We’ve all been abused by the Watchtower. For most of us those scars are hidden on the inside, we are the “walking wounded.” We’ve lost our families, our so-called friends, our reputation, and have been smeared as “mentally diseased apostates” by the Organization. Some of us have suffered more than others, but none of us walk away unscathed.
After such an ordeal it’s normal to become angry and bitter, and to blame God. However God is not the one who deceived us with the false teachings of the cult. So please don’t throw out the baby with the bath water! If you’ve lost all faith, perhaps your faith was founded in the organization rather than in God.
The many rules and regulations that come from the Watchtower are not from God. Where is it written for example: Thou shalt not wear tight pants? Jesus laid out for us how easy it is to be pleasing to God by telling us what the most important commandments are.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 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 22:36-40
This is not to say there are no other moral laws we must be careful of. That’s a given, something we all should know.
Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. 1 Cor. 6: 9, 10.
The Watchtower makes it much harder to worship God and almost impossible to become “sons of God”.
Some may criticize us when we say you must be born-again, but we are only repeating the words of Jesus.
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. John 3:3
Jehovah’s Witnesses have said, a person can’t decide to be born-again. While it is true, that we don’t decide, it’s a simple matter of prayer. And prayer is simply talking to God. Jehovah’s Witnesses disagree saying thousands, millions, pray and are not born-again. While this is also true, perhaps they are not praying in the right way.
It amazes me how difficult the Watchtower makes it for Jehovah’s Witnesses to have an actual relationship with God. They point to a seemingly endless list of rules one must follow in order to be pleasing and acceptable to God. But is this what the Bible says?
A Jehovah’s Witness cannot believe it can be that simple. Why? The Watchtower makes a close relationship with God inaccessible, it is only for the select few, the 144,000, and it’s not for you. You’re not good enough.
Back in the 1980’s it was taught as dogmatic truth that the heavens closed in 1935. I remember vividly meeting with the elders and them insisting I could not have the heavenly hope because of this “fact”. Therefore my prayers were not being answered by Jehovah God but Satan the Devil they told me. Interesting and now it is no longer taught that the heavens closed in 1935! Guess this “truth” is no longer “truth” eh? What is “old light” that is no longer true called? Guess that means it was a lie.
I remember how the sisters of the “great crowd” would sometimes ask me, how to have a close relationship with Jehovah! I don’t understand. Don’t they pray? I would tell them, tell Jehovah you want that relationship! Tell Him you want a relationship like Abraham had, like Moses had, like King David had! Then open your bible, ask to be led by the Holy Spirit and keep reading!
Why is it so difficult for Jehovah’s Witnesses to figure out that if we want an intimate relationship with God, we need to direct this to Him in prayer?
The Jehovah’s Witness sister I studied with in 1974 used to tell me, she prayed to Jehovah all day long, just talking to Him, while she cleaned house, did dishes, etc. This became my pattern as well. Every concern was brought to Him in prayer. The bible was read, like any other book, just open it and read it! It is God’s word, and that’s how we come to know Him, why should this be forbidden by an organization that claims to follow the Bible as its final authority?
I continually prayed, asking for that relationship, and read the Bible. I couldn’t understand how at times I was so filled with joy and peace and yet at other times it seemed to vanish. So I decided one month, to divide my time equally, instead of pioneering I did twenty hours a month in meeting attendance, twenty hours a month in field service and twenty hours a month in personal Bible study and prayer. And that was when I received the Holy Spirit and became a born-again believer, or as Jehovah’s Witnesses call it, anointed.
Suddenly, everything changed! I was filled with an indescribable joy that filled me with both laughter and tears of joy. I was filled with a peace that is beyond comprehension. Suddenly all the scriptures I had read so many times before, suddenly seemed to come to life, as though God were speaking directly to me! It was almost as if, I had never read them before and they touched my heart deeply.
When I came to the opening greetings of Paul’s letters to the Churches, “to all the holy ones” suddenly I knew that applied to me! Suddenly the Scriptures had new meaning!
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” Gal. 4:6
The Holy Spirit was bearing witness with my spirit.
Why does the Watchtower not want their members to become born again? Well when the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit, then we know, we have a spirit within us. We are not only flesh and blood like the watchtower teaches. Imagine if all the members suddenly realized the watchtower does not agree with the Bible! Imagine if they shared this with one another? A mass exodus would occur!
God wants us to know him. God loves us.
God wants you to have a personal relationship with Him. God wants you to have faith in Him. God sent forth His Son to die for you. Putting faith in the Son dying for us and being resurrected gives us eternal life.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. John 5:8 NIV
John 3:16 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.
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. Titus 3:5a
How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. Luke 13:34b
Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—
1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:9-11 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
No matter how hard we “work hard for salvation” the Bible says salvation is found in no one else. It doesn’t matter how hard we try, how righteous we try to be, we cannot save ourselves.
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. Isa. 64:6 (NLT)
We don’t build a relationship with God by trying to prove our righteousness to Him with a series of actions and turning away from sinful acts the Bible condemns. We acquire a relationship with God by talking to Him and asking Him for that relationship, and accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
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 (NIV)
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9, 13 (NIV)
So when we call upon the name of the Lord Jesus, accepting Him as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved.
Confess we are a sinner
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. John 1:9 NIV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV
1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God…For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation…” 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
Believe in the Lord Jesus
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 NIV
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40 ESV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 ESV
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23 ESV
That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:3, 4 ESV
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Heb. 9:22 ESV
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 1 John 1:12 ESV
How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Luke 13:34 b ESV
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” 1 John 4:10
The Bible says God is at work in everyone’s life. “So that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:27
Our relationship with God has been broken by sin.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Romans 3:10
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, John 3:23 ESV
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
“We are dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1
“And thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
So the outline or the steps are there in the Bible, confess our sins, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
How do we gain the Holy Spirit?
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!“ Luke 11:14
Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 ESV
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5
Here are some examples of the “Sinner’s Prayer”. Although this term is not found in the Bible, the thoughts behind it are, as was shown by the previous Scriptures. The prayer is not some magical formula that one can simply recite, it must come from the heart. We must recognize we are sinners, that we cannot save ourselves, and that our hope rests in the Lord Jesus. When we put faith in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus we are saved. When we ask for the Holy Spirit God gives us this gift.
Saying the sinner’s prayer is simply a way of saying to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ as your Savior. There are no “magical” words that can save us. It is only faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection that can save us. If you understand that you are a sinner and in need of salvation through Jesus Christ, pray to God and confess you are a sinner, accept Jesus sacrifice for your sins, accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus loves you, and will come into your heart if you ask Him.