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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


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?

514 comments to Welcome

  • I love Jehovah more then my own flesh. and i love living and i love my flesh. the governing body is a group of people who seen to work very hard running the organization. people should not attack in Jehovah’s organization each other even in 1916 when we were bible students. unless the goal of Christ love had changed. and the kingdom of God. we all should be under one authority that is Christ. i choose to work under governing body. to serve Christ. in one union. if we are not the brothers of Christ then who is. 144000. tell what do you all do for Christ. you may be my brothers to but prove it. by your works and faith in our lord Christ.do not Judge house of another if you went in a mess house dirty you would Judge dirty house. i have never been to your place of worship i heard two tapes on video two weeks ago good talks on track for high calling. but do you go out in house to house by mail or door steps to all nation bible students. then kingdom will come do you show love for each other prove to me you do. Jehovah’s witnesses shown a lot of love for me. i am disfellowship other words they are not speaking to me. when they want talk to you you are disfellowship i would love for this to end. i know i did wrong. do you bible students practice this.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Hi 091268. I am very sorry to hear that you are disfellowshipped. Bible Students do not practice shunning ever. Where is “shunning” taught in the Bible? Nor do we practice disfellowship except in very rare cases. In 1 Corinthians 5, we have a case where a brother was having sexual relations with his fathers wife. The brethren were advised to withdraw fellowship.

      1 Corinthians 5:13 (NWT) “Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”

      However, when the sinner repented, Paul told them to welcome him back, not to punish him further by preventing him from coming back.

      2 Corinthians 2:5-8 (NLT) “5 I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. 6 Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. 7 Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. 8 So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him.”

  • hi i do not always agree with every thing governing body does but they are in charge. all governments and church and kingdom halls has some one in charge. or a group of people. i am anointed but never want to be in charge. i just want to clean my actions up. and serve Jehovah and Christ. if that means the governing body so be it or not serve them .,some one must be in charge. and the light is better under the governing body now. i am from Spain. i like being told what to do by the governing body if it helps me. more on subject later. i am new to this channel. this is only channel i talk on. i love the Jehovah’s witnesses. i study JW.org every day. and i read Charles Taze Russell his books and agree with much of his books and disagree with some things. put Jesus and Jehovah first. you can not go wrong if you do that. talk more.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Hello 091268. It is nice to hear from you. I understand that you follow “Jehovah’s Organization” probably based on scriptures in the Gospels that talk about the Faithful and Discreet Slave. If you would like, we can discuss those scriptures, or even another Bible topic which the anointed love to do. However, I leave that up to your personal preference. I like what you said, “put Jesus and Jehovah first. you can not go wrong if you do that.”

  • Anonymous

    You should be called by his name jehovah

  • Rowena Jeff

    Hi i was raised by à jw mother who i adored and never judged me when at 13 i decided i no longer wanted to attend meetings etc neither did she judge me when i became à teenage mother, she and other witnesses supported me unreservedly. Despite not being à follower alot of principales stayed with me and my 3 children are all good caring humain being. I lost my mum and dad in 2015 and it completely changed me. A witness knocked on my door earlier this year and i really wanted answers. I started a study and seemed to be getting answers, however on delving into the organisation I see they are indeed now storing up treasures on earth, I am confused by yourselves and the ibsa organisation who appear to be selling a substantial jw portfolio of properties can you clarify please.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Rowena Jeff – I do not understand your question. I think you may be confused by who the “Friends of JWs are” and what is our connection is to JWs.

      You can find out more about our history here: https://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/category/bible-student-history/

      We are a continuation of the “Bible Students” founded by Brother Russell and continue just the same as the Bible students of Pre-1917. JF Rutherford took over control of Bethel, over time promoting a change of doctrinal beleifs and casting out of Bethel brothers and sister who held on to the old beliefs. By around 1931, Rutherford had created the organization called the “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” most of the old Bible Students having left this new organization, many of which continued meeting as Bible Students.

      We would be glad to continue the discussion with you if you have any questions or comments to share.

    • Hi Rowena, As Peter mentioned, we are Bible Students and NOT Jehovah’s Witnesses. These are two different groups, but as to the selling of property? The Witnesses have amassed billions of dollars in New York real estate, mostly in Brooklyn where they have been headquartered since 1909. They have been selling off this property, as well as Kingdom Halls around the country. The reason is obvious, they are in dire need of money from all the payouts due to lawsuits involving sexual abuse.

    • Richard.Tazzyman

      Hello Rowena,Good to hear from you.As bro Peter Said to you the JWs did not come into exsistence until the 1930s.They took control(Under Judge Rutherford)& changed many of the truths that Bro Russell & the Bible Students belived.I Myself was a JW For over 40 years in Australia.I found the bible students in 2010.What a joy it was to find the real truth,that sets us free from a man made Muli-Million dollar Org.Yes they are selling off a lot of the Kingdom Halls,Branch officers,as well as many Private Properties they have,Especially in the UK,Where they operate under the name of The IBSA.You were very fortunate to have Loving well balanced Parents that Loved you very much.May JEHOVAH bless you in your search for the Truth.Bro Richard,C/- Australian Bible Students

      • Rowena Jeff

        Hi thank you both for your reponses, i understand your history, i apologise my question wasnt clear, brother Richard grasped my meaning, in thé uk there appears To be à jw affiliated company called ibsa, international bible students association. My question was are you, being known as bible students part of this i now know you are not. Thank you for clarifying. The more i delve into the jw organisation the less i like what i see, i avait the answers from the lovely lady i have been studying with to some of their actions. These are intelligent people that appear To be completely under the control of thé organisation, i find it quite unbelievable. I wish my mum was still alive so i could debate it with her. Much love To you all.

        • Hi Rowena, Yes, in the days of Pastor Russell, there were 3 different organizations. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in Pennsylvania (1884), the People’s Pulpit Association in New York (1909) and the IBSA in the UK 1914. The People’s Pulpit was reorganized under the name Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.

          The Bible Students have always been a separate entity, as the Society was simply a publishing house that they used. When Russell died and the Society discarded most of Russell’s biblical teachings, the Bible Students abandoned the Society. Of course, those who stayed eventually became JW’s and lost their Christian freedom.

          Most JW’s are fine people, unfortunately as you have discovered, they cannot think for themselves. They MUST obey the Governing Body. Pray you find what you’re looking for!

        • Richard.Tazzyman

          Hello Again Rowena,Good that you now know the difference between the JWs & the Bible Students.Two very major differences in our beliefs is,that Jws teach that all mankind,who are not JWs will be destroyed at the battle of Armagedon.They also abandoned the belief that Israel was/is still Gods chosen People,& that very soon in the future,Jehovah again will turn his attention to them.They changed their stance in 1930,before this they accepted what the scriptures had to say,Refer to Romans 11,The whole Chapter refers to the Nation of Israel.Ask the Sister to explain where it mentions SPIRITUAL ISRAEL,as they say it does? Regards,Bro Richard,Australia
          PS,If you live in the UK,We also have bible students there as well!

  • Jeremiah 23:
    20. The anger of Jehovah shall not return,
    >>> until he have executed, and till he have performed the intents of his heart:
    >>> in the latter days ye shall understand it perfectly.

  • Anonymous

    The Holy Scriptures is how we hear the Almighty God speaks to us and guide our steps. His Son, our King and Savior is key as well as our example in how we should worship and please Our Grand Creator of all things. In the end, its our love for the Great Jehovah as well as everyone one else to love as our own.

  • I joinyou in newyork Bethel the house of God in 1995 and eat with you and drink with you annoited Jehovah’s witnesss who are faithful and bible student who are faithful i have eat your flesh and drink you blood.

  • Jehovah’s witnesses i kevin Davis born in 1969 august 16 as the last seed of christ.i was annoited to serve in 1993. Joined you at watchtower in Halifax virginia. I love each and every one of you. And i have served you since 1995 and i am faithful.

  • Many of you may of heard of Dr.Monica Cooper Win-Cowl Ph.D. Actually my is longer than that . There wee some illmannered person(s), who spreaded gossip about me on websites for Jehovah’s Wittnessed. No one got the truth ! I got abused as I was already in my marriage,and childhood. I am 12 years of age then. As Jehovah,Jesus Michael (the arch angel is he)Christ, & myriads,and myriads of Angel’s will tell you .most are lies
    .Jehovah’s people don’t look for love on websites . At times we might meet Jehovah’s people if it were a site connected to The WatchTower Site in New York. We email people for friendship.with true Jehovah’s
    Wittnesses. Jehovah’s people are generally good people . However you still must be careful !! Some goats are put there . Disfellowshipping proves that as reproof. At times we get mad and leave on our own. I
    did !!! Jehovah knows I still love him ,and it was not my fault what happened ! The matter is personal though . Jehovah says
    vengeance is his ,and that’s how I see. !!!!

  • Gasa

    Hi my intro is on section Disfellowship cong authority. I have served where need is greater been appointed man in a number of congregations across GB and pioneer as much as possible. I also went through a divorce and was Disfellowshiped I am reinstated some years ago now, my father was a witness he served as conscientious objector one of my aunts came along in early 1920’s and took emblems. Many I understand have had to leave or have been forced out and have found solace here amongst bible students. Many years ago I found a plain truth magazine amongst my father possessions. I know those of that group broke up with the JWs when they were called international bible students. I will whole heartly agree that some bad teachings have seeped into the organisation especially since early 1950’s when Nathan h Knorr during his watch incorporated the disfellowship process. Knorr was the last proper president now we have a governing body since 1970’s they claim it existed back in first century as it is today, bit questionable. I still believe Jehovah is using the brothers as the faithful and discreet slave but as he used Israel when they started to contaminate their worship slowly but surly they lost Gods favour, there is danger unless they repent they could even be judged as an evil slave. This is clear in Mth24:48-51
    Millions of my brothers could be at risk who work hard as rank and file doing Christs will publically praising God in the ministry bringing in the harvest.
    Christian love and thanks to you all.

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