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[Grieshaber, Erich and Jean Grieshaber. "III. Personal Testimony," Exposé of Jehovah's Witnesses. Blue Letter Bible. 1 Sep 2002. 27 Jul 2009.
“This is the religion for me!”
The true and personal account of Erich and Jean Grieshaber and their life as members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
“This is the religion for me,” I thought. “It’s one that teaches a way of life for the kind of world we live in today.”
Our First Encounter with the Jehovah’s Witnesses
It all began when our neighbor, Thelma, introduced my wife, Jean and myself to her friends, Ed and Dolores. We enjoyed our first encounter with them because we were immediately attracted to the excitement and serious involvement they had in their faith. Ed and Dolores belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
During that evening of our first meeting, our interest in their faith grew rapidly, especially when they began to explain how the earth would soon be transformed into a paradise. For several hours they were able to page through the Bible, demonstrating how there would come a time in the very near future when there would be no more wars, suffering, hatred, selfishness, crime, or violence. Instead, there would be perfect peace and security on the earth. My wife and I were fascinated by the idea that an earthly paradise was so close at hand!
I can still clearly recall the tremendous impression that the first meeting made on me. Two passages, that came up during the discussion, kept coming up in my mind again and again:
“And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; And you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be. But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” —Psalm 37:10, 11 NWT
. . . And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.’”
” And the one seated on the throne said; ‘Look! I am making all things new.’ Also, he says; ‘Write, because these words are faithful and true.’ ” —Revelation 21:4, 5 NWT
I had been raised as a Baptist and had continued in that faith with my wife and five children. However, in all those years, I had never considered applying any of these scriptures to myself or my family. I had begun to wonder if there were other important truths concerning the future of my family somewhere in the Bible.
That first night Ed and Dolores had also explained how this coming change would affect every person on the face of the earth, including all of my family. With a serious tone in her voice, Dolores told us that if we loved life and wanted to live, we should hasten to take in accurate knowledge of God, His purposes and requirements. Then she pointed to Zephaniah 2:3 in her Bible:
“…Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the Earth, who have practiced his own judicial decision. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” —NWT
I became very concerned. It was clear that my wife and I did not know enough about God or what the Bible had to say about the coming paradise on Earth — or even how our family could have a place in it. How were we to discover these things? It was then that Ed and Dolores made what seemed to be a very gracious offer: They would come to our home for a weekly Bible study.
Learning About Our Faith
I had always attended church, and both my wife and I felt that we were Christians. So, to us, attending the Kingdom Hall and studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses was an opportunity to give us a deeper understanding of our own beliefs.
During our Bible studies we were introduced to literature of the Watchtower Society, the organization behind the Witnesses. This gave me an opportunity to compare and re-examine my religion. I discovered many differences. I first learned that Jesus was only an angel and a created being. He was not God and should not be worshipped; only Jehovah God is worthy of worship. I also discovered that there was no Hell and that only 144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses can go to Heaven — all other Witnesses will live on a perfect Earth after the Battle of Armageddon.
Little did we realize that we were listening to false doctrines and that the repeated exposure to them, which we were receiving in the Bible study, would soon quiet our apprehensions and questions and give these doctrines the ring of truth.
Soon we found ourselves attending meetings five times each week and our family was studying regularly from the Watchtower Society Literature. At first, all of these activities became something of a burden to us: A habit that had many responsibilities, some of which were rather boring and repetitious. But, I felt that there must be a good reason for all the work we were required to do and soon I learned not to question what was asked of my family or myself. I even discontinued verifying in my own Bible each of the scriptures being taught to me and began to use the Watchtower Society’s New World Translation. (The Society challenged the King James Bible as being a translation that was both outdated and inaccurate. Ironically, we later learned that the Society’s version was considerably less accurate than the King James Version.)
The Society Plants the Seeds of Doubt
As we progressed in our studies, we were, introduced to the Society’s doctrine concerning blood transfusions. We were taught to completely reject the idea of accepting a blood transfusion of any kind either for ourselves or our children. I asked why this was so and was informed that, according to Acts 15:28, 29, we were all to abstain from eating blood. I was puzzled. “Don’t you eat meat?” I asked. “Yes,” was the teacher’s reply, “But only if it is properly drained.”
The next day I called the State Agriculture Department and was informed that it was almost impossible to drain all the blood from any kind of meat and that it could not be completely removed through the cooking process. When I shared this information with the acting overseer of the Kingdom Hall (who was the Watchtower Society’s chief representative at the local level and presiding officer of the congregation) he could not give me an answer. A special letter was then written to the Society’s officer in New York City.
A month had passed when the overseer read to me the Society’s reply: I was told that it was my choice if I wanted to eat meat, but I could not take a blood transfusion. I was then informed that, because of my questioning, I had raised doubts in the brother’s minds so no one in the Kingdom Hall was allowed to study with me until I had demonstrated a change in attitude. This was a very serious form of discipline. It meant, to state it simply, that I was in serious trouble with the organization.
I later discovered that the Society used some form of this strategy regularly to discourage challenges to its teachings. We had been taught that God’s earthly organization, The Watchtower Society, was crucial to our receiving eternal life. If we became separated from the Society, our future in Paradise was in serious doubt. By inserting the fear into my mind of being rejected by the organization (i.e. disfellowshipped), the Society had forced me to put away any doubts that I might have had and motivated me to accept the teachings of the Society without question. It was a very effective strategy; I no longer openly questioned what I was being taught.
The Responsibilities of a Jehovah’s Witness Family
My wife continued to study with the Society and was soon baptized—a very important step of commitment to any Jehovah’s Witness. I continued to attend the many meetings and within a year I too was baptized.
Life in our home began to change dramatically. Gradually we did away with what the Society called “pagan holidays”: Christmas and Easter. These two celebrations contained all kinds of pagan symbols and elements that made them objectionable to God. Birthday celebrations were also forbidden because they gave special honor to someone (the one celebrating the birthday) — and we had been taught that it was not right that any one person receive any kind of special honor.
The loss of birthdays was particularly hard for the children to accept; birthdays had been traditionally a very personal and intimate time in our home. But we had been taught that this was in the child’s best interest. We wanted nothing to stand between our family and Paradise.
Our son could not be on the football team as there was a chance that games or practices might be held on a meeting night. Our daughters had to drop off of the swimming team because of the competitive nature of the sport. None of our children were able to vote or run for any school offices because we had learned that such activity was part of the world and the world was serving false gods. They could not belong to clubs and such as the Girls Scouts because these organizations practiced competitive activities and gave special awards.
We also trained our children not to salute the flag or stand for the national anthem. Patriotic songs were also forbidden; all such activity was of the world. The Society taught that when we did such things we were actually practicing the worship of false gods. Our oldest daughter, Cindy, (who was then 14 years old) was publicly persecuted by her teacher and her classmates for not participating in the national anthem. We had been prepared for such incidents; the Society had told us to expect persecution—and persecution came.
Gradually we retreated from the day-to-day world, in which we felt alien and isolated, and became almost completely involved in our work with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
A Total Commitment for the Coming Paradise
Our day-to-day lives now focused on regular door-to-door service and Bible studies with receptive contacts. I sincerely pitied the ones who would not respond to the message, for we had been taught that all but the Jehovah’s Witnesses would be destroyed. All other “religious” people were merely worshipping Satan, the Devil—even those that belonged to religious organizations that take the name of Christ and profess to accept Him as their Lord. We had also been taught that “…faith, if it does not have works, is dead…” (James 2:17, NWT) and it was only the followers of God’s earthly organization (the Society) that were doing a work that counted in the world.
As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I was expecting my salvation to come through the Watchtower Society. I had been taught that in order to obtain everlasting life, my family and I had to remain on “The Ark” which we believed to be the Society. This was not any easy task. We had to work very hard to prove ourselves faithful: Accurate records had to be kept concerning our hours of service, the books and magazines we placed, and the progress of our Bible studies. Our spiritual health depended on how much time we put into this service.
I gave up any thought of finishing college, because now we had begun to live on a day-to-day basis—Armageddon would soon be here. During one of the assemblies held in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, in 1971, it was explained that the time was so close that the click of the clock before the alarm rings had already sounded. Needless to say, we were excited!
The year 1973 was full of excitement for us because we knew that October 1, 1974, was the beginning of the six thousand years of mankind’s existence on Earth, and it was at this time that Jesus would take his peaceful rule over the Earth. In anticipation of this event “The Friends” (as Witnesses often call themselves) began selling their homes, campers, and motorcycles. A number of our acquaintances in the organization gave up good paying jobs, and took on more flexible occupations such as janitorial work in order to have more time available for service.
One of our friends,who had moved to a more remote area, wrote and asked to stay with us, in order to “ride out Armageddon” with our congregation. They remained a month, and then found an apartment in the area. Two other families that had moved to where the need for service was greater, came back to our congregation to await Armageddon.
To help in the work, my wife became a full-time pioneer, which consisted of one hundred hours a month of service conducting Bible studies and going door to door with the Kingdom message. Since I had to work full time to support our large family, I was able to put in only two months of such service. The sacrifice was great, but we decided as a family to each share in the Kingdom work by assuming as many responsibilities as possible in order to provide a way for my wife to put in the one hundred hours of service.
The Challenge of a Lifetime
During the twelve months starting in the summer of 1973, three events took place which jarred me from a passive acceptance of all that I was learning and teaching through the Watchtower Society.
First, an article came out in the Watchtower telling all of us who smoked that we had a few months in which to quit or be disfellowshipped. This same threat applied to those who worked for a tobacco firm, from the growing to the selling of it. I was stunned by the news! I had smoked for a long time, but the Society had never complained nor had they instructed the smokers to quit. I was angered at what seemed to me to be a harsh and arbitrary decision, but after careful consideration, I felt that in the interest of my health it would be best to stop smoking.
It struck me, however, that there would be those brothers who would find it difficult to stop and would find themselves kicked out of the Society and thus excluded from the Kingdom of Jehovah. I wondered what habit would be next: Fingernail biting? Overeating? Alcoholic beverages? I felt the harness supplied by the Society tightening around me; every facet of my life was being controlled and I was becoming more and more aware of it everyday.
The second incident occurred early in 1974: Jean’s father died. This was a terrible blow because we knew his fate—he was not a member of the Society. The Society specifically frowned on any participation in funeral rites that were led by any religious organization other than the Watchtower Society. No good Jehovah’s Witness allowed himself to be contaminated by “Babylon the Great” (i.e., the system of “false religion”), no matter what the circumstances might be—even at the funeral of one’s own father. Any display of emotion was discouraged. The only acceptable activity open to Jean was the preparation of the meals of the bereaved family. This she gladly did.
As I watched Jean during those days I grew concerned over how cold and unfeeling we had become, and over how the intolerance of the Society had reached so deeply into our minds and emotions.
The third incident began when I put on extra weight, which began to accumulate after I did away with the cigarettes. I tried many diets but to little avail. I would manage to lose a few pounds only to gain it back again. I thought perhaps exercise might help,so I began to visit different gyms in hopes of finding a place that would meet my needs without roping me into a long-term contract.
One day one of my friends at work, Dick, approached me with an invitation to visit the gym he attended. He described it as well-equipped and it was priced on a monthly basis. I gladly accepted his offer. When we arrived at the gym I was in for a real shock; there were Jesus stickers and posters all over the place! In the center of one of the rooms stood a barrel, “The Gospel Barrel”, containing all kinds of Christian literature. To the average Christian, this would have made a positive impression, but in my Watchtower Society mind, I was repulsed. I was convinced that any kind of literature like this was of Satan the Devil.
My desire to lose weight had become so great that I decided to take advantage of the facilities at the gym. But I vowed not to discuss religion with anyone. After several visits, I came to appreciate what the exercise was doing for me, and having my friend Dick along with me upon occasion gave me a little extra incentive. One day I noticed Dick speaking with another man and, picking up pieces of their conversation from across the room, I was surprised to hear that they were talking about me. After a few minutes the other man walked over to me and inquired if I was a Jehovah’s Witness. I told him that I was and we both took turns explaining our beliefs. At the close of the conversation he handed me a card bearing the name of a friend of his who had left the Watchtower Society and he encouraged me to call him soon. I politely took the card but I had no intention of using it.
Weeks passed, but several things about that brief conversation at the gym kept coming back to me. Why, for instance, had this friend of the fellow I spoke with left the Watchtower Society? Perhaps he had committed some act which got him disfellowshiped; it was hard to believe that anyone would just leave the Society! The little card with the phone number on it kept resurfacing on my desk from time to time and it too reminded me of that conversation at the gym.
Finally, it occurred to me that I really had an obligation to help this “brother” if indeed he had left the Society voluntarily. I decided to call him. If it turned out that he had been disfellowshipped I could just hang up on him (for we had been taught that such people were of the Devil). If not, perhaps I could rescue him. I located the card again, which by now was soiled and stained. The number was barely visible.
“Bill Cetnar speaking.”
“Have you been disfellowshipped?” I asked.
“What’s your name?” he replied.
“I would rather not say.”
At that moment there was a loud “click” at the other end and I knew that he had hung up on me. I became very irritated and immediately called him back.
“Why did you hang up on me?” I asked.
“I would rather not speak to anonymous callers. Now what’s your name?” I hesitated for a moment and then said, “Call me Erich.”
“Read the April 1, 1972, Watchtower article entitled, ‘They Shall Know a Prophet is Among Them’, identify the prophet, then memorize Deuteronomy 18:21 and 22. When you have finished, call me back.” He hung up once again.
I was more than a little surprised by his instructions. He was asking me to read the Society’s own literature! (The Watchtower is a bi-weekly magazine which contains the Society’s viewpoint concerning religion and current events.) I immediately began to search for the article, which turned out to be quite a task since we were in the process of moving and I had to look through boxes and boxes of books in order to find it.
I studied the article with care and discovered, much to my surprise, that we Jehovah’s witnesses, claimed to be prophets of God. We received our information directly from the angels and this supply of information had been coming from the very beginnings of the Watchtower Society when it was known as International Bible Students.
I then turned to Deuteronomy 18:21 and 22.
“…How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?’ When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him.” (NWT)
Had the society made any false predictions during the one hundred years of its existence? I wondered.
A Truly Non-Prophet Organization
When I returned a call to Bill, he shared with me that he had put together a list of the various predictions made by the Society over the years, and he invited me over to his office to look at them and judge for myself. At his office I made a number of important discoveries that changed my life. I was completely unaware that the Society had first predicted the year 1874 as the year of the Lord’s Second Coming. I had been taught that Jesus had returned invisibly in 1914.
Bill pointed to the 1889 publication The Time is at Hand. On page 15, the Society claimed “…That the information, in the above (this) volume, consists of a plan so deep that it cannot be of human origin.” After claiming divine authorship, I discovered that this volume (on page 101) also made a prediction:
“…The kingdom of God is already begun,…it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878 and…the ‘Battle of the Great Day of God Almightly’ (Rev. 16:14) which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of Earth’s present rulership, is already commenced.” (The underlining is mine.)
The 1915 edition was printed with the same text as the 1889 edition with one major difference: the “A.D. 1914″ date was changed to “A.D. 1915.” The Book continued to be printed in subsequent years in its complete form, with just the dates changed, first to 1915, then to 1918, and finally to 1925. It was not until after 1925 that the date for the Second Coming of Christ was changed back to 1914—the date I had been given by the Society.
My intelligence was insulted further when I read from a Society publication Thy Kingdom Come, (1901 edition) the method used to discover the various predicted dates. On page 342 I found the following:
“Then measuring down the ‘Entrance Passage’ (of the Great Pyramid)… we find it to be 3416 inches symbolizing 3416 years from the above date, B.C. 1542. This calculation shows A.D. 1874 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble…Thus the pyramid witnesses that the close of 1874 was the chronological beginning of the time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation—no, nor ever shall be afterward.”
The 1907 edition makes the same claim, but changes the inches from 3,416 to 3,457—without any explanation as to how the same distance could have two different measurements—thus moving the date to 1914. Not only did this obvious discrepancy bother me, but I was absolutely amazed that anyone who claimed to follow Jehovah would use an obscure measurement on a pagan monument as a basis for determining biblical chronology!
As it turned out, measuring the Great Pyramid of Egypt was not the only peculiarity of the Society’s prophecies. In the 1920 publication, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, I discovered the following prediction:
“Therefore, we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews Chapter 11, to the condition of human perfection.” (p.89)
The Society apparently had a great deal of faith in the literal return of these “princes” because it commissioned Beth-Sarim to be built. The explanation which appeared in the Society publication Salvation clearly describes its purpose:
“At San Diego, California, there is a small piece of land on which, in the year 1929, there was built a house which is called and known as Beth-Sarim. The Hebrew words Beth Sarim means “House of the Princes”; and the purpose of acquiring that property and building the house was that there might be some tangible proof that there are those on Earth today who fully might believe God and Christ Jesus and in His kingdom,and who believe that the faithful men of old will soon be resurrected by the Lord, be back on Earth, and take charge of the visible affairs of Earth . . .Those faithful men of old may be expected back from the dead any day now.” (p.311)
I discovered, after examining the appropriate records from San Diego, that the Society had attempted to deed the house to David of Old Testament fame. The house still stands in San Diego, although it no longer belongs to the Society. The explanation for all this amounts to a convenient rewrite of history. The 1975 yearbook of the Jehovah’s Witnesses states: “In time, a direct contribution was made for the purpose of constructing a house in San Diego for Brother Rutherford’s use.”
Bill continued to show me other predictions, errors, and rewrites of history by the Society. As the incriminating evidence began to mount, I paused a moment to look at what the Bible might have to say about these things. I found the answer in Matthew, Chapter 7:
“Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they?…A good tree cannot bear worthless fruit…Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those (men).” (NWT)
I compared these verses with the prophecies that Bill had shown me and with a statement from the April 1, 1972, Watchtower article: “This ‘prophet’ was not one man, but a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ…known as Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses.”
The Watchtower Society was a false prophet according to their own literature! There was only one course of action open to me, and that was to get my family and myself out of the organization.
For the first time in years I began to study the Bible on my own; I wanted to see if there were other areas in which the Society, had led me astray. I soon discovered that the three main doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses were each incorrect. First, Jesus Christ is more than a mere angel; He has all the attributes of Jehovah. Second, hell—contrary to what I had been taught—does exist. Third, heaven is not limited to 144,00 Jehovah’s Witnesses. Heaven is open to all who believe. The comparison between the Society and the Pharisees became unavoidable at this point. Jesus said, “… Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men, for you do not enter in yourselves; nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” (NASB)
The Society had proven to be just like the Pharisees in one other aspect as I reflected upon them: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” (Matthew 23:25, NIV) On the outside of the cup the Witnesses looked very “good”, they did not smoke (any longer), the men wore their hair short, the women were forbidden to wear long dresses to meetings and services, they all seemed very industrious and sincere. Yet, on the inside of the cup there was no genuine love, little in the way of meaningful emotions, no real peace, no certain hope.
The Society and Thought Control
I began to reflect long and hard on how I had fallen for a false prophet. I was angry and bitter over the way in which my family and I had been manipulated. How could I have been so blind? I allowed the Society to place blindfolds on me. The October 1, 1967, Watchtower describes this process:
“…The Bible is an organizational book, and belongs to the Christian congregations as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization (the Watchtower Society) in mind.”
As with the political dictatorships and religious cults throughout the centuries the freedom of thought, speech, and written word had to be prevented because truth, revealed through such freedoms, destroys the fears and oppression that keep such organizations in existence.
These fears the Society used included subtle but devastating peer pressure, the possibility of losing one’s place in the kingdom, and the fear of demon possession. These fears were carefully employed to keep the Jehovah’s Witnesses from reading any literature written by another religious organization, or singing any songs written by Christianity, or participating in any religious related functions conducted by another religion—including family funerals.
As a substitute for these activities the Watchtower Society created a world of “truth” of its own. Millions of publications rolled off the presses each day covering all sorts of subjects, carefully injected with the Watchtower perspective. Any other literature was subtly condemned or forbidden outright. Society Leader A.S. Schroeder, in a recent assembly, put it this way: “Don’t spend thirty hours reading books…We will read them and print the information in the Watchtower and Awake!, so you can read it in thirty minutes.” Convenient?, yes, but this predigested format also made it “convenient” to leave out information that would embarrass the Society. Whenever any printed book became obsolete because of changes in doctrine, interpretation, or dates—which has been frequent—the Society tells its followers not to read them. A few years ago, Society headquarters wrote to each Kingdom Hall, asking their members to send in their older books under the pretense of building a library.
The Society carefully indoctrinated each of its members through five meetings a week and numerous special assemblies. They isolated them from other sources of information by forbidding them to read other literature or speak with those who have left the organization. This isolation is then intensified by restrictions regarding both prayer (Witnesses, when praying in groups, could pray only with other Witnesses) and discussions with religious leaders and teachers of other religions. Suggestions of possible demon possession and the threat of having to go through Armageddon were sufficient to convince many to stay away from anything that was not approved.
The Society also used another effective tactic suggested by Karl Marx: “The first step in the science of revolution is the art of confusing the public with words that have a pleasant meaning.” The Society’s most popular words include “truth”, “paradise”, “theocracy”, and “Christendom”. By using and re-using those words they are able to create a very positive impression even though they are not able to offer the content of any of them.
The Watchtower Society attacks its rivals and highlights their faults. It frequently uses rhetorical questions, such as “Has Christendom stopped war?” It then challenges Christendom to do what it knows cannot be done by anyone—including the Society. As part of this attempt to elevate the Society at the expense of others, it consistently associates its opposition with things its hoped-for followers do not favor, and identifies itself with the things that are likely to be favored by its followers or its audience. The latter approach often sounds like the following:
“God is going to bring about world peace based on the principles of equality, and justice for all people. By becoming part of his Theocratic organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses you can be included in this plan.”
Who would not want to be a part of world peace?! But, of course, the Society is unable to state just how or when such a promise will be realized—anymore than any political organization can make such a promise. Even without these all important specifics, hundreds of publications are turned out by the Society headquarters in New York on these subjects.
Through the use of fears of demon possession and Armageddon, through ghostly promises of paradise, and through literature indoctrination, the Society has been able to assemble a formidable army of 2 1/2 million puppets. This army is now gaining recruits at a rate of 15% each year. These people after only six months of Bible study will spend their lives selling literature and going door to door taking on virtually any challenges. The members of this army do all this with confidence because they have been taught to believe that they are a part of God’s Theocratic organization and everyone else is worshipping Satan the Devil.
I know, because this is what my wife and I believed and did for five years.
The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life
After discussing the facts with my wife, we decided to write a letter of resignation to the Society. We knew that this had to be done before we could enter another church, or contact anyone with what we had discovered. If we shared the information about the false prophecies with anyone we would be immediately disfellowshipped. If we were disfellowshipped, no Jehovah’s Witness could speak with us again and these were the very people with whom we wished to share our discoveries. At the end of our letter of resignation we included a note which has prevented our being disfellowshipped:
This letter is to inform you of our resignation from your organization and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The reason for this letter is that we have been warned by Jesus that there would be false prophets. Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses claim to be that prophet. The Scriptures also tell us how to check out one who presumes to be a prophet of God. In checking what you said as a prophet we have found that your prophecies have not come true. Hence, we feel that your organization is a false prophet and we do not want to associate with it. To refresh your memory, enclosed is a list of prophesies the Watchtower Society has made that have not come true.
We want to note that we are resigning from your organization and if you institute disfellowshipping action against us, we will turn the matter over to our attorney for defamation of character.
|Erich Grieshaber||Jean Grieshaber|
During the next few months Bill and his wife, Joan, became an important part of our lives. It was only through their loving kindness and patience that we were able to make such a smooth transition.
They have dedicated the last thirteen years to helping others like my wife and myself learn the real truth. If it were not for their hard work and love for other Jehovah’s Witnesses, much of the material that helped us would not be available today. We were convinced that the Watchtower Society was wrong: now I felt the need to find the real truth, for I still loved God with my whole heart and soul.
I had to relearn what I knew about Jesus Christ, because my Watchtower training had taught me that He was Michael, The Archangel. I discovered that this teaching directly conflicts with John 8:58, where Jesus states, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” (ego eimi in Greek). This same ego eimi was stated by God, the Father, in Exodus 3:14, “…I AM has sent me to you.”
Bill put together the following chart, showing Scriptural proof that Jesus is Yahweh (the God of the Old Testament). This proof really helped my wife and myself:
|Jesus||-”THERE IS ONE GOD”-||Yahweh|
|FIRST AND LAST||Isa. 41:4
|John 8:24, 58
|II Tim 4:1
I Pet. 2:6-8
I John 4:14
I Pet. 5:4
As a Jehovah’s Witness, I had never gone through the six Scriptural steps to salvation. If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, I hope you will go through these with me now:
4. FORSAKE: Isaiah 55:7. Sorrow for sin is not enough in itself. We must want to be done with it once and for all.
6. RECEIVE: John 1:11, 12. Christ must be received personally into the heart by faith, if the experience of the New Birth is to be yours.
Make your eternal decision—as I did—right now: “I am convinced by God’s Word that I am a lost sinner; I believe that Jesus Christ died for sinners and shed His blood to put away my sins. I NOW receive Him as my personal Lord and Saviour and will by His help, confess Him before men.”
The Lord has continued to bless us as we have been busy with His work. I have seen many Witnesses leave the organization and become followers of Jesus Christ.
These new converts have been zealous in the Lord’s work for they realize that there are two and one half million lost souls following the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
The Society has not, nor can it, hurt Christianity, but it has hurt its followers. These followers are very sincere people who only want to do right. They will profit much by your love and courageous declaration of the truth.
The Society’s twisting of the Scriptures to fit their own doctrines have made their followers miss the mark, bringing death to themselves and their innocent followers (Matt. 7:26).
I have dedicated my life to help anyone who wants to know the truth about this diabolical organization. I will forever be thankful to those who saved me from this “ravenous wolf” described by the Lord in Matthew 7:15.