor female in the body of Christ, why is the Church, and more specifically the men in leadership positions in the Church teaching that women cannot be in leadership positions?

Paul’s classic statement: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28) also provides a key theological perspective. Paul here articulates an ultimate equality of status with no qualification. The point is that these distinctions do not, or should not, exist in the body of Christ. Paul could not have expressed it in a stronger form.[27]

This verse provides a key theological perspective. Paul clearly expresses the idea of ultimate equality of status with no qualification. The point is that these distinctions do not, or should not, exist in the body of Christ.[28]


            Sadly, in our culture, the Church has been influenced by the culture of our day, in a male-dominated society. Women are kept in their place, being told to remain silent, sit in the pew, and look pretty. Perhaps she may be given the position to teach other women or children but that is the extent of options available to her in many Churches today. Perhaps she may aspire to be the secretary in the Church office. Certainly not a Pastor, nor an assistant Pastor nor any role in front of the entire Church, we must, after all, keep women in their place.


  1. “The Bible Teaches the Equal Standing of Man and Woman.” CBE International. Accessed May 30, 2021.
  • Epp, Eldon Jay. Junia: The First Woman Apostle. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005.
  • Howell, Donna, and Derick P. Gilbert. The Handmaidens Conspiracy: How Erroneous Bible Translations Hijacked the Women’s Empowerment Movement Started by Jesus Christ and Disavowed the Rightful Place of Female Pastors, Preachers, and Prophets. Crane, MO: Defender Publishing, 2018.
  1.  Payne, Philip B. “The Bible Teaches the Equal Standing of Man and Woman.” Priscilla Papers., 2015.
  1. Pierce, Ronald W. Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2010. P. 164.
  1. Preato, Dennis J. “Junia, a Female Apostle: An Examination of the Historical Record.” CBE International, 2019.
  1. “Priscilla Speaks.” CBE International, n.d.
  1. “Tim Dieppe.” Accessed May 30, 2021.

[1] Paul Carter, “Phoebe, Prisca and Junia: Three Women in the Eye of the Evangelical Storm – The Gospel Coalition: Canada,” The Gospel Coalition | Canada, February 12, 2018,

[2] Claude Mariottini, “Rereading Micah 6:4: Miriam, A Leader in Israel,” Dr. Claude Mariottini – Professor of Old Testament, September 10, 2019,

[3]  Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] “Tim Dieppe,”, accessed May 30, 2021, p. 5.

[8] Ibid. p. 5

[9] “The Bible Teaches the Equal Standing of Man and Woman,” CBE International, accessed May 30, 2021,

[10] Rob Dixon, “Phoebe: Deacon and Benefactor: Women of the Bible Study Series,”, April 29, 2020,

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13]“Tim Dieppe,”, accessed May 30, 2021, p. 6.

[14] “Priscilla Speaks,” CBE International, n.d.,

[15] Ibid.

[16] Eldon Jay Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005)

[17] Dennis J. Preato , “Junia, a Female Apostle: An Examination of the Historical Record,” CBE International, 25, 2019,

[18]  Brooten, “Junia . . . Outstanding among the Apostles,” 141. Source: In Epistolam ad Romanos, Homilia 31, 2 (PG 60:669f.).

[19]  Brooten, “Junia . . . Outstanding among the Apostles,” 141. Source: Commentaria in Epistolam ad Romanos 10, 26 (PG 14, 1281B); 10, 39 (PG 14, 1289A). The text printed in PG has Junia emended to Junias, but the manuscripts have Junia or Julia; Stanley Grenz, Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1995), 95; Belleville, “Re-examination,” 235.

[20] Craig S. Keener, Paul, Women and Wives (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1992), 242, quoted in Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, Good News for Women: A Biblical Picture of Gender Equality (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997), 195.

[21] Eldon Jay Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle, 69;

[22] “Junia, a Female Apostle: An Examination of the Historical Record,” CBE International, accessed May 30, 2021,

[23] Ibid.

[24] Donna Howell and Derick P. Gilbert, The Handmaidens Conspiracy: How Erroneous Bible Translations Hijacked the Women’s Empowerment Movement Started by Jesus Christ and Disavowed the Rightful Place of Female Pastors, Preachers, and Prophets (Crane, MO: Defender Publishing, 2018) Kindle edition, location 245.  

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ronald W. Pierce, Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2010). P. 65.

[27]“Tim Dieppe,”, accessed May 30, 2021,

[28] Ibid. p. 3

Scriptures JW’s Disagree With Part 1

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Really Disagree with the Bible?

If you have ever tried to have a Biblical discussion with a Jehovah’s Witness then I am sure you are aware of the often-endless go-rounds that can occur, otherwise known as the game of Bible ping-pong. One way I have found to avert this is by presenting a Bible verse and asking them how they understand it. I’ve found this method to be one of the simplest ways of engaging with them and have found they are far less likely to become combative. I ask a question, present a scripture, and then end with a follow-up question. This is the first of a series of articles entitled “Scriptures Jehovah’s Witnesses Disagree With”.  I must stress the importance of having the Watchtower’s teaching on this handy, as Jehovah’s Witnesses are famous for using “theocratic warfare”, what we Christian’s call lying, in order to avoid answering difficult questions. The Watchtower article on the subject of worshipping Jesus can be found here.  From what I have seen, they seem to be embarrassed or at least ashamed to admit they do not worship Jesus. After seeing the verse, they are often left speechless, at which point they may opt to use their popular “We’re not here to argue” excuse. That’s why I always recommend “setting up the question” first. My personal favorite is “What would you do, if you discovered, the Watchtower disagrees with the Bible?”  If you’d like a softer approach “How do you interpret this Bible verse?” might be something you’re more comfortable with. For those of you who would like an easy way to ask a question, and not come across as attacking, I have found this approach works best.

At the Literature Cart

I’ve used this on Jehovah’s Witnesses at their literature carts (before the Covid pandemic) on several occasions. To avoid being asked if I am a former Jehovah’s Witness, I play innocent and ask them what they are selling. This icebreaker seems to work well. This along with wearing my ever-present and rather large cross around my neck seems to give them the impression I have always been a Christian. Once they tell me who they are and what they are doing, I let them know Jehovah’s Witnesses used to call on me many years ago (this is true) and I have a Bible question. They have always been eager to answer a simple little Bible question when they see someone they hope to convert.

“I was wondering how Jehovah’s Witnesses obey Philippians 2:10?”         

                    ‘that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
                        in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
                       and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
                      to the glory of God the Father.

The responses I’ve had from Jehovah’s Witnesses have varied a little. On one occasion, at the local community college campus, I came across a husband-and-wife team manning their literature cart. I had spoken to them before, so they knew me. On this occasion the husband expressed his appreciation for my efforts at previously showing them the Watchtower’s teaching on Jesus being the mediator only for the 144,000, and he told me they were in the process of researching this subject. The information on the mediator issue can be found here.  

This time I approached the wife. When I began by trying to confirm the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not worship Jesus, she actually lied to be about what Jehovah’s Witness believed and said they do worship Jesus! I was surprised but quickly offered to pull up what they believe from their website. She explained she was trying to find common ground. But when I asked her, “By lying to me?” she seemed embarrassed and hung her head, and her husband quickly came over showing interest. When I showed him the scripture his response was “Wow! That sounds like a command!” I continued by telling him, “It is indeed a command and this worship of Jesus can be found in your very own Bible at Revelation 5:13,14 where they fall down and worship the One seated on the throne and the Lamb!”

I never saw them again, and they are often on my mind and heart. I hope they have come to know and accept the Lord Jesus and are no longer Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I was visiting a Christian friend out in California and he wanted to go visit the Jehovah’s Witnesses at a literature cart. I couldn’t promise to remain calm. It was my first time talking to them since I had been wrongfully disfellowshipped in 1990 and the wounds were still there. I was afraid they would ask me if I was formerly a Jehovah’s Witness, so I feigned ignorance of who they were and what they were doing.

Me: “What are you selling?” I asked with a big innocent smile.

JW: Oh, we’re not selling anything we are giving away free Bible literature. (They stressed the word free, as though everyone else sold Biblical literature)

Me: “What religion are you?”

JW: Oh, we’re Jehovah’s Witnesses. Are you familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Me: “Oh yeah, I used to have them call on me back in the 1970’s. I see you have lots of literature, but I don’t see any Bible’s. Don’t you have any Bible’s?

JW: One of the two ladies reaches around the back of the cart and hands me a New World Translation.

Me: “I just have a little question. How do you guys obey Philippians 2:10?”

Jw: The two JW ladies looked at each other quizzically and started speaking quickly in Spanish, clearly confused. They got out their Bible’s and looked up the verse.

JW: “Yes, we believe this verse.”

Me: “No, I didn’t ask you if you believed it, I asked you how do you obey it?”

JW: “What do you mean by that?”

Me: “It’s clear English, do you bow the knee to Jesus?”

JW: “Do you mean worship?”

Me: “It says bow the knee, that’s what I mean. Do you bow the knee to Jesus?”

She looked like she wanted to strangle me. If looks could kill I would have died right there on the sidewalk. She kept feigning ignorance of what bowing the knee meant, so my Christian friend rose quickly to the challenge.

“I’ll show you what I mean by bowing the knee to Jesus,” he said. He dropped to his knees right there on the sidewalk, placing his forehead on the ground as well, and covering the back of his neck with his clasped hands. He quickly got up.

Doctrines Don’t Save, Only Jesus Saves

Long after a Jehovah’s Witness leaves the Watchtower organization, he or she may still cling to many of their false teachings, believing them to be true. This was certainly true in my case. For ten years after leaving the Watchtower organization, I still believed their teachings and obeyed all their rules and regulations. I didn’t celebrate birthdays or holidays, vote, salute the flag or sing the national anthem. I was a cult member without a cult!

Sadly, for thousands of Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world this is also true. Some of them may claim and even believe they are Christians while denying the basic tenets of the Christian faith. If you happen to come across them, please remember this: we are saved by grace, by faith, not by doctrines.

              For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8,9 (NIV)

I realize we all know this scripture, but how often I’ve seen Christians forget and state dogmatically, “If you don’t believe in hell you can’t be a Christian.” Or “If you don’t go to Church you are not a Christian.” Funny, but I can’t find that scripture in my Bible, can you?

          He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Acts 16:30,31

Please remember, it is our personal relationship with Jesus, accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior that saves us. It’s not having correct understanding of doctrines. We can actually have our doctrines all wrong, and yet have a relationship with Jesus and be saved. Baby Christian’s are like that, especially if they are ex-cult members. They need shepherding. They need to be taken under your wing and discipled. They don’t need to be judged and condemned. They need to be loved, they need patience, they need prayer, and they need discipleship. Are you willing to do that?

What many Christians don’t realize is that former Jehovah’s Witnesses have been the victims of spiritual abuse and mind control. It takes time to recover and to sort out truth from the false teachings of a cult. Please be patient. Please be kind. Show them, step-by-step what the Scriptures say. Please don’t info-bomb them with a long list of verses and no explanation.

They need to have the basic teachings explained to them because after decades of mind-control, they are no longer able to reason or think clearly. Just about everything they have been taught has been out of context. Whenever you show them a verse, all the Watchtower arguments come to their minds to refute what you are trying to show them. They need to have these out of context teachings explained to them before they can understand and accept new teachings. 

Holding onto the past

Sadly, it’s pretty common for an Ex-Jehovah’s Witness to refuse to darken the doorstep of any church. Some never join, while others, like me, take decades. Many years after leaving the organization, I still held onto three teachings.

  1. There is no hell.
  2. The Trinity is false.
  3. Taking blood is wrong.

I once heard it said, “Jesus is the bridegroom. We are the bride. Our job is to make them (those who don’t know Christ) fall in love with the bridegroom.”

Hearing that was an aha! moment for me. Our primary responsibility is to make those who don’t know Jesus fall in love with Him. We need to introduce them to Jesus!

Once someone leaves the Watchtower they don’t usually throw out all their false teachings, accept Jesus and become a Trinitarian overnight! It doesn’t usually work that way. Becoming a Christian is a journey. A journey of healing, prayer, and discovery, all of which take time. If Jesus is patient with us in our Christian walk, shouldn’t we be patient with the ex-cult member as they seek to understand?

Remember, the Jehovah’s Witness has been taught to hate Christendom (a derogatory term used for Christianity), and they are taught the central doctrines of Christianity are pagan. After finding out they have been deceived by a cult, they are typically terrified of being deceived again, especially by anything they view as pagan. At this point in time, they are typically lost, confused, isolated and living in both fear and anger. Fear of being deceived again, anger at being deceived in the first place, anger at the Watchtower, and usually anger at God.

The Watchtower is slick. Not only does it mislead and deceive, but it also instills hatred against everything that’s Christian. Think about it, the Watchtower is an anti-Christian religion. It’s anti-Trinity, anti-cross, anti-hell, anti-immortality of the soul. So, once a Jehovah’s Witness leaves the organization, if they hold onto these teaching, they literally have no place to go and worship, unless of course, they join another cult! And this is what terrifies them so much.

A person not an organization

Have you ever heard a Jehovah’s Witness say, “Well if I leave where will I go?” Now we all know the disciples asked, “to whom” shall we go?” (John 6:68) And that is Jesus, however the Jehovah’s Witness realizes once he leaves the organization, since he does not agree with Christians, who can he worship with? This is a very real fear for them. Not only do they lose all their family, but they also lose their entire social structure. Who can they worship with once they leave the Watchtower?

The Jehovah’s Witness has been taught not to pray to, talk to, or worship Jesus. How can you have a relationship with someone you cannot talk to? The following verses can be used to show the Jehovah’s Witnesses it is proper to pray to Jesus. You might try asking “If it’s not proper to pray to Jesus, why did Jesus instruct the disciples to do just that?”

You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:14 (NIV)

“If it’s not proper to pray to Jesus, why did Stephen do so? Do you think Stephen was wrong?”

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Acts 7:59 (NIV)

“If it’s not proper to pray to Jesus, why did Paul plead with Jesus to remove the thorn in his flesh? Surely if it wasn’t proper Jesus would have corrected him!”

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 2 Cor. 12:8,9 (NIV)

Now while the Jehovah’s Witness will of course claim to know Jesus, they actually just know about Jesus — much like we might know all about a movie star, football player or author. Here’s an analogy that might help your Jehovah’s Witness friend. If you know all about an author, and you’ve read every book they have ever written does that mean the author knows you?

You might ask a Jehovah’s Witness or an Ex-Jehovah’s Witness, does Jesus know you? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? Do you talk to Jesus? Or will Jesus say I never knew you?

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Matt. 25:41 (NIV)

If you happen to come across an Ex-Jehovah’s Witness who is either terrified to join a church, or has been unable to find one, you might try suggesting they listen to sermons online. In the comfort of their own home, coffee cup in hand, they can listen and if they become frightened, they can simply shut it off. This is an amazing first step for the ex-cult member to take before overcoming their fear and stepping foot into a church.

Paul Washer on the Deity of Christ.

Top Ten Scriptures the Watchtower Disagrees With

Many people are not aware that Jehovah’s Witnesses actually disagree with the Scriptures. The key is knowing which Scriptures. Please realize, a Jehovah’s Witness will never say they disagree with the Bible. They actually don’t realize the Watchtower teaches them to reject what the Bible clearly says. Here is a list of the simplest Scriptures I like to use with them. (Considering we don’t want to get into an argument over the Greek, since most of them don’t know Greek anyway.)

Remember, they are taught that they are teachers, so they love to help people. If you present yourself as a poor confused Bible student, they will be happy to try and answer your question. They do love questions!

Here are some verses that Jehovah’s Witnesses have difficulty explaining. What makes this particularly helpful is these verses are taken from the New World Translation, so no arguing over translations is necessary.

1) Philippians 2:10 “so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend—of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground”

  1. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses obey the Bible?

Follow up questions: Do you obey this command? Why not? (If you need another verse for your JW friend, Rev. 5:13,14 in the NWT shows Jesus being worshiped in heaven along with the Father, the word worship was not altered in this verse.)

  1. We should worship only JehovahPsalm 83:18 says: “You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.” Jesus wanted people to know exactly who the true God is, and he taught people God’s name. (Read John 17:6) Jesus said: “It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.” (Matthew 4:10) So, as God’s servants, we follow Jesus’ example. We worship only Jehovah, we use his name, and we teach others God’s name and what he will do for us.–“What Can the Bible Teach Us?” Chapter 15, par 8.

The “great crowd in heaven” referred to at Revelation 19:1, 6 is not the same as the “great crowd” of Revelation 7:9. The ones in heaven are not described as being “out of all nations” or as ascribing their salvation to the Lamb; they are angels. The expression “great crowd” is used in a variety of contexts in the Bible.—Mark 5:24; 6:34; 12:37. –Reasoning Book Page 167-168, Do those of the “great crowd” referred to at Revelation 7:9,10 also go to heaven?

2) Revelation 19:1 “After this I heard what seemed to be a loud voice of a great crowd in heaven.”

  1. Why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses believe what the Bible says at Rev. 19:1, that the Great Crowd is in heaven?
  2. At Revelation 7:8 the great crowd is not seen as being in heaven. Their “standing before the throne” of God does not require them to be in heaven. They are simply in the sight of God. (Psalm 11:4) The fact that the great crowd “which no man was able to number,” is not a heavenly class is shown by comparing its unspecified number with what is written at Revelation 7:4-8 and Revelation 14:1-4. There the number taken from the earth to heaven is revealed to be 144,000.” —Worship God, chapter 13 p. 121, par. 3, A Great Crowd Before Jehovah’s Throne

3) John 3:3 In response Jesus said to him: “Most truly I say to you, unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3

  1. Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses pray for and hope for the Kingdom of God to come? Why are you praying for a Kingdom you will never see? Jesus said you won’t see it unless you are born again. Are you born again? (Many attempt to use Theocratic Warfare at this point and claim they are born again, the following questions will force them to admit they are not.) Do you partake of the bread and wine? I thought Jehovah’s Witnesses believed only 144,000 are born again and will go to heaven?

(The NWT at 1John 5:1 cross references to this verse. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born from God, and everyone who loves the one who caused to be born loves him who has been born from that one. Notice it’s everyone who believes and not merely 144,000.)

  1. Misconceptions about being born again

Misconception: A person must be born again to gain salvation or to be a Christian. –Wt. 4/14/2014

4) Isaiah 9:6 For a child has been born to us, A son has been given to us; And the rulership will rest on his shoulder. His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

  1. Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus is Michael the Archangel? Why don’t you believe Isaiah 9:6 which states He is Mighty God?
  2. Our Readers Ask 

Is Jesus the Archangel Michael?

Put simply, the answer is yes. The custom of being called by more than one name is common in many cultures. –Wt. 4/1/2010 pg. 19

5) Acts 16:30-31 Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.

  1. Follow up questions: Do you believe this verse? It doesn’t say we must study with Jehovah’s Witnesses, attend meetings, or place magazines. Can you explain? Where is the Bible verse that says I must belong to the Watchtower organization to be saved? (Scriptures to add to this include Acts 4:12 and Romans 10:9)
  2. “The other sheep should never forget that their salvation depends on their active support of Christ’s anointed “brothers” still on earth.” —Wt. 3/15/2012 p. 20-24

Survival of individuals today depends on their faith and loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah’s universal organization.” —Wt. 5/15/06.

“They must appreciate that identifying themselves with Jehovah’s organization is essential to their salvation.” —Kingdom Ministry 1990 Nov p.1

“If we were to draw away from Jehovah’s organization, there would be no place else to go for salvation”. –Wt. 9/15/93 p. 22

“To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.” –Wt. 2/15/1983  

6) John 2:19-21 Jesus replied to them: “Tear down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said: “This temple was built in 46 years, and will you raise it up in three days?”  But he was talking about the temple of his body. When, though, he was raised up from the dead, his disciples recalled that he used to say this, and they believed the scripture and what Jesus had spoken.

  1. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus? While Jesus said that he would raise himself from the dead, the Watchtower says otherwise. Follow up questions: Why is it the Apostles remembered and believed, yet Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t? Did Jesus lie?
  2. “Jesus was using figurative speech, referring to “the temple of his body.” He was put to death and on the third day rose again. (Joh 2:21; Mt 16:21; Lu 24:7, 21, 46) He was resurrected by his Father Jehovah God in another body, not one made with hands like the temple of Jerusalem, but a spirit body made (built) by his Father. (Ac 2:24; 1Pe 3:18)” —Insight book, volume 1, pp. 273

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, although he knew that he would be put to death as the ransom sacrifice, his flesh ‘rested in hope.’ This was because of his knowledge that his Father would resurrect him, that his sacrifice would successfully serve the ransom purpose, and that his flesh would not see corruption. (Ac 2:26, 31) Jehovah God evidently disposed of Jesus’ fleshly body in his own way (possibly disintegrating it into the atoms of which it was constituted). (Lu 24:2, 3, 22, 23; Joh 20:2) Jesus did not take back his fleshly body and thereby cancel out the ransom for which it was given. The apostle Peter testifies that Christ went into heaven, the realm of spirits, not flesh, “he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit.” (1Pe 3:18) Before his ascension to heaven Christ, as a mighty, immortal spirit person, did materialize various fleshly bodies to suit the occasion, for the purpose of giving to his disciples visible, palpable evidence of his resurrection. —Joh 20:13-17, 25-27; 21:1, 4; Lu 24:15, 16. –Flesh, Insight, Volume 1, page 841, Watchtower Online Library

7) Revelation 5:13-14 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, and all the things in them, saying: “To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.” The four living creatures were saying: “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.”

  1. Why is it Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus should not be worshiped?

Are you saying Heaven is wrong?

  1. “Though some claim that prayer may properly be addressed to others, such as to God’s Son, the evidence is emphatically to the contrary.” Insight on the Scriptures Volume 2 p.667

8) Hebrews 11:16 But now they are reaching out for a better place, that is, one belonging to heaven. Therefore, God is not ashamed of them, to be called on as their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

  1. Hebrews says they are reaching out for a better place, one belonging to heaven, can you explain why the Watchtower disagrees with Hebrews 11:16? Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the ancient worthies of the Old Testament will be resurrected to paradise earth?
  2. Why have our publications said that Jesus was probably talking about a resurrection on earth? There are mainly two reasons. First, it is likely that the Sadducees were referring to the resurrection on earth when they spoke to Jesus. So it seemed logical that Jesus would have answered them by speaking about a resurrection on earth. Second, Jesus ended his answer by referring to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These faithful men will receive a resurrection to life on earthLuke 20:37, 38 –The Watchtower, Study Edition (Simplified) August 2014

9) John 6:48-50 “I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the wilderness and yet they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that anyone may eat of it and not die.

  1. I’ve heard Jehovah’s Witnesses believe only 144,000 will go to heaven and only those who have this hope eat the bread and drink the wine. Can you please show me where Jesus instructs that only the 144,000 should obey this command?

“I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the wilderness and yet they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that anyone may eat of it and not die. John 6:48-50

Verse 53 So Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I will resurrect him on the last day;

  1. When Jehovah’s Witnesses observe the Lord’s Evening Meal, only a small fraction of us partake of the bread and wine. Why is that so?

Jesus’ shed blood established “a new covenant” that replaced the covenant between Jehovah God and the ancient nation of Israel. (Heb. 8:10-13) Those who are in that new covenant partake of the Memorial emblems. It includes, not all Christians, but only “those who have been called” in a special way by God. (Heb. 9:15; Luke 22:20) These ones will rule in heaven with Christ, and the Bible says that just 144,000 people receive that privilege.

10) Luke 24:39-43 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; touch me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you see that I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. But while they were still not believing for sheer joy and amazement, he said to them: “Do you have something there to eat?” So they handed him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it before their eyes.

  1. Jesus said He was not a Spirit, yet Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe what Jesus said. Why? This is what Jesus taught, don’t you believe Jesus?

Jesus’ own words showed that he would not be resurrected with his flesh-and-blood body. He said that he would give his “flesh in behalf of the life of the world,” as a ransom for mankind. (John 6:51; Matthew 20:28) If he had taken back his flesh when he was resurrected, he would have canceled that ransom sacrifice. This could not have happened, though, for the Bible says that he sacrificed his flesh and blood “once for all time.”—Hebrews 9:11, 12.

  1. Bible says that Jesus “was put to death in the flesh but made alive [resurrected] in the spirit.”—1 Peter 3:18; Acts 13:34; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 2 Corinthians 5:16.
    Jesus’ own words showed that he would not be resurrected with his flesh-and-blood body. He said that he would give his “flesh in behalf of the life of the world,” as a ransom for mankind. (John 6:51; Matthew 20:28) If he had taken back his flesh when he was resurrected, he would have canceled that ransom sacrifice. This could not have happened, though, for the Bible says that he sacrificed his flesh and blood “once for all time.”—Hebrews 9:11, 12.


Just Get Over It


Have you ever heard those words or a variation of them? I sure have. We’ve all seen it, a former Jehovah’s Witness, who may have left the Watchtower Organization many years earlier, still angry, still upset, and still lost. Why does it take a Jehovah’s Witness so long to recover? Why can’t they “just get over it”?

Why Does It Take a Jehovah’s Witnesses So Long to Recover?

If you’ve never been a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or any other “high control group” commonly known as a cult, you may never understand it. The level of indoctrination, mind control, and abuse is difficult to comprehend for someone who has never experienced it.

Continue reading

Knock, knock!

Have you ever just stepped out of the shower, only to have the doorbell ring and find Jehovah’s Witnesses on your doorstep? We’ve all been there but take heart! There is an easy way out of this dilemma. First, don’t feel it’s necessary to have a discussion immediately. Simply explain it’s a bad time and ask them to return at a later date. (A side note, it’s a good idea to swap phone numbers so you can text each other in case plans change.) They will be thrilled someone has shown interest and you will have the necessary time to think about what you would like to discuss.

If you’re a Christian and you’re not very familiar with what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, that’s okay! There are a couple of things you can do, that won’t cause the situation to escalate into an argument, or a frantic game of Bible ping pong. One thing you can do is share your testimony with them. It’s very powerful because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have a testimony. Believe me, when they leave your doorstep they wonder about what you’ve said and sometimes discuss it with one another. Often, years later, when they are waking up to the deception, all these testimonies come flooding back to them. At least that’s what happened in my case and the case of countless others.

Another thing that Christians can do when confronted with Jehovah’s Witnesses is to share the simple gospel message. Or you might want to take it a step further and take this opportunity to compare the good news Jehovah’s Witnesses present to the actual good news of the Bible. How about asking them what their ‘good news’ is, and comparing it to the real gospel? This method only works for those of you patient enough to listen to their sermonette.

Be forewarned, if you don’t set this up properly, when they have finished presenting their “good news” and you proceed to share the gospel, to show them the difference in the message, they will quickly say that preaching Jesus is also part of their good news. The way to avoid this is simple:

  • First, have the Jehovah’s Witness share their good news.
  • Second, ask them if that is all of the message. Is there anything else?
  • Third, repeat it back to them. Ask them if you have understood them correctly.
  • Only then share the gospel of our Lord Jesus and when they attempt to say that is also part of their message, “No sir, I asked you your message, and repeated it back. Not once did you mention Jesus in your message.”

Next, you can show them this Watchtower quote that says the good news Jehovah’s Witnesses preach is not the same good news Christians preach.

 “Let the honest-hearted person compare the kind of preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom done by the religious systems of Christendom during all the centuries with that done by Jehovah’s Witnesses since the end of World War I in 1918. They are not the same.” May 1, 1981 Wt.

This means that the Watchtower admits that the gospel of the New Testament apostles in the first century is a different gospel than what the organization preaches.

Many Christians might be surprised to discover that most Jehovah’s Witnesses have never heard the gospel message. And yet sadly, this is true for most Jehovah’s Witnesses. During the sixteen years I was a door-knocking member not once did I hear the gospel message. I’ve asked countless fellow Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses and we all have the same story, no one shared the gospel message with us.

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 1 Cor. 15:1-4 ESV

You can combine this with the admonition found in Galatians:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Gal. 1:6-8 ESV

Jehovah’s Witnesses think the disciples preached the kingdom of God. This is because the Watchtower carefully presents this information repeatedly. What’s surprising is that the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not know the disciples actually preached the Gospel of Jesus.

Interesting, the Jehovah’s Witnesses website,, has this quote:

Jehovah’s Witnesses today endeavor to do so as well. They preach the same message as Jesus did, namely, “the kingdom of the heavens.” ​—Matthew 10:7

What’s so odd about the above quote, is that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not preach “the kingdom of the heavens”. If you’ve ever spoken to one you know all they can talk about it seems, is paradise earth!   Indeed, all the years I was a member I don’t recall them ever teaching anything about what heaven would be like.

The parallel account in the book of Luke mentions the kingdom of God, instead of the kingdom of heaven. Since the watchtower repeatedly says “paradise earth “, in the mind of a Jehovah’s Witness, to hear kingdom of God equals paradise earth.

What’s really interesting is they are not familiar with the following verses, which show us the disciples preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I wonder what they would think about that?

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Mark 1:1

in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the **gospel of the glory of Christ**, who is the image of God. 2 Cor. 4:4

1 Corinthians 1:23, “but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness…”

2 Corinthians 4:5, “For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.”




Salvation How Is It Found?

If you ask a Jehovah’s Witness, how can I be saved, chances are you’ll be met with a puzzled look, rather like a deer caught in the headlights. That’s because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in salvation.

According to the Watchtower, a person must:

  1. Study with Jehovah’s Witnesses, usually at least 6 months.
  2. Attend all meetings
  3. Go out door to door with Watchtower magazines
  4. Associate with the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses
  5. Study for baptism
  6. Answer 100+ baptism questions
  7. Get baptized
  8. Continue attending all meetings, conventions and going out door to door until Armageddon
  9. Continue faithful during the 1,000-year reign of Christ
  10. Continue faithful while Satan is let loose “for a little while”

Only then is a Jehovah’s Witness saved. Until then, it’s a perpetual state of probation, always working hard of the organization, never assured of eternal life. How different that is than the promises found in God’s word!!

So, the question is, is salvation found by means of faith, or by means of an organization? What does the bible say?

  1. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, NOT of works, lest anyone should boast. Eph. 2:8, 9 NKJV
  2. So, they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,you and your household.” Acts 16:31 NKJV
  3. Salvation is found in no one else,for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
  4. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3 NKJV
  5. if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead,you will be saved. 10:9
  6. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Acts 16:30, 31.
  7. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Does the Watchtower Organization teach the same thing? While on the surface they may say these things to the public, what is actually printed is something quite different. Note below, what their organization declare is necessary for salvation:

According to the Watchtower Organization, Feb. 15, 1983, p. 12, there are four requirements for salvation as taught by the Watchtower magazine. Please check out the list.

  1. Jesus Christ identified a first requirement when he said in prayer to his Father: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ includes knowledge of God’s purposes regarding the earth and of Christ’s role as earth’s new King. Will you take in such knowledge by studying the Bible?
  2. Many have found the second requirement more difficult. It is to obey God’s laws, yes, to conform one’s life to the moral requirements set out in the Bible. This includes refraining from a debauched, immoral way of life. 1 Corinthians 6:9101 Peter 4:34.
  3. A third requirement is that we be associated with God’s channel, his organization. God has always used an organization. For example, only those in the ark in Noah’s day survived the Flood, and only those associated with the Christian congregation in the first century had God’s favor. (Acts 4:12) Similarly, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.
  4. The fourth requirement is connected with loyalty. God requires that prospective subjects of his Kingdom support his government by loyally advocating his Kingdom rule to others. Jesus Christ explained: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth.” (Matthew 24:14) Will you meet this requirement by telling others about God’s Kingdom?

You may notice the first two qualifications are in accord with God’s word, and such they are. Notice however points 3 and 4. Did you notice that the watchtower points to itself as necessary for salvation? Where do we find this in Scripture? Simple answer is we don’t!  Have you ever come across a scripture saying we must be members of a certain church in order to attain salvation?

Now the watchtower is well aware that to point to any man or organization for salvation is idolatry. Notice the following quotes, made in the same month and same year: 

  1. “We cannot take part in any modern version of idolatry-be it worshipful gestures toward an image or symbol or the imputing of salvation to a person or an organization.   Watchtower Nov. 1, 1990 page 26

2.  “They must appreciate that identifying themselves with Jehovah’s organization is essential to their salvation.” Kingdom Ministry 1990 Nov p.1


Here the watchtower has broken its own rule. For the public, the watchtower has what appears to be a very Christian teaching, but the Kingdom Ministry, which is only for those Jehovah’s witnesses who engage in the door-to-door activity, the Watchtower says the organization is necessary for salvation. Didn’t the watchtower just say this was idolatry?  Why then are they leading eight million people straight into idolatry, making them guilty of  breaking God’s law ? This was not a new teaching as can be seen by the following quotes?

  1. Come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation. Watchtower, Nov. 15, 1981 page 21

2. “Where should your faith be placed-in a religious organization or in God?” Wt. Jan               15, 1970 pg. 37

As you can see from their quotes, the watchtower says both we must place our faith in God, and we must belong to the Watchtower Organization, even though the statements contradict each other.  So who will you believe and put faith in? God’s inspired word?? Or the words of an uninspired, imperfect organization?

Take heed therefore, to pay attention to, and obey the word of God. Here is what God’s word says:

  1. Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. Psalm 146:3 NIV

2. This is what the Lord says:

Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord. Jer. 17:5 NIV

So do not put your trust in man, for they cannot save you, regardless of their claims! Even if they should say, Salvation is by means of following me! There is only one path that leads to salvation, that is by means of Faith in the Son of God, our Messiah, our Redeemer, our Savior. There is no other!

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12


How I Came to Believe in Hell

COME TO ME ALL YOU WHO ARE WEARYThe year was 1992, before Facebook, before the Ex-Jehovah’s Witness community online, and many years before I got a computer. That was the year I walked away from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. And in typical Ex-Jehovah’s Witness fashion, when I left the cult, I continued to believe what they had taught me. I didn’t have a Church, Pastor or Christian friend to help set me on the right path. And so, of course, just like any Jehovah’s Witness, I didn’t believe in hell.

After we leave, due to the indoctrination, unless we get exit counseling and learn about indoctrination, propaganda and mind control, or unless we get help from the Christian community, its more than likely we will continue to believe what we were taught. We don’t realize that virtually everything the Watchtower teaches is out of context. When the bible disagrees with them, they always simply say it’s symbolic.

The Lord was going to completely change my thinking one step at a time. Maybe it’s because I tend to be stubborn, that He often does this by asking a question. I was watching a documentary on television about near death experiences. In the first one, it showed a woman in a rafting accident, turned upside down, trapped under rocks who subsequently drowned. She spoke of seeing her body in the water, and going up to heaven. I thought to myself “I believe that.” Next, a man who lived an ungodly life, and didn’t believe in God, who died and went to hell. He described the dark and the terror and it was frightening to watch. When it was over, I thought to myself, “I don’t believe that.”

A thought, unbidden, and not my own, came to mind, which stopped me in my tracks. “Why do you accept the one and not the other?”  It shook me to my core. The thought of hell possibly being real frightened me, and I didn’t want to think about it.

It was about this same time that I had joined Facebook and the Ex-Jehovah’s Witness community. The year was 2014, 40 years after I first started studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses and things had finally gotten decidedly better. I had already been divinely healed by the Lord of bi-polar in 2013 and had been healed of the multiple personalities some years prior. (More on that later) My theology was a mess, however. And now the Lord was going to use the Christian community online to help straighten me out.

I didn’t trust Christians and told them so. I believed and trusted the Watchtower, and they were wrong I told them. How do I know you don’t have it wrong as well? Why should I trust what you tell me? No one could answer these burning questions.

If you’ve ever joined a Christian discussion/debate group and dared to disagree or question them about hell or the trinity, you’ll know exactly what happened. I didn’t reveal my beliefs, somehow, I knew better, but I did eventually start asking questions.

The question I brought up in discussions was: How do we reconcile the scripture, God is love, with the punishment of hell? The answers surprised me.

  1. “God doesn’t send you to hell, you send yourself thereby rejecting Him.”
  2. “You’re a Christian so you don’t have to worry about that.”
  3. “God made hell for Satan and the demons.”

You see the problem? The answers did not answer my question, they side-stepped it and made light of it. The point is, God made hell, you go there if you don’t believe in God, how do we reconcile a God of love with a burning hell?

The Lord was trying to show me gently, by using other Christians. I didn’t recognize the Lord was using them. When we are stubbornly refusing to listen to the gentle prodding’s of the Holy Spirit, and that soft gentle voice, then the Lord becomes more stern.

The Lord used Anthony Hempe, a Christian Apologist and owner of the group, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Biblical Discussions to drive the point home about hell. I was being stubborn, so the Lord used someone more stubborn and more blunt than me to drive the point home.

He asked me two questions, which took my breath away and made me feel like I had been kicked in the gut. Of course, the discussion was hell. The two questions he asked me were, “If there is no such thing as hell, why did Jesus warn us of the perils of hell more than anyone else?” That question stopped me cold. “He did?” I thought to myself, quite shocked.

The second question was even more blunt, “Was Jesus lying?” My world turned upside down. I was stunned. No one had ever asked me those questions before. It was something I wasn’t familiar with. I had to know the truth, so I took out my bible and started reading the verses where Jesus warns about the perils of hell. It was like seeing them for the very first time.

Matt 5:29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 

Matt 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 

Matt 25:46 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

Mark 9:42 – 48 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ 

I remembered singing a song at the kingdom hall, some of the lyrics went, ‘those that kill the body but cannot destroy the soul’. Why hadn’t I ever picked up on that? Instead I had brushed it to the back of my mind. The answer to my question about reconciling the love of God with the punishment of hell wasn’t given at that time. My mind was busy reeling from the ramifications of hell is real!! 

Suddenly I realized that when someone rejects the gospel message of, we are saved by faith in Jesus Acts 16:30,31, and not by any other name or organization, Acts 4:12, these people are making themselves subject to the punishment of hell! Here they think they will go to sleep in the ground, wake up in paradise and be given a second chance! But Hebrews says, we die once and after that its judgment. There are no second chances like the Watchtower teaches! Heb. 9:27

Since then, I’ve had discussions with Anthony, who explained to me the perfect justice of God, has to balance with God’s perfect love. If God forgives all sin, and the punishment is the same for all, how is that justice? If a murderer appears in court before the judge and says “I’m sorry” the judge or jury still has to punish the crime. Otherwise, justice has not taken place.

To think that Hitler would get the exact same punishment as my dear relatives who never knew God is just unthinkable! Even we, as imperfect people, demand justice be done. That sense of justice we have comes from God. God is not one to be mocked, whatever a man is sowing, this also shall he reap. Gal. 6:7

Ecc. 3:17 I said to myself, “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.”

Heb. 10:30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”

Prov. 24:24, 25 Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations. 25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come on them.

There are no second chances. The bible doesn’t teach we die, get resurrected, get a second chance during the 1,000-year reign of Christ, and if we do not accept God we die again. We only have this life, we can use it to pursue God and have a relationship with Him, in which case we have the hope of eternal life, or we can reject God, in which case God will grant our wish to be separated from Him forever, only it won’t be paradise earth. The choice is yours, my friend.

Pleasing God, and gaining eternal life is so much easier God’s way, than the Watchtower way. What must I do to have eternal life? Believe in the Lord Jesus! (Acts 16:30,31) Does God require you to peddle magazines door to door and count time? No! God does not care about magazines!

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 

 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13 

Hard to imagine, that the Christians had it right all along! The teachings of Charles Taze Russell were taken from the Adventists, who also didn’t believe in hell and predicted dates for the Lord’s return. I imagine until the Lord returns cults and false teachings will continue. No wonder the Bible tells us to beware of false prophets! What else did Christians have right and Jehovah’s Witnesses have wrong?? Next stop: The Trinity.




Why Can’t I Reach a Jehovah’s Witness?

Author: Sally Peterson

Context is the Key

Ever try to present a Bible verse that doesn’t agree with what the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, only to have them deny what the Bible clearly says? Often, Christian’s who have either never spoken to Jehovah’s Witnesses or are not familiar with them are totally stymied by their response. Often, they wonder, “don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Bible?”

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Mighty God vs. Almighty God


Mighty God versus Almighty God?

Mighty God, little god, angel? The Watchtower actually teaches all three! The Watchtower says Isaiah 9:6 is a prophesy of Jesus (which it is) and this identifies Him as Mighty God. According to the New World Translation, at John 1:1 Jesus is “a god”, a created god, a lesser god, alongside the Father, therefore they have two gods. And the Watchtower teaches Jesus is Michael the Archangel. When asked what is Jesus, aside from saying He is the Son of God, a Jehovah’s Witness cannot answer, is He Mighty God, little god or angel? Because the Watchtower actually teaches all three.

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