First, I'd like to tell you a little about myself. My mom's family is mostly JWs. During her second marriage, I attended the weekly meeting and Sunday meetings (by my own choice) with a family in the very small town we lived, since my mom didn’t attend. Because I was a child, 9 to 12, I ended up very fearful because most teaching at the time was Revelation and end times happenings. I did make a heart promise to God during one of my last visits to the effect of wanting to be chaste. I went out into the world, but soon under difficulties, found a drawing from the/my Father, and I spent 30-35 years in Christian type churches from Charismatic to Baptist. All the while, studying diligently, praying and applying Biblical principals to my life, while not believing every doctrine that I heard preached, but taking it to my Lord and to my Father in prayer.
That said, it would be nice to know long you were a JW and what is your relationship today regarding spiritual matters? In other words, do you still read and study scriptures, and do you have a prayer life? The reason I ask those questions, is because really, you may as well discontinue reading this letter if the negative applies.
To carry on about my life, I had recently come out of the church because of what I considered hypocrisy, and other demon-ish things which I considered to be "swept under the rug" by the pastor upon my approaching him about matters. I ceased to fellowship anyplace. I did research online and came across websites with information that I really hadn't heard before. One was the teaching of the Sabbath, with great interpretation of the scriptures where not only the church, but the JWs who believe "just like" the church on the matter, have inappropriately passed down traditions of men that have twisted those scriptures to their way of thinking. I began observing the Sabbath (Friday evening to Saturday evening) (by agreeing with a word from my dad he had spoken to me during my younger years of being a Christian, that the Sabbath was Saturday [and not Sunday like I had supposed from church teachings] and my dad was a very strong believer, knowing the scriptures very well, though not JW, and though I had little fellowship with him most of my life, and he has gone on), and I also began following the dietary instructions (though I am not Jewish, nor have I become a part of Messianic Christianity). It was not easy for me to observe the Sabbath (and I won't go into those details), but He has provided for me, as I am, in earthly terms, the head of my household.
For a while, because of conflicts in the teaching material from which I was reading, I almost totally quit reading the Bible and praying, although I did pray in a different manner. Sometimes the Sabbath day itself to me seemed lonely as I had/have no fellowship as I had moved away from almost all contact (with the exception of my business where there is customer contact) because of my new beliefs, although few (new beliefs) from what they formerly were through my own studies and prayer.
And so, about 3 or 4 months ago, 2 lovely young JW ladies knocked on my door to invite me to the memorial service. I have never shunned them, always being courteous, kind, etc., (sometimes not taking their material stating that I had other beliefs and other times taking it and throwing it away) but I really thought this to be the work of my Father just at a time I was lonely and was not taking in the Word. So I went to the memorial since it occurred on the Sabbath and thus I was not taken away from my Sunday business work. I have one cousin who is in that congregation and so I enjoyed speaking with her about her parents, especially her dad (a very strong JW) who I really liked from childhood. For the most part, all of my family who are JWs seem to be wonderful people, and handling themselves according to my understanding of the Word of God. (Though I have found other JWs not to be, the same applies to all religions as I see it.) Of course I was asked if I wanted to have a Bible study. Now my teaching work is that of the Sabbath contained in the Commandments (though I really don’t teach, I just share my belief if opportunity presents itself), and how we truly are not in conformity with His will because we are not appropriately keeping the Sabbath, a true part of His commandments (though summed up in one, that is, to love the Lord your God with your whole being). Though I am not pushy in any manner, and my mom should attest to that, as she very much agrees with JW doctrine though she does not attend, nor does she have Bible study ... she just knows how I feel about the Sabbath and what I will and will not do in reverence to the One I serve (yep, folks, I’m a slave by choice!). So in my heart the scripture came to mind, 'be all things to all people, that you might win some', hoping that I might shed light on the Sabbath. So I started the Bible study with the young lady who has only been studying with the JWs 8 years. I was allowed to start the first couple meetings with questions, upon which the study (not at my request), turned to the Sabbath because I had already shared with her how I felt. Of course I was given every scripture (with their tradition) that had been passed down to her (no prayer on her part for the Truth of what I was saying, but only using their reference material), and then because she could not further answer some of my questions, the study of course turned to their literature. But my heart condition was for my family still in the organization, (and perhaps crazily) with the hopes that someone might actually hear what I had to say, and also to prove who I am, I’ve continued on. Though the convention is being held this week (Saturday was the only day I would accept to study because of the work load of my business matters), and they of course are there. (This letter was started on Friday.)
I began to think about the organization (have written 3 letters to the Governing Body, one specifically about the Sabbath and the questions that went unanswered in the study).
During my last study session, the young lady addressed 'brother Russell', and I was reminded of something that caused me to begin an internet search. When I became a Christian [side note: I now want no part of being called a Christian, but would only call myself a ‘believer’], the man I was then married to (and his brother), hated JWs, though we had a few-week in house study with an exceptionally loving JW couple. They (ex and ex) often talked about Charles Taze Russell. But the details my ex brother-in-law gave was that CTR was "shot" on a train. (Ex brother-in-law actually mined in Montana - see pages at http://jwdivorces.bravehost.com/russell.html regarding Russell's gold mining.) So I wanted to find out how Russell died since the lady of my study seemed to consider him fondly. My first search landed me at Wiki. I don't know who wrote that stuff, but I came away liking the man, and perhaps thinking that this might really be a good religion (from what I'd seen and been among and that some of their teachings are truth). I have considered the love among the brethren of JWs to be far greater than that in the church, though I really have not had the one-on-one relationships with the Jws to get to know them (and that can make much difference!). But this, the love among brethren, is very important to me based on scriptures.
However, after praying and considering, I still thought it odd that the word was being spread (in approximately 1980 or so) that Russell had been shot (and still wonder about the records of his death and if they could have been falsified - though it definitely appears he was not shot), so I did further searching and came upon the previously mentioned website. This all led me to further study of the scriptures as well as a lot of meditation and prayer.
I am getting closer to what I want to share, so hopefully you will bear with me.
My motivation is not 'hate' for a people, but 'love' for a people, my family especially, who I want to truly pray for truth as versus believing everything they are told is truth.
Now even before searching and reading about Russell and Rutherford, et al., scriptures were coming to my mind about the great whore, about the disgusting thing, about the man of lawlessness, and what I consider the 'great' falling away, etc. So I began seeking (praying), studying writings by them and by others, but mostly asking my Father for help and truth. (In the past I had always been afraid to even approach these matters and much disliked reading Revelation from fear instilled in my youth by their organization.) My main topic of study was 2 Thess. 2, and to find [prophetic] scriptures tied to that. So I wanted to hear what others were saying about the 'disgusting thing' and the 'man of lawlessness' because any person who really has a personal relationship with the Creator knows that before the return of the Messiah that the 'disgusting thing' will be set up in the holy place and the 'man of lawlessness' will be revealed. Now of course there are lots of differing opinions. Based on prayer and communion with my Father, I believe just as the Messiah was a man with flesh and blood, that the current coming 'man of lawlessness' will also be a man with flesh and blood, though I'm sure hard for some to swallow.
So, I had been considering the falling away, which I thought would be 'great', or many falling away, an apostasy. [People probably have not considered that the apostasy could possibly be a falling away from a false religion or a falling away from the truth into a lie, just as it could be for believers to completely fall away from what is truth.] So I considered the religions I had been in, and could see very little possibility of these happening within those because even though I fellowshiped in a First Assembly of God for several years (and mostly charismatic organizations), the whole organization itself really isn't that organized and many retain their own beliefs on certain less-than important matters. The only truly organized religion that seemed to fit was that of WTB&TS, JWs and especially after I began reading considerably at their website. I couldn't even consider the Catholic religion in U.S. (though I've only been in their buildings twice or so) to be that organized since I had come to know some who were actually reading their Bibles, but I would classify the ‘organization’ level of the Catholic church in US as that *under* the JWs.
So what I felt like I was shown, that of all religions, only the JWs are so organized (in many countries even) that this matter could actually happen within their organization.
From my past and present studies of scriptures, and communion with my Father, I think that we fail to see who 'kings' might be. My belief is that a king can be anyone in spiritual authority over peoples, though now in present day not given the actual title king. Therefore, if you study, I hope you will prayerfully consider the kingship of the 8 current Governing Body of JWs, as well as Russell and Rutherford making 10 kings (though I have not done so with diligent study). See how this fits with the scriptures on a smaller level as versus being large government empires, and thus the ones who have wisdom will understand. [Also, if the witch could bring up the spirit of Samuel to the then king Saul, could the spirit of one of the later men, R or R, be brought up?]
Then also consider that (though you think not) their places of fellowship; Kingdom Halls, Convention places owned by the organization, etc. could be a 'holy place', as spoken of in scriptures since they use the Word of God (scriptures), and some sincere believers within.
Now, this is what I believe I have seen in vision to be ‘the disgusting thing’: a serpent on a pole, as described by God and told to be created to and by Moses, while the children were in the wilderness. This serpent on a pole will be for the people within the organization to look at to receive a healing. As you know, the JWs are very much against crosses and of course all who wear or display such are Christendom. If people started receiving healings within their walls with the use of such a thing, some people may without doubt question, but others could flock in, based on technology today and word spreading quickly. And if you have studied, then this 'man of lawlessness' has smooth speech, probably even as Russell and Rutherford did to convince followers (though liars, cheats and swindlers and in search of worldly gain), even as the JW Governing Body may have smooth speech at present. Now if this appears in their buildings, be assured it is the 'disgusting thing'!!! And that is, because to use such an instrument is to deny the Savior Messiah, my Lord, and the healing powers that were conferred to him by and resident in Father. And healing by such an instrument would only be by sorcery. [An interesting thought came to me was that the ‘abomination of desolation’ is referred by the Jws and others to be the Roman empire who came with the eagle, while the American national bird is now the eagle. Jerusalem and many of those day apostates and false teachers who hated Jesus were destroyed, while many true believers escaped; and thus how appropriate now for an instrument of satan to be a serpent on a pole as a standard, while using scriptures to support same. A healing from the serpent himself, though deceit, just as the false teachers condemned Jesus for healing through beelzebub (sp?), so how appropriate they be condemned in the same manner.]
So in all my meditation, prayer and consideration, that if we are truly approaching the second advent, I asked 'how could anyone deceive the people in such a manner as written in the scriptures, so as to cause them to believe that he himself (the man of lawlessness) was the one and only Christ or God?' (And I do believe the second advent is soon approaching, so be not asleep, and seek wisdom and truth!) Of course there will be signs and wonders by this one that exalts himself. [Sorcery power of *all* given to the one; and if you don’t think sorcery can make things happen, then please read again about pharoah and Moses.] And these signs and wonders will be wonderful to some people [they must appear good], though a lie and deceit.
On another note, I find it a bit humorous (for lack of a word) that they now call themselves ‘Christians’, which never before in the past would have been heard of (during my time anyway); while the original meaning of Christendom in Webster’s collegiate dictionary [1976 edition] lumps the whole of Christianity into Christendom. And of course you know they condemn all other religions (Christianity included) as Christendom. But I found hope in that they are now taught to pray, and that all can receive of Jehovah’s spirit, whereas this was never taught before as I remember it. It was only 4 or 5 years ago that I asked an elderly JW woman who on occasion paid me a visit (who was close to my mom via my mom’s sister, a very strong believing JW, who my mom often had fellowship with, though my aunt has/had since died) to pray for me because I was going through a very difficult time, and she would not (whether she felt she could not, or was not to do such at that time based on the religion, or whether she just did not know how, I do not know). At my recent Bible studies, prayers are now made in my behalf, and not just in a manner that I know their ways as truth. However, I am not allowed to pray.
Thanks for your consideration of all that has been written herein.