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Listen to – Dealing with Doubts and Uncertainties when Leaving the Watchtower

This conference call hopes to provide comfort and consolation for present or Ex-JWs who are confronting the specter of rejection, excommunication, doubt, family splits and negative labeling.  These are real and very difficult realities for JWs searching for truth.

Some areas discussed include:

  1. Doubt
  2. Rejection of Family and Friends
  3. Excommunication (Disfellowshipping)
  4. Marriage Splits
  5. Family Splits with other members of one’s family
  6. Tarnishing of Reputation, Negative Labeling (“apostate”)
  7. Emotional Distress
  8. Establishing a Prayer life without the Society

Listening to you and responding will be a team of four Bible Student elders.  This includes two former JWs, David Stein and Rolando Rodriguez as well as two other Bible Students elders, Len Griehs and Ric Cunningham.  They share their insights from experience and scripture.  At the beginning, we open it up to audience questions. 

32 comments to Listen to – Dealing with Doubts and Uncertainties when Leaving the Watchtower

  • Jacqueline (Bible student)

    Many have tuned in for the comments today. So in your leisure here are some links for you to be encouraged in between comments by our panel. Welcome and grab your headphones.


  • just stay sweet and good

    “Take me the first time , shame on you. Take me twice, shame on me”


  • Randy

    What did Paul mean when he said something about doing what is wrong and not what he wants to? Sounds like he was sinning, must be something else.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Randy – The Second Death class is quite a different group from your run-of-the-mill average sinner. Are you thinking of those that the JW Organization has disfellowshipped, who in good conscience had differences of opinion? I do not see something like that as worthy of Second Death. Those going into Second Death have made a covenant with Jehovah, then later rejected that covenant, pursuing a path of evil. They are described in 2 Peter 2:2 and the book of Jude.

      2 Peter 2 (NASV) “12 But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, 13 suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children;”

      As long as a person regrets their sin and struggles against it, they cannot go into second death. This punishment is for those who (against their covenant) give up the struggle against sin altogether and instead enjoy and embrace the sin.

      Randy, I believe the verse you were referring to was the following:

      Romans 7 (NWT) “18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, there dwells nothing good; for ability to wish is present with me, but ability to work out what is fine is not present. 19 For the good that I wish I do not do, but the bad that I do not wish is what I practice.”

      You bring out an excellent point, even though I do not believe Paul was speaking about himself personally. Paul was personifying the nation of Israel under God’s Law Covenant, which condemned them as sinners, since none could perfectly keep the law. Even so, the passage leads to the conclusion that we all have this sinful nature that we struggle against.

      Notice in the passage below how Paul personified the Jewish nation.

      Romans 7 (NASV) “9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.”

      See how Paul says “I was once alive apart from the Law.” Yet Paul was born under the Jewish Law, so he cannot be talking about himself. Actually the Jewish nation was alive, not condemned by the Law Covenant, until that Covenant was made with the nation at the time of Moses. If they could keep the Law perfectly, they could continue to live. However, none were perfect. They all sinned and all died.

      Leviticus 18 (NASV) “5 So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am the LORD.”

      Matthew 19 (NASV) “16 And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” 17 And He said to him, “…if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” “

  • Daz

    Hi Everyone. HELP!!!
    My wife & I had a visit today from a Jw friend who is the mother of the lady that studied with my wife who also became our friend at that time.
    Since we ceased attending the meetings about four or five months ago due to being turned down for baptizm among a few other issues, we have done so much bible study & research & gained a new independent understanding of some the scriptures without any bias point of views or understanding. Both my wife & I have been feeling very enlightened & the load that Jesus spoke about became light & unburdensome just as he said it would. Before we felt troubled in heart & the load was heavy when we were involved in the organization. But since the visit of our Jw friend it’s somehow put a spanner in the works regarding my wife. The Jw lady has managed to plant doubt into my wife’s reasoning & in her mind, she tried to do it with me but it didn’t work. She tried to make out that we need to be Jw’s to be saved & that having faith alone in Jesus wasn’t enough without partaking in the works (door to door ministry & meetings). I explained the works come hand in hand with faith as we witness to friends & family all the time & we try to live a christian life best way we can. I told her I did not agree with how the governing body & some elders deals with things & how Christ seems to have been pushed aside some-what especially regarding the fact that he is the ONLY mediator between us & God, I pointed out that Jehovah has handed ALL authority over Christ Jesus & he is Judge. Anyway when she left she gave my wife a letter from her daughter who my wife had studied with. She explained in it that she hadn’t come over to see my wife due to the conversations I have with her husband who is an elder & she disagreed with all the questions & answers I put across to him & tat she didn’t want to come face to face with me because of my change of views regarding the organization. She didn’t like how I question their way of baptizm & also said I got turned down for baptizm because of what I did for a living (singer/entertainer)& it was unsuitable because I was basically rubbing shoulders with worldly people & had lots of female fans, she went on to say it isn’t a job Jesus would do so as far they were concerned it shouldn’t be a job a christian should be doing either. She tried to encourage my wife to go back to meetings & that she would come pick her & my children up & take them, also she added that Armageddon is just around the corner & that it’s not just about her life but my wife needs to think about saving my childrens lives. Well now it has struck fear into my wife & now she is so confused as of what to do & is scared that we might be doing the wrong thing leaving the Jw’s organization what if it is the truth. She has been so distraught & in tears. I have tried to explain that the lady in question has no right to pass any judgements upon us & has no right to play the fear factor tactic to try & get you to go back.
    I am very worried for my wife as I do not want her to be so distressed especially after seeing how well she was doing with her own independent bible study. It’s like it’s all be snatched away from her & she with pieces of a jigsaw that doen’t fit together. I am worried her & about the situation as it has already started to cause us grief.

    • Hello Daz,
      I am so sorry to hear of your situation. Not being (nor ever having been) a JW I am rather appalled at someone (friend or not) that would use fear tactics to get you to do what she believes is right. She may have her opinion and that is fine for her. She may feel that the threats are real that come from an EARTHLY organization but those who are allowed the freedom to think for themselves in their studies usually come to a different understanding.
      The Evangelicals on TV use the same fear tactics and that is wrong yet millions fall for it. It is a shame that someone can use those tactics and then call themselves a Christian.
      I can only hope you and your wife can continue in your studies and talk with each other lovingly about what you have personally discovered. Keeping you both in prayer.
      In Christ,

    • Jacqueline

      Daz, distress! I am so sorry to hear of this. I will get right to it with a suggestion. If your wife wants to go back let her, the knowledge she has will cause an awakening. Right now she has a fear of man and it will lay a snare. ALL Jehovah witnesses go to the kingdom hall only because they fear Armageddon. It is their hellfire doctrine only worse as hellfire is for wicked.JW version of Armageddon is for little children and even good people so it is worse than hellfire where people die first. Sadly there is nothing you can do if a person believe in a religion. And don’t try to stop her from going, support her even. If you don’t and she goes against your will, they will encourage her to get a divorce. Fighting to stop your wife from making her decision isn’t fair . If it is his will, holy spirit will open her eyes with prayer. The GB can’t afford to lose members, it means money.
      Just one personal note to wife is to keep control as the female over her house. Don’t let other women come in and take over and drive a wedge between the two of you. They will shy away from her if she becomes single, as witness women will view her as a threat. She will not have you and they will abandon her. Leopards never change their spots.(this is just for your wife as one woman to the other).
      Pray for help to endure this test of your faith. Satan is aware of where to strike. Witnesses families are in shambles all over the world.
      Let her make her decision totally by herself. She had started to awaken and they will turn on her. Perhaps Br. Peter or others have some scriptural support but I am speaking from having been there. This is Satan and he strikes at Eve because it worked. You however can resist him and keep your studies up. Encourage your wife to read the articles about Armageddon on this site. The Governingbody is lying because it works as in Eden.
      They are now writing articles about each governingbody member to further take Jesus place in the hearts and minds of the mind controlled publishers.
      I will pray for you but stay Strong and ease up a bit and let your wife go if she wants. The Sistet writing about you is making a mistake you are her husband. Let them mess up with her. That is just one way this might play out. Love both of you and may God bless you both in your trials. Jacqueline

      • Daz

        Hi Jaqueline,thankyou so much for your reply & loving support. I have taken heed of what you have said & I agree with your advice. Some positive news is that after talking with my wife this morning even though she’s still very upset & tearful she has turned her doubts more-so into anger as regards to the judgemental letter she recieved. She certainly realizes we have been mislead with regards to thinking we had made real genuine friends & mislead by certain doctrine all these years. She can now see that their actions towards us are not Christ like. I think she is more-so angry at herself as just as I was for letting ourselves be sucked in even though we always had a issues right from the start. She can see that the love shown to us doesn’t seem to be real heartfelt love but more out of duty because that’s what they are told to do. If it was real love for us then they would have come to see us to see how we were, they would gladly be willing to listen to our opinions & certainly wouldn’t try to put fear into us. The whole situation since we leaving has affected our family greatly & it has been & still is a battle to keep focussed but I know with God’s help we will be ok.
        Thankyou once again for your loving words of wisdom Jaqueline.

        Warm & loving regards,

        • Jacqueline

          Daz, glad to see some relief for you I had a whole month and then some from my JW family when I left but not like yours they listened.
          I knew she as a woman would get angry, that’s why I wanted you to pull back and let her direct it at the woman that spoke against her husband. I am a woman, I saw this anger coming. She doesn’t need any more pressure. They should have sent elders, because women get personal. Support her as we will support you here. Using her children as bait has hit her heart. May God comfort her. He is not like the witnesses portray him. In fact we are under Jesus at this time and his load is light. He is going to try and save mankind at Armageddon not kill them. Saviour, that is why the Governingbody pushed him down in witnesses mind. If you read about him all you feel is immense love. Take care. A travel day for me 8 hours, so see you later.

          • Daz

            God bless you Jacqueline, yes I will give her some space to let off steam & yes using our children as bait to try & reel her back in really did provoke her anger as our kids are evrything to her, thankyou so much x

            Warm & loving regards,

    • Brettstone

      Daz- download the Christian resource app and search for a talk by Bob Carnegie. The talk is called “Is there a second death in this age”. Have your wife listen as well. It will help you and her not to be in fear of the second death and Armageddon, plus will open your eyes further to the “Ransom for all” that was the foundation of the Watchtower to begin.
      I shared it with my wife and kids and they were moved by it. 20 years I remained in fear of this as well as my wife and kids but I’m now free from this thinking!
      Trust me and download the app. Search Bob Carnegie and the talk “Is there a second death in this age”

      • Daz

        Hey there Brett, nice to hear from you. Thankyou kindly for replying, also thankyou for letting me know about the talk you mentioned, although I tried to search for it but for some reason cannot find it, would it be possible to post a link for it if you get time, would be much appreciated.
        I am so glad you & your family have found the REAL “truth”.

        Warm & loving regards,

        • Brettstone

          If you have the app.. Go to the search bar at the top of the app and type in Bob Carnegie, then tap the little search button to the top right hand corner looks like and inspectors glass… It will list all of his talks

        • Brettstone

          Daz.. Sory but i just dont now how to post it since it is on the app with no web page connected

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Daz – All Bible Student apps can be found here: http://bibleresources.info/christian-resources/
          This link takes you straight to the Christian Resources app which has 15,000 Bible Student discourses. Next select “Audio Discourses.” Then select “Search for Discourse.” You can either search by topic (i.e. “justification”) or search by name (i.e. “Seklemian).

          Some great speakers to look for include the following:
          Robert Seklemian
          David Stein
          Eugene Burns
          Rick Cunningham
          Ken Rawson
          Carl Hagensick
          Michael Nekora

      • Peter K. (admin)

        Brettstone – For more on the Second Death, you might want to check out the following audio talk: Speaker:Ted Marten – Topic: Second Death

        As I understand the concept of Second Death in the scriptures the idea is this: Christ died once for our sins. Therefore every human being gets ONE opportunity to have the Ransom applied to them. Since Pentecost, only the Anointed (New Creation) have received justification (application of Jesus Ransom sacrifice). To out right reject this and to turn their back to sin and evil, if not repented of, would result in a final second death from which there can be no recovery. This is my thought.

        Some verses that related to the topic of the second death are the following:

        “For as touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift <1431>, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Heb 6:4-6 ASV)

        Verse 4 “partakers of the Holy Spirit” can only apply to the Anointed (spirit begotten) baptized into Christ’s body (Romans 6)

        Compare Romans 5:17 “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift <1431> of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)” AV – Since Pentecost, this only applies to the anointed.

        “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries. A man that hath set at nought Moses law dieth without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Heb 10:26-29 ASV)

        Verse 29 “blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified” can only apply to the Anointed.

        “But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” (2Pe 2:1 ASV)

        Compare “Ye were bought with a price.” (1 Cor. 6:20)

        • Brettstone

          Nice explanation of that Peter. That has always been my view of the second death. But Bob Carnegie gives a little different view of the scriptures you quoted in Hebrews chapter 6.
          I’m curious, is Bro Carnegie a Dawn Bible Student and do some of their views differ from the Chicago Bible Students?
          I couldn’t help but notice in his talks “Watch” and “Are you a bible Student” he seems to reject bible chronology and date setting! Is this typical of Dawn Bible Students?
          He mentions that this has brought divisions that are unnecessary and blames different views of chronology for this and appears to reject the idea of knowing the time of Christ parousia.
          I noticed you did reference other speakers. Are these ones that have a similar view as you as to Chronology.?

          • Peter K. (admin)

            Brettstone – As I see it, Brother Carnegie has some unpopular views and this influences whether or not various congregation will vote to have him speak again in the future. He is an elder in a Los Angeles congregation.

            He and I live in two different universes in terms of how we view the Bible Student world. I do not see the divisions and problems he sees. In any universe where there is liberty, there will be differences of opinion. This is healthy for investigation and study.

            On the whole, I think the Holy spirit is guiding the Bible Students to find Biblical confirmation in our chronology and time prophecies. Challenges from him and others lead us to reassess our views and on the whole to reconfirm what we have believed.

            The elders I listed are all popular speakers in the BS movement and for the most part very supportive of what is in the Studies in the Scriptures.

            • Brettstone

              Peter- thanks for the clarification on that. Is his view typical of the Dawn Bible Student Association? As I have been studying it appears that the Dawn Publications take a differing view and also appears the Herald as well.
              PS. I appreciate the freedom of conscious among the Bible Students

              • Peter K. (admin)

                Brettstone – Nowadays, I don’t hear much of labels for Dawn Ecclesias (Greek for Congregation) or Herald Ecclesias or Divine Plan Ecclesias. Back in the 1970s Ecclesias tended to go more by these types of labels. At the General Convention this summer, there were Bible Students from all these backgrounds. The traditional Dawn thinking tends to put more prophetic events in the future, like the reign of Christ, 1,000 years and binding of Satan (or Satan’s system of things). The traditional Divine Plan brethren think more along the lines of the early Bible Students, that these processes began in 1874. I am an elder in the Chicago Ecclesia and there is a mix of these thoughts, although I think more along the lines of the early Bible Students. However, there is a consensus among all these groups that the dramatic changes of technology, travel, Israel, etc. are all a result of Jesus Second Presence; that we are in a transition time of Satan’s empire being destabilized and gradually demolished, while at the same time kingdom infrastructure is being put in place (i.e. technology, travel, agriculture, communications, Israel, etc.).

          • Stanley L.

            Dear Brettstone:

            I’m given to understand that Br, Carnegie is a Dawn Bible Student. I had the occasion at a convention to sit down with some Dawn brethren at mealtime where he came up for discussion along with some others. I was informed that although his ecclesia does keep electing him as an elder and he does get invitations to speak at conventions, or did at the time, that his views were not to be taken as representative of what the brethren at the Dawn think. They were fairly emphatic on that point.

            I was online at the Grand Rapids Michigan Convention where Brother Carnegie gave the discourses which are being promoted by some on Facebook. The chat fairly lit up with criticism of his second talk where he made his claims which are controversial. He ruffled some feathers to say the least.

            What I’ve noticed is that at this point the Church seems to follow the Lord’s admonition to test such things and reject unhealthy teaching. Perhaps Br. Pater can correct me if I’m incorrect, but I haven’t seen Br. Carnegie’s name come up as a speaker at many conventions lately, in fact I haven’t seen him listed anywhere. If true, then that indicates that the Church is trying to be careful of those matters as a whole.

            • Peter K. (admin)

              Stanley – Yes, I have not seen any congregations inviting him to speak lately. This may indicate that his views were not reflecting the views of the brethren that had previously invited him. In any case, we are still happy to extend the right hand of fellowship to brethren, even when we have different opinions.

            • Brettstone

              I could certainly see how his views are controversial, but at the same time he makes some very good points. It may be my sensitivity to chronology being in the JW organization for 20yrs and seeing time and again new explanations and new dates set for things. Also intriguing is the fact that he can deliver these talks ones find controversial as you know in the JW org as soon as he came off the platform he would have a judicial committee probably formed and sitting in the back room!
              One thing I know for sure is that Bro Carnegie is an excellent speaker and captures your attention!

              • Peter K. (admin)

                Brettstone – I look forward to Stanley’s reply to you. I just wanted to say here that I appreciate your concerns about chronology and the changing time prophecy predictions of the JW Organization. So I respect when any in good conscience may have differences of opinion.

                However, notice how so many of the JWs who have left the organization have become agnostics or atheists. Notice how in Europe, respect for God was lost since people are aware of the Dark Ages and church corruption, etc. The point is not to make judgements about the Bible based on the behavior of Church organizations. Let the Bible stand for itself.

                We do see that the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 is a time prophecy pointing to the arrival of Messiah to the Jews.

                Daniel 12:10-12 speaks of the 1290 days and the 1335 days. Verse 10 says, “the wise will understand.”

                Volume 2 of Studies in the Scriptures is able to add up the years from Adam to Israel’s 70 years desolation. Why did God provide this information in the Bible? For what did he intend us to use it? Was it not to have an accurate time frame over which to apply various time prophecies?

                Of the Little Horn, we read in Daniel 7:25 (NASV) “25 ‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”

                3 1/2 times equal 1260 days equal 1260 years of the Dark Ages persecution against the Saints (539 AD to 1799 AD). What application of the prophecy could be more meaningful than the horrific persecution of the Saints during the Dark Ages.

                We may have different points of view, however I hope these suggestions are stimulating.

      • Anon CJ

        I absolutely adore Bob Carnegies talks. He’s amazing. I just finished his discourse on Dates and how 1874 is a failed Second Adventist date that Russell accepted. No ones knows the day or the hour. Yet we claim to. He said we can make anything proven if we make it’s fulfilments invisible. After the failure of 1844 they moved the date to 1874 and the rapture at 1878. When nothing happenned they made the fulfilments invisible and Russell accepted them. Love his talks.

  • His teachings on Chronology have proven to be incorrect. That is the major problem with the WT religion is that they base their chronology on 607 BC and ending in 1914. The better understanding was taught by a Christian back in the late 1800’s named Dr Grattan Guiness who use the proper date of 604 and 1917 was the SPECIAL date as Yerusalem was liberated by the British General ALLANBY. This was the correct date as the Bible prophecies are all about the land of Israel. I believe that Gentile Christians were grafted into the Jewish rootstock and Yahweh’s Covenant people are still in that covenant today. The Lord God does not break his covenants and he intends that Israel and Jews will be saved. We are only saved by confessing Yeshua as Lord and King…not men in any shape or form. No I am not looked up to as we have a young Pastor that leads our fellowship.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      David Hall – Thanks David. Actually Charles Taze Russell taught very closely to what you are saying. He believed the Times if the Gentles prophecy pointed to the end of Gentle domination over the Jewish people. WWI resulted in the Balfour Declaration which set aside Palestine as the Jewish homeland. Also, Russell’s reference to the “Jewish Double” prophecy actually occurred in two stages:
      1878 – First Jewish settlement
      1948 – Israel becomes a nation

      These prophetic expectations becoming a reality help to strengthen our faith that Jehovah did provide a complete chronology in his Word so that we would be able to accurately apply the many time prophecies. See more on chronology by clicking here.

  • I just can not understand how anyone would want to go back in time and accept the teachings of Charles Taze Russell, when much of what he taught has proven to be false.

    The only truth to me is Jesus Christ and him crucified, so why do we need yet another icon to look to? He is the one who doubted Hell, taught against the Trinity and claimed the Rapture would happen in 1914.

    I am free from the Watchtower religion and now am safe in the knowledge that the ONLY TRUTH is Yeshua and him crucified and raised from the dead, soon to bring ALL enemies under his feet.


    Pastor David

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Pastor David – Since I presume that many in your Church respect you as their teacher, I do not understand why you would object to many who respect Pastor Russell as a helpful teacher; except that you have stated that he has been proven a false teacher. I really have never found fault with his teachings; however I invite you to present one specific false teaching of Brother Russell, then explain to us how his reasoning and scriptural evidence were not correct.

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