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

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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Salvation How Is It Found?


How is salvation found? By means of faith or by means of an organization? The Watchtower teaches one must be a member of the organization to be saved through Armageddon. Where is this found in Scripture? 

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

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A Simple Message for Jehovah’s Witnesses

God cannot tell a lie. God’s word is truth. If our religion disagrees with God, our religion is wrong. Simple.

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 

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.

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

 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

So then the Bible tells us we are saved by faith in the Lord Jesus. Do you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

Jesus tells us if we ask for the Holy Spirit, God will give the Holy Spirit to us.

 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 11:13

Have you asked for the Holy Spirit? If not, why not?

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

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.    Acts 2:38

So then, we need to repent of our sins, accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and ask for the Holy Spirit.


How Can I Have a More Intimate Relationship With God?



First it’s important to know that God loves us, and wants us to seek Him and have a relationship with Him. It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past or who you are, God loves you. Here are some scriptures that tell us that God loves us.

1.“We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

2.“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

3.“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

4.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. Romans 8:37-39

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—Ephesians 2:4-5

6.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 4:9-11

7.The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I often get asked “How can I have a closer relationship with God?” I was asked this while one of Jehovah’s Witnesses as well. It’s fairly simple and straight forward.

If you want a relationship with God, tell Him! I remember crying and praying, telling God, “I want that relationship with you like Abraham had, like Isaac had, like Moses had, like King David had! I want that!” That was the first step.

I don’t know why that shocked the Jehovah’s Witnesses I spoke to but it genuinely shocked them. One young lady, a friend of my daughter, followed this advice and received her first answer from God! She called me the next day in tears of joy!

Next, the Bible is God’s inspired Word, this is how He speaks with us today. When we study His word, we are searching for answers. When we receive the Holy Spirit, He bears witness with our spirit and the words seem to come to life, that is, it’s as though we have never read them before. Suddenly the light goes on and we notice something new! So study of God’s word is also a key element.

The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63 NLT

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Tim. 3:16 NLT

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 Tim. 3:16 NIV

If we want to get to know God, we must read His word. If we want an answer from God, it is often found by reading His word. He has given the Bible as a letter of love and instruction, how would you feel if you wrote your child a letter of love and concern and he or she never read it?

As Jehovah’s Witnesses we were taught that taking in knowledge equaled eternal life and was equivalent to worship. This is from the faulty interpretation of John 17:3 in the 1984 New World Translation which read:

This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God and the One you sent forth, Jesus Christ.

Jesus words show that this is faulty interpretation when He said, “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.” John 5:39, 40.

Notice the difference in other translations of John 17:3

And this is the way to have eternal life–to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. NLT

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. NIV

Now, decades later, even the Watchtower Organization has changed this verse to read similarly. (Although for decades we defended the watchtower’s interpretation of this verse!)

This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. NWT

Coming to know someone is not the same as “taking in knowledge” of them. It is not simply learning about someone that helps us to have a relationship with them. It’s speaking to them, building that relationship. For example  you can read a book all about your favorite author, you might learn where he was born, how old he is, whether or not he is married, how many children he has, and what his religious ideals may be. Does this mean you have a relationship with this author? Does this author know you personally by name?

Same principle applies in our quest for a relationship with God. True, we learn about God’s qualities and what He requires of worshiper’s by reading the Bible, but gaining that intimate relationship with Him, really getting to know Him, and having Him know us, is only acquired by speaking to Him, in prayer. So daily prayer is vital!

If you have a husband or wife, or a fiancé, do you remember when you were first getting to know one another? A day would hardly pass without speaking to each other, often for hours on end! This is how we get to know one another and this is how we also get to know God. True, He does not speak to us like other humans do, but we often “hear” from Him through His word.

Something that was never stressed, as Jehovah’s Witnesses was worship. Their idea of worship includes going door to door, attending meetings and study of watchtower literature. Does God care if we peddle magazines door to door?

“For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” 2 Cor. 2:17 ESV

Does God care that we meet together to sing “From house to house and door to door?” Is that praising God? Now they sing about pioneering! In what way is that praising God?

So aside from prayer and reading or studying God’s word what else can we do? Sing songs of praise! Praise the Lord! This is found throughout the Scriptures.

Hear, O you kings; give ear, O you princes; I, even I, will sing to the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel. Judges 5:3

Therefore I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises to your name. 2 Samuel 22:50

I will give you thanks in the great congregation: I will praise you among much people. Psalms 35:18

And my tongue shall speak of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long. Psalms 35:28

Then will I go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy: yes, on the harp will I praise you, O God my God. Psalms 43:4

It is a good thing to give thank unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most high. Psalms 92:1

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful to him, and bless his name. Psalms 100:4

I will sing of mercy and judgment: to you, O LORD, will I sing. Psalms 101:1


I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
    and extol your name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness. Psalm 145

Want to see how often King David said to praise the Lord? Read Psalm 145-150 and just count how many times he says it!

So tell Him you want that intimate relationship, study His word and offer up songs of praise! Make this a habit and you will be well on your way. It takes time, consistency and effort. And lastly, don’t give up! Keep asking, keep seeking, persevere in prayer!

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:9-13

So ask for the Holy Spirit! Tell God you want that intimate relationship with Him! Open the Bible and start reading it! He wrote it for us, it is His love letter and letter of instruction for us today.

Jesus loves you, and will come into your heart if you ask Him.



How Can I Be Saved?


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.

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Out of the Watchtower-Now What?


Maybe you have just woken up to the “Truth about the Truth”, that is the truth about the Watchtower. Maybe you’re still researching. If so, I’d like to recommend some basics, do an internet search, Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Royal CommissionJehovah’s Witnesses and Pedophile’s, Candace Conti, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the U.N. are all good places to start. Reading websites to investigate? is an excellent site, straight to the point, and loaded with information, always accurate.

If you’ve already found out the lies of the Watchtower and are well on your way with the research, you might be experiencing some fear, which is completely natural, but fear not! Life has just begun!

There is normally a period of adjustment after we leave the Watchtower, after all being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not like any other religion, it is a complete way of life. Our entire life revolves around going to meetings and going door to door, preparing for meetings, attending conventions.  Plus, with the law on shunning, most of us lose our families, friends and reputations once we decided to leave the Watchtower Organization.  If only it were attending Church on Sunday’s it would be relatively easy. Unfortunately it also affects the way we think, behave and interact with others. It can take years to learn how to interact with other people, to forge friendships, even to come back to God, as many who leave willingly or are disfellowshipped also lose their faith in God, as their faith was in the organization. After spiritual abuse, the last thing we may ever want to do is step foot inside a Church! But fear not! Attending a Church regularly is not necessary for salvation!

What most Jehovah’s Witnesses who have just left the cult don’t know, is that thousands leave every year while maintaining faith in God. The natural question to ask is, “Now what? Where do I go?”

The Watchtower is slick, they’ve changed the meaning of the bible verse.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom we shall go? You have the words of eternal life. John 6:68

Notice that? It’s not a where, it’s a who! It’s the Lord Jesus who has sayings of everlasting life, and the bible promises that those who have faith in Jesus will have eternal life.

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

Notice that? Salvation is found in no one else. The Watchtower does not agree, the Watchtower says salvation can only be found in the organization.

“If we were to draw away from Jehovah’s organization, there would be no place else to go for salvation” (Watchtower Magazine, September 15, 1993, p. 22). Not Jesus?

And then say in the WT March 15 2012 pg. 20 “The other sheep should never forget that their salvation depends on their active support of Christ’s anointed “brothers” still on earth.” Really? Where does the Bible say that?

Only Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the “great crowd,” as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil.” Watchtower 1989 Sep 1 p.19 Again, really? Where does the Bible say that?

Just as Noah and his God-fearing family were preserved in the ark, survival of individuals today depends on their faith and their loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah’s universal organization.”  Watchtower 2006 May 15 p.22 “Are You Prepared for Survival?” Again, really? Where does the Bible say that?

“In effect, Jesus also conveys Jehovah’s voice to us as he directs the congregation through “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matt. 24:45) We need to take this guidance and direction seriously, for our everlasting life depends on our obedience.” Watchtower 2014 Aug 15 p.21. Really? Where is the evidence please? Can you prove that claim?
Notice please what the Bible says about salvation and how it is found.

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

 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. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”  13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9,10,11,13

In context we see Romans 10 is talking about the Lord Jesus, if we believe in our heart God raised him from the dead we will be saved and everyone calling on the name of the Lord! Which Lord? The Lord Jesus!

Watchtower has inserted the name Jehovah in this verse, so Jehovah’s Witnesses call upon Jehovah to be saved, but the Bible says we must call upon the Lord, and context tells us it’s the Lord Jesus we must call upon to be saved.

God’s spirit is in His word. If we read the bible and pray for Holy Spirit we are well on the path into God’s eternal truth.

The single best piece of advice I could give you is throw out everything the Watchtower has ever taught you. Their “theology” is dreamed up by men who have never attended college, never gone to Seminary, never learned Hebrew or Greek and never learned Biblical Context. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses are completely unaware that you can take something out of context, a single verse, and apply it in such a way as it was never intended by the author! There are classic examples of the Watchtower doing this, which will be covered in future articles. Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson, admitted on the witness stand (Australia Royal Commission Trial) that he is a high school drop out! The same is true for the founder C.T. Russell! Some of our elders, the ones who teach in the congregations were plumbers! How and in what way are these men qualified to teach the Bible?

It can take investigation, time and independent study before coming to a conclusion about what the Bible really teaches. This is okay! We are not saved by having all our teachings correct! We are saved by faith in Jesus! The Holy Spirit will guide, direct and teach you and eventually you will come to sound Biblical understandings. John 14:26John 16:131 John 2:27Be patient with yourself! Rome was not built in a day! We cannot undo years of indoctrination in a day, a week a month or even a year! It takes time! But relax, take it easy on yourself, don’t beat yourself up! Learn how to interact with other people, make friends, and choose them wisely.

Most Jehovah’s Witnesses after they leave the cult, are heart-broken, or angry, confused and don’t know what to believe. The last thing they want to do is go to another Church after the abuse of the Watchtower! That’s okay! I’ve found some good sermons online, that I’ve learned from, sitting at home, having coffee, listening and looking up the Bible verses and you can too!

I was afraid after I left the Watchtower. After all, I had been deceived for eighteen years! I *still* believed the lie, that all the Churches had apostatized and were not to be trusted! So I did not go to Church, did not speak with other Christians, there *were no* online Ex-Jehovah’s Witness Communities in those days. So I floundered, all alone, just me, the Bible and Jehovah God. After twenty-two years of that, I discovered the online community. I can’t tell you how much they helped me!  I also can’t tell you how much the sermons online from Churches helped me! Don’t do what I did, don’t isolate yourself for years, mankind was not meant to live alone in isolation. It is a long, lonely, heart-breaking experience. Let others help you!

Help Jehovah’s Witnesses Group-for those that have left the organization

Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses Support and Recovery-another group for those that have left the organization Great sermons you can listen to online, by Phil Alspaw of Libby Church, he goes through the Bible chapter by chapter each week. The Meeting Place, Bruxy is the pastor, amazing guy, funny, interesting, great teaching!




Which Covenant Are You In?


In the Old Testament, the Israelites were under the Old Law Code, given through Moses. There were six hundred and thirteen laws had to be obeyed. The bible says it was our tutor leading to Christ. “So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.” Gal. 3:24 A perfect law could not be obeyed perfectly by imperfect people, only the Lord Himself could perfectly obey this law.

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Discussing Revelation 1 with a JW


A Jehovah’s Witnesses will typically say that Revelation 1:8 is about Jehovah, not about Jesus. How can we overcome this obstacle? It’s simply a matter of examining the entire context of chapter 1 of Revelation, as this is revealed.

First we examine Rev. 1:7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
    and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
    and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen.

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