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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?

467 comments to Welcome

  • Joanna

    Hi Alexandra,

    I am glad that you have found peace; and the love of God, as shown in His plan to bless ALL the families of the earth truly does give a more beautiful outlook on all life.
    God bless you as you continue to study His word to seek His truth.

    ~~~~~~ Translation / Traducere: ~~~~~~

    Salutare Alexandra,

    Ma bucur ca ai gasi pacea si iubirea lui Dumnezeu, cum e aratata in planul Sau care va binecuvanta TOATE familiile pamantului si care intr-adevar da vietii o frumusete aparte.
    Domnul sa te binecuvinteze pe masura ce continui sa studiezi cuvantul Sau si sa cauti adevarul Lui.


    And greet with Psalm 65:2, TLB.
    We inbratisez all, brothers throughout the world.
    Will embrace the brohters all around the world.

    Si va salut cu Psalmi 65:2.
    Va inbratisez pe toti,frati din intrega lume.
    Will embrace all the brohters around the world.

    Greetings, I am from Romania, 28 years old, a Jehovah’s Witness and am very happy to belong to this united global organization and can say that wherever I looked for an answer or a refuge in this world that is led by Satan, I couldn’t find satisfaction. Though I had friends in the world, I was not able to find something that makes you see life much more beautiful or “to find personal happiness.” Then I thought maybe if I had a god maybe??? I would find inner peace. I started to pray to a god I knew nothing about, or how to find him. Even though my mother and grand mother went to church I was not going; then after not too long, Jehovah sent 2 sisters just like it shows on t.v. how the angels work, and thru them I began a study 11 years ago when I was 17 and today I have been a witness for 7 years and am truly happy with the decision I made, regardless of what university I would have gone to I would not have said the same. Me and the rest of my family almost all are in the truth which is a great satisfaction. The truth has changed our lives. I am glad to say that I am a JEHOVAH’s witness.

    Buna,eu provin din romania si sunt in varsta de 28 ani,sunt o martora a lui Iehova si sunt enorm de fericita sa apartin la cea mai unita organizatie de pe glob si pot sa spun ca indiferent unde am cautat un raspuns sau un refugiu in aceasta lume condusa de satan,nu am putut sa spun satisfacuta am gasit,astfel eu desi aveam prieteni in aceasta lume nu am reusit sa-mi gasesc acel ceva ce te ajuta sa vezi viata mult mai frumoasa,sau sa “sa iti gasesti fericirea” ta personala,atuci ma-am gandit ca doar avand un dumnezeu poate ??? reusesti sa iti gasesti pacea interioara si am inceput sa ma rog unui d-zeu care nu stiam nimic despre el,nici cum sa o fac,desi mama si bunica mergeau la biserica eu nu participam,atunci nu dupa mult timp Iehova a trimis 2 surori exact cum arata in t.v. cu referire la ingeri cum actioniaza,si prin intermediul lor am inceput un studiu in urma cu 11 ani cand aveam 17 ani si astazi sunt o martora de 7 ani si sunt cu adevarat multumita de decizia pe care am luato,indiferent ce scoala superioara faceam nu spuneam acelasi lucru,eu,restul familiei sunt aproape toti la adevar ceea ce e o mare satisfactie.Adevarul ne-a schimbat viata. Si sunt bucuroasa sa spun ca sunt o martora a lui IEHOVA.

  • Joey

    I just left the webcast tonight and I’m not sure where to go on this site to make comments on the presentation. I decided to comment here saying that Overall I thought it was an excellent night and I even got my tech problems fixed at the end when I could not ‘talk’. With the help of the brother there telling me to go to meeting then audio wizard…I was able to fix the problem, I will be able to participate next time,I THINK. Rolando Rodriguez is familiar to me;I am also a puerto rican from the south bronx, my father is Italian and my mom is puerto rican… I tried to be as respectful as I could with my questions and I feel that wether we disagree or not I do not detect a spirit spirit of obfuscation and rigidity in any of the answers. As a matter of fact the mere invitation to anyone to join the discussion shows the freedom enjoyed by those professing truth…It was quite refreshing to say the least,the rigid FEAR of the W.society betrays their lack of confidence in their msg..The truth should be able to stand thru all challenges.
    While I have a great deal of questions in trying to differntiate between the doctrines of both groups(bible students and the WTBTS)as compared to the bible..I am not sure where the format is on this site for me to ask the questions, so rather than ask questions now I will wait for Peter K. or Jacqueline to direct me somewhere.
    Once again I would like to emphasize what a great time I had tonight and will include all the participants in my prayers Mr. Stein and Mr. Rodriguez and everyone I can think of as well…God Bless all and God Bless this site and all the bible students and each individual member of the Jehovahs Witnesses.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Joey, the best place to leave comments is under the topic you are reading. In this case, it would have been under the November 5 Webcast Announcement. If you have questions on a topic discussed on this site, you can leave your comments or questions at the bottom of the topic. Some people discuss doctrinal issues under the “We Believe” section. You can also ask questions under the “Ask Jacqueline” page. She has over half of a century of experience as a JW.

  • Joey

    hello Peter K. -I have a laptop and internet connection, I believe that there is a built in mike as well as speakers(I have headphones so I can hear better but not sure if built in mike is sufficient). This sounds alot like “go to meeting” site which I visited once and was able to hear the meeting but not able to participate (talking)…anyway thank you for your concern…one way or another I will at least attend PRAISE GOD!!

  • Joey

    Hi Jacqueline,
    happy to hear from you;yes theres a lot of info here, enough to keep me busy for a while. I will get to that judgement page soon…I am not tech savvy and I’m not sure how to access that web talk thing on friday…I really want to be there I just wish I didn’t feel so overwhelmed and fustrated by technology. I have a lap top that I am using currently and I have net access via a stick hanging out the side which gives me sort of slow broad band access.I can disconnect it and take my lap top to a different part of the house for faster web service,however after a few minutes hanging upside down whatever I’m enjoying becomes less so..LOL I will try to work it out by friday so I can check it out…last night I linked over to Rick Fearon at sixscreens and listened to all 4 parts of the discussion with the 5 bible students…very interesting to say the least,respecful and intelligent dialogue..
    hope I can be there friday, it is nice to post to you and God bless you Jacqueline, bye,bye…..

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Joey – I’ll post instructions for the webcast Thursday night. All you need is a computer to and internet connection to join us. You can type questions or comments for everyone to see. If you want to talk with us, you need either a headset with a microphone (preferable) or a microphone and speakers.

  • Jacqueline

    Welcome, I am currently reading the subject on Judgement. There is a wealth of knowledge and info on this sight. Hope to hear from you on the webcast this Friday.
    In Christ

  • Joey

    Hello everyone,
    I am not a Jehovah’s Witness, I am a wretchful sinner who was found by the Lord Jesus Christ in 1984…I lived near bethel headquarters in brooklyn and thus started an odyssey of joy,fustration,delight,consternation,satisfaction and LOVE most of all for people(not the WTBTS)that I will always have on my heart…I truly love the individual J.W. and always will…I have learned thru trial and error over the past 26 years to get my flesh out of the way and allow the Holy Spirit do what he loves to do, remove blinders,convict and bring sinners to Jesus. I want to say I was told about this site today and it is overwhelming the amount of information…I thank God for whoever had this idea; I can spend an eternity here(LOL) PEACE

  • Administrator ,
    the last sentence was not well translated from french :
    it sounds like that : “I would like to can talk with an old Witness, in order to verify (to check) if my own researches have sense.
    Christian tu es bienvenue ici !

  • Christian

    J’ai été Témoins de Jéhovah pendant 36 ans et maintemant je suis excommunier. Je me suis mi à faire des recherches et vraiment ce que j’ai trouvé me boulverse
    J’aimerais pouvoir en discuter avec un ancien Témoin pour vérifier si mes recherches ont du sens.

    Administrator: Here is our translation from French to English:
    I was a Jehovah’s Witnesses for 36 years and I now have been excommunicated. I have been researching and what I have found really upsets me. I would like to talk about it with an ex Jehovah’s Wittness to make sure that what I have found is true.

    • eva

      Bonjour Christian,
      As tu trouvé des frères et soeurs vec qui pqrler depuis ?
      Que Notre Père Céleste te garde dans sa Paix par son Christ.
      Bien à toi;

      Hello Christian, Hast thou found the brothers and sisters vec which pqrler since? That our Heavenly Father guard thee in his peace by his Christ. Well to thee; Eva
      (jacqueline’s attempt at translation)

      • Jacqueline

        Bonjour Eva, si heureux de vous avoir ici. Que la paix de Dieu être avec vous. Jacqueline

        Hello Eva, happy to have you here. May the peace of God be with you. Jacqueline

        • eva

          Grand Merci Jacqueline! Je me demandait vraiment si Christian a réussi de trouver Les étudiant de la Bible en France. C’est un telle soulagement de les trouver et de recevoir leurs regards curieuses demandant une réponse; comment tu nous a trouvé ?!!!

          Thank you Jacqueline ! I’m reqlly wondering if Christian has managed to find the Bible Students in France. It’s such a relief when you find them and to meet their eyes full of questionsa asking for a reply; how did you find us? !!!

          ps: à la maison je peux changer de touches sur mon clavier et je me goure souvent entre le a et le q…
          at home I can write both English and French on my keyboard – so I often mix the a and the q…

          Loads of greetings and blessings

          • Jacqueline

            Ici, les étudiants de la Bible n’étaient pas au courant que témoins de Jéhovah avait été dit que tout ce qu’gauche Rutherford sont mortes. Le Conseil d’administration n’a pas à dire la vérité et de l’internet est de savoir comment sont tellement trouver perdu nos frères. Et quelle bouffée d’air frais c’est de les trouver. C’est comme si on était dans un désert et diagnostic froid eau rafraîchissants ! Je dis à tous témoin que je rencontre que les étudiants de la Bible sont pas morte et vide de l’esprit de Dieu. Ils ont tenu à la vérité et de s’en tenir à la Bible.

            Here the Bible Students weren’t aware that Jehovah witnesses had been told all that left Rutherford have died out. The Governing Body didn’t tell the truth and the internet is how so many are finding our lost brothers. And what a breath of fresh air it is to find them. It’s like being in a desert and finding cold refreshing water! I tell every witness I meet that the Bible Students aren’t dead and void of God’s spirit. They have held to truth and stick to the Bible. Hoping most will go on the internet and find them. How did you find this web site Eva?

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