Updated: Jan 27, 2021
“Get up and measure the temple sanctuary of God and the altar and those worshipping in it. But as for the courtyard that is outside the temple sanctuary, leave it out and do not measure it, because it has been given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months.” - Revelation 11: 1, 2
The Scriptures clearly show that when our Lord Jesus returns his first order of business will be to render a judgment towards those who are proclaiming they belong to him. Speaking of that judgment Paul said: “when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:32 NAS) As we await that event our primary concern at this time is making sure that not only ourselves, but our families, friends and whoever we possibly can help, are ready for that judgment.
At that time it will not be as simple as proclaiming our membership in the correct religion, as though we had picked the winning horse in a race. Jesus warned us that at that time when many boast about their practicing a religion, - “I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you!” (Matthew 7:23) When that hour arrives the only relevant thing will be our relationship not our religion. The purpose of this site is to assist you and help you to assist others to focus on that relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, who can assist you personally to have a deeper and more meaningful relationship with our Father.
As the primary writer and administrator of this site I have had a lifelong background with the CCJW (Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses). I am currently considered an “active”, “anointed” member of the congregation in “good standing”. Of course all of those expressions are irrelevant to anyone who is not indoctrinated in the CCJW. Nevertheless, those expressions mean everything to the timid member of the CCJW that has ventured here for the first time. While much of the content here is tailored to members of the CCJW, the invitation to associate and assist you to strengthen your relationship with Jesus is extended to everyone who finds their way here. The one and only source of truth presented on this site is God's Word the Bible, “the very essence of your word is truth”. (Psalms 119:160)
Many became members of the CCJW with the perception that everything taught was taken directly from the Bible. As relatively new believers with only a basic knowledge of the Scriptures it is only reasonable to trust those with more experience than ourselves when they say things are “clearly established in the Bible”. Nevertheless, as we mature spiritually and become more familiar with the Scriptures from our examining them daily we begin to find multiple questions and contradictions stacking up that disagree with what is being not only presented as, but also that which is required to be accepted as, “truth” for all members of the CCJW.
With the birth of the internet an online forum for discussing these issues instantly followed. Robert King, Perimeno, Paul Grundy are some of the more well know individuals that sprang up early. More recently activists speaking out against the CCJW like Lloyd Evans have become well known. There are today many You Tube personalities that present Biblical information intended to help accurately understand the Scriptures. I think of Eric Wilson for members of the CCJW and Mike Winger for the rest of Christendom.
While the CCJW stresses the importance of having an accurate knowledge of the truth presented through the Bible, they are today an authoritarian source that dictates what each member will believe and embrace as true or else face disfellowshipping which has become an extremely harsh form of excommunication. Speaking of the rigid authority exercised by those who have risen to positions of power within the organization Ray Franz, a former member of its “Governing Body” wrote:
“The more I thought the more convinced I became that anything that altered that relationship of brothers could not be genuinely Christian. Any titles or official positions that of themselves, put some on a different spiritual level from others, or that in any way infringed upon the exclusive right of God's Son as the only Master and Teacher of his followers, must be, I felt, a deviation from the spirit of Christianity.
What of the designations found in the Christian Scriptures, such as "shepherd," "teacher," "prophet," "elder," and so forth? It seemed evident that these all actually described - not offices or official positions in an authority structure - but services to be rendered to the community of brothers, or qualities and abilities possessed that were to be used in benefit of others. The authorization such persons had to render these services did not make them spiritual heads over their brothers. For the head of every man is Christ," no one else. (1 Corinthians 11:3, RSV: compare Corinthians 12:4-11, 27-31)
Those services, qualities and abilities were to be directed toward helping people "grow up" as mature Christians, not to remain spiritual and mental infants, constantly dependent on others to think for them, to make decisions for them, and thus to be easily led from one shifting teaching to another. (Compare Ephesians 4:11-16; i Corinthians 3:1-3; Hebrews 5:12-14.) They were to be childlike in their relationship to God and Christ, but not to men. The whole purpose of their associating congregationally was to promote their growth as "mature people" able to make their own decisions, "full grown" men and women who rightly need and recognize no other spiritual headship than that of the Christ. (Matthew 18:3; 23:9; 1 Corinthians 14:20; 16:13; Ephesians 4:14) - Ray Franz (In Search Of Christian Freedom pages 39-40)
Nevertheless, even though the CCJW claims to be modeled after the 1st century congregation, the Scriptural principals and attitudes Ray just mentioned were never truly implemented within the organization. Instead from it's inception until 1976 the CCJW was basically a monarchical organization. It's controlling personalities being Charles Russell, Joseph Rutherford, and Nathan Knorr. In 1976 while Nathan Knorr was the president of the organization, control of the organization and its established doctrines was transferred to a “Governing Body” that had been established a few years prior. Ray Franz was a member of that “Governing Body” in the year 1976. He said the following in his book:
“I had thought that the "monarchical" arrangement prevailing in the organizational administration of Jehovah's Witnesses up until 1976 was largely responsible for the authoritarian atmosphere prevalent. However, after the major restructuring in 1975-76 it became evident that I was mistaken. I had sincerely hoped that the new arrangement would mark, or at least prepare the way for a basic change of attitude and spirit, with emphasis on serving others, not an attitude of controlling them or dealing with them as subordinates. In time it became quite clear that the end result had essentially been only a dividing up and sharing of power, with a group of men acting as one man had done before. In effect, the inside of the house had been remodeled - but it was still the same house, its basic features little changed. The authoritarian structure, approach and attitudes of the past were still there, in fact still dominant.” - Ray Franz (In Search Of Christian Freedom page 40)
Unfortunately Ray passed away before I had the privilege of meeting him. However, after getting to know him through his extensive and detailed writings we consider him a dear brother and beloved member of our family. Ray, at great cost to himself, put having an approved relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ as the greatest priority in his life. He emphasized the importance for all of us to be submissive to our Bible trained conscience, as this is how our Lord and his apostles instructed us to worship God. “For the thing we boast of is this, our conscience bears witness that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with holiness and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but with God’s undeserved kindness.” (2 Corinthians 1:12)
Rather than insist on the acceptance of a specific set of doctrines to associate here it is simply expected that all will subject themselves each to their own consciences as the holy spirit directs them. Eric Wilson and I, I believe, are in full agreement on that creed. He wrote to me:
“I’m open to new views on these things. I’ve come to realize that while there are teachings which are absolute, there are even more which allow for differences of opinions. Wisdom is knowing how to tell the difference. 2 John 6-11 talks about some absolute truths that must not be denied, but there are so many more which don’t really affect our salvation one way or the other. Love is key. If there is true love between brothers many differences of opinion can coexist, even thrive.” (-Eric Wilson)
Knowing Eric only through a few emails and videos I perceive that he leans towards embracing a first century eschatology. While he hasn't emphatically promoted that doctrine yet I am concerned about it. Looking forward to our Lord Jesus' return, the conclusion of this system, and establishing the Kingdom is a fundamental teaching God explains in is Holy Scriptures. His Word is something we all need to be exceptionally cautious not to twist so as to conform it to our own ideas or beliefs. We need to mold our understanding to align with the Bible.
Viewing the end times as about to begin with the outbreak of the “great tribulation” as a future event (similar to the CCJW eschatology) is an important truth. As students of Jesus we should seek to establish a firm understanding of this truth for ourselves from the Scriptures. On that foundation we can then build a comprehensive understanding of other Bible prophecies.
Still it is important to note what Eric said: “love is key”. In the end how our father brings a resolution to all his prophecies doesn’t “really affect our salvation one way or the other.” What matters is that we "believe the truth" as the holy spirit presents it to us through the Scriptures (2 Thessalonians 2:12
Paul emphasized the importance of focusing on love and being submissive to our conscience as a priority rather than rushing into promoting prophetic interpretations. He wrote to our brother Timothy: “Really, the objective of this instruction is love out of a clean heart and out of a good conscience and out of faith without hypocrisy. By deviating from these things, some have been turned aside to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of law, but they do not understand either the things they are saying or the things they insist on so strongly.” (1 Timothy 1:5-7)
Unfortunately the CCJW at this time is producing an abundance of the “meaningless talk” Paul warned about. They have deviated from his admonition and "want to be teachers of law". They have concocted and presumed to enforce a large body of "theocratic laws". These range from dictating how men groom their face and how much skin our sisters are allowed to expose to accepting their private interpretations of prophecy no mater how ridiculous and unfounded in Scripture. Just like their counterparts in the first century "they do not understand either the things they are saying or the things they insist on so strongly.”
I sincerely hope the articles posted here are helpful to you as you continue to study and prayerfully research our fathers Book of Truth, and look forward to getting to know you should you reach out to associate with us.
Your slave and minister in Christ,