TRUE FREEDOM – Out of the Watchtower Organization Are you truly FREE?
Coming out of the organization after over 40 years of faithful service, one Jehovah’s Witness described his feelings this way:
“The JWs are kept so busy, they have no time to be ‘normal’ with some compassionate feelings. I feel sorry for them and must wait on Jehovah, for I don’t have the answers to adjust these ‘life’ seekers. If they truly seek the ‘Kingdom,’ matters would change.
They are tired and sit on the bus to the new world with their ‘tickets to salvation’. They all seem to believe the driver’s announcement ‘We will be on our way soon.’ Getting off the bus is humiliating, and every eye looks at you like you’re out of your mind. After the exit, one finds that the adjustment on the solid pavement is not easy, cause you have not learned the ‘right lessons’ for salvation and must start over with just your love of Jehovah and a hollow feeling of guilt.
It must be like a slave set free that does not know how to act. Or a bird out of the cage that does not fly away at first. I know Jehovah (I think) and now I am not sure if I am a friend of Jesus ’cause I have spent so-o much time saying Jehovah, Jehovah. And now Jehovah and Jesus are somewhat different.
There must be a reason why Jehovah allows us to float down the stream like a stick, going through all kinds of situations in life’s experiences. I just don’t know where I am at times. How much of this brain washing I must give up on and how much maybe good. I feel much better when I chuck it all and just go back into the mountains and pray without the supports of man.
Does Jehovah want us to dangle on a string, just above these wolfs in sheep skins??? Where can we find anyone that would listen or understand what we have been through?”
Many echo his words… “Why has Jehovah allowed me to go through this?” “Has Jehovah rejected me?” “Where shall I go?” “Is there a different organization I should look for?” “How can I truly serve Jehovah God and have His approval upon my life?” Jesus said “the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) What does it mean to be “free”?
“And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.”—John 17:3
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old And New Testament Words notes that the Greek word (ginosko) translated as “know” in this passage “frequently indicates a relation between the person ‘knowing’ and the object known; in this respect, what is ‘known’ is of value or importance to the one who knows, and hence the establishment of the relationship.…such ‘knowledge’ is obtained, not by mere intellectual activity, but by operation of the Holy Spirit consequent upon acceptance of Christ.”—Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old And New Testament Words, 1985, (Thomas Nelson Publishers), p. 346
The difference between just gaining accurate knowledge and actually obtaining the “knowledge” that flows out of a personal relationship with the Father and Jesus can be illustrated in the following true story:
One day in 1860, a huge crowd of people gathered to watch the famous tightrope walker, Blondin, cross Niagara Falls. It was a 1,000-foot trip, 160 feet above the raging water. The crowd followed every movement tensely. Step by step he moved forward. The people on the shore reacted nervously to every sharp motion of the balancing pole. But their fears and forebodings were unnecessary; the great Blondin not only went across safely but returned as well—to the great relief and admiration of the people.
Turning to the audience, he now made a sensational offer. He would cross the falls again, this time with someone on his back! Who was willing to go? No one rushed forward to accept the offer. Picking out a man at random, Blondin asked, “Do you believe that I am able to carry you across?” “Yes, sir,” came the unhesitating reply. “Well, then, let’s go,” Blondin urged. “Not on your life!”—and the man withdrew into the crowd.
And so it went. One after another expressed great confidence in the tightrope walker, but they would not agree to let him take them across. Finally a young fellow moved toward the front of the crowd. Blondin repeated his question: “Do you believe I can carry you across safely?” “Yes, I do.” “Are you willing to let me?” “As a matter of fact, I am.”
The young man climbed onto the expert’s back. Blondin stepped onto the rope, paused momentarily, then moved across the falls without difficulty. There were many in the crowd who believed that Blondin could do it. But there was only one who was willing to trust him to do it.
It is one thing to believe a number of facts about a person; it is quite another thing to trust yourself to that person. For instance, there are many who believe the basic facts about the Lord Jesus Christ: He is the eternal Son of God, lived a perfect, sinless life, paid the price not only for Adamic sin, but for all of our own personal sins (1 Peter 2:24), resurrected and returned to Heaven. Many believe that Jesus offers us the “free gift” of eternal life (Romans 6:23), and that He offers us His perfection in exchange for all our own personal sins (Colossians 3:3), yet they have never gone directly to Jesus and asked Him to give them His righteousness in exchange for their sins (Acts 22:16). Many believe Jesus can save them, but they do not let Him do it. Every person needs to come to the place where he is willing to “lay on the back of Jesus” and let Jesus carry him across the cavern of sin into the presence of the Father being clothed in Christ’s righteousness alone.
“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Jehovah said to Satan, ‘The Jehovah rebuke you, Satan!’…Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. And he spoke and said to those who were standing before him saying, ‘Remove the filthy garments from him.’ Again he said to him, ‘See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.’ ”—Zechariah 3:1-4
Belief in facts about the Father and Jesus, regular attendance at meetings and field service does not bring a person into a proper relationship with Jehovah God anymore than being in a garage makes a person an automobile.
To come into a proper relationship with Christ, one must first acknowledge that he is under a double condemnation of death not only due to Adamic sin, but due to all his own personal sins and that there is nothing he can do to earn Jehovah God’s approval (Ephesians 2:8-9), for “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” in Jehovah’s sight (Isaiah 64:6). Then, he must transfer his trust to Christ.
Just like the man who crossed the rope with Blondin had to lay his full weight on Blondin’s back and let him carry him across, we must place our full trust in Christ alone. If the man who crossed the rope with Blondin insisted on “doing his part” by walking behind Blondin instead of letting Blondin carry him, he surely would have fallen.
In the same way, we must trust Christ alone or we will “fall from grace” (Galatians 5:4), for we “stumble in many ways” (James 3:2). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Only the people who have gone directly to Jesus, asking Him to impart to them His righteousness in exchange for their sins (Hebrews 10:10, 14) are the ones who have transferred their complete trust to Him and as a result have come into a personal relationship with Christ.
Some may be questioning if it is proper to pray to Jesus and develop a special relationship with Him when prayer should only be directed to Jehovah God.
“And now why do you delay? ‘Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling upon His name.…to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.… you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”—Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 9
What does it mean to “call upon the name of Jehovah” (Romans 10:13, NWT)? Don’t you agree that when Scripture states that we are to call upon the name of Jehovah, we are addressing our prayers directly to Jehovah God. In the same way, if someone states that he is “calling upon the devil,” he is proclaiming that he is praying to Satan. Thus, when Scripture states that we must “call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” in order to have our sins pardoned, it is literally compelling us to address our prayers directly to Jesus, asking Him to be our Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9).
Not only did the martyr Steven call out to Jesus in prayer (Acts 7:59), but at 1 Corinthians 1:2, 9, Paul admonishes believers to not only “call upon” the name of Jesus in prayer, but to have “fellowship” with Him. If prayer should not be addressed to Jesus, how can a person have “fellowship” with Christ? How can a person have “fellowship” with someone he never talks to?
Real TRUTH and FREEDOM is not found in identifying with a particular religious organization, but in a personal relationship with Jesus, for He Himself proclaims that He is THE TRUTH: “and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.…If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.…I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”— John 8:32, 36; 14:6
“And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.”—1 John 5:11-13
Whenever you’re discouraged and feel that nobody cares, please know that Jesus cares and understands what you’ve gone through. He knows what it is like to be rejected by your most intimate friends. (Hebrews 2:14-18) People will let you down, but Jesus will never let you down because He loves you with a greater love than you can imagine.