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Who are the True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses? Why did they break away from Bethel?

TFJW

The Watchtower Society claims that the Jehovah’s Witnesses has maintained a global brotherhood without any divisions, denying any denominational divisions or sects among them:
 
The Watchtower, November 1 (2009) p.19 article “Are Jehovah’s Witnesses a Protestant Religion?”

“…unlike the Protestant movement, which has splintered into hundreds of denominations, Jehovah’s Witnesses have maintained a united global brotherhood. “
 
Did you know that there are tens of thousands of independent Jehovah’s Witnesses that have broken away from the Brooklyn JW Organization?  Although such groups have been identified in Texas and Florida, we would like to consider Russia, then particulary focus on Eastern Europe.
 
The “Theocratic Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses” has a presence in Russia, Ukraine and Moldova.
 
The “True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated up to 100,000 worldwide.”  Rumania has the largest number estimated at up to 35,000. Smaller numbers are in Hungary, Poland, Ukraine and Russia and outposts in West Europe and North America.
 
These groups accept Watchtower publications only up to about 1960.  In 1962, the Watchtower altered its doctrine on the meaning of the phrase “superior authorities” in Romans 13:1, identifying them as human governmental authorities rather than God and Jesus Christ as formerly thought.  Many Witnesses in Romania rejected the change, and some suspected it was a communist fabrication intended to make them subservient to the state.  Their reaction is understandable since many of them might not have gone to prison if they had the view that the Superior Authorities were human governmental authorities.

 

THEOCRATIC ORGANIZATION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESES
 
This Russian based group believes that the Watchtower Society went apostate when it published “new light” on certain doctrines, believing that the changes were actually a deceptive ruse from the KGB; therefore they discontinued using Watchtower publications printed after 1962. This group has members in Russia, Moldova, and Ukraine.  Because the group does not document attendance records, the number of members is currently unknown.

 

TRUE FAITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES (TFJW)
 
The Government of Romania instituted a ban on the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1948 which lasted until the ban was lifted in 1990 (after the communist regime collapsed).  Eastern European Jehovah’s Witnesses preached JW doctrines underground during the Nazi era and the Cold War but failed to keep up with new “truth” promulgated in the New York headquarters.  After J.F. Rutherford died, the Society under Knorr and Franz began making changes, refining some of Rutherford’s doctrines.  With communication re-established in 1990 they realized that many doctrines were radically different and much of the “divine truth” that they had been persecuted for was now error.    
 
Members and representatives of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses met thousands of long-separated Romanian Witnesses to help them catch up on all the “new light” missed over the years.  They found three sets of Jehovah’s Witnesses –  Bible Students who took the name Jehovah’s Witnesses, but only studied Russell’s writings, the Rutherfordites, and the JW’s.  The Society tried to convince them of the new light, but many Romanians continued to reject certain changes and preferred their autonomy, forming The True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses Association in 1992.  Later, they sent a delegation to Bethel, but were reportedly badly treated.
 
Because there had been so many changes in the teachings during the time of ban, some of the Romanian membership believed that the Governing Body and WTS had abandoned “true faith” and compromised, and apostatized, and led JWs astray, and betrayed their East European brethren.   They thus decided that the right thing to do would be to separate from them.   In 1992 they formed the True Faith Jehovah’s Witness Association, which is actually a collective of groups. These ones closely adhere to earlier Jehovah’s Witness doctrine taught before 1960, and continue with practices such as the regular use of God’s name (“Jehovah”), gathering together in annual conventions, performing the door to door ministry, immersion baptism, and the publication of a magazine.  They do have groups of supporters throughout Europe, Africa and Canada. Their International conventions have delegates from all over the world.  Their website can be found at this link:   https://web.archive.org/web/20130115025028/http://the-true-jw.oltenia.ro/
 
The TFJWs perceived JWs as morally lax, overindulgent in wine and parties, permissive of child abuse, and as hypocrites for denouncing the United Nations while having signed up as a Non-government Organization.
 
They still use WTS publications published up to 1961, including Russell and Rutherford, and reprint and study Rutherford’s books.  They view Jehovah and Jesus as the superior authorities (Romans 13:1) — a doctrine JWs revised in 1962 — and denounce big business, government and religion.  They believe in a soon-occurring Armageddon followed by a new Earth where a “great crowd” will live in paradise ruled by Jesus and a “little flock”.
 
The TFJWs permit more freedom of conscience and dissent than JWs do and are more ready to dialogue with dissidents.  Preaching is encouraged but not compelled.  Preaching is directed at family, friends, and the public in streets and parks. The house to house method of JWs is employed infrequently.
 
They are structured like the main organization with congregations, circuits, and pioneers. “Elders” are older men respected in their congregation but are not appointed by a centralized hierarchy.  There are no formal committees that judge and disfellowship — each congregation decides for itself whom to associate with. Blood transfusion and tobacco are preached against, but non-conformity is not enforced
 
The majority of those who the TFJWs associate with outside of former communist countries are ones who originate from these countries.  One of the concerns they expressed to Bible Students Jeff and Estera Mezera each time they visited with them was why they could not find any of their faith outside of former communist countries. The TFJW leadership expressed an idea that they believed that the non-former communist countries must have some sort of conspiracy against their faith and are hiding their members in these other countries.  The people speaking with Ray Franz on the YouTube video and the same ones the Mezera’s spoke with when in Tirgu Mures.

 

Below are links to videos of Raymond Franz meeting with members of the TFJW in Eastern Europe:

Poland:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tTDozZ-CHg

Prague, capital of Czech Republic:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c6I0fjiYNU

Raymond Franz in Romania:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh8r7hc3E4E

 

TFJW1

40 comments to Who are the True Faith Jehovah’s Witnesses? Why did they break away from Bethel?

  • Ellis Green

    Ellis here!

    With the ban on JWs in Russia, how does this affect TFJWs in Russia? I hope they’re OK.

  • Lynn R

    good morning, I did not go on line for a few days, so I missed your comment – we will be away for a few weeks to my mothers cottage (whom I was not allowed to invite to my wedding because the congregation I was in said no worldly people at weddings) but I have renewed my family ties, it feels wonderful.
    just asking if you can take off my last name, off the above post, my husband felt it was not a good idea.

    • greg (Bible Student)

      Hi Jacqueline,

      Just fyi, Lynn’s name appears in my reply, too.

      -greg

      • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

        Okay thanks, I will take care of it. I just got home after 3 day fellowship where one from our Wednesday night study was immersed. Brandon’s wife.
        I am still hurt over Linda’s sudden death last night. I spoke with her around 2pm thru her sister. I drove in a daze home because I found out at 7:30am this morning. Just hurt although I knew it was coming. Take Care

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Lynn now I am home. So glad to see you have established relations with your family. Most have found families are willing to accept and forgive their mind control by the organization.
      I have been hearing strange things lately. Not being able to have a “worldly person” at your wedding? Never heard that in 63 years, what a change.
      Disfellowshipped persons can come to a wedding at the kingdom hall (but not be in wedding party) but not the reception because they claim you have control and it would be associating in a party environ.
      You are making new friends now and it will take time to get over the mind control of the governing body and the organization but it can be done with Prayer and help.
      On your marriage, it is personal. There can hardly be too many instances for a group of men to be in it unless it is extreme. But I don’t know the circumstances. I hope you are able to work out your marital problems between you and your husband alone. God allows for this.
      Have fun and enjoy yourself immensely with your new found family and ask them to forgive you. They will. Take Care Jacqueline

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