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Beyond the Watchtower

Looking to our Past for lessons to help inform our Future

Our new logo of the original Watchtower cross and crown supports our subtitle “Looking to our Past – For lessons about our Future.  Find more out the Watchtower history of the cross and crown by clicking here:

WHY THE NAME CHANGE FROM “FRIENDS OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES” TO “BEYOND THE WATCHTOWER?” New redirected website address is  —  BeyondWatchtower.com.

First an introduction: We are Bible Students who since the early Watchtower days have continued to meet together in congregations around the world.  We retain, continue to study, and offer to others, the original Watchtower writings and literature, which we enjoy as wonderful resources to help understand and harmonize the Bible’s teachings.  Some of us created the “Friends of Jehovah’s Witnesses” website in an attempt to reach out in the spirit of Christian love and friendship, both to struggling Jehovah’s Witnesses and to Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, 

Why are we reaching out?

A. We hope to provide a safe haven website of help, support, encouragement, open conversation and as well an information center.

B.  We hope to provide for your consideration, the enduring, valued, spiritual light of truth that shone forth so brightly in the early days of the Watchtower ministry.  In the spirit of Christian love and liberty, we extend to you this invitation to study, not with an autocratic ORGANIZATION controlled by a “Governing Body,” but rather with fellow Christian students of the Bible in the spirit of the Berean’s (Acts 17:11).

C. We hope to share with you areas of our common roots and the true history and the original mission of the early Watchtower Society. In its early days, it operated as a publishing house.  It had absolutely NO authority over any of the hundreds of independent congregations which were controlled solely by the congregation members themselves; not by domineering elders, overbearing overseers or a dictatorial Governing Body.  In those days each elder could only remain in office if at the annual elections they received 75% of the vote from the Holy Spirit anointed congregation members voting based on the Biblical qualifications for elder (1 Tim 3 and Titus 1).

So why the name change to “Beyond the Watchtower.”

Some visitors to our site have had the mistaken impression that by calling ourselves “Friends of Jehovah’s Witnesses” that this meant we were in agreement with the new doctrines and the oppressive and controlling spirit of the organization itself and its governing structure as well as its historical practice of shunning questioning members, and the resultant dividing of families. Dear brothers and sisters, nothing could be further from our true heart’s desire. These types of practices were never to be found among the original Watchtower friends prior to 1917.

Our new name “Beyond the Watchtower” contains a dual meaning which helps clarify our mission:

1: To help, support and encourage present JWs looking BEYOND todays Watchtower or else former JWs AFTER leaving the JW Organization. We would like to provide the type of support as shared in A & B above, to help those presently questioning or struggling with their relationship in the J.W. Organization and who may even have endured and suffered from spiritual and emotional wounds.

2: As described in C above, to provide an accurate historical account of events that took place BEYOND or AFTER the early Watchtower” days when a new organization emerged under new leadership, dramatically changing its beliefs and practices.

In these early Watchtower days, many of the original Bible Students refused to accept the new and changed teachings.  Nor would they be controlled by and surrender their Christian liberty to this new and very tough leader, Joseph Rutherford.  These Bible Students broke away from the new and emerging JW organization and either maintained or reestablished Bible Student congregation’s worldwide.  By 1931, 75% of the Original Bible Students had left this new organization which in that year adopted the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in order to draw a clear line of distinction from those who had left the Society and those who remained.

The Bible Students as a Christian fellowship still meet together to the present day as free and independent congregations retaining their original beliefs and practicing the same spirit of Christian liberty as was adhered to during the early Watchtower days up through October of 1916 when Brother Russell died.

With these true, loving and encouraging wishes for you, we hope that this website aids you, our visiting brothers and sisters, to find satisfying answers to questions you may have. We hope this site can be an educational, healing center, a safe harbor for achieving a healthy emotional state, a place for spiritual growth in a manner that faithfully follows the scriptures and a place where all of our combined efforts will be found pleasing and honoring to the name of Jehovah, our loving and merciful Heavenly Father.

We hope that a journey with you to the not so distant past will bring you fresh hopes of Jehovah’s kindness and mercy to us today as well as for the bright and wonderful tomorrow that He has promised for all mankind through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

We continue now with our original WELCOME message below.

1Jo 4:18  There is no fear in love, but perfect love throws fear outside, because fear exercises a restraint.  Indeed, he that is under fear has not been made perfect in love. – NWT

WELCOME TO THIS CITY OF REFUGE
AND SANCTUARY FOR STUDIOUS AND INQUIRING MINDS.

Acts 17:10, 11: Immediately by night the brothers sent both Paul and Silas out to Be-roe’a, and these, upon arriving, went into the synagogue of the Jews.  Now the latter  were more noble-minded than those in Thes-sa-lo-ni’ca, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so. – NWT

You are anonymous here.  You can speak to other Jehovah’s Witnesses, former Jehovah’s Witnesses, Bible Students and other Christians. When posting your comments, you will be able to use a Pen Name.  Your e-mail address and website info are completely optional. No one can identify you.  No one can report you.  You have a home and quiet place to pray and honestly investigate scriptures.  It is not our purpose to indoctrinate you, but merely to provide you with resources for further study of Jehovah’s word.  You are not alone.  You have friends.

Romans 14:4  Who are you to judge the house servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Jehovah can make him stand. – NWT

2 Tim 1:7  (Amplified Bible) –  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm {and} well–balanced mind {and} discipline {and} self–control.

Gal 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.   NKJV

Gal 5:13 – For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  NKJV

2Co 3:17 –  …where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.   NWT

John 8:31, 32 – And so Jesus went on to say to the Jews that had believed him: “If YOU remain in my word, YOU are really my disciples, and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free.  NWT

If 1 John 4:8 says “God is love,” then shouldn’t love, not fear, be our motivation to serve Jehovah?  Are you serving Jehovah in a certain way because you are afraid/fearful of being destroyed in Armageddon?

Hebrews 13:6 (Amplified Bible) – So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?

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